The Langseth returned to Galveston Tuesday after a very successful cruise collecting high bandwidth source signature data on the new airgun arrays. She sails for Costa Rica on Saturday and begins a full schedule of challenging operations through 2008. The crew and all the technicians on the ship, as well as everyone back here in the marine department continue to perform at herculean levels, facing up to, and overcoming, the challenges involved with bringing such a huge and complex machine - that is a multi-streamer seismic boat - to full operational status.
Wednesday afternoon was spent with the Lamont Advisory Board - a particularly good meeting - in which some important decisions were made - and stimulated by a great science talk by Doug Martinson. The board wants to provide some funds directly to Lamont researchers to help 'seed' new and innovative research projects. The amounts of money will be small to start, but I think it will grow. I will send out an a formal announcement next week that lays out the selection criteria etc that will be used for disbursement of these funds. The money is coming from direct donations from the Board members themselves, so they feel truly invested in the project.
We also laid out the timeline for release of the Lamont promotional movie that was previewed at the Comer Building ribbon cutting. Fortunately for everyone, my Yorkshire accented droning is going to be replaced by a Tom Brokaw voice-over that was recorded a couple of weeks ago, In early April we are planning a major mailing of DVDs of
this hopefully compelling piece, in a bold move to substantially increase our base of potential donors and interested supporters. I do not think there has ever been a better time to try this. We always welcome ideas for new folks to attract as our supporters - if you have any ideas, now would be a particularly strategic time to share them - just let our Development Office know.
It was bittersweet to read the Administration budget request for 2009 that was released a week or so ago. It includes a 16 per cent ($773M) increase for Research and Related Activities at NSF - wonderful to see, but I doubt with the coming change in administration, we will see anything as constructive as this.
Have a great weekend,