Lamont Weekly Report, September 7, 2012

     It has been a week of new faces and new connections.

     This week Lamont welcomed the arrival of Solange Duhamel, our newest Lamont Assistant Research Professor. A marine biologist, biogeochemist, and microbial ecologist, Solange received her Ph.D. in marine environmental science from the University of Aix-Marseille II in 2007, and she completed postdoctoral appointments at the University of Hawaii and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research directions address the role of microorganisms as agents of biogeochemical change and the complementary role of nutrient availability in the distribution and productivity of microplankton.

    Nine postdoctoral scientists have also recently arrived on campus, bringing the total at the postdoctoral rank at Lamont to 42, a substantial increase over this time last year. Among the new arrivals are Emilie Dassie and Mieke Thierens in Biology and Paleo Environment; Yakov Weiss and Nicolas Young in Geochemistry; Meredith Reitz in Marine Geology and Geophysics; Kevin Grise, Harald Rieder, and Isla Simpson in Ocean and Climate Physics; and Nicholas van der Elst in Seismology, Geology, and Tectonophysics.

    In addition, twenty new graduate students, extraordinarily broad in their collective interests, have begun their studies in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and at Lamont. They include Natalie Accardo, Celia Eddy, William Hudacek, Helen Janiszewski, and Hannah Rabinowitz in seismology; Asna Ansari in mineralogy; Annabelle Batista in geodynamics; Alexandra Bausch in biogeochemistry; Tarini Bhatnagar and James Gibson in marine geophysics; Logan Brenner in paleoceanography; Etienne Dunn-Sigouin and Nora Mascioli in ocean and climate physics; Jonathan Gale in remote sensing; Yonaton Goldsmith and William Jacobson in isotope geochemistry; Darren McKee and Nandini Ramesh in physical oceanography; Rajib Mozumder in groundwater geochemistry; and Emma Mungall in chemical oceanography.

    Please join me in welcoming all of our new colleagues!

    Several activities this week marked the strengthening of connections between Lamont and other elements of the Earth Institute. On Wednesday, Art Lerner-Lam and I visited with Erin Trowbridge, Jennifer Genrich, and their EI communications team to discuss plans for the development and integration of strategic plans for science and communication on the Lamont campus and how we might partner with the EI communications group on those efforts. A Request for Expressions of Interest in the establishment of a center of science and resilience in New York City’s Jamaica Bay was issued last month by the city and the National Park Service, and Arnold Gordon began this week to recruit and lead a consortium of interested colleagues at Lamont, other Earth Institute centers, and partner universities in developing a proposed response. Today a new class of Earth Institute Fellows is visiting the Lamont campus to learn about the Observatory, CIESIN, IRI, and the Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment Program.

    Yesterday, the National Science Foundation announced the realignment of four program offices that previously reported to the Office of the Director. The Office of Polar Programs is to become a division within the Geosciences Directorate, the Office of Cyberinfrastructure is to become a division within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and the Office of International Science and Engineering and the Office of Integrative Activities are to be merged into a new Office of International and Integrative Activities. NSF’s announcement added that no changes in mission or budget would result from these realignments, but it would be good to pay particular attention to signals coming from the foundation in areas of importance to your research support.

    As some of you know, the coordinators of the Lamont Earth Science Colloquium this year are Daehyun Kim and Art Lerner-Lam. The pair immediately demonstrated their adroitness at recruitment by asking me to give the first colloquium of the fall, scheduled today. In the words of The Godfather, it was an offer I could not refuse.