Lamont Weekly Report, October 13, 2017

    This week was launched by Open House. Fine weather contributed to a record attendance of 3891, an increase by nearly 900 over last year ( The official head count was certified by Howie Matza, who logged 440 individuals arriving by automobile to the campus, 565 attendees delivered by bus from the city, and 2886 riders on the shuttles from the HNA parking lot. Bill Menke took advantage of the sunny day to document the event in photos (, and local media ( covered the occasion as well.  

    On Monday, the European Geosciences Union announced that Kerstin Lehnert is to receive the 2018 Ian McHarg Medal. The medal is awarded by EGU’s Division on Earth and Space Science Informatics “for distinguished research in information technology applied to Earth and space sciences.” Kerstin will receive the medal at EGU’s 2018 General Assembly, to be held in Vienna next April. Congratulations, Kerstin!

    Lamont’s Development Office, now fully integrated with that of the Earth Institute, recently welcomed the arrival of Ashley Sheed as a new Senior Major Gifts Officer. Ashley received a B.A. in English from Tulane University and recently completed an M.S. degree in Nonprofit Management at Columbia. Prior to joining Lamont and EI, Ashley was the Assistant Director for Major Gifts at Northwestern University's New York Regional Office. During her time each week at Lamont, Ashley’s efforts will be focused on raising funds for the restoration of Lamont Hall (

    The Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics Division recently welcomed several visitors. Maddalena Michele, a postdoctoral scientist at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Rome, is visiting Lamont for three months to work with Felix Waldhauser on a high-resolution analysis of seismicity in Italy, including the recent earthquake cascade in the central Apennines. Jingsong Yang, a Professor in the Department of Disaster Prevention Instruments at the Institute of Disaster Prevention in Beijing, is visiting Lamont for one year with support from the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to work with Won-Young Kim on earthquake early warning. Also visiting the division for one year with CSC support is Daning Zhong, a third-year graduate student from the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing; at Lamont she will work on induced earthquakes with Won-Young or related experiments in the rock mechanics laboratory with Christine McCarthy.

    The Ocean and Climate Physics Division bid farewell to visiting graduate student Mingting Li, who returned to Peking University this week. With CSC support, she spent a year at Lamont working with Arnold Gordon on the development of a multi-decadal time series of the Indonesian Throughflow.

    On Tuesday, I joined Marie Aronsohn, Art Lerner-Lam, Pat O’Reilly, and Stacey Vassallo on a visit to the two solar farms that Siemens Industries is building for us in Orange County. The solar farms, one in Chester and one in Minisink, are scheduled for completion by the end of November. Once connected to the power distribution grid, the farms – each providing up to 2 MW – will supply 75% of the electricity power needs for the Lamont Campus.

    From Wednesday to today, Lamont has hosted a workshop on “Drilling into young oceanic crust for seafloor observations at Axial Seamount,” sponsored by the U.S. Science Support Program of the International Ocean Discovery Program. The goal of the workshop is the development of a proposal for drilling and downhole experiments at Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge ( Tim Crone organized the workshop together with Julie Huber of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Deborah Kelley of the University of Washington.

    Lamont scientists in the news this week began with a Sarah Fecht story on the work of Franziska Landes and Lex van Geen documenting the strongly variable range of lead contamination in the soil from backyards and parks across the five boroughs of New York City (; the particularly high soil lead levels found in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn was covered the next day by WCBS television ( A Ben Orlove interview of Mike Kaplan and his role in the establishment of a new doctorate program in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic sciences at the University of Magallanes in Chile was posted Wednesday on GlacierHub ( Also on Wednesday, Park Williams was interviewed on the independent news program Democracy Now! about the factors behind this week’s deadly wildfires in California ( And yesterday, Galen McKinley was quoted in a Live Science story on satellite observations of the influence of the 2015-2016 El Niño event on atmospheric carbon dioxide (

    This afternoon’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given by atmospheric chemist Randall Martin, a Professor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University ( Prof. Martin will be speaking on “Global fine particulate matter: Sources, concentrations, trends, and health.” It would be a fine matter if you were to trend your global concentration in particular toward Monell this afternoon to hear what he has to say.