Lamont Weekly Report, April 18, 2014

    On Wednesday morning, the campus awoke to freezing temperatures and a new blanket of snow and ice. Madeleine Thomson’s lunchtime salads were not a reliable harbinger of spring after all.

     The Geochemistry Division this week welcomed Guillem Gisbert Pinto, who will be visiting Lamont until July. An Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, Guillem is being hosted by Steve Goldstein.
    Tuesday this week was a major target date for the submission of proposals to the National Science Foundation, and Lamont scientists from four of our five scientific divisions responded with a dozen proposals and requested budgets that totaled more than $17 million. Leading the choreography of the many parallel submissions were our Division Administrators and Administrative Assistants and our Office of Contracts and Grants. Among others directing the traffic this week were Tara Brant, Anel Cortez, Debbie Criscione, Jean Economos, Regina Giacinto, Annette Higgins, Jessica Levinson, Laura Lichtblau, Theresa McMahon, Mercedes Paulino, Maribel Respo, Moanna St. Clair, Arlene Suriani, and Sandra Tiwari. All of us on Lamont’s scientific staff owe a huge thank you to our administrative staff for keeping the engines of science fueled and oiled. Wednesday of next week will be Administrative Professionals Day ( ), and I hope that you will consider taking your administrator to lunch.
    This time of year is budget season at Columbia University, and Kathy Callahan, Edie Miller, and their staff have been devoting long hours to the preparation of Lamont’s budget for fiscal year 2015. On Tuesday, Kathy and I met with Art Lerner-Lam and Steve Cohen and Alison Miller from the Earth Institute to go over our budget presentation material, to be delivered to Columbia’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Finance next week.
    Lamont and Columbia alumna Lisa Tauxe, now at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Sciences next week from The Franklin Institute ( ). A symposium in her honor, entitled “The Ancient Magnetic Field of the Earth, will be held next Wednesday, April 23, at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Speakers at the symposium will include Dennis Kent, former Lamont postdoctoral fellow Jeff Gee, and Lisa herself. Those interested in attending should contact the symposium organizer, Ken Kodama at Lehigh ( ).
    Closer to home next week, Hugh Ducklow will give the second of this spring’s Lamont Public Lectures ( ). His talk is entitled “Western Antarctic Peninsula: Rapid climate change and an ecosystem near a tipping point.” As part of Columbia University’s Earth Week, Hugh’s lecture will be on the Morningside Campus, in Low Library, at 6 pm on Thursday, April 24.
    The Spring 2014 Diversity Seminar will be given today in the Colloquium time slot by Eileen Pollack, a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan ( ). A writer of award-winning novels, short stories, and non-fiction books and articles, Prof. Pollack is currently working on a book about women in science, a topic on which she wrote an article last fall for The New York Times ( ). Her talk today is entitled “It’s about time: How we can (finally) get more women into STEM.” I hope that you will find the time to join me there.