Lamont Weekly Report, December 16, 2011

It was great to see so many friends and family at the Lamont holiday reception Wednesday afternoon. Many thanks to Miriam Cinquegrana and Bev Wuerfel for organizing the festivities. I promise we'll order more crackers next time.

I kept various meetings and appointments regarding Lamont space and communications, agency relationships, and a few other matters. We're in serious planning mode for space in several of our buildings, including planning for labs in support of several of our biogeoscience recruiting opportunities. We'll convene a group to discuss the programming for biogeo labs after the first of the new year.

Mike Purdy's office convened several science chairs and institute directors to discuss research themes with a representative of the Department of Energy, an agency we should be more determined in pursuing. Inevitably, part of the discussion centered on the search for the Higgs Boson, which seems to be in the news lately. Nevertheless
there are serious issues concerning the alignment of agency and university research - especially in energy and environmental sciences - and Congressional support of agency research budgets. More discussion, and some action on our part, is needed.

As a result of the DoE meetings I was forced to miss Ann Binder's retirement celebration. Bev and Miriam told me it was great party, and I'm sorry I missed it.

The Earth Institute holiday reception is next Monday, and the EI is providing bus transportation back to Lamont. We will make a car service available for anyone feeling they need a designated driver; the Lamont bus stop will be staffed to handle the details.

And about that search for the Higgs Boson. It was probably in our warehouse and got thrown into the dumpster during the last cleanup offensive. Oh well.