Lamont Weekly Report, March 6, 2020

    Christine Chesley has been twice honored for a talk that she gave at the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting last December. She received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award from AGU’s Tectonophysics Section (although AGU originally omitted her from the list of recipients of that award they posted last week, they have since corrected their omission), and she received an Honorable Mention from the Student Prize competition of the GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) program. Christine’s oral presentation, coauthored by Kerry Key and Samer Naif, was on “Mapping the along-strike fluid distribution of the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand, using marine electromagnetic methods.” Double congratulations, Christine!

    On Wednesday, Eos published the citation of Franziska Landes for the 2019 Science for Solutions Award that she received from the American Geophysical Union last December, as well as her response. The citation was by Gabriel Filippelli from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and Franziska’s response called out both Lex van Geen, her thesis supervisor, and Peter Schlosser, who established the award with a gift to AGU. Renewed congratulations, Franziska!

    March is Harassment Awareness Month at Lamont, and the kick-off event this Wednesday was a discussion led by Bridgit Boulahanis and Jennifer Middleton on the topic of “How to Leverage YOUR Power.” On Wednesday next week, the second event in the month-long series – sponsored by Lamont’s Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity under the leadership of Kuheli Dutt – will be on “Transgender Awareness” and led by Elva Bennett and Spencer Jones.

    Yesterday, the March issue of Lamont’s electronic newsletter was sent out to a broad and growing subscriber list. Under the heading “Every Continent, Every Ocean,” the newsletter included eight stories on Lamont science and scientists; an education and outreach story on Lamont’s participation last month in Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum; and 24 media stories from last month that featured findings or comments from Lamont researchers.

    Adam Sobel has inaugurated a series of podcasts of conversations with climate scientists and workers in closely related fields, “to capture what it is like to work in our field at this moment in history.” Under the banner Deep Convection, the project has posted two podcasts to date – each more than an hour long – one with Michaela Biasutti and one with hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel from MIT. Both interviews are captivating.

    Dave Walker wrote this week that he’s been “rabble rousing again amongst the good folks of Greene County [New York].” By way of elaboration, he added, “I try to stimulate local and state rejection of a pair of predatory and spreading proposals for running huge quantities of construction and demolition debris into Greene County by waste management companies operating from metropolitan New York City. A similar proposal is playing locally to Lamont at the defunct Tilcon quarry at Tompkins Cove. I was interviewed on the local Catskill radio station WGXC on February 28 and spoke at an “event” at the Athens, New York, firehouse on March 1. The standing-room-only crowd of >250 was also addressed by Columbia adjunct Paul Gallay, who is the president of Riverkeeper.” A video of Dave’s 40-minute presentation at the March 1 gathering is worth watching.

    A Science Highlight posted by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology this week summarized the work of Kira Olsen and Meredith Nettles on the relation between the sizes of icebergs released by calving events at the edges of Greenland glaciers and the magnitudes of seismic events that accompanied the calving. The work of Lex van Geen on a citizen science project to measure fluoride in well waters in central India was mentioned in a story Monday on Mongabay. On Tuesday, Radley Horton was quoted in an Albany Times Union article about New York state’s new Climate Action Council and its charge to write “the playbook for future energy use and regulations in New York.” A Vice story Wednesday on “climate positive” fashion included a quote from Marco Tedesco – called “a professional troublemaker in the plastics space” – on the need to reduce the use of plastics and other hydrocarbon-based synthetic textiles in clothing. A New York Times article yesterday quoted Dorothy Peteet on efforts by the Shinnecock Nation to preserve beaches on the edges of their land on Long Island in the face of climate change and rising sea level. And Robin Bell was quoted yesterday in an ABC News story on reductions in greenhouse gas and particulate emissions from China and from the reduced frequency of airline flights since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    This afternoon’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given by Barnard and Columbia alumna Miriam Jones, a research geologist at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. Miriam’s seminar will be on “Vegetation and carbon storage changes following >200 years of drainage in the temperate peat swamp.” May even the intemperate among you, and those fond of calling for drainage of the swamp, find reason to join me in her audience.