Lamont-Doherty geophysicist Robin Bell pays tribute to colleague Kim Kastens who is retiring from Lamont after 31 years. Kastens was the first woman co-chief scientist on the JOIDES Resolution, first woman faculty member to join Columbia’s geology department, founder of Columbia’s joint journalism and environmental science master’s program and a pioneer in the field of geoscience education research.
Rockland County’s main water provider, United Water NY, wants to build a treatment plant on the Hudson River that would deliver more freshwater to Rockland taps. As the project awaits state approval, a new debate on water consumption has emerged. Should people be encouraged, or even required, to use less? And if so, how?
One hour from New York City, where the suburbs of New Jersey give way to farms, a team of scientists are drilling for ancient rocks on the edge of a cornfield. The rocks hold clues about what the earth was like about 201 million years ago,during the great extinction that allowed dinosaurs to dominate. Listen [...]
Human civilization arose during the relatively balmy climate of the last 10,000 years. Even so, evidence is accumulating that at least two cold spells gripped the northern hemisphere during this time, and that the cooling may have coincided with drought in the tropics. Emerging research on climate during this Holocene period suggests that temperature swings were more common than previously thought, and that climate changes happened on a broad, hemispheric scale.
During the last ice age, glaciers dominated New Zealand’s Southern Alps until warming temperatures some 20,000 years ago sent them into retreat. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, with their colleagues, are investigating the rocky remnants these glaciers left behind to learn precisely when the ice withdrew, and what glacier retreats globally can tell us about [...]
Steep mountains produce some of the biggest landslides on earth but in such rugged terrain who’s around to notice? These monster back country slides are now gaining attention from far-away scientists, aided by a global network of seismic stations, earth-orbiting satellites and the crowd-sourcing power of the internet.
An important piece of earthquake-science history popped up a few weeks ago on Jeopardy!: “The Press-Ewing was an early seismograph, recording waves from these events. If you didn’t know a Press-Ewing from a French press, you were in luck. For $200, all you needed to know to formulate the question is what a seismograph measures. What is an Earthquake?
A 500-foot rock face came crashing down from the Palisades cliffs along the Hudson River in Alpine, N.J. on Saturday night, shaking the ground for more than half a minute and dumping a fresh layer of boulders over a 100-yard strip of parkland below State Line Lookout. The shaking was strong enough to be registered by a seismic station a mile and a half away, at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, but no one was injured.
Geologists really do see the world differently, whether it’s imagining the ancient processes that give rise to mountains or untangling the complexities that produce weather. A new book, co-edited by Lamont scientist Kim Kastens, explores the ways that geologists analyze and understand the earth system, and offers tips for those seeking to better understand it.
Dennis Kent, a leading expert in the history of earth’s magnetic field, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Other members of the 2012 class include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, playwright Neil Simon, Hollywood director Clint Eastwood and Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos.