Lamont Weekly Report, April 24, 2009

Last Sunday we held a meeting of the Alumni Association Board prior to a very well-attended lunch for members of FOLD (Friends of Lamont-Doherty) - almost forty folks attended - and its success was only eclipsed by the excellent public lecture (the third in this years series) that followed the lunch. Nick Christie-Blick and Byrdie Renik talked about Continental Stretching to a near capacity crowd in Monell.

Wednesday afternoon was spent with our Advisory Board. They were treated to a tour of the "Seismology Museum" in the basement of the cafeteria, thanks to Art Lerner-Lam and Won Young Kim, before engaging in one of the best attended and most active meetings we have had. The central agenda item was that of improving Lamont's visibility, and Kevin Krajick and Kim Martineau gave a great overview of the impressively large amount of diverse press coverage that we have been receiving in recent months.  Robin Bell was the featured science speaker and told the great story of the recent expedition to Antarctica that she led with colleague Michael Studinger.

I managed to spend a little time at the 2009 Senior Thesis poster session down at Barnard on Thursday afternoon - 26 presentations and posters by Barnard, DEES and E3B undergrads - the quality was amazing.  Walter Pitman and I agreed that it was time for this wonderfully bright new generation to take over the world.

Lamont's old research vessel Vema seems to be getting ready to rise from the ashes once again. She was being operated as a cruise ship (named Mandalay) in the Caribbean until recently until the company that owned her went out of business. Now apparently she is in the Galapagos about to be refit again as a sailing cruise ship - check her out at - Years ago when I first joined Lamont I tried to organize an Alumni trip on board Vema/Mandalay - but I could not get enough Lamonters to be able fill the whole vessel - which would have made it special. Pity - it would have been a cruise to remember.

They say summer is going to arrive this weekend - I hope it is true, because it is time to start work on getting the boat ready for the water, and I do not like doing that when it is raining!
Have a good one,

- Mike