Lamont Weekly Report, October 31, 2008

We hosted the MARGINS Program national steering committee on Monday, under the leadership of Geoff Abers - they are preparing for a major review in the coming months that will shape the size and direction of the program for the next decade.  Needless to say everyone is hopeful that the arrival of a marine geophysicist (Bob Detrick) as the new Division Director for the Earth Sciences Division (he starts on Monday) will result in renewed interest from the solid earth side of NSF in the support of ocean margin research.

I was fortunate to spend time with Lee Goldman on Tuesday ( Exec VP for Health Sciences and Dean of the Faculties of Health Science and Medicine) - he runs the Medical center which constitutes something close to half of the whole of CU.  The subject of the meeting was exclusively our initiative to establish research professorships at LDEO - we share many of the same issues (though on a slightly different scale!) - and I was very pleased by how much understanding and support that I received - a very positive step forward.

Wednesday and Thursday was spent down in DC at the headquarters of IODP-MI. This is the corporation (headed by Manik Talwani) that runs the Ocean Drilling Program.  The agenda there was trying to figure out ways for the program to weather the budget shortfalls that seem inevitable in 2010 and beyond. It was an interesting meeting - there were representatives from France, Germany, UK - not to mention Exxon and Shell - many different perspectives.  The one positive point to emphasize is that it now seems certain that in 2009 there will be a time when all three of the drilling platforms of IODP - i.e. the Japanese Chikyu, the US JOIDES Resolution an the European mission specific platform - will be drilling simultaneously. This will be the realization of a vision that dates back to a meeting in a windowless room in the Comfort Inn in Ballston VA with Bob Corell and Don Heinrichs and Bruce Malfait in 1996!

Today was consumed by a marathon ExCom this morning - at which the new alternate Junior Staff member to ExCom (Andreas Thurnherr's backup) - Donna Shillington from MG&G - was introduced, as well as our new Assistant Director for Academic Affairs and Diversity Kuheli Dutt.  And then this afternoon there was a two-hour long faculty meeting.

But tonight our own John Diebold is playing at the Turning Point cafe in Piermont - so that will provide a positive end to a tiring day.

Oh - and yes... Happy Halloween.

- Mike