Lamont Weekly Report, March 18, 2022

Hello Friends,  Announcements, losses, and science, in that order.  We are working hard on planning an enlightening and stimulating visit next Friday for Dr. Richard Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.  In particular, please join us for a Town Hall from 12:30pm-1:45pm in the Monell Auditorium. In addition to lightning talks from some of our colleagues, Dr. Spinrad will give a presentation followed by a public Q+A.  The Town Hall will be a key part of his five-hour visit that will feature our scientists and their work, facilitate discussions about NOAA's strategic priorities, and hopefully inspire thinking around opportunities for new funding streams. NOAA has been, and will continue to be, one of the Lamont campus's most important sponsors and partners.  The link to register for the Town Hall is here

The Office of Research is pleased to welcome two new staff to its team and to Lamont. Ty Rosa is the new Associate Director of Research Communications, focused on websites, newsletters, and other internal communications materials, developing our School's federal affairs strategy, and supporting the writing and editing of large ($4M+) proposals. Ty was previously the Assistant Director of Research Proposal Development in EVPR. Second, please join us in welcoming Haley Clint as the new Operations Manager responsible for the Office's events and administrative infrastructure. She was most recently the Senior Events Manager at The Mann/Live Nation, responsible for large music concerts. These two hires round out the Office of Research's rapid expansion, and now they will focus on launching many new programs and support services for researchers. Stay tuned for their new website and newsletter launch in early-April.   

On March 8th, the Development office hosted a Lamont tour for new hires including the Offices of Research, Columbia Technology Ventures, Major Gift Officers, and the Directorate Administration. The tour highlighted our researchers' active projects, future ones in planning, and did Q&As at the end of each stop. Introductions between researchers and shared administrative offices help to facilitate grant submissions, assist with patent licensing, and find us industry opportunities and donors. And, of course, we all get to know each other a little bit better. Thank you to all the scientists who helped us share why Lamont is a leader in its field.

I’m sorry to report that LDEO lost two members of the Lamont community recently.  C. Barry Raleigh, the Director of LDEO from 1981 to 1989, was listed in the in memoriam section of GSA Today.  According to my sources, he was the third Director of the Observatory, after Neil Opdyke and Maurice Ewing.  The second loss was Misha Kogan, a distinguished geophysicist from Russia who came to Lamont where he worked for about 20 years as a senior scientist.  Many testaments to his friendship and research impact have circulated today on campus email so I won’t repeat them here.  Both Misha and Barry were great colleagues who contributed mightily to the history of and historical impact of the Observatory.

Finally, in the science news listed below, the very cool and innovative geo-bio study of large earthquake history (see last week’s newsletter) continues to be highlighted across media outlets.  A second study, led by another recent PhD student Daniel Rasmussen and published in Science, investigates volcanic eruption prediction and is also getting a lot of press attention.  Both studies speak to the goal of hazard prediction in an uncertain world, with the ultimate pay-off being saved lives and economic livelihoods.  I am continually amazed at how important Lamont’s research is to sound decision-making in government, communities, and business—to see the continual scientific innovations and advancement across the fields of volcanology and seismology, events once considered impossible to predict, is truly inspiring.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day.  A hearty welcome back to our campus geese!  Watch where you step…







Below, four articles related to a study of San Andreas Fault by Paleoseismologist

Genevieve Coffey at GNS Science, and Stephen Cox, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont.


Why the Big One Could Be Even Bigger

Daily Mail (UK)

March 17, 2022


Central Section of San Andreas Fault Could Cause Bigger Earthquakes

Science Times

March 17, 2022


San Andreas Fault Not So Silent

March 16, 2022


Why the Western Megadrought Is the Worst in 1,200 Years

News 5

March 17, 2022

Megadrought Study coauthored by Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor, and Benjamin Cook, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Lamont.


Adam Sobel: A Climate Science Midlife Crisis

Sea Change Radio

March 15, 2022

Interview with Professor Adam Sobel, Ocean and Climate Physics at Lamont.


The history of climate change offers clues to Earth’s future

Knowable Magazine

March 14, 2022

Interview with Professor Sidney Hemming, Geochemistry Division at Lamont.


What the Discovery of the Endurance 3,000 Meters Under the Ice Teaches Us

La Repubblica (Italy) 

March 11, 2022

By Lamont scientist Marco Tedesco.


Below, six articles on research by Daniel Rasmussen, DEES 2018 PhD graduate, and Professor Terry Plank, Geochemistry Division.


Better Forecasting of Volcanic Eruptions


March 11, 2022


To Track Magma’s Path to Eruption, Scientists Say There’s Something in the Water


March 11, 2022


Keys to Knowing When a Volcano Is Going to Erupt

ABC Ciencia (Spain) 

March 10, 2022


New Insight Into Magma Chambers Could Improve Volcano Models


March 10, 2022


Moving Towards Better Volcanic Eruption Predictions

Cosmos (Australia) 

March 10, 2022


Scientists Take a Step Forward in Predicting Volcanic Eruptions

Blaze Trends 

March 10, 2022


Summer: The Warmest Season

Live Science 

March 11, 2022

"There will always be seasons, and the weather will always fluctuate from day to day, month to month, and year to year," Adam Sobel, Columbia professor, atmospheric scientist and author of "Storm Surge" (Harper Wave, 2014), told Live Science. "Global warming won't change that; it will just make all the seasons a little warmer, on average, than they would have been otherwise." 




Sailing Around the Bangladesh Coastal Zone

By Mike Steckler

March 12, 2022

“I am back in Bangladesh to explore the distribution of fresh and saline groundwater in the coastal zone, needed for drinking in the dry season.”


Water Content Controls the Depth of Magma Storage Under Many Volcanoes, Says Study

By Kevin Krajick

March 10, 2022

“Research into volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands and elsewhere overturns the conventional understanding of what controls the depth at which rising magma is stored.”