Lamont Weekly Report, November 13, 2009

I am very pleased to report that, following a formal mail ballot by the Senior Staff, Lorenzo Polvani of SEAS/APAM and A&S/DEES will be joining LDEO formally effective 1st December, as a member of our Senior Staff. We all hope that Lorenzo's close involvement in our atmospheric research efforts will continue to grow - especially as our emphasis in this area increases with the forthcoming new appointments to the DEES faculty. Welcome, Lorenzo.

We entertained Nick Dirks - Columbia's Vice President for Arts and Sciences - on Tuesday. This was his first visit to LDEO (other than just for meetings), so it was his first opportunity to look around our campus, tour a couple of laboratories and meet with some of our staff.  Needless to say I emphasized to him the need for a return visit in order to get a better overall view of the breadth of our activities beyond that can possibly be communicated in a single three hour session.

We had a very important conference call early Thursday morning with the second-round NSF review panel who were looking at our ~$8M proposal to renovate the second floor of the New Core Lab.  Besides one significant technical issue with regard to what costs were 'allowable' under this very special (and unusual) program announcement, versus those that were 'unallowable' - the conversation went very well. I failed however to gain any insights into when they were going to be making any actual decisions...

After this call I went downtown for meetings and had lunch in the Faculty House - my first visit there since it has undergone a major multi-million dollar renovation - a definite improvement, and given how crowded it was, clearly very popular.

Earlier today we were visited by a team from the Liberty Science Center, down in New Jersey, led by Deborah Cook their Vice President for Learning and Teaching. They were talking with us about possible areas of cooperation - the potential for which I believe is considerable.  Frank Gumper, the Vice Chair of our Advisory Board, and my Senior Advisor on Education, organized this. Frank continues to volunteer his time generously to our cause and is of inestimable help

to our continuing efforts to broaden our education activities into the middle and high school levels.

That wild introvert John Delaney gave another one of his spectacular presentations at the Colloquium this afternoon, talking, as he so often does, about the transformative effect that a new Observational network will have on ocean sciences.

I wish I could be sure when I met John for the first time - it was a long time ago - I think it may have been when Jose Honnorez conned me into being the founding Chair of the Lithosphere Panel when the Ocean Drilling Program (as opposed to DSDP) began in the early 1980's - John Delaney (along with Charlie Langmuir, John Sinton, among others) was one of the original members - 'natural laboratories' on the seafloor was the vogue term back then - oh, so long ago.  Anyhow - it is always great to see John again, and he always gives a grand talk.

Have a great weekend,