Lamont Weekly Report, February 24, 2012

We had an executive committee marathon this morning, trying to catch up on several topics.

 I’ve asked Mahdad Parsi, Naomi Naik and Benno Blumenthal to participate in several working groups underneath the “Shared Research Computing Policy Advisory Committee” being run out of Mike Purdy’s EVPR office. These working groups will focus on assessing existing computational resources, enumerating needs for computational power and storage, evaluating cloud architecture and other topics. In parallel, we will be forming a task force for the Lamont Campus – including IRI and CIESIN – to articulate an advanced computing strategy and business model for the Observatory and the other units. Excom approved the task force charge this morning and we’ll begin assembling the group next week.
Some of you have noticed variations in the published affiliations of Lamont staff in several of the leading journals. Bev looked at this and, indeed, there has been some drift from our standard affiliation. We will correct this by sending memos to the publishers, and will post an updated version of our publication procedures to our website and a new staff orientation package. We’ll send around an email when the updated version is posted.
Pratigya Polissar, Chair of the Campus Life Committee, brought some of the current CLC discussions to Excom. The CLC is an important venue for discussing not only quality of life issues, but also some broader themes about how we should conduct ourselves. It’s quite clear that we should “walk the walk” on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, but how we should do that demands continuing discussion. For example, we could put together some director’s office funding for an undergraduate intern to analyze our power consumption data and suggest some practical changes. Let’s think about this.
Will this be the winter that wasn’t? March can still hold a few surprises. Still, this mild winter is keeping our utility bills below budget. Every bit helps.