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Daily Postcard: Prickly Pear Cactus At Bandelier

on June 4, 2017 - 6:19am

Daily Postcard: A prickly pear cactus blooms at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS

Author Janie Chodosh Speaks At Nature Center

on June 3, 2017 - 6:34am

Janie Chodosh's new book, Wild Lives, shares stories of hope for the future of important ecosystems across the globe. Photo by Anne Staveley

PEEC News:

Though our rapidly changing climate is challenging many animal species, there is still hope—people across the globe are working to keep our ecosystems in balance for future generations. Author Janie Chodosh will share stories during her talk 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Her new book, Wild Lives, which contains exclusive interviews of 20 conservationists, will also be available for purchase at the nature center.

Wild Lives

Heinrich Welcomes Zuni Mountain Trails Project

on June 3, 2017 - 6:29am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich attended the Zuni Mountain Trails Project signing ceremony. Courtesy Photo


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, attended the Zuni Mountain Trails Project signing ceremony. During the event, Alvin Whitehair, District Ranger from the Mt. Taylor Ranger District of Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands signed the project’s Decision Notice and Findings of No Significant Impact.

SFNF Officials Hope To Conduct Prescribed Burns

on June 3, 2017 - 6:27am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Coyote Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, are watching the weather and other factors to identify optimal windows to continue work on previously announced prescribed burns this spring.

Recently, crews completed approximately 50 acres on the French Mesa unit. If conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather, remain favorable, they may resume ignitions on that unit today. The 5,041-acre French Mesa treatment area is approximately 10 miles north of Gallina.

Check the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page at

Daily Postcard: Valles Caldera Turning Green

on June 3, 2017 - 5:58am
The east end of the Valle Grande Thursday shows the grass is starting to green up from recent showers. Photo by Marc Bailey

Rover Findings Indicate Stratified Lake On Ancient Mars

on June 2, 2017 - 10:31am

Sedimentary Signs of a Martian Lakebed (Shallow Part): This evenly layered rock imaged in 2014 by the Mastcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows a pattern typical of a lake-floor sedimentary deposit near where flowing water entered a lake. Shallow and deep parts of an ancient Martian lake left different clues in mudstone formed from lakebed deposits. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Water carried more oxygen at certain times, depths

A long-lasting lake on ancient Mars provided stable environmental conditions that differed significantly from one part of the lake to another, according to a

UNM-Los Alamos Summer Classes Begin June 5

on June 2, 2017 - 8:52am

The Introduction to Astronomy class conducts outdoor labs to view the wonders of the night sky. Courtesy/UNM-LA

UNM-LA News:

Summer classes at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) will begin Monday, June 5. Registration is open and there are still openings in many face-to-face and online classes. Course schedules are available at many locations around Los Alamos or on the UNM-LA website.

Students who have just finished high school, college students who are home for the summer, and summer employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory will find UNM-LA offers many core curriculum

Rotarians Conduct Annual Library Garden Clean-Up

on June 2, 2017 - 8:36am
Rotarian Jane Phillips trims along library garden edges. Photo by Nancy Cerutti
Rotarian Steve Ciddio spreads mulch at the library garden. Photo by Nancy Cerutti
Rotarians at Work putting their backs into library garden weeding. Photo by Nancy Cerutti


In keeping with the spirit of Los Alamos Clean-Up Day, 11 Rotarians participated in the County event by weeding, pruning, trimming, sweeping, and mulching, as well as planting new pink penstemons, at the Mesa Public Library garden.

The work party was chaired by Rotarian Nancy Cerutti with help from Rotarians Mary

DNFSB Public Hearing On LANL Plutonium Operations

on June 2, 2017 - 8:05am
The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board will hold a public hearing about reducing the risk of current and future plutonium inventories at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Plutonium Facility beginning at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 7 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. A public comment period begins at 8:30 p.m.
To pre-register to speak during the public comment period, email the request to or contact the Office of the General Counsel at 202.694.7062 or 800.788.4016.  Individuals also may submit written comments both prior to and at the

PEEC Receives Funding To Get People Outside

on June 1, 2017 - 7:06am

New Belgium Brewing has donated millions to communities where they brew and/or serve their beer, a list that includes Los Alamos.​ Courtesy Image

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), operators of the Los Alamos Nature Center, recently received two grants to help get people outside. One funder, New Belgium Brewery, makers of Fat Tire Ale, is a long-time supporter of the nature center, while the second, the Clif Bar Family Foundation, is a new supporter of the center.

Clif Bar Family Foundation will support PEEC’s popular Passport to the Pajarito Plateau program.

Daily Postcard: Deer Peers Over Canyon Edge

on June 1, 2017 - 7:04am

Daily Postcard: This deer came wondering into the garden of this Los Alamos home as the homeowner was gardening and walked over to the edge of the canyon and looked around. Photo by Claire Swinhoe

Study Shows Humans Have Polluted European Air For 2000 Years

on May 31, 2017 - 10:22am

The Colle Gnifetti Glacier on the Swiss-Italian border where the ice core used in the study was taken. In the bottom right corner, the coring stie can be seen. Photo by Nicole Spaulding

AGU News:

WASHINGTON, DC — A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

The new study, accepted for publication in GeoHealth, a

Black-headed Grosbeak Spotted At Canyon School

on May 31, 2017 - 8:16am

This black-headed Grosbeak is spotted recently at Canyon School in Los Alamos. Photo by Greg Noeninckx

Los Alamos Nature Center Garden In Full Bloom

on May 31, 2017 - 7:05am

Thanks to Larry Deavan's care and knowledge, the penstemon garden at the Los Alamos Nature Center is amazingly colorful, but it won't last long. Stop by the nature center this week to see the impressive array of flowers and watch the many pollinators collect nectar from this vivid area. Photo by Beth Cortright

Summit Garden Club Meets Monday

on May 31, 2017 - 4:45am

Courtesy photo

Summit Garden Club News:

Summit Garden Club will meet Monday afternoon, June 5, to hear Karl Buermeyer of the Santa Fe Forest Service speak on “Living With Fire – Jemez Mountain Forest  Restoration.” 

Buermeyer will talk about forest health, fire in the forest, plans for the restoration of the Jemez forests, and reintroduction of fire into the forest.

Ann Cooke will speak on preparing a home in the forest for fire. Members may gather at 12:45 p.m. in the parking lot of the United Church, and drive to the Cookes' home in Sierra Los Pinos.

Visitors welcome.

Daily Postcard: Cacti In Full Bloom

on May 31, 2017 - 4:44am

Cacti are in full bloom near Santa Rosa following the recent rain. Photo by Josh Smith

LANL: ‘Halos’ Discovered On Mars Widen Time Frame For Potential Life

on May 30, 2017 - 7:04pm

A mosaic of images from the navigation cameras on the NASA Curiosity rover shows ‘halos’ of lighter-toned bedrock around fractures. These halos comprise high concentrations of silica and indicate that liquid groundwater flowed through the rocks in Gale crater longer than previously believed. Courtesy/NASA/JPL-Caltech

LANL News:

Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica—called “halos”—has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed.

Bird Walk In Upper Water Canyon Saturday

on May 30, 2017 - 3:18pm

Learn about local birds from bird watcher Joe Fitzgibbon.​ Courtesy Photo 

PEEC News:

Los Alamos resident and bird watcher Joe Fitzgibbon will lead a hike at 7 a.m. Saturday in Upper Water Canyon. This half-day trip will take birders about two miles along the bottom of the canyon, through a mosaic of burned and unburned areas. Sightings may include the empidonax flycatchers (Dusky, Hammond’s, and Cordilleran), wrens, Western Tanagers, Stellar’s Jays, Green-tailed Towhees, warblers and woodpeckers.

Fitzgibbon has always been passionate about the outdoors and the history of Los Alamos.

Two-Day Geology Tour Of Mount Taylor Region In June

on May 30, 2017 - 8:00am

Mount Taylor. Photo by Fraser Goff

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a special overnight tour June 17-18 of the Mount Taylor region. The tour will focus on the geology of the area, and is suitable for geologists and non-geologists alike. Space is limited for this trip.

Geologists Fraser and Cathy Goff will lead the tour, which includes the earth science and volcanology of Mount Taylor and surrounding areas.

Daily Postcard: Bear Spotted On Trail To LA Reservoir

on May 30, 2017 - 6:36am
Daily Postcard: A bear is spotted earlier this month on the trail to the Los Alamos Reservoir. Photo by Dane Spearing

Lightning Strikes Flagpole At American Legion

on May 29, 2017 - 5:37pm

Lightning struck a flagpole at about 3 p.m. today at the American Legion on Trinity Drive. The strike caused a great deal of damage to electrical equipment, according to folks at the scene. The final damage is yet to be determined. The flagpole was silver before the strike. Photo by Leland Lehman/

This flagpole at the American Legion was silver before it was hit this afternoon by lightning. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Photo by Leland Lehman/

Final Hondito Wildfire Update

on May 29, 2017 - 8:12am

USFS News:

TAOS – The Hondito wildfire area will continue to be patrolled and monitored by fire personnel.

  • Location: Hondito Canyon, 4 miles southwest of Tres Piedras and 2 miles North of Las Tablas
  • Size: 7,020 acres, size changed due to accurate GPS mapping
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Start Date: May 15, 2017

As remaining interior fuel continues to burn, lingering smoke may be visible.

The fire is expected to remain at 7,020 acres. The lack of growth is due to minimal fire behavior and predicted weather forecast. The number of people assigned to the fire has been reduced to minimize exposure.


Night Skies, Phantoms At Nature Center Planetarium

on May 29, 2017 - 8:05am


PEEC News:

Want to learn more about what is visible in the night sky this month? Dr. Paul Arendt will provide an interactive tour Friday, June 2, of the planets, star patterns, constellations, and deep sky objects that may be observed throughout June. This special show takes place at 7 p.m. in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium.

Phantom of the Universe, a film that uncovers the heavenly mystery of dark matter, will play in the planetarium at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4. The film traces existence back to its beginning, stretching through space and time to

Santa Fe National Forest Offices Closed Memorial Day

on May 28, 2017 - 6:19am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – All Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) offices will be closed Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day. Forest offices will resume regular business hours Tuesday, May 30.

There are currently no fire restrictions on the SFNF.  Visitors are reminded that fireworks and explosives are prohibited on federal lands. Law enforcement officers, fire personnel and recreation staff will be patrolling over the Memorial Day weekend to ensure visitor safety.

Forest visitors are asked to follow campfire safety guidelines and adhere to the Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics.

On The Job In Los Alamos: At Pajarito Greenhouse

on May 27, 2017 - 1:01pm
On the job in White Rock: Kathy Anderson and Cottrell Fox help gardeners this morning with their purchases at Pajarito Greenhouse. The greenhouse is especially busy this weekend due to their Memorial Day sales. They are also open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at 238 Rio Bravo in Pajarito Acres. Photo by Maire O'Neill/
On the job in White Rock: Arborist Laural Hardin, left, and Jess Gauntt are busy offering advice to gardeners this morning at Pajarito Greenhouse in White Rock. Photo by Maire O'Neill/