Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, January 8, 2021

     Hello Friends,  It is so hard to know what to write in this moment.  Many of us had two lovely weeks in our family bubbles, with a blissful decrease in Zoom meetings and email, and came back excited (I hope) to reconnect with our students, colleagues, and co-workers.  But on Wednesday we were assaulted with yet another egregious example of the racism and hypocrisy that is so woven into the fabric of our society.  It is painful to think about.  It is painful to watch.  Although I know that there is a segment of society that will be apolo

Lamont Weekly Report, December 18, 2020

     Hello Friends,  I hope all are enjoying the winter wonderland we now have, and possibly even the beautiful pink sunrise this morning.  A huge thanks to the B&G crew for snow removal and for working through the night Wednesday to clear the campus.  We have lots of interesting research news, as well as accomplishments, to celebrate this week, but it is important that I—we—step back for a moment and look at the big picture.  We have been fortunate to be in, physically or virtually, our Lamont campus bubble for many months now.  We have our

Lamont Weekly Report, December 11, 2020

     Hello Friends, Welcome to another Friday, COVID-19 Edition.  We are all deep into the American Geophysical Union more-than-two-weeks-long meeting now.  Globally time-zone friendly, it runs from early in the morning to late at night and if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, you are not alone.  I have that straight from the Lamont grapevine, parents especially.  However, please hold the date December 16th, Wednesday evening at 7 pm, for yet another can’t-miss-event, the annual

Lamont Weekly Report, December 4, 2020

     Hello Friends, I am prefacing this week’s newsletter with an acknowledgment of the unfathomable suffering happening in our nation this week, as record-setting numbers of citizens are succumbing to COVID.  Indeed, it is hard not to become numb to the scale of the daily deaths.  Please reach out if you need help, or even an ear…to CU resources, to Lamont colleagues, or the Directorate directly.  Our community has escaped relatively unscathed, an outcome I attribute directly to science—to the strong regulations and advice based on scientific data, and to the

Lamont Weekly Report, November 20, 2020

     Hello Friends, I’m sorry I have to start with the gloomy stuff—the pandemic is worsening in the region and we must continue to be vigilant, in the labs and especially in the café and other common spaces.  We’ve all seen how things can go south quickly.  The NYC schools have closed down again making life even harder for those with children.  Please go here to find many university resources for parents, including daycare.  Hopefully we can bend the curve down quickly.&

Lamont Weekly Report, November 13, 2020

     Hello Friends, Happy Friday the 13th.  It’s a gloomy day and the news about Covid-19 around the nation is gloomier still.  Please all be attuned to the rapidly evolving guidance on inter-state travel and meet-ups as Thanksgiving approaches.  Positivity rates are going up all around us and Columbia has transitioned from green to yellow alert levels.  Early next week the University will be sponsoring two forums for faculty, researchers, and staff addressing the latest information about public health and university planning.  You can regi

Lamont Weekly Report, November 6, 2020

     Hello Friends,  I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely late warm weather.  I’ve made it onto campus a few times this week, with the highlight being the morning a fox walked right by my office, behind Monell.  I also enjoyed multiple walks with colleagues around campus this week.  It seems like more people are coming to campus more often—if this is you, please feel free to request placement on the Group A List if you are not already there.  But given the observations across the nation, this is no time to relax our guard with COVID.  Yes

Lamont Weekly Report, October 30, 2020

     Hello Friends,  And welcome to the end of another busy, rainy week as the dregs of Hurricane Zeta pass through the region.  Reports of snow from the north, but here on the Palisades Sill it is just rain.  At the start of the week I was happy to join Alex Halliday and SEAS Professor George Deodatis for a live, and lively, panel discussion: “Under Water: Coastal Fragility and Our Rising Seas”.

Lamont Weekly Report, October 23, 2020

     Hello Friends,   What a fun week it has been!   Yesterday we wrapped up Lamont’s very first virtual Open House— “At Home” Edition—and it was nothing short of remarkable. While I’m sure many of us missed the excitement of our traditional in-person event, I was so impressed to see the range of offerings our Open House organizers put together.

Lamont Weekly Report, October 16, 2020

     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

Lamont Weekly Report, October 9, 2020

     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

Lamont Weekly Report, October 2, 2020

     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.

Lamont Weekly Report, September 25, 2020

     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

Lamont Weekly Report, September 18, 2020

     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.

Lamont Weekly Report, August 14, 2020

     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