Hello Friends, It seems like it has been a quiet week despite many Zoom meetings. The other day I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation of how many Zoom meetings I’ve been in since the pandemic shut-down began and the number was over 1000. I’m thinking of all the exercise I missed not walking to all those meetings around campus. My step-counter is crying a river and my scale is letting out an evil chuckle. However, my happy news is that the very best Zoom meeting of the entirety of the pandemic was yesterday – my graduate student Mike
Director's Weekly Reports
Hello Friends, I hope everyone is enjoying the cool fall weather and increasingly colorful woodlands. It has been another busy week at Lamont. Thank you to everyone that tuned into the Town Hall and especially to Alex, Art, and Pat for updating us all on the Climate School, Covid-19, and our campus, respectively. Other events I’ve participated in this week include a meeting with Art, Alex, and the Trustees of the Doherty Foundation to update them on the work of Lamont, the education programming the Foundation supports and our role in the Climate S
Hello Friends, Wednesday marked the end of my third month on the job as LDEO Interim Director and I would like to reflect on what these three months have meant to me and what we have accomplished together. It was an incredible honor and privilege to be asked to lead this world-leading research institution. Especially during such an unbelievably stressful time, with siblings, close family friends and acquaintances who were affected by the virus, I reflect daily on how grateful I am for my health and for my job.
Hello Friends, How has your Climate Week NYC been going? Given that for many of us every week is climate week, maybe you didn’t pay much attention to this event. But it is pretty amazing and inspiring when you scroll through all the events and lectures devoted to imagining a pathway toward a decarbonized <2°C warmer world. It gives me hope to see people from so many different fields envisioning a better way forward. It also excites me about the potential of the Columb
Hello Friends, Welcome to the end of another busy week of science – shwew! Though it had no Lamont connection, the biggest science story of the week by far, was the discovery of possible life on Venus! Not little green women, but atmospheric phosphine molecules (like those in our gut) that suggest the possibility of anaerobic microbes living in the cloud decks above the surface of Venus. The project and paper, led by Dr.
Hello Friends, This will be a short newsletter for a short week. It is also the week we welcome our new cohort of graduate students to Lamont! Of course, we usually have a lovely picnic behind Lamont Hall, but this year we will have a “Zoom picnic” instead. Pass the ketchup!
Hello Friends, It is always bittersweet to end the last real week of an academic’s summer—a regret tempered by the excitement of the new school year ramping up.
Hello Friends, Lots of great stuff has happened this week, not the least of which was that the R/V Marcus Langseth set sail out of Newport Beach, Oregon after a complicated, but ultimately successful quarantine. Oh, to be back on the high seas again…
Hello Friends, Black Lives Matter. If you click on those words you will be taken to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s statement on our commitment to anti-racism and institutional change. As we strive to create a progressive, anti-racist, inclusive community at Lamont, we must each uphold the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our daily practices. Lamont has already begun to take concrete steps to embed anti-discriminatory
Hello Friends, Unfortunately, this has been another extremely challenging week on the Lamont Campus.
Hello Friends, As I start writing this (on Thursday) of course there is only one thing I really need to say: HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY MARIE THARP!!!! What a special moment to reflect upon this early pioneer in oceanography, someone who not only helped put the Earth on the map, but also helped put Lamont on the map. There has been so much great content about Marie this week, from twitter posts, to interviews, to photographs, to podcasts, to videos — she has clearly become a hero to many, and rightly so.
Hello Friends, It has been a busy week as I continue to meet with Lamont groups and work with the great team in the Directorate to launch new initiatives, act on community recommendations, and generally try to come up to speed on the byzantine infrastructure of LDEO (and I’m not referring to our “aqueducts” although, yes, yesterday there was another severe electrical disruption that blew fuses on the main pump supplying water to our campus as well as impacting other parts of Lamont.
Hello Friends, As we migrate into the heart of summer, Lamont continues to slowly reopen. Hopefully everyone is comfortable with the new procedures and protocols being put in place, all designed to keep us safe and healthy. Continued thanks to our Lamont COVID committee, the Associate Directors, the building and grounds team, the security and cleaning teams, our bus drivers (Eddie!
Hello Friends, Yesterday I toured the Lamont campus computer centers in Monell and Geoscience with Mahdad Parsi, Pat O’Reilly, and Jeff Turmelle of IRI. Walking from Monell to Geoscience we crossed paths with a doe and her two frolicking fawns running happily in circles—classic Lamont. I wish I could enthusiastically report good news about the computer centers but the supporting infrastructure is in bad shape—aging and failing air conditioning units in particular pose a significant infrastructure and budgetary challenge. These facilities are critic
Hello Friends, What a great week! It has been a true pleasure to step into the role of Interim Director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and spend even more of my normal workday interacting with all the talented professionals and students on our campus. Thank you for all the welcoming messages of support as well.
When I arrived at Lamont eight years ago, the tradition of a Director’s Weekly Report, posted to our web site and distributed by e-mail, was several years old and seemed worth preserving. More than 400 reports later, I am glad that I kept up the tradition.
Today is a university holiday, to celebrate the freeing of the last group of slaves in the Confederate States 155 years ago. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, in announcing the holiday on Wednesday evening, acknowledged that “[our institution] is not innocent of the structures of racism that have afflicted America. Yet we also have a history of confronting invidious discrimination and anti-Black racism…, and we need to summon our better traditions as we recognize Juneteenth and commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.”
On Wednesday, the Lamont campus closed for the day so that our scientists, students, and staff could support our Black colleagues and oppose systemic racism – in the sciences and American society more broadly.
Prompted by the widespread protests this week over the killing last week of George Floyd, for Wednesday’s issue of Climate Fwd: – the climate-focused newsletter of The New York Times – writer Somini Sengupta interviewed three prominent black climate activists about the connections between racism and climate change: Sam Grant at MN.350.org, Robert Bullard at Texas Southern University, and Heather McGhee at Demos.