Environment

PEEC: Discovery Canyon Bird Walk

Lesser goldfinch. Photo by Dave Yeamans

 

PEEC News:

One of the best ways to begin bird watching is by looking for the birds you see and hear every day. To help beginning birders recognize some of the species living in Los Alamos, join long-time Los Alamos resident and bird watcher Dave Yeamans on a hike at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 leaving from the Los Alamos Nature Center.

From there, the group will walk intently down the Ranch School Trail and to the confluence of Discovery and Pueblo Canyons. The return trip is uphill out of the Canyon along the same trail. While participants will likely


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PEEC: Learn About Local Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly. Photo by Selvi Viswanathan

PEEC News:

As spring turns to summer, butterflies become more frequent visitors to the Pajarito Plateau. To learn more about these beautiful creatures, local butterfly enthusiast Roy Michelotti will introduce listeners to the most common species of butterflies seen in and around Los Alamos.

In addition to discussing butterfly identification, he will also explore this unique creature’s biology, behavior, life cycle and more. This talk is 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. It is free, and no registration is required.

This


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PEEC Summer Family Evenings: Meet Wildland Firefighters July 22

Wildland firefighter at work. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

What does it take to be a wildland fireighter? What equipment do they use? What can kids do to prevent wildfires from starting?

Individuals and families can find the answer to these and other fire-related questions at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Local wildland firefighters will be on hand to answer questions, demonstrate how to use firefighting equipment and let families see their fire engine.

Summer Family Evenings have always been a popular program at PEEC, and now, with the Del Norte Credit Union’s support,


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Classic Air Medical Helicopter Landing At Nature Center

Classic Air Medical helicopter on a mission. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Classic Air Medical will bring their rescue helicopter to the Los Alamos Nature Center at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, as part of PEEC’s Summer Family Evenings program, sponsored by Del Norte Credit Union. The helicopter will touch down in the nature center parking lot.
 
PEEC’s Summer Family Evenings have been going strong in 2015. Los Alamos families have enjoyed wolves, rattlesnakes, baby goats and more at these Wednesday evening events.
 
For July

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Report Shows Nuclear Trumped By Renewables Worldwide

BEYOND NUCLEAR News:
 
TAKOMA PARK, Md. — The 2015 edition of an annual empirical analysis of the state of nuclear power globally, confirms a continued decline that belies claims to a “nuclear renaissance.”  
 
Instead, the report shows, solar energy in particular, is soaring ahead while nuclear stagnates and falters.
 
The findings of the 2015 World Nuclear Industry Status Report, published July 15 in the UK and available on-line, illustrate, as Forum for the Future trustee, Jonathon Porritt, wrote in the foreword:
 
“The impressively resilient

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Senators Heinrich And Flake Introduce Bill To Protect And Restore Watersheds In National Forests

U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Wednesday July 15, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., both members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced S. 1780, the Restoring America’s Watersheds Act, a bill to protect, restore, and improve the health of watersheds in national forests.
 
The proposal would prioritize fire-impacted watersheds and encourage partnerships with non-federal stakeholders to invest in forests that provide important water resources.
 
Last year, Heinrich

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Moving Arts Española Creates Community Garden

Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center, future home of the community garden and composting project. Courtesy photo
 
Preliminary straw bale beds with a totem sculpture. Courtesy photo
 

MAE News:

Moving Arts Española (MAE) has been awarded funding from the Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services Department to design and install a community garden and composting educational project at the Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center.

The Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center is being developed in collaboration with Siete Del Norte Community Development Corporation, Moving Arts Española,


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Los Alamos Utilities Board Unanimously Approves San Juan Generating Station Settlement Agreement

Giving a presentation this evening to the Utilities Board, from left, Deputy Utilities Manager – Finance/Administration Bob Westervelt, Deputy Utilities Manager – Electric Steve Cummins and environmental attorney Richard Virtue from Santa Fe. Screen Shot/LAC

Utilities Manager Tim Glasco discusses the San Juan Generating Station Settlement Agreement. Screen Shot/LAC

Resident Robert Falco raises concerns of potential liability from contamination by the plant into the San Juan River and mine. He encouraged the board to exit the agreement: ‘Cut your losses when it’s


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Western Bluebirds Spotted In Los Alamos

This Western Bluebird is a first sighting for the Williams family who have more than 40 years residing in Los Alamos. This Western Bluebird female is continually bringing insects to her young. Photo by Joel M. Williams

This Western Bluebird male is serving as a ‘lookout’ while his wife is nesting in one of the family’s crude birdhouses under a pavilion cover on Zuni in Los Alamos. Photo by Joel M. Williams


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Uranium Documentary Film Festival July 15-17

CVNM News:
 
The Conservation Voters New Mexico Education (CVNM) Education Fund along with ally organizations Laguna-Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment and Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, is hosting the 4th annual Think Outside The Mine film festival 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 and Friday, July 17 at Kawaika Center Theater at 22 Bay Tree Rd., Paraje, NM 87007.
 
Two Films:
 
Wednesday, July 15, 5-8 p.m.
  • Blue Gold  a documentary about the increasing precious commodity of water and the struggle to control it.
  • Crying Earth Rise Up 

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Monthly PEEC Wildflower Walk July 13

Native wildflower Scarlet Penstemon. Photo by Chick Keller

PEEC News:

With the continued rain in Los Alamos County, beautiful wildflowers abound. Join PEEC’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium Curator Chick Keller for a Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 13 to discover what some of them are and where they can be found.

This will be an easy walk to identify some of the wildflowers that can be found in and around Los Alamos. The group will meet at the Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road, and carpool to the trail that Keller will select based on what is blooming at the time. The walk is free and there is


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Heinrich Introduces Bill To Scale Up Solar Projects

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Thursday July 9, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. introduced S. 1723, the Promoting Renewable Energy with Shared Solar (PRESS) Act, a bill to boost access to renewable energy through community solar projects.
 
“This bill is a great opportunity to put solar energy within the reach of more families in New Mexico and around the country,” Heinrich said. “Shared solar projects have the potential to allow more Americans who lack sunny roof space or startup capital to truly benefit

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PEEC Laser Light Shows Are Canceled

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is very sad to announce that the laser light show machine arrived damaged, and all shows are cancelled.

PEEC will be issuing refunds during normal open hours at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Prismatic Magic apologizes to the people of Los Alamos, and have promised to deliver to PEEC a fixed and working machine for the first few weeks of August, so check PEEC’s website at that time to find out the new schedule. www.peecnature.org.


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Explore Mesa De Cuba Badlands With PEEC

Mesa de Cuba Badlands. Photo by Rod McCrady

PEEC News:

Traveling to Cuba along N.M. 550 is certainly a visual treat. This rugged, multi-colored landscape is home to the relatively new San Juan Basin Badlands Recreation Area.

Created in the last few years to offer protection to this sometimes haunting, but always breathtaking scenery, the Badlands have no real trail system, food or potable water. To help visitors navigate this exceptional terrain, join geologist Patrick Rowe Saturday, July 18 to explore one of the five badlands in the Recreation Area, the Mesa de Cuba Badlands.

This hike offers


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Spots Still Available For YMCA Earth Service Corps

YESC busy at work and having fun. Courtesy photo
 
YESC getting it done. Courtesy photo
 
 
YMCA News:
 
YMCA Earth Service Corps is an innovative service-learning program that gives youth entering 7th through 9th grades the opportunity to develop job skills, practice leadership, and create a more sustainable future by doing volunteer service projects in our community.
 
The Family YMCA’s 2015 Earth Service Corps (YESC) is having a fun and busy summer. With three weeks remaining, the YESC has put in 734 volunteer hours of community service since June

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‘Fantastic Fractals’ Screens At Nature Center July 18

Fractal created by Wolfgang Beyer. Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons

PEEC News:

To get in the spirit of ScienceFest, PEEC is screening Fantastic Fractals.

Join host and Fractal Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Wolfe as he presents a full-dome planetarium show that explores infinitely complex mathematical fractals in nature. This award-winning program features original music, and is educational, entertaining, and amazing.

This planetarium show is $5, and will screen at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Seating is limited. It is suitable for ages three


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Family Night Campfire Fun At Nature Center Tuesday

Enjoy campfire fun during Family Night at the Nature Center. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Tuesday, July 14 is Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

The center will be open for exploring the exhibits until 8 p.m., and there will be games, activities, experiments, crafts and more for families to enjoy. Family Nights at the Nature Center are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos. They are free to attend.

In July and August, there will be extra special family campfire fun! Join Melissa Mackey for songs, stories and a little science 5:30-6:30 p.m.

For more information about this and other PEEC


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Los Alamos Scientist Claudia Mora New President Elect Of Geological Society Of America

Los Alamos Scientist Claudia Mora

LANL News:

The Geological Society of America (GSA) recently tapped Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Claudia Mora as president elect.

Mora is a stable-isotope geochemist whose research spans the traditional fields of geology, soil science and climate science. At Los Alamos, she heads the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division’s (EES) largest group, Earth System Observations. This group’s research is broad and far-reaching, intersecting geology, ecology and atmospheric sciences.

“GSA welcomes Dr. Mora and we are confident that she will


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Letter To The Editor: A Few Numbers For Rain Harvest

By RICHARD NEBEL
Los Alamos

I have been harvesting rainwater for several years here in Los Alamos, and I know many other people have been doing the same. 

Before investing in a system to do that, it’s worthwhile to run the numbers. First of all, we have about 18 inches of rainfall annually in Los Alamos. For a typical home, that translates into about 20,000 gallons of water that hits your roof every year.

A standard water sprinkler puts out about 5 gallons a minute. I water my garden for about half an hour every other day. That’s 150 gallons per watering. I would like to store enough water to


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PEEC Class Teaches How To Identify Wildflowers

Local wildflower, dusky penstemon. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

What a difference a little rain makes. The roadsides and hillsides are green, and yellow, red, pink and purple flowers dot the landscape.

“How to Identify Wildflowers” is the name of a five-week class offered 5:30-7:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday, July 14 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

This is an opportunity to get outside, to be curious, and learn more about the area and the flora. Longtime residents and experts Craig Martin and Teralene (Terry) Foxx will teach the class.

Foxx is a plant ecologist, writer and artist. She taught plant


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