Lamont Weekly Report, February 8, 2008

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,

  - Mike