Monday was the summer solstice, when solar zenith reached its maximum northern extent, the Tropic of Cancer. We’ve enjoyed more daylight this week than any other week of this calendar year.
On Tuesday, Zach Eilon successfully defended his thesis on “New constraints on extensional environments through analysis of teleseisms.” His thesis was completed under the supervision of Geoff Abers, and his committee included Roger Buck, Jim Gaherty, Bill Menke, and Karen Fischer from Brown University. Zach is headed to a faculty position at the University of California, Santa Barbara, following a postdoctoral appointment to work with Karen at Brown. Congratulations, Dr. Eilon!
Olivia Clifton was awarded first place for her oral presentation at the American Meteorological Society’s Third Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences, held this week in Salt Lake City. Olivia combined measurements in a northern mid-latitude forest and process-level models to infer that year-to-year variability in vegetative uptake of ozone, an air pollutant and greenhouse gas, is largely occurring through pathways that do not involve entry through plant stomata, typically thought to be the dominant control. Kudos to Olivia!
Bill Menke has posted photos from a four-day workshop and fieldtrip for Lamont Summer Interns that he, Dallas Abbott, and Mike Kaplan led to Harriman State Park earlier this month. Participating interns included Audrey Dunham, Theo Kuhn, Dani Lopes da Silva, Carolien Mossel, Allison Pease, and Keegan Quigley. The group stayed at one of the American Canoe Association lodges overlooking Lake Sebago, and the workshop was organized around morning sessions on continental evolution and afternoon sessions on the geology of the Hudson Highlands. The photos can be found on Lamont’s Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/Lamont.Doherty/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1171553782864947).
The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is conducting a survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MarineSeismicSurvey) to determine interest in and usage of marine seismic data collection across the geophysical community and its affiliated fields. The results will be used to identify the instrumentation and methodologies that are critical to answer the current questions in the field and also those that are necessary to meet the requirements of future scientific directions. One outcome of the survey results will be to assist the National Science Foundation in determining whether the UNOLS Marcus Langseth Science Oversight Committee (MLSOC) should have its mandate broadened to become the Marine Seismic Oversight Committee (MSOC). It is important that the survey results reflect broad community input, so everyone with current or future interests in marine geophysics – including students and postdoctoral scientists –should take the survey, which can be completed in about 15 minutes. Responses have been requested by July 1. Questions about the survey can be directed to our Office of Marine Operations or to UNOLS.
Nominations opened this week for the 12th Excellence in Mentoring Award, which recognizes outstanding mentoring in any activity (science, technical, administrative) pursued on the Lamont Campus. Individuals nominated can be from the Observatory, IRI, CIESIN, or the Agriculture and Food Security Center, and nominations are due by August 1. Nomination instructions and a list of past nominees and awardees can be found on the Lamont web site (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/about-ldeo/office-director/internal-awards/excellence-mentoring-award).
In the news this week, Adam Sobel was quoted in an article Monday in Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2016/06/20/water-vapor-vs-carbon-dioxide-which-wins-in-climate-warming/#10b23a953b6b) on the contrasting influences of water vapor and carbon dioxide on atmospheric temperature. Marco Tedesco commented in a Chris Mooney story in The Washington Post on the importance of eddies in the mixing of meltwater from southern Greenland with seawater in the Labrador Sea and the potential changes such fresh water might induce in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, a key regulator of regional climate (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/20/a-huge-science-debate-is-brewing-over-whether-weve-messed-up-the-atlantic-oceans-circulation/). A Climate Central story carried Wednesday on KQED quoted Park Williams on the contribution of the California drought to the severity of wildfires in the region (http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/06/22/firefighters-wrangle-with-dead-trees/), and a story on the same topic in The Washington Post the next day cited Park as well (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/06/23/why-climate-scientists-predict-more-blazing-heat-drought-fires-and-scores-of-dead-trees-in-the-west/).
This afternoon, the campus will be treated to a special seminar by Martin Stute on the CarbFix pilot project in carbon capture and storage, the subject of a paper two weeks ago in Science (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/first-iceland-power-plant-turns-carbon-emissions-stone). Entitled “Turning CO2 into stone: The CarbFix project in Iceland,” the seminar will be livestreamed (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/video/turning-co2-stone), and the truly live version will be given at 3:30 pm in the Comer Seminar Room. I hope to see you there.