Lamont Weekly Report, September 17, 2021

     Hello Friends, The week that the American Geophysical Union announces its annual prizes is always fun.  Who is there?  Any of my friends or colleagues?  Who are the early career stars we should invite to the colloquium?  And so on….  The Observatory is proud to have many honorees this year!  DEES Professor Ryan Abernathey is the recipient of the Charles S. Falkenberg Award which honors “an early to mid-career scientist who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities, and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information and to the public awareness of the importance of understanding our planet.”  Congratulations to Ryan who shared with us that “the award reflects a shift in my trajectory towards data, cyberinfrastructure. LDEO and DEES have been an ideal home from which to undertake this evolution.”  The announcement last week of the LEAP STC award to Ryan and colleagues is further testament to his innovative and ground-breaking research directions in data science merging with climate science.

    AGU also announced that Peter Kelemen of DEES is the recipient of The Harry H. Hess Medal, which is “given annually to a senior scientist in recognition of outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of the Earth and other planets”.  Peter shares thatI’m super happy about this, thrilled to be associated with Harry Hess and with previous recipients such as Alex Halliday!”.  Lamont Assistant Research Professor Chia-Ying Lee received the 2021 Natural Hazards Early Career Award and Jordan Abell, who defended his PhD thesis this past July, is the recipient of the Harry Elderfield Student Paper Award by AGU.  Finally, DEES Professor Bärbel Hönisch has been named this year’s Cesare Emiliani Lecturer.  Not a bad showing Lamont!  Congrats to all!

    In other news, Lamont Associate Research Professor Indrani Das has been appointed as a member of NASA’s Earth Science Advisory Committee and Research Scientist Angela Slagle was featured in PBS Nova “Can Turning CO2 to Stone Help Save the Planet? Out of Our Elements.”  And today, Senior Research Scientist Vicki Ferrini “participated in a panel discussion with John F. Kerry, Jane Lubchenco, and other experts on how an ambitious initiative to map US waters and advance ocean-based climate solutions ties into international projects like Nippon-GEBCO", which Vicki helps lead.

    Hopefully everyone is also looking ahead to Climate Week starting next Monday.  The Columbia Climate School is partnering with The Climate Group to help sponsor and participate in this event.  Running from September 20-26, Climate Week NYC will convene climate leaders and activists to discuss the climate crisis in the weeks leading up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.  You can find a full schedule of events here including many that include LDEO, CIESIN, and IRI scientists.

    Today our colloquium series kicks off with a lecture on “The interactions between ice sheets, sea level and solid Earth in Antarctica”, with Natalya Gomez from McGill University. Again, join me in thanking the colloquium committee—Tanner Acquisto, Jasper Baur, Claire Jasper, Joohee Kim, Celeste Pallone, Madankui Tao, and Nicolás Young as Faculty Coordinator—for lining up an engaging selection of talks for this semester. For other upcoming talks, visit the colloquium website.

    Some people have contacted the Directorate asking that we reiterate the CU mask policy in your Weekly Report.  We are happy to do that and the full protocols can be found here. Specifically, "all Columbia affiliates must continue to wear masks at all times in indoor settings in Columbia facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated individuals may remove masks and not physically distance only in outdoor settings on Columbia’s campuses. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks both indoors and outdoors. Face coverings may be removed by individuals in single offices or bedrooms when no other individuals are present and the door is closed, or when eating (while maintaining 6 feet physical distancing). Face covering can also be removed by classroom instructors or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to facilitate communication while maintaining 6-foot distance. These are the only exceptions to the requirement for face covering on Columbia’s campuses.”  And I think the point that was unclear is that, if you are masked, there is no requirement for six-foot distancing inside university facilities.

    It was great to hear from multiple people this week how much they appreciated the level of activity on campus.  I couldn’t agree more—so great to see so many people around.  And, of course, that includes the snakes and turtles.

    Have a peaceful weekend.  Mo








Congratulations to the 2021 AGU Union Medal, Award, and Prize Recipients


September 15, 2021

Article features Lamont geologist Peter Kelemen, physical oceanographer Ryan Abernathey, and former postdoc Elizabeth Barnes.


Tipping point: After Ida's Wakeup Call, Eyes Turn to Preserving Wetlands, Building Walls

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

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Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.


Fall Foliage Threatened by Invasive Species

Times Union

September 14, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.


2021 AGU Section Awardees and Named Lecturers


September 10, 2021

Article features Lamont geochemist Bärbel Hönisch, climate scientist Chia-Ying Lee, and PhD Jordan Abell.


Columbia to Launch $25 Million AI-based Climate Modeling Center

Columbia News

September 9, 2021

Article features new climate modeling center co-led by Lamont climate scientist Galen McKinley.


How Next-Generation Models Will Leverage Big Data and AI for More Accurate Estimates of Future Climate

Columbia News

September 9, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Galen McKinley.




A Journey Into an Alaskan Volcano

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A Columbia Climate School Ph.D. student recounts a research expedition into an active volcano in the Aleutian Islands.


Experts Weigh In on Hurricane Ida and Deadly Flash Floods in New York City

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Experts from the Columbia Climate School have provided their insights and perspectives to journalists across the country trying to make sense of Hurricane Ida.


A New Center Will Study Ocean Chemical-Microbe Networks and Climate Change

September 09, 2021

Fast turnover of carbon between seawater and microbes is a fact, but how it works is largely a black hole. This projects aims to shed light.


Columbia to Launch $25 Million AI-Based Climate Modeling Center

September 09, 2021

A new venture will leverage big data and many disciplines to create better estimates of future climate.