Lamont Weekly Report, January 30, 2009


As reported last week, I met with the CU Senate Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) last Friday. Earlier this week I was informed of the result of their vote on the Lamont Research Professorship plan. It was unanimously in favor. This is a major step forward.  The FAC will now take this proposal forward to the next meeting of the full Senate - which takes place on February 6th (which creates a scheduling nightmare for me because that is the day that Julie Morris and Bob
Detrick are visiting from NSF).  Nevertheless - there is nothing more important than this, so I will attend the Senate meeting in order to handle any questions that come up. If we clear the Senate, then the next step will be the drafting by the Provost's office of the formal language to be added to the University's statutes, establishing these new positions. This language will then have to be approved by the President and the Trustees.

I wanted to include a statement with this report about the impacts of the financial crisis on Lamont - we have received substantial new input from downtown on where we stand. But I cannot determine which pieces of the information can be made public and which are confidential to the University - I am trying to sort that out - because I do not want to burden you with some trite piece of opaque prose ladened with subtle ambiguities - I want to make a comprehensive
statement so everyone understands our situation.

It is a substantial honor to be elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union - the premier professional organization for our field. It is an honor that is bestowed upon not more than 0.1 per cent of all AGU members in any given year.

It is therefore a great pleasure to congratulate both Roger Buck of MG&G and Steve Goldstein of Geochem for being elected AGU fellows this year.  Many congratulations, Roger and Steve.

As I have already mentioned, the Division Directors of Earth Sciences and Ocean Sciences at NSF - respectively Bob Detrick and Julie Morris - will visit Lamont next Friday. Three-quarters of all science funding at the Observatory comes from NSF, and Bob and Julie's Divisions together control something more than $500M per year. So they are important folks! They will give a talk and be available to answer questions Friday February 6th, Monell Auditorium 2pm til 3pm. I shall be particularly interested to hear their speculations upon the possible impacts of new funding via the Federal stimulus package that the Senate is now chewing on...

The snow has been here long enough. It is now time for spring.

Have a good weekend,