Lamont Weekly Report, March 21, 2014


    This week has been Spring Recess, with no classes at Columbia and no colloquium at the Observatory. The week has also been one for remembering colleagues recently lost.
    A service for Gerry Iturrino was held on Tuesday at Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack. Lamont was well represented in the service and the choir, and many of Gerry’s campus friends were able to attend. An obituary posted that same day on our website ( ) provides a nice summary of Gerry’s many contributions to the International Ocean Discovery Program and to Lamont.
    This Sunday, there will be a public memorial service for the Center for International Earth Science Information Network’s Mark Becker ( ) at the Dolce Palisades Conference Center. The service, from 1 to 3 pm, will be a remembrance of Mark’s life and work for his family, friends, and colleagues. A private gathering of campus colleagues will follow in the Monell Lobby. Those planning to attend either event are asked to register in advance.
    The passion and commitment to an improved understanding of our environment shared by Gerry and Mark live on in those of us who now carry the flame of our institutional mission.
    On the “Please Explain” portion of The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC last Friday, Tim Creyts was interviewed on the topic of glaciers. For more than half an hour, Tim deftly answered questions from both Lopate and the radio audience ( ).
    This week, I’ve been in The Woodlands, Texas, for the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scheduled to coincide with spring break at many colleges and universities. Ellen Crapster-Pregont, Peter James, and Einat Lev are others from Lamont I’ve spotted in the meeting rooms. The hallways are full of conversations about new mission results and uncertainties hanging over NASA’s newly organized research and analysis programs.
    On Monday, the Earth Institute faculty discussed new appointment procedures for associate members as well as new promotion procedures for junior members. The faculty also heard from Casey Supple, EI’s Director of Funding Initiatives, on strategies for generating philanthropic support.
    On Tuesday, the Lamont website added a Kim Martineau photo story on Bess Koffman’s fieldwork in New Zealand to collect dust formed during the last ice age. Bess’s work is part of a multi-investigator effort to understand the sources of dust deposited in the southern Pacific Ocean during that period ( ).
    On Wednesday, Lamont’s latest issue of our all-electronic newsletter was distributed to staff, alumni, and friends of the Observatory. You should have received a copy by e-mail, but the issue is also available online ( ).
    The Earth Science Colloquium resumes next week with a lecture by rock mechanics expert (and Heather Savage thesis advisor) Chris Marone of the Pennsylvania State University ( ). Spring Recess will by then be but a dim memory.