Lamont Weekly Report, April 24, 2015

This week included Earth Day on Wednesday (, and even the Google Doodle included an image of our planet. 

The week was also one in which we marked two departures. Hélène Carton is leaving Lamont to take a junior faculty position at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. After three years here as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist and five years as a Lamont Assistant and Associate Research Professor, including four years as Chief Scientist for our Office of Marine Operations, Hélène will mark her last day at the Observatory next Monday. The Marine Geology and Geophysics Division is throwing a party in her honor this afternoon. 
Rebecca Fowler is leaving her position at Lamont as Senior Communications Officer to take a new position as Communications and Outreach Director with the Foundation for Earth Science. In her more than three years at the Observatory, Rebecca has been responsible for crafting our newsletters and annual reports, preparing our Strategic Plan for publication on the web, and managing our outreach through social media. Along with Francesco Fiondella at IRI, Rebecca was the creative force behind the Climate Models Calendar and our collaboration with the International Center of Photography on programs on climate change. Until we fill Rebecca’s position, which will be vacant as of next week, please direct your news and outreach contributions to Pete Sobel. 
To Hélène and Rebecca, best wishes on your new ventures! 
The Marine and Large Programs Division welcomes visiting student H. Mert Küçük for a year-long visit. Mert is a Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Prof. Derman Dondurur at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylül University, in Izmir, Turkey. While at Lamont, he will be working under David Goldberg’s supervision on the elastic properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments in the Black Sea and other marine environments. 
The R/V Langseth has continued its collection this week of two-dimensional multi-channel seismic data as part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s study of the extended continental shelf of the eastern U.S. As of yesterday, the ship had collected 2400 km of survey lines, with data quality rated high by the shipboard scientific party. The Langseth is due into New York on the morning of 2 May. 
The April issue of Lamont’s electronic newsletter was distributed on Tuesday ( The issue included articles on Lamont’s Strategic Plan and the CarbFix project to sequester carbon dioxide in subsurface basalt in Iceland, as well as the imminent end of mission operations for the MESSENGER spacecraft. Links to media articles on climate change that cite the work or comments of Lamont scientists were also included. 
On Wednesday, John Templeton successfully defended his thesis on the “Structural evolution of Hornelen basin (Devonian, Norway) from detrital thermochronometry.” John has a position lined up with ConocoPhillips once he wraps up his work at Lamont. Congratulations, Dr. Templeton! 
The deadline has been extended for nominations for this year’s Excellence in Mentoring Awards. Originally set for today, the nomination deadline is now Friday of next week. The nominee and nominator can work at any of the Lamont Campus units. Additional information on nominations, and a list of past recipients of the award, can be found on our web site ( 
Several Lamont scientists were in the news this week. An Inside Climate News story on Wednesday ( focused on Guleed Ali’s study of the paleoclimate of the Mono Lake area and its implications for California droughts. Phillip Ruprecht was quoted in an article in the International Business Times on the eruption Wednesday of Chile’s Calbuco volcano ( A Climate Central story yesterday was on Chris Zappa’s use of drones to study Arctic sea ice ( An article yesterday on Scienceline features the seismological work of Bill Menke ( 
On Wednesday of next week, Sonya Dyhrman will give a lecture at the Simons Foundation in Manhattan. The lecture will be on “Tracing the unseen majority: Insights into the critical roles microbes play in the ocean” ( Advance registration is recommended for those wishing to attend. 
In the meantime, Congresswoman Nita Lowey will be holding a press conference at Lamont this morning to announce the selection by the National Science Foundation of the Observatory’s proposal, led by Carl Brenner, to manage the U.S. Science Support Program for the International Ocean Discovery Program. Congresswoman Lowey represents New York’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Rockland County, and as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee she has long been a champion of federal support for scientific research. The press conference will be held in Lamont’s Core Repository at 11 am. 
Later today, the Earth Science Colloquium will be given by Claudia Benitez-Nelson (, a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor in Marine Science at the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of South Carolina. Claudia will be speaking on “Elemental stoichiometry and the composition and flux of suspended and sinking material in a coastal marine ecosystem.” To avoid that sinking feeling of being suspended without enlightenment, please come to the colloquium.