Director's Weekly Reports

Lamont Weekly Report, March 15, 2019

    For another week, the fourth in a row, the extended Lamont family lost one its members. Herman Galberd, Manager of Administrative Services at Lamont from 1979 until his retirement in 1994, passed away on Sunday. Herman joined Columbia University’s Electronics Research Lab in 1956, and from 1962 to 1979 he was Director of Research Services in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, so he worked for Columbia for a total of 38 years.

Lamont Weekly Report, March 8, 2019

    For the third week in a row, the Lamont community was saddened by the loss of a long-term member. Paleoclimatologist Andrew McIntyre passed away on Saturday. Andy was a double alumnus of Columbia University, with a B.S. in 1954 and a Ph.D. in 1967. His first position at Columbia after college, in 1959, was as an Assistant in Sedimentation and Invertebrate Paleoecology, Biostratigraphy and Geomorphology. After several instructor posts, he held the position of Research Scientist at Lamont until he completed his doctorate.

Lamont Weekly Report, March 1, 2019

    This week brought more sad news regarding two long-term members of the Lamont extended community. Seismologist Paul Pomeroy, a Lamont alumnus and former Observatory staff member, passed away on Sunday. Paul obtained his Ph.D. here in 1963, and he continued working at Lamont as a Research Associate and Senior Research Associate until moving to the University of Michigan in 1968.

Lamont Weekly Report, February 8, 2019

    NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies announced this week that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record ( As measured by Earth’s average surface temperature, 18 of the 19 warmest years have occurred since 2001, and the last five years have been the five warmest. Last year was more than 1°C warmer than the average temperature of the pre-industrial era.

Lamont Weekly Report, January 11, 2019

    As this week draws to a close, the partial shutdown of the federal government –­ including most federal science agencies – is three weeks old, and by tomorrow the shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history ( When the political impasse preventing the reopening of shuttered departments and agencies will be resolved is anyone’s guess.

Lamont Weekly Report, December 28, 2018

    It has been a workweek shortened by national and university holidays, and a week during which the federal government was partially shut down, the third federal shutdown this calendar year ( This latest shutdown began at the end of last Friday and affects nine government departments and a number of independent federal agencies, including NASA and NSF.

Lamont Weekly Report, December 21, 2018

    The Lamont Campus was saddened this week by the passing this Saturday of Benno Blumenthal, Lead Systems Analyst at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). Benno joined Mark Cane’s group at Lamont in 1987 after obtaining his Ph.D. in physical oceanography that same year from the MIT–Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, under the supervision of Charlie Eriksen. Benno held postdoctoral and Associate Research Scientist positions at Lamont until 1995, when he transferred to a Senior Staff Associate position.

Lamont Weekly Report, December 14, 2018

    This week, many from Lamont have been in Washington, D.C., for the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. It has been a week full of new scientific findings, meetings with professional friends and scientific colleagues, and hundreds of side meetings called to advance some aspect of one or more of the subfields of Earth and space science. With more than 28,000 attendees, the meeting set records for number of participants and number of papers presented.

Lamont Weekly Report, December 7, 2018

    This week began with the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit near Anchorage, Alaska, last Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey characterized this normal-faulting event as intraslab, i.e., within the subducting Pacific plate. At 44 km depth, the earthquake produced ground motion that was widely felt across the state and left widespread damage to buildings, roads, and other components of the built infrastructure (

Lamont Weekly Report, November 30, 2018

    From Paul Richards, Lynn Sykes, and John Armbruster, I learned the sad news this week that Lamont and DEES alumnus Jack Boatwright passed away on September 20, in the company of his wife, Tia, and his children, Phoebe and Charlie. A seismologist who specialized in seismic source theory, Jack received his Ph.D. here in 1980, under the supervision of Paul Richards. He joined the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Ground Motion and Faulting in Menlo Park that same year, and he remained with the Survey for 38 years.