by Kim Martineau, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory opens its doors to the public on Sat Oct 11 from 10a-4p for its annual Open House where scientists share what they have been up to over the last year. It’s a place to learn what makes some volcanoes more explosive than others; how deep ocean currents circulate the globe; and what tree rings can tell us about climate change today and in in the past. Researchers also share some of their tools for exploration, from unmanned robot submarines to portable seismometers to mass spectrometers that measure tiny bits of matter.
Whether you’re an aspiring young scientist or a long-time science enthusiast, you’re sure to enjoy the talks and demonstrations at the Lamont-Doherty’s Open House. Tour a lab, participate in hands-on earth science demonstrations, and learn from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries.
- See Geophysicist Mark Spiegelman dancing in a tub full of cornstarch to show how rocks behave at different depths and time scales.
- Make Your Own Earthquake with Seismologist Won-Young Kim, who oversees the northeastern United States’ network of seismic stations.
- Watch Oceanographer Michael Previdi demonstrate how deep ocean currents move heat and water around the planet in conveyor-like belts. In a tank filled partly with ice water dyed red, Previdi shows how the cold water sinks through the water column to spread along the bottom.
- Experience how sound waves from an earthquake travel through the planet. Seismologist Ben Holtzman will speed up recordings of recent major earthquakes and also play recordings of man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma triggered by the injection of waste fracking fluid underground.
- Learn what makes volcanoes tick when the Magmatism and Vulcanism group uses whiffle balls, ping pong balls and other household objects to demonstrate how temperature and pressure affect the hurling power of volcanoes.
This year we feature a few new exhibits:
- Nichole Anest, curator of Lamont’s Core Repository, will lead tours of the world’s largest collection of ocean sediment cores. Under the microscope, visitors can study the tiny fossil plants and animals buried in the cores that researchers use to study past climates and other earth processes. See and touch rocks, corals and other deep sea fossils and artifacts.
- Marine biologists Craig Aumack and Nigel D’Souza provide a glimpse of life under Arctic sea ice. Visitors will have a chance to remotely retrieve an object using an underwater vehicle named “Brinson” while a camera provides live underwater views.
- Geochemist Steven Chillrud will show how to measure the street-level pollution inhaled by cyclists. Watch personal air monitors and sensor-studded shirts that measure cyclists’ vital signs in action.
- Geophysicist Heather Savage will invite visitors to bend solid granite with their bare hands in the Rock Mechanics Lab. Super sensitive instruments will reveal deformation that is invisible to the eye.
Everyone is invited to hear lectures in the Monell Auditorium from:
- Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs
- Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel on “Superstorm Sandy and Climate Change.”
- Microbiologist Andrew Juhl talks about “Sewage Contamination and Water Quality in the Hudson River.”
- Seismologist James Gaherty discusses “Deep-earth Imaging of Continental Breakup Along the Atlantic Seaboard.”
Please join us for the 2014 Lamont-Doherty Open House on Saturday, October 11 from 10a-4p at 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY and follow us on Twitter at #LamontOH. Parking for the Open House will be available at the IBM Palisades Conference Center on Route 9W, just north of the LDEO campus. Shuttle buses run continuously from 10a-4p, arriving and departing from the Geoscience building at LDEO.
Kim Martineau is a Science Writer at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, NY.