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Environment

Feeling the Burn: Understanding How Biomass Burning Changes Climate

on October 4, 2016 - 9:48am

Allison C. Aiken is a chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division. In 2014, at the age of 34, she was named one of  The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters for being in the top 1 percent of geoscientists to have her work cited. She is posing in front of a crab sign on Ascension Island, where she installs instruments to collect data about black carbon aerosols. The island is tropical, but very isolated with rugged volcanic terrain and dominated by non-native species.

Orphaned Bear Cubs On Track For November Release

on October 4, 2016 - 7:39am

Orphaned bear cubs Valley Girl and Cowboy rescued from the Valles Caldera in the summer came into Dr. Kathleen Ramsay's clinic at just around 10 pounds and the most recent estimate puts them north of 75 pounds. The cubs will likely be ready for release next month back into the wild. Courtesy/LEWF

WIPP Update: Ground Control Review Underway Following Rock Fall

on October 3, 2016 - 5:59pm

Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

Salt rock debris was discovered by ground control crews Tuesday, Sept. 27 during routine monitoring and inspections of the Panel 4 entrance within the WIPP underground.

Panel 4, one of the most southern portions of WIPP, was closed in 2010 and consists of seven disposal rooms filled with transuranic (TRU) waste. No WIPP personnel were present at the time of the salt rock fall, as the area had already been under restricted access – requiring management approval to access – since March 2016.

Recently, access was more strictly prohibited – no personnel entry allowed

Valles Caldera National Preserve Burns Planned

on October 3, 2016 - 5:33pm

Firefighter ignites prescribed burn at VCNP with a driptorch. Courtesy/NPS

VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS – Valles Caldera National Preserve is planning to implement prescribed burn projects from early October through the end of November, based on suitable weather and fuel conditions.

The prescribed burn will take place within an approximately 1,800-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district of the preserve – north of N.M.

Celebrate World Archaeology Day Oct. 15

on October 3, 2016 - 8:18am
Pots and bowl found at 17th-century archaeology sites in Northern New Mexico from Museum of Indian Arts and Culture collections. Photo by Blair Clark, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
 
CNMA News:
 
SANTA FE  A celebration of World Archaeology Day is Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Center for New Mexico Archaeology, 7 Old Cochiti Road in Santa Fe.
 
Join the staff of The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology and the Office of Archaeological Studies 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the annual celebration.

SFNF Field Trip In Los Alamos Area Oct. 15

on October 3, 2016 - 8:15am
SFNF News:
 
The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is revising its Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan), which guides management for all resources throughout the forest for the next 10 to 15 years.

This Fall there will be a series of Forest led field trips designed to provide opportunities for you to see resources on the forest, have conversations with SFNF specialists, and begin discussions with us and each other about what should be in the Forest Plan.
 
The idea for field trips came from public meetings held in spring 2014 and YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED as we begin to draft the plan!

Takeaways From Regional Development Summit

on October 2, 2016 - 11:53am

Department Secretary Celina Bussey of the New M exico Department of Workforce Solutions and Alan Webber, owner of One New Mexico, were the keynote speakers for the Sept. 28 Regional Economic Development Initiative’s 2016 summit. By Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

Regina Wheeler, center, of Positive Energy Solar and Steve Buelow, ditector of the New Mexico Consortium participate in a panel on green energy during the Summit. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Secretary Celina Bussey of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions may

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
NM CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:
 
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

ATOMIC HERITAGE FOUNDATION News:

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

By LYNN HANRAHAN
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
By JOHN BARTLIT
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

SIERRA CLUB News: 

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

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