Climate change? Volcanos? Here's your chance to ask renowned scientists


Visitors brought soil and paint samples from their homes and neighborhoods for lead testing by Lex van Geen and his students during the 2022 open house,. Photo: Tara Spinelli

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s annual open house takes place Saturday, Oct. 14, at the research institute’s campus at 61 Route 9W, Palisades.

More than 3,000 people, including families, school and scout groups, undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and science-minded adults of all ages attend the open house every year.

The event is geared toward both aspiring and long-time science enthusiasts, with a range of lab tours, hands-on earth science activities led by scientists, and opportunities to hear from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries.

Attendees will have an opportunity to:

  • Create their own volcanic eruptions and observe a trash-can volcano.
  • See how sediment samples are taken from lakes, and take their own sediment core.
  • Learn what trees can teach us about history and the environment.
  • See how a bathtub full of cornstarch and water can be used to understand the dynamics of our planet.

Lamont-Doherty, the scientific research arm of the Columbia Climate School, comprises 500 scientists, students, and staff, with nearly 300 PhD-level researchers, and 80-90 graduate students involved in research.

Lamont’s research ship, the Marcus G. Langseth, uses seismic data to map the sub-seafloor, highlighting hidden faults and other earthquake hazards.

Founded in 1949, Lamont-Doherty’s scientists were the first to map the seafloor and develop a computer model that could predict an El Niño weather event, the first to provide concrete proof for the theory of plate tectonics, and to uncover the oceans’ role in triggering abrupt climate change.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s annual open house

  • When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14
  • Where: 61 Route 9W, Palisades
  • Attendees are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles to the event.
  • The 9W Market will be selling food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Click here for details about exhibits and tours, and click here for information about lectures by experts that day.
  • Click here for parking instructions and the free shuttle buses to/from New York City.
  • Most activities are held outside, and the event is held rain or shine.
  • Visit to register and for more information. The event is free with a $5 suggested donation.

Robert Brum is a freelance journalist who writes about the Hudson Valley. Visit to read his work.

A model of a cinder cone volcano, the most common type of volcano in the world. Photo: Tara Spinelli

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