Lamont Weekly Report, June 10, 2011

Sunday in the Park with Lamonters:

The World Science Festival landed in Washington Square Park last Sunday, with Lamont providing exhibits, literature, and enthusiastic staffing. Our participation was organized by Stacey Vasallo and Erika Freimuth with additional leadership from Margie Turrin and Jill Van Tongren. The WSF, conceived by Brian Greene, has been a terrific experiment in
linking science, the arts, exhibits and lectures, all in service to increasing public awareness of science, scientists, and local institutions. It draws huge crowds across a range of venues; we'll be looking at expanding our opportunities to participate in next year's festival. By the way, one of our network seismometers is installed in the Arch.

The Pullet Surprise:

The Association of Educational Publishers has announced that Earth Science Puzzles by Kim Kastens and Margie Turrin has won the Distinguished Achievement Award in the category of Curriculum/Science/9-12. The book was nominated by the National Science Teachers Association, also the publisher. The book presents data interpretation using a puzzle/problem solving lexicon, a new approach that Kim and Margie have championed. Is a procedural TV show (CSI
Palisades) next?

By the way, much of this, along with slide shows, comments, and additional news, is on the Lamont face book page:

Diversity task force:

On Monday, Kuheli Dutt held the first meeting of a task force charged with developing a three-year strategic plan describing diversity initiatives, due in draft form in the Provost's Office by the end of August. We're working to have enough time to distribute review drafts as these efforts proceed.

Better late than never, reprise:

There has been some confusion regarding the definition of "overdue" annual and final reports and the requirement for a director's waiver allowing submission of a new proposal in the absence of a report. We cleared this up at Wednesday's OMG, while still retaining an appropriate incentive to submit reports on time. Edie will distribute the details to the DAs.


Our Advisory Board meeting Wednesday afternoon went off without a hitch, thanks to the efforts of Barb Charbonnet and her staff, and to Mike Kaplan and Donna Shillington for their science presentations. Our Board is increasingly engaged with our research and education initiatives, and the development of philanthropic prospects to support them. We also
continue to emphasize the importance of raising endowment. I am gratified that many of you, when asked, have been willing to interact with our board members; they do, in fact, love to discuss science with scientists. You have the most persuasive voices.

More meetings for me this week: a briefing in the Dominican Republic on earthquake risk management, a Director Search Meeting, OMG, a session with the heads of CIESIN, IRI and Tropical Agriculture, and two days of Langseth BSR review with NSF.

But the best part of the week was Tuesday evening's induction ceremony into Columbia's 25-year Club. Our Carpenter/Woodworker Charlie Jones, Roger Buck, and I are the newest Lamont members. I hadn't realized this was such a big club; Roone Arledge Auditorium was packed. And, there were at least two full tables of Lamonters coming back to celebrate. I suppose I can take sentimental license to exclaim that's
it's been a great ride.