This week was punctuated by a winter storm Wednesday that dropped snow unevenly across the region (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/nyregion/winter-storm-snow-transit-power.html) and closed the campus for the day. That we could open our doors at a normal time Thursday morning was the result of long efforts Wednesday afternoon and evening by Andy Reed and eleven of his colleagues from Facilities who plowed and shoveled our roads, pathways, and parking lots. Please join me in thanking Bruce Baez, Carmine Cavaliere, Tony De Loatch, Charlie Jones, Kelley Jones, Maurice Mack, Larry Palumbo, Ray Slavin, Eric Soto, Kevin Sullivan, and Ricky Trubiroha, as well as Andy!
Last week saw the successful completion of the first stage of fieldwork for the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar (BIMA) experiment, a large international and interdisciplinary project to study the subduction of the Indian plate beneath the Indo-Burma ranges and the associated seismic hazard in the region. Lamont is responsible for the Bangladesh portion of the experiment and, over the past month, teams led by Mike Steckler, Paul Betka, Chris Carchedi, Jim Gaherty, Céline Grall, and Nano Seeber, along with partners from Dhaka University, deployed seven GPS stations and 28 broadband seismic stations, ran a high-resolution gravity profile, and mapped geological structures across the subduction forearc. Data collection will continue for two years. This week, Eos published (https://eos.org/features/the-wicked-problem-of-earthquake-hazard-in-developing-countries) a summary of the project by Mike, Nano, and colleagues that described the rationale for the experiment and the challenge of conducting fieldwork in this region.
The R/V Langseth this week continued work on the South Island, New Zealand, Subduction Initiation Experiment (SISIE), an investigation of the geologically young subduction zone south of New Zealand (http://www.seismolab.caltech.edu/sisie.html). The portion of the project involving the deployment of 50 ocean-bottom seismometers has been completed, and the planned acquisition of multi-channel seismic profiles with the ship’s 12.5-km-long streamer system was approximately 35% complete as of yesterday. Sean Higgins writes that the Langseth is “still dodging weather but doing pretty well so far.”
Harassment Awareness Month continued this week at Lamont. Monday featured a lunchtime discussion on Gender Bias in the Geosciences led by Maayan Yehudai. Last Friday’s Diversity Seminar on “Engaging men in gender equality” by Michael Kimmel, the SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, has been posted on Lamont’s web site (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/video/engaging-men-gender-equality). In two weeks, sessions are planned on Bias Training and LGBTQ Awareness.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day (https://www.internationalwomensday.com/), “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women…[and] a call to action for accelerating gender equity.” The Earth Institute posted a story about women scientists on their State of the Planet blog site yesterday, and Suzana Camargo and Einat Lev were among the women featured (http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/03/08/reflections-woman-scientist/). On Lamont’s web site, a Marie Aronsohn story yesterday highlighted the achievements of “polar pioneer” Robin Bell (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/wonder-woman-lamont-polar-pioneer-robin-bell).
Einat was also featured in an article Tuesday on Inside Unmanned Systems on the use of drones for research in volcanology (http://insideunmannedsystems.com/hot-shots-study-volcanoes-lava-flows/). And Robin and her co-discovery a quarter century ago of a volcano beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was mentioned in an article “From the Files” last Friday in The Keene Sentinel, a newspaper in the city of Keene, New Hampshire, where Robin grew up (http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/from-the-files-march/article_36efd119-ab20-5b4c-9e57-beeec1f33c60.html). Finally, a Datanami story Wednesday described a partnership between Lamont’s polar geophysics group and the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin to host the multi-instrument data collected during the Rosetta-Ice survey of the Ross Ice Shelf (https://www.datanami.com/this-just-in/tacc-lamont-observatory-host-one-of-the-largest-earth-sciences-data-collections-in-the-country/).
This Sunday, Hannah Rabinowitz and Heather Savage will sail from Lyttleton, New Zealand, on the JOIDES Resolution as part of the scientific party on International Ocean Discovery Program expedition 375, which aims to drill into a portion of the Hikurangi subduction zone that hosts shallow slow-slip events (http://joidesresolution.org/expedition/375/). Goals of the cruise include recovering cored samples from the sedimentary section and oceanic basement of the subducting plate and from primary active thrust faults in the outer accretionary wedge, as well as installing borehole observatories at a thrust fault site and a site in the upper plate to monitor hydrological, chemical, and geophysical processes during slow-slip events.
Lamont’s Advisory Board will hold its spring meeting next Monday, at the Columbia University Club in Midtown Manhattan. The scientific highlight of the meeting will be a presentation by Gisela Winckler and Joerg Schaefer on “The Greenland Ice Sheet instability.”
On Thursday evening next week, Advisory Board member Jeffrey Gould and his wife Lenore will be hosting a cocktail reception at their home in Sarasota, Florida, for a discussion on “Marine ecosystems in a changing ocean.” The featured presenter at the evening event will be Sonya Dyhrman.
In the meantime, this afternoon’s Earth science colloquium will be given by geophysicist Michael Manga, a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley (https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/faculty/michael-manga). Michael will be speaking on “Earthquakes and water (and why the Lusi eruption was not caused by an earthquake).” If, like me, you had to turn to Google to learn that Lusi is the world’s largest known mud volcano (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/mud-volcano-lusi-indonesia-video-spd/), you should be sufficiently intrigued to join me in the audience.