Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, November 15, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, November 8, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, November 1, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, October 25, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, October 18, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, October 11, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, October 4, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, September 27, 2013

Lamont Weekly Report, September 20, 2013

The autumnal equinox will occur this Sunday, and, more importantly, the end of the federal government’s fiscal year is only 10 days away. The prospects for a government stalemate over the wording in a continuing resolution or lack of agreement on a new debt ceiling renew the sense that following Congress ranks high among this nation’s premier spectator sports, albeit with a fan base substantially smaller than those of most college and professional sport....

Lamont Weekly Report, September 13, 2013

It is a rare week that features a New York City mayoral primary, an anniversary of September 11th, and a Friday the 13th.

The week nonetheless included some good news. I am pleased to report that Keep Rockland Beautiful has named Margie Turrin as the recipient of their Education Award this year ( The organization....

Lamont Weekly Report, September 6, 2013

We owe the truncated number of workdays this week to the American labor movement and to President (and former New York Governor) Grover Cleveland. As if in retaliation for the three-day weekend, fall classes at Columbia began on Tuesday morning.

On Thursday, Academic Minute on WAMC Northeast Public Radio featured a discussion by Einat Lev of her research on measuring the physical properties of flowing lava ( The program airs....

Lamont Weekly Report, August 30, 2013

The Columbia campus is awash with students, even as the hallways at Lamont are unusually quiet, as our scientists stretch out fieldwork or grab a few final days off before the beginning of the academic year next week.
I am pleased to report that we have three new Lamont Assistant Research Professors:....

Lamont Weekly Report, August 23, 2013

This week began with a front-page Justin Gillis article in The New York Times announcing that a pending report of the International Panel on Climate Change finds it “extremely likely” that human activity contributed more than half of the increase in surface temperature over the past 60 years ( The carefully worded description of confidence continues to strengthen with each IPCC report...

Lamont Weekly Report, August 16, 2013

August is usually a time of year for fieldwork and vacations, but this week included a target submission date for proposals to the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Sciences Division, so e-mail traffic prompting me to approve proposals by Lamont scientists peaked sharply. The bonus for me was an opportunity to read about some of the most promising....

Lamont Weekly Report, August 2, 2013

When the monthly page on my wall calendar flips to August, the imminence of the new academic year can be clearly felt, much like the air in a subway station presages the approach of a train.

This week I spent the first four workdays in Washington, D.C., chairing a review panel for NASA. The panel was asked to evaluate proposals from multi-institutional teams for membership in a new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. The institute aims to stimulate “an innovative, broadly based research program addressing basic and applied scientific questions fundamental to ....

Lamont Weekly Report, July 26, 2013

Today is the anniversary of the 1971 launch of the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon. Apollo 15 was the first of the so-called “J missions,” with a longer duration on the lunar surface than earlier landed missions, the first astronaut-driven rover, and an enhanced focus on science. The Apollo 15 mission included the first measurement of heat flow from the lunar interior. The PI for that experiment was Lamont’s Mark Langseth.

Lamont’s research vessel, named in Mark’s honor, continued this week to explore the three-dimensional seismic structure of the Galicia Rift west of Spain...

Lamont Weekly Report, July 19, 2013

Local heat index values above 100 F and half-empty parking lots are hallmarks of the middle of summer. Another sign of the season is this week's All-Star break for major league baseball. For baseball fans, today marks the anniversary of Cy Young's 500th win, Ty Cobb's 4000th hit, and Cal Ripken's 1500th consecutive game.

The R/V Langseth completed all needed engine repairs and sailed from Vigo, Spain, on Monday morning with a crew of 20 and a scientific party of 26. The ship has resumed her.... 

Lamont Weekly Report, July 12, 2013

This week has been punctuated with hot and humid mid-summer weather of the sort for which New York is famous, and the campus is full of college and high-school students immersed in summer research programs. The extra traffic on the Lamont shuttle has led Pat O’Reilly to move the 8:30 am outbound shuttle to 9:30 am and to add an additional bus heading back to the city at 5:30 pm, changes that will be put into effect on Monday.

The R/V Langseth remains in port in Vigo, Spain, and is today awaiting the arrival from----

Lamont Weekly Report, July 5, 2013

The beginning of this week marked the end of my first year at Lamont. The time has passed quickly, and there are still many in the Lamont community whom I would like to know better. In many ways Lamont is like a large oceanographic vessel. Course changes are made only slowly, and even while they are underway the important work of the ship is conducted not on the bridge but rather on the main deck and in the science laboratories. It is the steady pace of progress on that work that validates our mission. I hope that you will continue to keep me posted on the progress on your own work over the coming year...

Lamont Weekly Report, June 28, 2013

This week was notable for President Obama’s address at Georgetown University on Tuesday afternoon devoted in its entirety to the steps his administration will take to address global climate change. After laying out what the New York Times called “sweeping measures” to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate alternative energy usage, and partner with states and municipalities on climate adaptation strategie....