State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Prepare to Be Amazed at Lamont Open House This Weekend

fake volcano eruption
A mixture of Coke and Mentos erupts at Lamont-Doherty’s Open house.

On any given day, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is alive with activity. Top scientists ply their craft, deciphering new data and observations, striving constantly to create new knowledge about the planet. It is home to the greatest breadth of Earth science research and the largest concentration of Earth and climate scientists of any academic institution in the nation. Those scientists routinely travel to the most remote corners of the planet — often braving severe conditions — to gather new observations.

However, one day a year, Lamont science stays home and hosts Open House, a kind of community expo. Researchers from all of Lamont’s study areas set up exhibits around the 189-acre campus to demonstrate the work they do every day and to invite visitors to participate. This decades-old tradition has been a part of Lamont since the founding of the observatory 70 years ago. In 1949, Maurice “Doc” Ewing, Lamont original director wanted to show his new neighbors what was happening in their “backyard.” On Saturday, October 5, the observatory continues this time-honored event, with a full roster of new exhibits, in addition to many well-loved classics.

At a time when climate change has become a topic of growing political and public concern and citizen activism, this year’s Lamont Open House will host its first media-focused panel discussion. It’s entitled, “Beyond Hot Headlines: New Frontiers in Effective Climate Communication,” and runs from 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm. Leading figures in global warming science and climate journalism will be discussing how to move beyond eye-grabbing headlines, to boost community resilience and awareness of the risks ahead, and seize opportunities to shape a climate-safe future.

The conversation will be moderated by Andrew Revkin, a veteran journalist focused on climate since the 1980s, and the founding director of the new Earth Institute Initiative on Communication and Sustainability. Lamont polar scientist Robin Bell and bioclimatologist Park Williams will represent the science. Jeff Berardelli and Vanessa Murdock of CBS 2 New York and New York Times journalist Kendra Pierre-Louis will share the media perspective. Attend in person or watch it via our livestream.

Lamont Open House is free and open to the public. Register and find out more here.

This post was updated on 10/02/19 to reflect the fact that Kyle Pope is no longer able to participate in the panel discussion.

This post was updated on 10/01/19 to correct a statement regarding the size of the Lamont campus. 

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