Lamont Weekly Report, May 3, 2013

     The highlight of the week was the election on Tuesday morning of Mark Cane and Terry Plank to membership in the National Academy of Sciences ( Academy membership is one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a U.S. scientist, so seeing two of our Lamont colleagues elected in the same year is a special pleasure.  Please join me in congratulating Mark and Terry this afternoon at a special reception to follow the colloquium.

     On Monday, the scientific publisher Elsevier and Lamont’s Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA) facility announced the joint launching of the International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences ( The award has been instituted to showcase innovative ways of preserving, storing, and accessing electronic data, and to highlight the many ways that such information is used by researchers. Nominations for the first award are due by mid-October.

     On Wednesday, I joined Jeff Sachs, Steve Cohen, Allison Miller, and David Dvorak from the Earth Institute along with Art Lerner-Lam, Kathy Callahan, and Edie Miller to present academic-year 2014 budgets for the Institute and the Lamont Campus to the Provost and his financial team. Our discussions were part of the process of assembling Columbia’s overall budget for the coming year, a budget that will be presented to the university’s Board of Trustees next month.

     On Thursday, Art, Kathy, Kuheli Dutt, and I met with 10 representatives of Lamont’s Research Scientists. We discussed a broad range of topics, including benefits, support for professional development, opportunities for incentive accounts, and job security issues, and we agreed to address these topics in forthcoming revisions of the Research Scientist handbook.

     Also on Thursday, the campus was treated to a visit by Hope and Jerry Ewing, two of the children of Lamont’s founding director, Maurice “Doc” Ewing. Hope is a physician who works in Tuolumne County, California, and specializes in family medicine. Jerry, who sailed on the Vema, recently retired as a financial analyst and lives in Connecticut.

     In the news this week, Peter Kelemen contributed a Saturday op-ed piece to Andy Revkin's Dot Earth blog, in which he argued that a future climate catastrophe is far from inevitable if resources and innovative solutions are applied to alternative energy production, carbon capture, and related technologies ( A video interview with Art Lerner-Lam on the possibility of forecasting earthquakes appeared on Sunday on the CNC World channel of the China Xinhua News Network Corporation ( Art was also quoted in a Journal News article yesterday on the effect of sequestration of the federal budget on funded ship days for the Langseth and other research programs at Lamont ( Also appearing yesterday was an article in Yale Environment 360 that mentions the work of Bärbel Hönisch on ocean acidification (

     On Thursday of next week, John Grotzinger will give the 18th W. S. Jardetzky Lecture. A former postdoctoral research scientist at Lamont, John is now the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at Caltech and Project Scientist for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, which delivered the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface. John’s lecture will be on “Curiosity’s mission at Gale crater, Mars.” On Thursday and Friday next week, Lamont’s seismologists will host a workshop on seismic attenuation in the mantle. The workshop is sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research.

     Today’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given by our own Suzanne Carbotte. Suzanne will speak on “Imaging the magma system beneath an erupting mid-ocean ridge volcano: What we are learning from the first 3D multi-channel seismic study of the R/V Langseth.” I hope to see you there.