We are at the midpoint in the quadrennial national gatherings of the two major U.S. political parties. The Republicans completed their convention in Cleveland yesterday, and the Democrats take their turn in Philadelphia next week. A Scientific American poll of Republican delegates on the topic of climate change captured a spread of opinions (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/republican-delegates-split-on-climate-change/) that seems, on average, to be moving slowly toward the U.S. mainstream view.
Lamont’s Nighttime Security and Safety Supervisor, Steve Weinstein, retired last week after 10 years of service. Joshua Davenport has been hired as Steve’s replacement. Joshua spent several years working as a Loss Prevention Officer at Marriott and Doubletree hotels, and he currently lives in Yonkers. For all of you who spend time on campus in the evenings, please give Joshua a welcoming wave.
Visiting the Division of Biology and Paleo Environment this month is Nathalie Goodkin, an Associate Professor in the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University and a National Research Foundation Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore. Nathalie works on geochemical tracers in corals of climate and ocean circulation and has most recently studied radiocarbon and trace element records from corals in the South China Sea and Indonesia. At Lamont she will be collaborating with Brad Linsley and Arnold Gordon on the Indonesian Throughflow.
On Monday, Nick Frearson, Art Lerner-Lam, Spahr Webb, and I visited longtime Lamont patron Jerry Paros at Paroscientific in Redmond, Washington. Jerry’s gifts have endowed the Paros Senior Research Scientist in Observational Geophysics – a chair currently held by Spahr – and the Paros–Palisades Geophysical Institute Fund for Engineering Innovation in Geoscience Research, which funds our Observatory Technical and Innovation Center (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/paros-pgi-observatory-technical-innovation-center). We spent the day in discussions with Jerry and Paroscientific Vice President Paul Migliacio on new sensor concepts for seafloor seismic and geodetic instruments and on ideas for utilizing data from such sensors for earthquake and tsunami early warning systems.
On Wednesday, Lamont was visited by Sir Mark Walport, the United Kingdom’s Government Chief Scientific Advisor; Head of the Government Office for Science at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession (https://www.gov.uk/government/people/mark-walport). Sir Mark was accompanied by Rosemary Howard, North America Lead for Global Science, Innovation and Education in the Science and Research Directorate at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and Rebecca Leshan, East Coast (US) Regional Director for the UK Science and Innovation Network, based at the office of the British Consulate-General in Boston. The visit, arranged by Doug Martinson and Carl Brenner, included discussions of Lamont programs in polar oceanography, cryospheric science, and ocean drilling, as well as opportunities for expanding cooperation and collaboration between Lamont and British scientists in these areas. Participants in the discussions, in addition to Doug and Carl, included Art, Stan Jacobs, and Lei Wang.
In the news this week, Adam Sobel authored an op-ed piece in The New York Times last weekend on the lower than average rates of occurrence of large Atlantic hurricanes over the past decade (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/opinion/where-are-the-hurricanes.html?_r=0). Marco Tedesco was quoted in an Alexandra Witze story posted by Scientific American on Monday (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/algae-may-be-melting-the-greenland-ice-sheet/), and run again in yesterday’s issue of Nature, on the roll played by algal blooms in increasing the absorption of sunlight and enhancing surface warming of the Greenland ice sheet. Village Voice turned to Andy Juhl for a comment quoted in an article (http://www.villagevoice.com/news/the-slime-whisperer-one-biologists-instagram-disguises-civic-science-lessons-as-visual-art-8876472) Tuesday on freshwater microbes. And Vicki Ferrini was interviewed by Atlas Obscura for an article today about our uneven knowledge of the bathymetry of the world’s ocean basins (http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-to-go-on-a-hypothetical-harrowing-hike-across-the-ocean-floor).
And as we head into the weekend, we might carry with us a lightly paraphrased message from the Presidential candidate who accepted his party’s nomination last night: “We can accomplish these great things and so much more. All we need to do is start believing in ourselves... Start believing. It is time to show the whole world that [Lamont] is back, bigger and better and stronger than ever before.” And why not?