Daily Postcard: New Ducks In Town

Daily Postcard: These two ducks have been spotted lately at Ashley Pond. They are female Lesser Scaup, an unusual visitor to the pond. They will likely leave during spring migration. Source: Local bird expert Bob Walker. The pair appear curious about a Lhasa Apso dog Tuesday; when she walked one way on the path, they would follow her in the water and when she backtracked, they did, too. They didn’t seem as interested in people. Photo by Ken Hanson

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NMGF: Raffle For Gould’s Turkey Enhancement Licenses

New Mexico Game and Fish will raffle a permit to hunt one Gould’s gobbler. Courtesy/SFGC

NMGF News:

One authorization to hunt Gould’s turkey will be raffled by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department (NMGF) with the assistance of the New Mexico National Wild Turkey Federation.

The winner will receive a permit to hunt one Gould’s gobbler, as well as a spring turkey license with two tags for open units.

Tickets must be purchased on or before March 13, 2021.

2021 Gould’s Turkey Raffle

All proceeds from enhancement hunts are used solely for habitat enhancement, conservation, research and management

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SFNF: Prescribed Burn In Pacheco Canyon Underway

Prescribed burn underway today in Pacheco Canyon. File photo

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Favorable conditions today allowed fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest to proceed with the previously announced Pacheco Canyon prescribed pile burn on the Española Ranger District.

The 106-acre pile burn is part of the larger Pacheco Canyon Forest Resiliency Project, a 2,042-acre forest restoration project that was instrumental in keeping the lightning-caused Medio Fire from crossing Forest Road (FR) 102 and threatening significant values at risk, including the Santa Fe ski basin and municipal

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U.S., Canada Complete Nuclear Material Shipping Campaign

Acting NNSA Administrator Dr. William Bookless. Screenshot/LADP

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited President and CEO Richard Sexton. Screenshot/LADP

NNSA News:

  • Material had been used to create life-saving medicines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) announced the completion of a multi-year campaign to repatriate 161 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) liquid target residue material from Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada, to the Savannah River Site in Aiken,

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Eco Station, Overlook Collection Center Closed MLK Day


The Eco Station and Overlook Convenience Center will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Additionally, there will be no residential or commercial trash and Christmas tree collection service provided Monday, Jan. 18.

If the observed date falls on your normal trash day, place your materials out Wednesday, Jan. 20.

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Fatal Attraction: Bats With White-Nose Syndrome Prefer Suboptimal Habitats Despite Consequences

Bats with white-nose syndrome roosting in the warmest sites have been hit particularly hard, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech. Courtesy/Virginia Tech

A research team uses a swab to measure the fungal loads on each individual bat and a laser thermometer to measure the roosting temperature of the rocks next to each bat. Courtesy//Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

Since 2006, a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome has caused sharp declines in bat populations across the eastern United States.

The fungus that causes the disease, Pseudogymnoascus destructans,

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Los Alamos High School Senior Named Top Scholar

Karin Ebey

LAPS News:

Karin Ebey, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has been named one of the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

“I am really excited to be named one of the top 300 finalists,” Ebey said.

Her project title is Climate Change on Crocodilians: Modeling the Effects of Variations in Rainfall on Crocodilians and Their Ecosystems. On Jan. 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards

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NMED Fighting Pandemic From Sewers: COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Program Shows Early Success

NMED conducts wastewater sampling for COVID-19 at congregate settings in southern New Mexico. Courtesy/NMED

NMED News:

  • Program prevents outbreak at Las Cruces juvenile justice facility

In early December, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) launched an innovative wastewater monitoring program to protect New Mexicans from COVID-19 at congregate settings in southern New Mexico.

Just a few weeks later, the program prevented a COVID-19 outbreak at a southern New Mexico juvenile justice facility. NMED is applying cutting-edge science to protect public health in southern New

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DOE/NNSA: Los Alamos Field Office Proposes Facility For Isotope Production Used In Cancer Therapies


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Los Alamos Field Office has issued a categorical exclusion (CX) determination to construct and operate a Light Manufacturing Facility to support DOE/NNSA’s Isotope Production Program.

The Light Manufacturing Facility will be used to for the processing of alpha emitting isotopes that will be shipped throughout the country and be used for varying cancer therapies.

The CX is available here.

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Santa Fe National Forest Issues Seasonal Closure Order For Forest Roads That Cross Abiquiu Land Grant

SFNF issues closure order for Forest Road 418 and segments of FR 31 and FR 27. File photo

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has issued a closure order for the entire length of Forest Road (FR) 418 and the segments of Forest Roads (FR) 31 and 27 that cross the Abiquiu Land Grant on the Española Ranger District. 

The closure order, which is in effect through March 31, 2021, unless it is rescinded earlier, is intended to protect SFNF and Abiquiu Land Grant resources, including roads, soils and vegetation, that could be damaged by use during the wet winter season.

Specific areas affected

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New Report Details Problems Of Traps On Public Lands

WildEarth Guardians News:

…Rep. Christine Chandler among legislators to introduce Roxy’s Law during 2021 session

…The economics of trapping, the number of species killed by trappers, and environmental harms are among topics covered by report

SANTA FE — WildEarth Guardians and members of the TrapFree New Mexico coalition released a detailed report today that makes an in-depth case for banning traps on public lands.

Touching on a wide array of topics, the report goes into detail on the economics of trapping versus other uses of public lands, common trap types and the injuries

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New Mexico Environment Department Issues Administrative Compliance Order At Kirtland Mobile Home Park

NMED News:

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued an administrative compliance order to the Vision Mobile Home Park, LLC in Kirtland for its failure to properly manage and monitor sewage to protect groundwater and the health of residents.

The administrative compliance order requires the owner to come into compliance with water protection laws and take other steps to address the situation. 

The owner of Vision Mobile Home Park, Marisela Ornelas, failed to comply with multiple monitoring and reporting requirements included in permits issued by NMED in 2012 and 2020. These permits

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Amateur Naturalist: Eroded Rock, Grinding Stone, Or Sacred Stone?

Los Alamos

Rocks of all shapes and sizes can seen while exploring the slopes of the Jemez Mountains. But some create puzzles when looked at closely.

Consider a slope rising gently through a wooded landscape toward a mountain peak. The trees are spread apart and the grass is short as a result of the shade.

It is easy to see relatively small boulders that are two to three feet across, have relatively flat surfaces and are grey in color. A different appearing boulder then appears, (Picture A).

Picture A: How did this pattern of holes develop in the boulder? Photo by Robert Dryja

This particular

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Rotary Hosts Dr. Sandy Farmer Of Pfizer Pharmaceutical

Vice President
Rotary Club of Los Alamos

Dr. Sandy Farmer of Pfizer Pharmaceutical was the featured speaker via Zoom at the Jan. 5 meeting of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. 

In his presentation, How the COVID-19 Vaccine Came to Be: A Confluence of Innovation Along Many Dimensions, Farmer outlined the evolution of vaccine development. He explained that although the world’s first vaccine was administered in 1798 to reduce the spread of smallpox, it wasn’t until the late 1960s and into the 1970s that purified forms were steadily developed to eliminate use of live viruses which can generate

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Air Force Research Laboratory Engineer Award Winner Dr. Odell Reynolds Proclaims A First For U.S. Space Force

Air Force Research Laboratory engineer Dr. Odell Reynolds speaks at the ceremony where Air Force Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Joseph presented him the 2019 Harold Brown Award. The ceremony was Dec. 16, 2020 at AFRL’s Starfire Optical Range on Kirtland AFB. U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Ireland R. Summers

AFRL News:

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE — Air Force Research Laboratory Senior Engineer Dr. Odell Reynolds received the 2019 Harold Brown Award from Chief Scientist of the Air Force Dr. Richard Joseph, in a ceremony Dec. 16, 2020 at AFRL’s Starfire Optical Range (SOR) on Kirtland Air Force Base.

The Harold

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