Lamont Weekly Report, July 9, 2021

     Hello Friends,  After my big shout-out last week, I am sheepishly asking you to save a new date, September 22nd, for the all-Lamont BBQ.  I would also like to remind everyone that our first Summer Stars Lecture will be on July 15 next week.  It will feature John Cook, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University. I have known of John’s work in climate communications for many years, possibly almost a decade, and there are probably few people in the world who have thought as deeply about the climate communication challenge as he.  Please come enjoy this special event by linking here: Registration required by July 13.

    And speaking of registering, everyone should be thinking about uploading their vaccine information if they haven’t already.  Everyone on the research, instructional, and science support staff at Lamont (indeed across the entire university), including postdocs and students, are expected to be back on campus full-time on September 7th.  The stated deadline to have your vaccine proof uploaded is by August 2nd.  Some relevant info:

    “There are several resources available to help faculty and staff understand the requirement and submit their information. These include:

     I was briefed this week that of the 460 staff members at LDEO, our compliance rate is exactly 50%.  Please let’s try to push that number up quickly—Lamont leads….right?  Keep in mind that exemptions to the vaccine requirement for religious or medical reasons can be pursued through formal channels.  Likewise, permission to continue to work remotely can also be pursued through formal channels.  “For more details on how to request telecommuting arrangements, including the proposal form, and to read the complete telecommuting policy, visit the Human Resources website.”

     Next Thursday, July 15th, we will also be hosting a Lamont Town Hall.  We will review the rapidly changing COVID guidelines as well as back to campus guidance. 

     Speaking of people back on campus, it was great to see such a broad cross-section of the community at the going away party for Kuheli on Wednesday.  Kuheli, you leave Lamont in a much better place for you being here.  Certainly in the Directorate we are committed to building on all the DEIA progress this community has made and expect to have more news in this area soon.  In addition, Alicia Roman, Earth Institute Executive Director, sent an email drawing our attention to an upcoming EI DEIA Workshop: “It can be difficult to lead constructive conversations around race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other aspects of identity at work. As the Earth Institute engages in its diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEIA) initiatives, you may find yourself managing conflict among your staff or feel unprepared to facilitate challenging discussions.  On Thursday, July 22 from 11:30am – 12:30pm, the Earth Institute is hosting a workshop on “Leading Difficult Conversations.” The workshop will be led by experienced facilitators Bodi Regan and Allegra Chen-Carrel from the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) at Teachers College. In this workshop, they will discuss best practices for leading effective conversations around DEIA, and engage in interactive activities designed to practice these important skills. Please RSVP here: You will be sent the Zoom log-in details after registering.”

     Turning to science, I’d like to draw people’s attention to a paper, Contrasting drivers and trends of ocean acidification in the subarctic Atlantic, published posthumously by Taro Takahashi.  His colleague Bob Anderson writes: “Back in the 1980s Taro Takahashi helped start a time series of observations of subarctic ocean chemistry near Iceland.  The decades long record shows the clear effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on ocean chemistry.  The paper, published this week in Scientific Reports, including a nice tribute to Taro at the end, can be found at the following URL.”  I’ll quote some of that tribute here:  “The materialistic outline above does not explain cooperation which lasted for decades. The key element there was Taro ́s modest wisdom and deep knowledge which he shared in an atmosphere of equality. His responses to notes on data and interpretations were always detailed and constructive. This spirit of cooperation was likewise felt in exchanges with Taro ́s able LDEO technical personnel.”  I know that Taro’s old office in Comer is slowly being emptied—whoever gets to move in will be surrounded by some pretty amazing scientific karma.

     In other science news, Benjamin Cook is quoted extensively in an article about climate’s impact on the elegant trogons of Arizona.  Say what?  Were they in Game of Thrones?  You have to follow the link to find out what a trogon is.  I’m also left wondering what a scruffy trogon looks like.  Finally, of many other interesting articles below, the one on the development of the fluxgate magnetometer is an especially fascinating review of Earth science history, submarine warfare, and Lamont’s role in plate tectonic revolution.  It discusses the chain of events and inventions that led to Walter Pitman’s collection of the “magic profile”.  If you want to see the original “magic profile” after reading this article, come visit me—it is framed outside the Director’s office.

     Have a peaceful weekend.   Best, Mo








Scientists Disagree on Climate Change Pushing Trogon's Decline

July 5, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.


In Antarctica, a Huge Lake Disappeared in the Space of Three Days


July 2, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


Massive Antarctic Lake Disappears in Just a Few Days


July 2, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.


A WWII Submarine-Hunting Device Helped Prove the Theory of Plate Tectonics

Science News

July 2, 2021

Article references Lamont geologists Walter Pitman and James Heirtzler.


Research Ship Works to Predict the Next 'Big One' as West Coast Overdue for Earthquake

Fox News

July 1, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte aboard R/V Marcus G. Langseth.


Limited Air Pollution Data Hampers Development of Policies

Jomo Kenyatta University

July 1, 2021

Article features work of Lamont climate scientist Dan Westervelt.


Climate Change: From Heating Human Bodies To Baking The Earth

Clean Technica

July 1, 2021

Article quotes Lamont and UCLA bioclimatolgist Park Williams.


Fighting Climate Change Might Have Just Gotten Easier

Scientific American

July 1, 2021

Article co-authored by Lamont PhD Brenda Ekwurzel.




New Study Helps to Explain ‘Silent Earthquakes’ Along New Zealand’s North Island

July 07, 2021

Underwater mountains may help to dampen movements along faults that otherwise have the potential to generate large earthquakes.


Looking Out for Marine Mammals

July 06, 2021

When using sound to search for an undersea fault, researchers must take special precautions to protect dolphins, whales and other vulnerable species.


Seismic Data on Deck: Sounding for the Cascadia Megathrust Fault

July 01, 2021

Using sound and a 7.5-mile-long streamer towed behind the boat, scientists can collect a tremendous amount of data from under the seafloor.