Lamont Weekly Report, November 19, 2010

CU is carrying out a major review of it's fringe benefit programs. The review is being conducted by a Task Force composed of faculty and administrators from all across the University and, as a part of the review, the Task Force is conducting a survey to gain a better sense of what the community thinks is important in this arena. The survey is
being carried out by an outside consulting group and considerable effort has gone into its design. The outcome of this review will be highly dependent upon the nature of the responses to this survey.  I will not deceive you - it will take more than five minutes to complete - quite a lot more - but it is a carefully designed questionnaire designed to have real impact on the outcomes. So... please try to find time to complete it before the November 24th cutoff date; it is important that all of our voices are heard in this process.

To protect your confidentiality, the e-mail that you received earlier today contains a secure link to the outside research company that is conducting the survey.  You will need to click on the link in that message in order to connect to the survey, so you should save that e-mail in your inbox until you are ready to do the survey.

As many of you have no doubt heard, NSF will be introducing an additional requirement for proposals submitted on or after January 18th 2011:  a supplementary document that describes a data management plan. There will no doubt be a myriad ways to satisfy this requirement depending upon the nature of the project and th e discipline (e.g. the
email from David Hirsh and Jim Neal that was circulated a week or so ago), but because of the special expertise that exists at the Observatory in this area I would like to encourage those of you in the world of geology, geophysics or geochemistry to look at the substantial benefits of using the systems that NSF has supported Kerstin Lehnert and
Suzanne Carbotte to develop: these are expertly curated domain-specific data systems that allow integration with other related data and add real value to the process.  We will organize a meeting early in the New Year to talk about this.

I was very pleased to welcome a substantial group of faculty and cadets from the US Military Academy at West Point to the Campus on Monday for a workshop led by Robin Bell and Margie Turrin to discuss Climate Change
and the development of new curricula at the Academy.  I very much welcome this new relationship with our colleagues from 'up the Hudson' and look forward to a continuing relationship in the future.

Thursday was mostly spent at a day-long meeting with the US leadership of the Ocean Drilling Program - Bob Gagosian and David Divins from Ocean Leadership, Brad Clement and Kate Miller from TAMU, and Dave Goldberg. Inevitably we were talking about the nitty-gritty details of the plans for renewal of the program beyond 2013 - a key component of
which is the new Science Plan which should be available for circulation early in the New Year.  If you are interested in hearing more about that - then come to the IODP Open Meeting at AGU.

Happy Thanksgiving - if you are travelling next week, be safe.

And have a great weekend,

- Mike