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Valles Caldera Geology Field Trip With Fraser And Cathy Goff Oct. 9

on October 2, 2016 - 8:33am
Geologist Fraser Goff, who wrote the book on Valles' geology, is leading a trip Oct. 9 to the Valles Caldera with his wife Cathy Goff. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Explore six different areas of the geothermal springs in the Valles Caldera Sunday, Oct. 9 with geologists Fraser and Cathy Goff. This is an opportunity to learn about the volcanology of the preserve and see little-known geothermal springs with the person who literally wrote the book on the Valles' geology.
The group will start at the Valles Caldera Visitor Center, drive through the northeastern valley (Valle San Antonio),

Construction Of World’s Most Sensitive Dark Matter Detector Moves Forward

on October 2, 2016 - 7:16am
Tomasz Biesiadzinski, left, and Jeremy Mock install a mini version of the future LZ dark matter detector at a test stand at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The white container is a prototype of the detector’s core, also known as a time projection chamber (TPC). For the dark matter hunt, LZ’s TPC will be filled with liquid xenon. Courtesy/ SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

LBNL News:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports that the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), a next-generation dark matter detector that will be at least 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, has cleared another

New Mexico Delegation Supports Navajo Nation’s Request For Disaster Declaration

on October 1, 2016 - 11:26am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  In a letter to the President of the United States, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed support for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye’s request for a major disaster declaration in response to August flooding that occurred on the Navajo Nation in Shiprock.
“This rainstorm caused severe flooding and prompted evacuation of the primary flood area in Shiprock where the flood waters displaced boulders, trees, fences, and other like objects and

PEEC Provides Fishing Adventure At Fenton Oct. 8

on October 1, 2016 - 11:23am
Casey Harthorn teaching the next generation how to fish. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is providing a fishing clinic for youth and families 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8 at Fenton Lake.
For those who want to learn how to fish, improve their skills, or want to know more about local aquatic ecosystems, this is an excellent opportunity. This fishing adventure will include lessons on knot tying, casting, fish biology, macro-invertebrates, fish prints, baits and lures.
Fishing expert, Casey Harthorn, with the New Mexico Department of

How B Reactor Worked And Its Mysterious Failure

on October 1, 2016 - 8:50am

Physicist Enrico Fermi. Courtesy/AHC


On Sept. 26, 1944, the B Reactor, the world's first full-scale plutonium reactor, started up at Hanford. The next day, it mysteriously shut down. “The reactor went dead, just plain dead! Everybody stood around and stared,” physicist Leona Woods Marshall recalled.

After working all night, scientists led by Enrico Fermi calculated that the problem was being caused by Xenon, an element produced during the nuclear reaction.

Nature Center Talk: The Language Of Bears Oct. 4

on October 1, 2016 - 8:19am
Wildlife biologist Daryl Ratajczak feeding a bear cub 20 years ago. Ratajczak will give a free talk Tuesday at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Bears are incredibly intelligent animals who use vocalizations and body language to communicate. 
At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, wildlife biologist Daryl Ratajczak will share photos, stories and data that explain how bears communicate in the wild. This is a free talk at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road.
Ratajczak is a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service in the Santa Fe National Forest.

Letter To The Editor: Turtle Trouble At Ashley Pond

on September 30, 2016 - 12:02pm

The red-eared slider is included in the list of the world's 100 most invasive species. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

Anyone who reads the Los Alamos Daily Post sees the cute picture of the Ashley Pond turtle basking in the sun on a log now and then. Yesterday my daughters noticed several more turtles swimming around our town pond.  I can only assume these poor turtles are cast off pets who outgrew their owners capacity to care for them.

They are red eared sliders -- an invasive species in much of North America.

‘Dia del Rio’ Community Project To Clean Up White Rock Canyon

on September 30, 2016 - 11:19am

 Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, Los Alamos County, Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Mountaineers for a community clean-up day Oct. 15 at White Rock Canyon. Photo by Josip Loncaric

PEEC News:

Calling all volunteers! Pajarito Environmental Education Center, Los Alamos County, Los Alamos Fire Department and Los Alamos Mountaineers are looking for help to celebrate the Rio Grande and beautify an area that has been ignored for quite some time. Volunteers will remove trash and cover over graffiti 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 in White Rock Canyon.

The primary

DOE Awards $1.5 Million Grant To UML

on September 30, 2016 - 7:54am
DOE News:
CINCINNATI  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a grant to the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) for “National Research Institute: Collaborative Research: Cooperative Control of Humanoid Robots for Remote Operations in Nuclear Environments.”
The cooperative agreement will focus on evaluating the technological readiness of the dexterous robot hands of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) humanoid robot Valkyrie to replace human hands for safe and risk averse operations in existing gloveboxes in nuclear facilities.

Tales Of Our Times: Population Is A Knotted Ball

on September 30, 2016 - 7:45am
Tales of Our Times
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

Population is a Knotted Ball

Every part of the environment has a string tied to it. At the far end, the strings tangle into a giant knotted ball, which is world population. Population affects virtually everything, from the environment, religions and wars to commodity prices, the tides of employment and money supplies. Yet, the subject stays quiet as a mouse.

We know the reason—the central knot is too tight to pick apart. But we can poke at it, which is worth more than a quiet mouse.

Sierra Club Chair On PNM Rate Case Decision

on September 29, 2016 - 9:38am

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Chair David Coss


The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission decided Wednesday on PNM’s request for an increase to electric rates. Below is the statement on the decision from Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Chair David Coss:

Today’s decision held good news and bad news for ratepayers and a healthy climate.

While PNM got its way on making consumers pay for its poor decision to reinvest in coal, the commission prevented PNM from punishing ratepayers with significantly higher service fees, and we customers won’t have to foot the bill for the

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Cañada Bonita – Autumn Comes To The High Country

on September 29, 2016 - 8:21am

Aspen leaves are close at hand and glow in the sun along the trail less traveled. Photo by Bob Dryja

PEEC Amateur Naturalist
By Robert Dryja
Cañada Bonita Autumn Comes to the High Country
The Cañada Bonita trail diverges into two trails in a wood, much as is expressed by Robert Frost in his poem.
One trail is much more traveled and wider. The other trail is more of a narrow grassy path. Autumn is arriving in the high country. The less traveled trail can bring a person closer to this autumnal world while the other leads to grandeur.
Both trails merge for a while when approaching

Destructive Khapra Beetles Discovered In Household Goods Shipment From Saudi Arabia To Philadelphia

on September 29, 2016 - 7:21am
The Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), photographed by the US Department of Agriculture, originated in South Asia and is one of the world’s most destructive pests of grain products and seeds. It is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world. Infestations are difficult to control because of the insect's ability to survive without food for long periods, its preference for dry conditions and low-moisture food, and its resistance to many insecticides. There is a federal quarantine restricting the importation of rice into the U.S,. from countries with known infestations of

EM Releases Supporting Materials From 2016 National Cleanup Workshop

on September 29, 2016 - 6:16am

EM-LA Field Office Manager Douglas E. Hintze presents at the 2016 National Cleanup Workshop Sept. 14-15 in Alexandria, Va. Courtesy/DOE

EM  News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.  The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is making available support materials from the 2016 National Cleanup Workshop. The materials include speaker presentations, photos from the workshop and an attendee list. Links to videos of the workshop sessions will be available soon.
Approximately 600 people attended the National Cleanup Workshop Sept. 14-15 in Alexandria, Va.

Gallinas Watershed Prescribed Burn Planned

on September 29, 2016 - 5:51am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the previously announced Gallinas Watershed prescribed burn on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District. 
The window for the prescribed burn will open Oct. 3 and extend through January 2017. The decision to burn will be dependent on favorable weather conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources.
The 1,300-acre Gallinas Watershed treatment area is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas, NM.

Secretary Of Defense Reviews Plutonium Operations At Los Alamos National Laboratory

on September 28, 2016 - 5:16pm

U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, center, Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan, right and Bob Webster, Principal Associate Director for Weapons Programs, today in the pit casting area of the Laboratory's Plutonium Facility 4 (PF-4), the nation's only plutonium science, technology and manufacturing center. ‘A strong plutonium science and manufacturing capability is essential to the U.S. nuclear deterrent and cannot be underestimated,’ Carter said.

Deep Moonquakes Reveal Thickness Of Lunar Crust

on September 28, 2016 - 11:30am
Photo of the Moon. Courtesy/NASA
LANL News:
Charlotte Rowe of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Geophysics group and collaborators from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have reported the first use of the seismic interferometry technique applied to study the internal structure of the Moon. The Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets published the research and featured it as an Editor’s Highlight.

During the NASA Apollo missions, astronauts installed seismometers on the near side of the Moon to record moonquakes.

Summit Garden Club Meets Oct. 3

on September 28, 2016 - 11:14am
SGC News:
The Summit Garden Club will hold its next meeting at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at the home of Club President Shelby Redondo, 390 Manhattan Loop in Los Alamos.
The meeting will start with a program on Outdoor Lighting. Shirley Carter, Summit Club member and retired landscaper, will speak on light from a landscape architect's point of view. Electrician Patrick Connolly will speak on the best products, recent code changes, and most frequently made mistakes.
The public is invited to the program as well as stay for refreshments and learn more about the Summit Garden Club

SFCC Recognized For Green Practices

on September 28, 2016 - 10:21am
SFCC News:
SANTA FE  Santa Fe Community College has been awarded an honorable mention in Second Nature’s Higher Education Climate Leaders Competition.
The award is a partnership between Second Nature and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It recognizes higher education institutions that create a sustainable environment and incorporate green practices on their campuses and in the curriculum.
A leader in clean energy and sustainability, in 2007, SFCC became a Charter Signatory to the Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the American College &

Eco Station And Overlook Convenience Center Closed On Columbus Day Oct. 10

on September 28, 2016 - 8:28am


The Eco Station will be closed Monday, Oct. 10 in observance of Columbus Day. No trash or recycling will be collected.

For residents whose collection day falls on Monday, trash and recycle will be collected Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The Overlook Convenience Center also will be closed Monday, Oct. 10.

Operating hours will resume Tuesday, Oct. 11 for both services.

Direct question to 505.662.8163.

Public Field Trips Underway On SFNF

on September 27, 2016 - 7:33am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is planning seven field trips this fall as part of the revision of the Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan). 
This Forest Plan will guide management for all resources throughout the forest for the next 10 to 15 years. These trips will give members of the public the opportunity to see resources on the ground and have conversations with SFNF resource specialists. The field trips will launch discussions on what should go into the Draft Forest Plan, which will be written over the next year. 
Find a brief summary of

DOE Awards Support Service Contract

on September 26, 2016 - 5:15pm
DOE News:
CINCINNATI, Ohio  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract to Boston Government Services, LLC (BGS), of Lenoir City, Tennessee.
BGS is a small-disadvantaged business under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Program. The contract will have a maximum value of $4 Million over four years. Firm-fixed-price and time and material task orders will be issued from the basic contract.
The contractor will provide support services to the Office of Environmental Management (EM) headquarters in

Managed Fires On SFNF Meet Objectives

on September 26, 2016 - 5:11pm
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest have completed operations on both the 329-acre 138 Fire on the Jemez Ranger District and the 700-acre Cuerno Fire on the Coyote Ranger District. 
Both the 138 and Cuerno Fires were lightning-caused and presented opportunities to capitalize on natural ignitions to achieve multiple objectives on the landscape.
Objectives for both fires included:
  • mitigating the risk of high-intensity destructive wildfires by reducing excess fuels, including ponderosa pine litter, dried grasses, and dead and down timber
  • providing

Secretary Moniz Announces Removal Of All Highly Enriched Uranium From Poland

on September 26, 2016 - 8:17am

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

DOE News:

NNSA Helps Poland Become 31st Country Plus Taiwan to Be HEU-free 

VIENNA – At the 60th IAEA General Conference, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with Poland, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has successfully repatriated 61 kilograms of Russian-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Maria Research Reactor in Otwock-Swierk, Poland.

The shipment removes the last known HEU from Poland,

Home Efficiency Expo Shares Ideas Saturday

on September 25, 2016 - 8:39am
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities' James Alarid and Angelica Gurule show off energy saving goodies at their booth at the Home Efficiency Expo Saturday at UNM-Los Alamos. DPU sponsored the event, which showcased ways to be more energy efficient at home. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A representative from SunPower talks with a visitor about solar power. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
A vender shares information at the Expo. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/