Lamont Weekly Report, April 13, 2012

Columbia's Morningside Heights campus is one of the great urban spaces, and the first few weeks of spring illustrate the genius of McKim, Mead and White to full effect (if you forget about the 120th street canyon). The Lamont campus, as well, is glorious in the spring; the trees are about to pop, Buildings and Grounds is getting some new plants in the ground, our resident wildlife is doing what wildlife will do at this time of year, and our buildings... well, let's talk about space.

As you know, we are in the middle of a major renovation of the New Core Lab. The 2nd floor renovation (for a "Center for Biogeochemistry") is funded by an NSF ARRA award. The renovation is on schedule and on budget, and will be completed by the end of this calendar year. We expect to begin moving labs and people into the building starting in
January 2013, and extending for several months. At the same time (with institutional funds), we will be renovating several modules in the Geoscience building to provide consolidated office space for BPE scientists and staff.

SG&T is growing as well. B&G will be working on the north end of the 2nd floor of the Seismology wing. (By the way, that building, built as a temporary structure, is approaching its 50th anniversary.) There will also be module renovations in Oceanography to accommodate new hires in atmospheric sciences, continuing renovations in the Core Repository, and
we have begun programming discussions for the first floor of the New Core Lab and the Marine Bio wing, also for BPE. This last set of renovations should give us new laboratory and office space for occupancy starting in January 2014.

B&G has nearly completed the renovations of the seminar wing of the old Geochemistry building. This gives us 17 new offices, which will provide some swing space while renovations elsewhere are underway. Ultimately, that space will have a new programmatic function, which we will describe in the next few weeks (just a few more details to work out).

What else? There will be some minor renovation of the directorate in Monell to fix a few nagging problems before Sean's arrival. Apart from the Biogeochemistry renovation, Lamont and Columbia institutional funds will support most of these renovations, and all will be overseen by Pat O'Reilly, Dick Greco, Lenny Sullivan and the B&G crew.  I haven't even mentioned the basic maintenance and repair jobs that are slated for the spring and summer months.

This is a lot to do, and the management and scheduling issues are manifold. But equally important will be how Pat and I communicate these issues to you and keep you informed of the schedule. To that end, I will be speaking with our web and admin teams about the most efficient way to do this.

Three calendar announcements: Donna Shillington is giving the next public lecture, Sunday, 3PM in Monell. There is the "Climate and Human Evolution" symposium on Thursday and Friday, organized by Peter deMenocal and others. On Friday, at 3:30PM, we will hold our annual Storke Lecture. This year's lecturer is Michael Graetz, of Columbia's
Law School, who will speak on "Energy Policy: Past or Prologue?" based on his recent book, "The End of Energy."

Don't eat this weekend: there will probably be plenty of free food next week.