Lamont Weekly Report, January 16, 2009

The current version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 that will be chewed upon by the Committee on Appropriations within the House of Representatives over the next couple of weeks includes additional funding of $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, $600 million for NASA Earth Sciences and $600 million for NOAA. Wonderful numbers of course, but this is a long way from becoming law. Nevertheless 'hope' is now a fashionable word - a
Presidential election was fought about it after all - so we should have some (hope that is!).

Speaking of Presidents, next Tuesday is the inauguration of Barack Obama, and this is clearly an historic event that we should not miss.  Therefore it will be televised, starting at around 11 am, on the big screen in the Monell Auditorium. With concurrence of your supervisor everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the moment.

The NSF Division Directors of (respectively) Earth Sciences and Ocean Sciences - Bob Detrick and Julie Morris - will be visiting the Observatory on Friday February 6th. They will be giving a joint presentation in the Monell Auditorium at 2pm to which all are invited.  Their Divisions provide approximately half of all the Observatory's research funding, so their thoughts and perspectives on the future are important to our success.

Wally Broecker seems to be taking over Lamont's web page with news of yet another major international prize that appropriately recognizes his great accomplishments.. He has received the newly founded Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change Research, one of the world's largest science prizes. Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Foundation awarded him the more than $500K prize for sounding early alarms about climate change - many congratulations Wally!

There are more details about this on our web page, thanks to the excellent science writing skills of newly-hired Kim Martineau, who will be working full time on LDEO external communications, helping Kevin Krajick get the word out to the greater world about our exciting research.  If you come across Kim - please give all the help and time you can spare. We are working to significantly decrease the number of people in this world who can honestly state that they have never heard of us!

Something I should have reported upon weeks ago - thank you to everyone who contributed to the Food Drive over the Holidays - I am pleased to report that we were able to contribute close to 500lbs of canned and dried goods.

When one's children get to be more than 25 years old two things happen. They start talking to you again, and they start buying you really good Christmas presents. I have a magnificent (though somewhat ridiculous-looking) fur hat - thanks to my daughter Pippa - that has been a lifesaver this past few days as I have had to wander the streets of Manhattan locating the new offices of CU's Office of Alumni and Development down on 113th Street (UDAR is gone forever). Maybe it
will warm up over the weekend - but if you get cold, just think about how much colder you would be if you were standing on the wing of an Airbus 320 up to your knees in water in the middle of the Hudson River... miracles do happen - thank goodness.

Have a great weekend, enjoy MLK Day and I will see you at the inauguration celebration in Monell on Tuesday.