Lamont Weekly Report, June 11 2010

We held another highly successful meeting of the Executive Committee of our Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday afternoon - with star speakers Terry Plank talking about the unpronounceable Iceland volcano, and Stefan Mrozewski from the Borehole Research Group providing a balanced (and comprehensible) view of what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico. The Advisory Board is really coming of age - it is becoming more and more effective with every meeting, contributing more resources to the support of the Observatory and playing a critical role in our fund raising campaigns.  Our major topic of discussion on Wednesday was planning for a major event in late September targeted at attracting a significant increase in membership of the Board - as our visibility on the public stage improves, it is time to try for a significant growth spurt.  As always - if you know anyone, or you think you know anyone, of - how shall I say? - 'substantial means' - who you think may be interested in joining the cause - please talk to Barb Charbonnet. Every new contact is important to us.

Kuheli Dutt and I had the second of our regular lunch meetings with the Post Docs on Thursday. As last time, this was a very valuable discussion - talking about mentoring mostly and the need to institute some processes to insure its quality. But it was also very enjoyable.  Post Docs are a critically important group for the Observatory - and a sizable one too - we have 35 right now.

The last few proposals that I have signed off on have had the new Lamont Research Professor titles in the budget sheets. Very nice!  Somehow seeing it in print on an NSF budget form makes it seem real at long last.

I do not know for sure what triggered it, but I think it was probably Wally's great event several weeks ago.  I think President Bollinger had such a good time when he was out here for that event that he decided that the University Trustees should learn more about Lamont. So I was invited downtown to be the lunch entertainment for the Trustees at their
meeting today - I was given 40 minutes to talk about Lamont - if you want the definition of a high pressure environment - then that is it! (And the lunch was not very good - our new cafeteria serves better food!)  But it WAS a great opportunity for us - I hope I did OK!

Thanks again to everyone for all their wonderful best wishes last Friday - it was a very special day. I cannot imagine anything in my life will ever top that...

Have a great weekend,