The New York Times obituary Robert M. White, Who Revolutionized Weather Forecasts, Dies at 92 shows the image below. It looks like it might be a model of the Earth but I can't tell for sure.
Can the sphere be identified, and if so, is it related to weather forecasting?
click for full size
Robert White in 1967. He led the federal government’s weather agencies through five presidencies in the 1960s and ’70s.Credit...Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Robert M. White, a meteorologist who revolutionized the nation’s weather forecasting system, was the first to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and warned of climate change long before it was widely recognized, died on Oct. 14 (2015) at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. He was 92.
[...] As the chairman of the First World Climate Conference in 1979, Dr. White gave a keynote speech that projected the possible consequences of human-induced warming of the planet. The speech, Dr. Baker said, was a turning point in the effort to promote global awareness of climate change.