Lamont Weekly Report, October 30, 2009

We ran a Development event on Monday afternoon for a small group of folks from the affluent village of Alpine NJ - thanks to Robin Bell and Margie Turrin for sharing their enthusiasm about Antarctica and all things cold and icy in such an interesting and engaging way.  An afternoon of EI meetings downtown on Tuesday was followed a much-feared visit to the dentist on Wednesday - which I survived - so I could welcome a group of science writers to the campus on Thursday,

hosted by Kim Martineau, who shepherded them through a wide range of presentations by members of our staff. Hopefully this will lead to new contacts and more exposure for our research results in the public media.   I spent Thursday lunch with a group of ~18 of our post docs - that was great - it was a good learning experience for me - hearing directly

about concerns and issues, and getting some very good ideas about how we can make the postdoc experience here at Lamont both more valuable and enjoyable.

This lunch was organized by Kuheli Dutt in my office who has just released her annual report for the Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity - see the 'News and Events' tab at

Also at this same site you can find the presentations from this past summers 'Research Life Series' as well as Meg Urry's

'Science of Diversity' talk from a few weeks ago, (and an abbreviated summary of the LDEO by-laws).

We received some good news last night - our ~$8M proposal to NSF for stimulus funding to support the total renovation of the top floor of the New Core Lab has made it into the second round of review. We received six excellent ratings from the first round review panel. There is now a second round of review - the panel meets on November 12th.  And we are required to participate in a conference call on that date - I hope the decision will follow soon after.  I remain realistically skeptical about our chances of success - we know only 2-3 awards will be made (in our budget-range) and undoubtedly several tens of proposals will have made it through to the second round.  But at least we are still in contention!

Have a great weekend,