Lamont Weekly Report, October 3, 2008

The dinner to celebrate the award of the Vetlesen Prize for 2008 will be held (in the Low Library) on November 21st. I am not free to announce the identity of the awardee (who will receive a cheque for $250,000) for another week or so, but as in previous years we have identified a great leader in our field whose name will add further prestige to the Prize and to the great Foundation that supports it.

Speaking of awards, I was extremely pleased to learn this week that our own Won-Young Kim has won much deserved recognition from the Seismological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to observational seismology by winning the Jesuit Seismological Association Award. The Jesuits played a substantial role in the early development of global observational seismology, and to have Won-Young honored by such an historic group is indeed a testament to his contributions.

I have been in DC at meetings at NSF Thursday and Friday - listening to lots and lots of speeches from agency reps whose crystal balls are as foggy as everyones. I spent sometime talking with Cathy Olsen the Deputy Director of NSF, and also worked on persuading the Division Directors of OCE and EAR to make a visit to Lamont together to talk about the new and very healthy trends towards more effective cross- divisional support for geoscience programs. The Langseth was on the agenda of course and we received appropriate recognition for the great success of our recent 3D efforts on the East Pacific rise. (Langseth, by the way, is on passage from the Alaskan coast (but not within sight of Russia) to Astoria Oregon having completed her last expedition of the calendar year).

It seems impossible nowadays to schedule major events without suffering a significant conflict. We are in an impossible position this year with the schedule for the Holiday party - the dates of student exams and the lateness of AGU in San Francisco has forced the Campus life Committee to recommend a date of December 5th - this is desperately early, but right now I see no alternative.

I will be back home tonight to get ready for Open House tomorrow - hoping for good weather and our usual great turn-out of visitors - see you there.

- Mike