PEACE IN THE NEW YEAR
Telephone: (732) 528-0064, -0074
To see last years’ messages and pictures, go to http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/1999 or http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/2000 or http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/2001
Click on underlined links to see pictures. [I made them relatively small to enable fast viewing. Please let me know if you want to see any in higher resolution.]
Top of the news:
Sherri: Unlike Al Gore, it’s taken me more time to “get beyond” 2000. However, now that he’s officially out of the running for 2004, I can bow out too, especially now that I am a “two-time loser,” having run an even closer race, but still losing. I will serve as President of the Wall Democratic Club this coming year, still trying to “grow” more Democrats in this Republican-hotbed of Monmouth County. I have also joined a local peace group opposing Bush Administration policies of various kinds, and am arranging for Ramsay Clark to speak at the college in a few months. In addition, we are thinking of adding some rooms to our house, I exercise regularly, have joined a book club, and plan to do some volunteer work helping younger children and senior citizens. I continue to enjoy good health, with the Atkins-like diet responsible for my shedding about 8 pounds recently, and am looking forward to 2003, even with the threat of war looming.
I still teach at Brookdale Community College, where I am celebrating my 30th year, though as I write this I can’t believe it’s been that long. Work continues to be a source of intellectual and personal satisfaction for me, though I’m beginning to think about retiring—some year. However, I’ve had some fun this past year. My honors World History II seminar studied Nobel Peace Prizewinners, it being the 100th anniversary of the prize, and I’m torn between repeating that assignment or choosing “terrorists/freedom-fighters” to research this spring. Along with a colleague, I taught Modern Middle Eastern History, and had a wonderful, challenging time maneuvering through the intricacies of culture, history and politics in the region. Many of the students in the class were from the Middle East, and the combination of their interest and knowledge, plus that of the guest speakers we were fortunate to have, made for a first-rate introduction for us all. This coming semester I’ll return to the comfort of the Modern Asia course, though with North Korea heating up, that could be another challenge. But, whatever comes, I expect to reward myself with a return to Hawaii, where in May I spent two weeks teaching a course to 15 Brookdale students with a colleague from anthropology at the School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies. We learned so much, enjoyed Oahu and its environmental and cultural diversity, visited Pearl Harbor, as well as the North Shore beaches, and I got the coolest rolling backpack, along with carseat covers, lamps, jewelry. Oh, I had myself a good time!
Travel this past year consisted of many trips to Virginia to see my Dad, whose Alzheimer’s progressed to the extent that he had to move into a nursing home. His wife, Marge, has also experienced health problems, and is presently living with one of her daughters. As I write, Dad is stable, in good spirits, well-cared for, and my sisters, who live in the area, visit every day. Still, it has been a hard adjustment for us all, and his recent troubles, along with those of Al’s relatives, make it ever more clear that we, as a society, must look for better ways to provide health care to folks of all ages. As Al will later show you, we also did some fun travel to France, Greece, and to the big island of Hawaii as well. This year will see us venture to Cuba, where I will be invited to lecture to historians in Camagüey, and Alan will attend a conference. In June we go to Japan to visit our longtime friend, Madoka Sato and his family, then to Hokkaido, the northernmost island. A possible trip to Turkey may also be on the horizon.
Dan is an apprentice carpet layer and tile installer, the first of our kids to get a “real job,” complete with health and pension benefits! That’s because he’s a member of the Carpenters and Joiners Union. Though his work day begins really early (like 5:00AM sometimes) he works on big commercial projects throughout the metropolitan area, so his work is constant and he’s paid nicely for overtime and weekend work. He still admires Michael Jordan, but was recently disappointed by a “live,” if sluggish, performance in a Wizards-Nets game we went to, where Jordan mishandled the ball often and is showing his age. Dan is living with us again, and actually seems to have settled back a bit too nicely, but hopes to move to his own apartment once his savings have increased.
Brian continues to work toward his MFA in Computer Animation at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. He loves what he’s doing, spends a lot of time working at it, and has a nice apartment and roommate, Eli, in the heart of the city very near his school. He’s turned into a computer geek, having just constructed a production-quality robot from “The Matrix,” and is hard at work on other projects. He’s home for the holidays, but will probably end up remaining in California when he graduates, unless he can get a job in London, where he’d really like to live. Though poor, he’s happy, has found his passion in writing and design, where his unique imagination is showing itself in a variety of screenplays and books that he’s written. He invites anyone who’s in the San Francisco area to give him a call, spend the night, and buy him a free meal! Here’s the best picture of the four of us from this year.
Please keep in touch and visit when you’re in our area – we’ll provide the free meal. Have a healthy and peaceful 2003.
Alan: I can't believe it, but I have been at Rutgers for five years now. Things continue to go well. We just hired Tony Broccoli as a new member of the faculty and I am sure he will be a big boost to our program. I continue to be Director of the, the group of faculty and students in our Dept. who work on meteorology and climate. Under the auspices of CEP, I took a group of 18 undergraduate meteorology majors to the AMS meeting in Orlando in January and will take a similar group to the annual AMS meeting in Long Beach next February. In addition to our many research activities (we have brought in more than $9,500,000 in research support in the first 4 1/2 years), I am now working on a plan to instrument the new 2000' TV tower planned in NJ across from New York City to measure the meteorology and pollution in this urban area. We want to make it an environmental observatory for New Jersey.
Gera Stenchikov is still working with me as a Research Professor. Our student Juan Carlos Antuña returned from Cuba and completed his Ph.D. in May. He is the first Cuban citizen to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology in the U.S. He has gone back to Cuba where he runs the lidar station in Camagüey. We will host our second international conference on lidar observations in Latin America there in February, 2003, and Sherri will join me this time on the trip. My student Lifeng Luo has completed his Ph.D. dissertation, which he will defend in January. He has a postdoc at Princeton lined up when he finishes.
Kostya Vinnikov at Maryland continues to work with me. We published three papers together this year on his new statistical techniques. I published five papers all together in 2002, and have four papers in press and 10 more recently submitted.
I taught my graduate course in Physical Climatology in the spring and my regular atmospheric thermodynamics course to undergraduate meteorology majors in the fall. The thermodynamics class was great, with 25 students. I have two new graduate students who started this fall, Chaochao Gao and Tom Atkins. Luke Oman started working with me in January.
I continue to work as Editor of electronic submission and review system is working well, so it is not too much work., one of the two most influential journals in my field. I process about 350 papers per year myself. Our new
Unfortunately, my mother developed cancer in her femur this year. She had part of the bone and her knee replaced and now is doing well, although she is not back to playing tennis yet. Because her house is too much trouble to manage, she and Larry are considering moving to an independent-living retirement village in northern Virginia. I hope they can be happy there for a long time. My father and Hanne are doing well, splitting their time between New York and their “retirement” house in South Carolina. My brother and his family are also doing well. My sister just split up with her boyfriend and moved into her own house in San Diego. She is optimistic about the future.
I have taken a number of great trips this year again. I saw fabulous volcanoes in Iceland, Santorini, and Hawaii; went to France and Boulder each three times, took an additional trip to Hawaii, and also made it to Orlando, New Orleans, Seoul, and San Francisco. In January, I went to the American Meteorological Society meeting in Orlando. The meeting was good, and I took a tour of Cape Canaveral, but Orlando is very plastic and a most unappealing place. I never want to go back there. In March I went to Boulder to give a lecture on Volcanoes and Climate to a course for National Weather Service forecasters. I ran into an old Masters’ student who now runs the NWS office in Binghamton, NY. In April I attended the European Geophysical Society meeting in Nice, France. The last time I was there was when I was 16 and went with my parents. It was quite memorable because I was amazed by the topless women on the beach. I noticed this time that some of the same women are still there. The Chagall Museum was very nice and the food was fabulous. I just may have to return there again this year.
In May I had to go to New Orleans to a conference where I reported on the soil moisture work I am doing. The Mississippi River was very interesting, but I found the French Quarter way too touristy, and the food was not very good. Later that month I joined Sherri for a week in Hawaii, where she was leading a two-week course of Brookdale students. I couldn’t help giving a couple talks at the University of Hawaii, but we also spent several days at the beach.
In June, Sherri and I took a fabulous trip to the south of France and then to Greece. The lavender was just beginning to bloom in France. I attended a workshop on lidar observations of the stratosphere. Lesson learned there: Use a credit card that includes insurance when renting a car after a long trip (Sherri was driving). Sher found religion there. We went for a paddle boat ride in the Grand Canyon of the Verdon.
I organized the Chapman Conference on Volcanism and the Earth’s Atmosphere in Santorini, Greece. It was a fabulous venue and attended by more than 100 scientists. Here is our farewell dinner for Juan Carlos.
In July we visited the big island of Hawaii, where we were fortunate to be able to see red lava flowing to the sea from the Kilauea volcano. It burned the road as it crossed, and I got close to the burning road. Clearly, there was no parking there any more. Here are pictures of Sherri, Brian, Lisa and me, my father and me, Jerry and Stephie, Sherri, my father and Hanne, the family at Stephie’s birthday party, the rest of the family at Stephie’s birthday party, and the best picture of the year of Sherri, Brian, Dan, and me. Sherri also visited Buddha there.
In August I returned to Boulder to take a class in how to teach Atmospheric Thermodynamics. I met several interesting professors there, and I am sure the material and techniques they shared with me helped me to better teach my class. I was able to drive into the mountains one day before the class.
I think the most awesome trip I took in 2002 was to Iceland in August. I was there to teach in a summer school on volcanoes. I saw the valley and waterfall left from the 934 Eldjga eruption, the row of craters going north and south from the Laki mountain produced by the 1783-1784 eruption, and the Beautiful Falls. Iceland also has fabulous glaciers and we went to the glacial lagoon where a large part of the new James Bond movie (Die Another Day) was filmed. The lagoon was frozen in March when they filmed it, but we were able to take a boat ride on it and see amazing icebergs floating there, including some with dirt on the top that had been scraped off mountains on their way to the lagoon. Click here for each picture: iceberg1, iceberg2, iceberg3, iceberg4, iceberg5. In addition to the inspiring scenery and power of nature, I met the chief Greenland ice-core driller, and Icelander working in Denmark, who has invited me to visit Copenhagen the first week in January to work with them on previously unavailable data on past volcanism. So I am optimistic that this collaboration will result in a better understanding of the causes of past climate change. If you want to see more high-resolution pictures and movies from Iceland, click here.
In September I was invited to visit the Korean Meteorological Agency in Seoul, my first trip to Korea. You have to take your shoes off when dining there, and I was able to visit the DMZ, which includes a trip down into a tunnel built by the North Koreans to try to infiltrate the South under the DMZ. I had to wear a helmet, and even though it was too small it did its job protecting me as I am also taller than the average Korean and bumped my head many times in the tunnel. After my invited talk at a climate symposium there, they had a reception that included an ice sculpture. In case you do not recognize me, I’m the tall guy in the suit. We also visited an old palace, where the reenacted the changing of the guards ceremony. At night we went to the 63 Building, the tallest building in Korea, from which we looked north at Seoul, and east along the Han River. If you want to see more high-resolution pictures and movies from Korea, click here.
In October I returned to Boulder to represent Rutgers at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research annual meeting. We were there to inaugurate the new NCAR Center Green building. See if you can find me there. I saw many friends again and had a nice trip.
My last trip to France was in November to Toulouse. The Garonne River is beautiful at sunset. I also visited Carcassone, a splendid Medieval castle.
I then made my annual trip to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December. It was very nice as usual, and the special session Gera and I organized went very well.
I saw Bob Dylan only once this year, in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, from the 9th row. It was definitely worth the drive. And here is a picture of our minister, Bob Bornstein, visiting our local rock palace, the Stone Pony.
Wisconsin did not go to the Rose Bowl this year, but just beat Colorado to win the Alamo Bowl. The team is young, so should do well next year.
May your 2003 be a healthy and fulfilling one. Happy New Year!
Alan and Sherri