The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Summer at Lamont

Summer at Lamont is a glorious thing. No classes, no reading groups, no seminars. It's all just about research and finding ways to enjoy the sun. This year a bunch of us kicked off the summer with the First Annual Crawfish boil. Tim (below, aproned) spent some time in the Big Easy, so he knows how it should all go down. He flew in an ungodly amount of live craw daddies from Louisiana (seriously, he picked them up at the airport and everything!) brought potatoes, corn, andouille, some secret spices, and pots big enough to feed an army. While we looked on and cheered, he boiled the whole thing up. 

The feast was spread out on a newspaper and we all devoured it with nothing but our hands. So tasty!

One of the great things about Lamont is the wild life. Even though we're only a half hour from Manhattan, we're essentially in the woods here. Pretty much year round we have regular sightings of deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, and bunnies. With the onset of spring and summer, we also start to see baby things. All summer we've been watching this pair of geese and their pack of goslings right outside our office window.
Well they ate and they ate and now, mid-summer, they are all grown up! (They also have a very unhealthy confidence around humans and get VERY close to us. This was not taken with a zoom lens)
 Okay, this is the world's worst camera phone picture but I was just so excited to see yet another animal on campus: a little turtle making its way over to the small lake we have on campus.

Summer is also the time for campus construction. Here a huge crane is being used to make improvements to the core lab. We are also having the second floor of the seismology building completely renovated. I can hear the lovely cacophony of saws and sledgehammers right now actually. (Okay so there is some downside to the summer activities. But we'll get lots of new, much-needed office space, so it's worth it). Next to the core lab some folks have also started a new Lamont community garden. Volunteers have pitched in to put up a new fence with chicken wire to keep out the gophers and, below, are busy tilling and planting.
And during the summer everyone gets out to enjoy their sport of choice. The soccer players have a regular crew of folks come out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at lunch. Just beyond their field, you'll see volleyball net up for the ballers who play on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00. There is even yoga on Tuesdays in the old Lamont hall library. I have been trying to get a regular ultimate frisbee game going as well, but we are having a hard time getting a consistent group together with everyone's summer travel schedules. I'll keep trying to rally the troops.

Speaking of travel schedules, Ted should be coming back soon from his research cruise. Before Heather and I take off for our conferences, I hope we will all be able to make some big progress on the ice rig. So more on that soon!

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