Lamont Weekly Report, June 15, 2012

Forehead slap! I neglected to note in last week's report that Bill Menke was also inducted into Columbia's 25-year club. And that doesn't include the time he spent at Lamont as a graduate student. My first sighting of Bill was probably at a fall AGU, around 1980, back when sessions were held in the basement of the Holiday Inn on Van Ness. He was wearing one of those fake fur-lined hooded parkas that when zipped up makes one look like a large Muppet. (We all had our conceits.) Bill and Dallas' arrival in 1986 signaled a new growth spurt at Lamont, and it's been a great ride. And it's only for the most obscure bureaucratic reasons that Columbia doesn't recognize Dallas' 25 years. But we do. Congratulations to both of you!

Here's another anniversary. Exactly sixty years ago today, Wally Broecker began his employment at Lamont and Columbia. "Employment" doesn't quite cover it. Wally's contributions are legion, but what I didn't realize - until I sat in the director's office - was how willing he is to express his opinion! How great is that? Seriously, what a remarkable life!

Some more Lamont history was on the table (literally) this week. A little while ago, Rose Anne Weissel helped Lillian Langseth recover Marcus' diaries (the scientific ones). At the suggestion and with the assistance of Lynn Sykes, Paul Richards and others, Lillian contributed the diaries to the research collection of Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. On Wednesday, Michael Ryan, the Director of the RB&M Library, met with Lillian and a small delegation of her friends and colleagues and described the archive and cataloguing. And there were the diaries, in boxes on the conference table. Plain composition notebooks of the kind we used in grade school. The diaries cover the period from 1955 to 1996 and offer remarkable insights into one of the great minds in geophysics, and what he was thinking about the Earth. Information about the diaries is here:

We received a request from Ocean Leadership for input on how ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty by the U.S. Senate would enable oceanographic research. Please contact me if you're interested.