Lamont Weekly Report, October 11, 2019

    This week began with Lamont Open House. The total attendance was 3627, a figure higher than last year or two years before that, but lower than the all-time record of 3891 set in 2017. The official head count was certified by Howie Matza, who logged 350 individuals arriving by automobile to the campus, 658 attendees delivered by bus from the city, 2592 riders on the shuttles from the HNA parking lot, and 27 who came on other buses. Several highlights from the day have been posted to our web page ( Please join me in thanking the event’s sponsors, including AllianceBernstein, Orange and Rockland, Frank Gumper, Florentin Maurrasse, Taylor Rental, Superior Audio Visual, the HNA Palisades Premier Conference Center, the South Orangetown Ambulance Corps, and an anonymous donor.

    Monday featured two Ph.D. thesis defenses. At 10 am, Frank Pavia led off with the defense of his thesis on “Biogeochemical studies of the South Pacific Ocean using thorium and protactinium isotopes.” In addition to Bob Anderson, his thesis supervisor, Frank’s committee included Ryan Abernathey, Andreas Thurnherr, Gisela Winckler, and Thomas Weber from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester. In December, Frank will start a postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech, where he will work with Jess Adkins.

    Two hours later, Celia Eddy began the defense of her Ph.D. thesis on “Constraining the Earth’s elastic structure with surface waves: Seismic anisotropy in the Pacific upper mantle and local amplification across the contiguous United States.” Celia’s committee included her thesis supervisor, Göran Ekström, as well as Jim Gaherty, Ben Holtzman, Meredith Nettles, and Don Forsyth from the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Brown University. Göran reports that Celia has taken a position in data science with The New York Times.

    On Wednesday, Lamont was visited for the first time by New York State Senator David Carlucci (, whose 38th District includes most of Rockland County (including our campus) and a small part of Westchester County. He was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, John Mulgrew. The Senator was given a tour of the IcePod lab by Nick Frearson and of the Lamont Core Repository by Nichole Anest and Mallory Mintz. He also met with constituents Robin Bell and Mo Raymo and with Art Lerner-Lam and me, along with Loftin Flowers and Nathan Robb from the Government Relations unit in Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs.

    Also on Wednesday, a special workshop in honor of Arnold Gordon was announced on the topic of “Gateways to the Ocean: A Workshop Celebrating Arnold Gordon’s Contributions to Physical Oceanography.” The meeting is scheduled for February 13-14, 2020, near the time of Arnold’s 80th birthday, and will be held in La Jolla, California, just prior to the 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting, which will follow on February 16-21 in San Diego. (If, like me, you find it hard to believe that Arnold is approaching 80, perhaps the reason is that there is a time dilation effect for oceanographers who spend months at a time on speeding research vessels.) The workshop organizing committee includes Ryan Abernathey, Bruce Huber, Janet Sprintall from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR.

    Our web page gained a couple of blog entries this week. Last Friday, Dorothy Peteet answered a question submitted by a reader on the importance of wetlands and the effectiveness of wetland mitigation banking – the restoring, enhancing, or relocating of wetlands in the process of development of the built environment ( In an entry posted Tuesday, Sonya Dyhrman commented on the pronounced but regionally variable effects of warming and acidification of the oceans on marine microorganisms, as highlighted in the Special Report on Climate Change and Oceans and the Cryosphere issued last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (

    Susan Hellauer’s Earth Matters column in Nyack News & Views this week was devoted to last month’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lamont’s Hudson River Field Station and to an interview with Margie Turrin about the field station and Margie’s career in education and outreach more generally (

    On Wednesday to Friday next week, Lamont will host a hackathon for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). The goal of the hackathon, organized locally by Ryan Abernathey and Galen McKinley, is to share data and code so that the community can analyze quickly the newly released climate models that will be used for IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report. The meeting will constitute an unusual format for a workshop, by bringing teams together to start new work rather than present work already completed. The National Center for Atmospheric Research will be the main site for the hackathon, and Lamont will be a secondary site (, with 21 participants, approximately half affiliated with Lamont and the other half guests.

    In the meantime, our Earth Science Colloquium this afternoon will double as our annual Diversity Seminar. Our speaker will be Valerie Purdie Greenaway, an Associate Professor in Columbia’s Department of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory of Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind ( Valerie’s lecture will be on the topic, “We know about bias, what’s next? Leveraging social psychology interventions to build inclusive classrooms and institutions.” May you contribute to her inclusive audience.