Lamont Weekly Report, August 19 2011

A few Lamont proposals over the past several months have required some extra steps because they involved research on human subjects and required a signoff on research protocols. Legal protections of human subjects, in any country, are rigorous, and apply to a wide range of potential research. Columbia maintains an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is charged with the review and approval of protocols. There is a web site ( with FAQs and other guidance. In addition, Bev is organizing an information session with representatives of the IRB, to be held soon after the start of the fall semester. Point of clarification: Lamont Research Professors do not need waivers to request IRB approval. Make sure your title is entered correctly when you make the application.

Columbia maintains an Ombuds Office on Morningside, which also services the Medical Center. Kuheli is discussing with the head of that office whether it would be possible to schedule standing office hours on the Lamont Campus every month. We'll know more about this by the end of September.

Next Monday at 4PM NSF GEO will host a webinar on Earth Cube, a new community-driven cyberinfrastructure to integrate knowledge management across the Geosciences. This could present new opportunities for us, given the range of our data management activities. More info is available at:

Not much more to report this week: I've been trying to catch up on some reading and writing, dealing with space and renovation issues, and monitoring the several staff recruitments underway. We're close to submitting our diversity plan to the provost's office, which I'll summarize in one of the next weekly reports. I'll also have more to report on the Director Search next Friday.

Until then, watch out for the two white-tail fawns romping around campus. Yes, they're cute. And Godzilla is nowhere to be seen.