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Chromium Project (DOE/EA-2005) Update

on December 16, 2015 - 9:00pm

DOE News:

  • Final Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant Impact and Floodplain Assessment Statement of Findings

The Department of Energy Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office has prepared a Final Environmental Assessment for the Chromium Plume Control Interim Measure and Plume-Center Characterization at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE/EA-2005).

This document describes the potential environmental impacts associated with the planned interim actions in Mortandad Canyon.

Tonight's Talk At Los Alamos Nature Center Canceled

on December 15, 2015 - 12:47pm

PEEC News:

Tonight’s talk at the Los Alamos Nature Center is canceled due to inclement weather.

Check Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s website for updates and future events.

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies.

New $7 Million XPRIZE Competition Announced

on December 14, 2015 - 11:45am
SAN FRANCISCO — At a keynote address today during the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, announced the launch of the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a three-year global competition challenging teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid and unmanned ocean exploration.
As part of the total $7 million prize purse, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is offering a $1M bonus prize to teams that demonstrate their technology can “sniff out” a specified object in the ocean through

Moniz On Conclusion Of COP21 Climate Negotiations

on December 13, 2015 - 1:09pm

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

DOE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz released the following statement Saturday regarding the conclusion of the COP21 climate change negotiations:

“This agreement shows that the world is ready to move towards an innovative era of reductions in heat-trapping emissions that will put us on a path to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the entire U.S.

PEEC Offers Wildlife Storytelling 7 p.m. Tuesday

on December 13, 2015 - 11:32am

Western tanager. Courtesy/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

PEEC News:

Where do animals go in the winter? If they stay, how do they cope with the cold?

During a talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the Los Alamos Nature Center, Taos author Steve Tapia will tell the winter preparation stories of three animals. Listen as he describes why the pika is called a savvy survivor, where the western tanager goes to escape winter, and how the ever-present coyote copes with cold.

Steve Tapia is a local author, who resides in Taos.

Morning Snow Scenes From Los Alamos

on December 12, 2015 - 3:52pm

A snowy scene this morning along Diamond Drive. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Snow falls at the intersection of Diamond and Arkansas this morning. Photo by Leland Lehman/

A solitary apple topped with snow this morning hangs onto a branch of this tree growing on Walnut Street. Photo by A.S. Clark


Luján Participates In Gold King Mine Spill Hearing

on December 12, 2015 - 1:12pm
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District participated in a hearing in the Housr Natural Resources Committee on the Department of Interior’s report on the Gold King Mine spill. 
Luján highlighted the importance of ensuring that all those who were impacted by the spill are made whole and the need to take steps to improve the notification process in case of future disasters.
“One of the other failures that took place was after the spill took place.

Snow Falls On Quemazon

on December 12, 2015 - 11:14am

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Mulani enjoys a romp in the snow this morning in Quemazon. Photo by Trisha Ancell

Mulani plays in the snow this morning in Quemazon. Photo by Trisha Ancell

Secretary Moniz Announces San Francisco As Site Of Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial

on December 11, 2015 - 8:53am
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
DOE News:
PARIS – U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that the United States will host the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, California in June 2016.
The announcement was made at an event in Paris during the COP21 UN Climate Negotiations.
The annual meeting of energy ministers and other high-level delegates from the 23 CEM member countries and the European Commission, taking place June 1-2, will provide an opportunity for the major economies to collaborate on solutions that advance

SFI: Mutualism - What Do We Know... Dec. 14

on December 11, 2015 - 8:12am
Judie Bronstein, University of Arizona
SFI News:
The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) seminar, "Mutualism: What Do We Know, and Where Do We Go From Here?" is 12:15 p.m., Monday Dec. 14, at Collins Conference Room in Santa Fe.
Abstract: In this talk, I review the checkered history of the study of mutualism, a field that has only coalesced in the past 20 years.
I will identify six major research directions, then present our own recent work on hawkmoth-plant relationships to show how they can be integrated to move our understanding forward.
I conclude by discussing pressing issues surrounding

WIPP Workers Perform Filter Replacement

on December 10, 2015 - 3:32pm
Radiological workers ready used filters for off-site disposal. Courtesy/WIPP
WIPP News:
As recovery operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant continue, increased work activity in the underground results in higher levels of airborne salt dust, increasing the frequency with which filters are replaced. Last week, workers performed a filter replacement on WIPP’s Underground Ventilation System.
WIPP’s ventilation system has two filter units. Each unit has 84 separate filters arranges in four layersmoderate efficiency filters, high efficiency filters, and two layers of HEPA

Rain, Snow, Wind And Colder Weather Returning

on December 10, 2015 - 3:08pm

NWS News:

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a weather advisory for northern and central New Mexico favoring the northern mountains, northeast highlands and maybe far northeast plains.

Strong to potentially damaging winds are expected, followed by wintry weather beginning late tonight through Saturday night. Key Impacts:

  • Significant cool down from near record highs Thursday-Friday to 5 to 15 degree below normal temperatures during the weekend.
  • Snow accumulations Friday night through Saturday night favoring the Colorado border area with secondary impacts to the

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Insect Camouflage

on December 10, 2015 - 10:54am
Los Alamos

Insects have different kinds of camouflage to hide themselves. A praying mantis may grow to be up to six inches long, but how many people have seen such a large one?

A praying mantis may be so well camouflaged that it can capture a hummingbird that is coming to a flower for nectar.

A praying mantis selects plants that match its color rather than changing its color to match a plant.

Brown praying mantis. Courtesy photos






Rosy praying mantis. Courtesy photos






Green praying mantis. Photo by Sally King/Bandelier






Ceres’ Bright Spots Likely Brine Deposits

on December 10, 2015 - 10:20am

This image, made using images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows Occator crater on Ceres, home to a collection of intriguing bright spots. The bright spots are much brighter than the rest of Ceres' surface, and tend to appear overexposed in most images. This view is a composite of two images of Occator: one using a short exposure that captures the detail in the bright spots, and one where the background surface is captured at normal exposure.

Planetarium Showing 'Exoplanets' Film This Weekend

on December 9, 2015 - 11:42am

Exoplanets poster. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center is bringing Exoplanets back to the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium at 2 p.m., Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.

Exoplanets takes audiences on a journey to observeplanets beyond our solar systemand uncover the science and astronomy behind their discovery. This full-dome film was produced by Casper Planetarium.

Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the nature center for $6 for adults and $4 for children. This movie is recommended for ages four and up. The movie starts promptly at 2 p.m. and seating is limited.

Learn About The Sun At Planetarium Show Friday

on December 8, 2015 - 11:34am
Solar filaments through a telescope. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is holding a special show in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11.

Rick Wallace will explore the sun and its effects on our planet, moon, astronauts, and future colonies on other planets.

This special planetarium show is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are available by calling or stopping by the nature center. Seating is limited.  Planetarium shows are suitable for ages four and up.

LANL's Science In 60 seconds: The Hunt For Antarctic Meteorites

on December 8, 2015 - 10:27am

LANL scientist Nina Lanza has signed up to spend nearly six weeks in a tent on the Antarctic ice sheet. ScreenShot/LANL

LANL News:

She’s the “coolest” thing in science, searching the ice sheets of Antarctica for meteorites from outer space.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Nina Lanza has signed up to spend nearly six weeks in a tent on the Antarctic ice sheet. Why would anyone do such a thing? For science, obviously!

In the premiere episode of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s “Science in 60” video series, Lanza gives us the low-down in 60 seconds on the why and how of hunting

Santa Fe National Forest Closes El Cajete Mine Area

on December 8, 2015 - 10:11am

SFNF News:

The Santa Fe National Forest today issued a temporary closure order for the El Cajete pumice mine in the Jemez Ranger District. 

The restricted area, a total of 87 acres, runs north along N.M. 4 between the Sierra Los Pinos subdivision and mile post 34. 

The closure will allow reclamation efforts on the site, including erosion control and revegetation, to stabilize. The order will stay in effect until Oct. 31, 2017, unless it is rescinded earlier.

All activities are prohibited within the closure area.

LANL Receives Second Presidential Award

on December 8, 2015 - 8:23am

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently received a second presidential award as a climate champion. From left, Mathew Moury, Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security; Michael Sweitzer, NNSA; Josh Silverman, Director, DOE Office of Sustainability Support; Christy Goldfuss, Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Denny Hjeresen, LANL Waste Management Division; Leslie Hansen, LANL Environmental Protection Division and Jessica Arcidiacono and NNSA Sustainability Program Eric Bradley, DOE Office of Sustainability Support. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:


Roger This: All Aboard For The Paris Accord

on December 6, 2015 - 12:54pm
Los Alamos Daily Post

The first week of the 21st meeting of the of the Conference of Parties (COP21) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is drawing to a close in Paris.

During this time the Earth has theoretically warmed an additional .0008degreesFahrenheit. That calculation is according to my own back-of-the-envelope extrapolation of a very broad scientific consensus that we are approaching a warming rate of about .04 degrees F per decade.

The alarming problem about these miniscule estimates is that we are beginning to cross a red

2015 Earth Treasures Show Rocks On!

on December 6, 2015 - 12:35pm
A presenter explains how geodes are created to a young visitor at the 2015 Earth Treasures Show. The show continues today at the Masonic Temple, 15th and Canyon in Los Alamos. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A variety of jewels for the wrist. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Children create Rock Monsters at Saturday's Earth Treasures Show. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
The main display hall attracts many vendors and visitors. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Real crystal balls! Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A young man

Chamisa School Recycle Bowl Challenge

on December 5, 2015 - 7:55am

Poster Contest grand prize winner Lia Rushton with County Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule, Chamisa Recycle Bowl Coordinators Megan Lee and Sabina Johns and poster contest coordinator Renee Mitsunaga. Courtesy photo

Grand Prize winning poster by Lia Rushton. Courtesy photo



Chamisa Elementary School and Los Alamos County worked together to enter the National Competition, Keep America Beautiful-Recycle Bowl Challenge. The challenge took place Oct. 19 to Nov. 15.

A GREEN TEAM comprised of fourth and fifth grade students and teachers helped students at lunch

DPU Seeks Input On Carbon Neutrality Definition

on December 5, 2015 - 6:41am
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will review various recommendations included in the July 7, 2015 Future Electrical Energy Report over the next three Board meetings. 
First up is the recommended definition for "Carbon Neutrality" which will be considered for adoption at at 5:30 p.m., at the Dec. 16, Board meeting scheduled in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave. in Los Alamos.
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) officials encourage Los Alamos citizens to go online to the County’s open forum at and provide feedback on the recommended

Head Of CTBTO Dr. Lassina Zerbo Visits Los Alamos

on December 4, 2015 - 7:41am

CTBTO Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo

NNSA News:

LAS VEGAS ― Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), visited NNSA’s Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) Nov. 23, as part of a multi-day itinerary that also included tours of national laboratories overseen by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

While at Los Alamos, Zerbo discussed the laboratory’s technical support of the CTBTO

NMED To Host Public Listening Sessions

on December 4, 2015 - 7:19am
NMED News:
New Mexico Environment Department to Host Public Listening Sessions for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SIP Call for Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) Operations.
On May 22, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action to ensure states have plans in place that are fully consistent with the Clean Air Act and recent court decisions concerning startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) operations.
In response to this final action, the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau will be required to revise 20.2.7 NMAC - Excess Emissions