Lamont Weekly Report, December 9, 2011

AGU week was the usual flurry of sessions, town halls and committee meetings, with a few social gatherings thrown in. Of course, the best of these, from my unbiased perspective, was the Lamont reception on Tuesday evening. The crowd was large, loud, and loquacious. Mia Leo and her husband, Dick, were there, receiving toasts and congratulations, washed
down with warm memories. Many thanks go to Stacey Vassallo and Erika Freimuth for keeping this great tradition in top form.

The reception was preceded by a meeting of the Board of the Lamont Alumni Association, chaired by Steve Cande, with Bradtmiller, Coffin, Eittreim, Farmer, Kay and McGarr attending. The Alumni Association Board helps us design and develop ways to keep our many alumni informed and engaged, and several new ideas emerged from this meeting. Stacey and Erika are working on this as well.

I had to travel back to NY on Wednesday for some important meetings in Manhattan, so, regretfully, I missed the AGU Awards festivities that evening. Robin Bell, Ed Cook and Maureen Raymo were inducted as Fellows; Tiffany Shaw received the Holton Award of the Atmospheric Sciences section; Arlene Fiore the Macelwane (in absentia); and Gavin Schmidt the inaugural Climate Communications Prize. Congratulations to all!

Kim Martineau and Kevin Krajick were working the media at the meeting. Lamont got two out of the fifteen slots AGU allocates for official press conferences, and we were able to highlight the work of Steve Goldstein in the Dead Sea and Dorothy Peteet and her Lamont colleagues on the impacts of climate change on Mayan civilization. That's a terrific
showing considering the record number of abstracts this year. The work didn't stop there, however: we're still counting the large number of media hits the press releases engendered. Kudos to Kim and Kevin.

Barb Charbonnet and I met with several friends of Lamont, including Oleg Jardetzky. Oleg has supported the annual Jardetzky Lecture, which this year will be given by Ellen Mosley-Thompson on May 4. On the Friday before AGU, several of us visited the home of one of our Advisory Board members, who had kindly brought together a large group of her friends and neighbors to hear about our developing initiatives in biogeosciences (which we are calling "Climate and Life"). This was one of the most successful events of this type I've been to, as measured by the degree of audience engagement. Thanks go to deMenocal, Hoenisch, Seager, Linsley, Polissar, Kelemen, Savage and Purdy for showing off their science and social skills, and for Barb and her team for setting this up. Special thanks go out to our hosts, Sarah and Chris Redlich, for opening up their beautiful home and for their continuing hospitality and support.

Next week brings a meeting with DoE science program representatives, the Lamont-wide Holiday Reception in Monell, and a few other calendar items. Ann Binder, who I got to know when she was SGT DA before moving on to the IRI, will be celebrating her well-earned retirement on Thursday afternoon. I remember that Ann's devotion to SGT back then withstood all my attempts to mess things up as a newly minted associate director. She has been equally crucial to the management of the IRI. Best wishes, Ann!