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Environment

Governor Activates State Emergency Operations Center, Preparing For Remnants Of Tropical Storm Newton

on September 7, 2016 - 3:09pm

STATE News:

SANTA FE — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez directed the activation of the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center to assist in the coordinated response to flooding across the state and in preparation for possible severe storms entering New Mexico relating to Tropical Storm Newton.

Several of the affected southern counties have already been hit with heavy monsoonal rain over the past two weeks. The remnants of Newton began hitting our southwestern counties this morning with the heaviest rains forecasted for this evening in Catron and Sierra Counties.

LANL: Funding Boosts Exascale Computing Research

on September 7, 2016 - 10:37am

High-performance computing produces scientific tools such as this visualization from LANL depicting  global water-surface temperatures, with the surface texture driven by vorticity. Regions of warmer water (red) adjacent to the Gulf Stream off the eastern coast of the U.S. indicate the model’s capability to simulate eddy transport of heat within the ocean, a key component necessary to accurately simulate global climate change. A new generation of exascale computers could boost scientific capabilities to new levels. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

In today’s Department of Energy Exascale Computing

Los Alamos Eco Station Collects Fruit For Bears

on September 6, 2016 - 5:53pm

Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

The Los Alamos County Eco Station is collecting apples and other fruit for the two bear cubs orphaned this summer in the Valles Caldera. Dr. Kathleen Ramsay and the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation are rehabilitating the cubs.

The community is invited to stop by the Eco Station and drop off fruit, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Eco Station is at 3701 E. Jemez Road and the telephone number is 505.662-8163.

The bear cubs, known as Valley Girl and Cowboy are likely going to be released back

Planet Found In Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star

on September 6, 2016 - 5:29pm
ESO News:
 
Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri [0].
 
The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us -- and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the solar system.

Planetarium Feature Film: Mysteries Of The Unseen World Sept. 10-11

on September 6, 2016 - 3:34pm
 
PEEC News:
 
Embark on a journey into unseen worlds and hidden dimensions at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, September 10-11, in the Los Alamos Nature Center.
 
Mysteries Of The Unseen World, a full-dome, original production by National Geographic Entertainment and Days End Pictures, lets us see nature from a new perspective.
 
Mysteries Of The Unseen World uses innovative high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology to transport audiences to an enthralling secret world of nature, events, and breathtaking phenomena not visible to the naked eye.

Hunt For Ninth Planet Reveals Extremely Distant Solar System Objects

on September 5, 2016 - 8:55am
An artist’s conception of Planet X, courtesy of Robin Dienel.
 
An illustration of the orbits of the new and previously known extremely distant Solar System objects. The clustering of most of their orbits indicates that they are likely be influenced by something massive and very distant, the proposed Planet X. Courtesy/Robin Dienel
 
SCIENCE News: 
 
Washington, D.C.— In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our Solar System, Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from

SFNF Prescribed Burns For Remainder Of 2016

on September 2, 2016 - 10:48am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct multiple prescribed burns across the forest between now and the end of the year. Any decision to burn will be dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.
 
Here is a list of planned burns:
 
Coyote Ranger District
  • Mesa Potrero – 470 acres on Mesa Alta 7 miles northwest of Coyote
  • French Mesa – 5,041 acres located 10 miles south of Gallina
Cuba Ranger District
  • Chaparral Diego Unit – 378 acres located 2 miles southwest of Seven Springs

SFNF Tackles Parasitic Mistletoe In Jemez Mountains

on September 2, 2016 - 10:00am

Parasitic Mistletoe. Courtesy/wikipedia.com

SFNF News:

  • Public Field Trip To Infected Area Sept. 24

SANTA FE – Initial surveys on the Santa Fe National Forest’s Southwest Jemez Mountains Collaborative Landscape Restoration project underestimated the incidence and severity of dwarf mistletoe infection in some stands. Stands along Forest Road (FR) 10 are heavily infected with the native parasitic plant that reduces the growth, seed production and life span of infected trees.

The areas of heavy mistletoe infestation total about 530 acres, including smaller patches along FR 270, around Sierra

DOE Exercises Both Option Periods On LANL Cleanup Bridge Contract

on August 31, 2016 - 1:25pm

EM-LA News:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Management – Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) exercised both the first and second option periods on the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Bridge Contract today.

Each option period is for six-months and have a combined total value of $154.7 million. Exercising both option periods now extends the contract to Sept. 30, 2017. Prior to exercising these two options, the contract would have expired Sept. 30, 2016.

The Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Bridge Contract is a Cost-Plus-Award Fee (CPAF) contract that is for the purpose of providing

Deputy Under Secretary Of Energy To Provide Keynote At 2016 National Cleanup Workshop

on August 31, 2016 - 11:47am
Deputy Under Secretary of Energy David Klaus
 
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Deputy Under Secretary of Energy for Management and Performance David Klaus is set to provide a keynote address at the 2016 National Cleanup Workshop, scheduled for Sept. 14-15 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Va.
 
The workshop is being hosted by the Energy Communities Alliance, and cooperating organizations for the event include DOE and the Energy Facility Contractors Group.
 
Klaus joins a long list of confirmed participants for the workshop that will bring together senior DOE

LANL: Plants Found To Regulate Leaf Temperature To Boost Carbon Uptake

on August 30, 2016 - 8:19am

The thermal traits of a leaf, critical for photosynthesis, may be under strong evolutionary selection that occurs in response to environmental temperatures. Here a thermal leaf image details temperature variation, which greatly affects plant functions since temperature is closely linked to metabolic kinetics—the plant’s pathways and speed of reactions that support growth and other functions essential for survival. Photo by Benjamin Blonder

LANL News:

  • Decoupling air and leaf temperatures will impact climate models

A new study has found that plants regulate their leaf temperature with some

NNSA Announces Elimination Of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) From Indonesia

on August 29, 2016 - 9:34am

NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington

NNSA News:

  • All of Southeast Asia Now HEU-Free, Reducing a Major Proliferation Threat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), Indonesian Nuclear Industry, LLC (PT INUKI), the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) of the Republic of Indonesia announced the completion of a collaborative effort to down-blend Indonesia's stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU).

With the completion of this operation,

Bird Walk On Cañada Bonita/Nordic Ski Trails Sept. 10

on August 28, 2016 - 9:33am

Cordilleran flycatcher. Photo by Marion Stelts

PEEC News:

One of the best ways to begin bird watching is by looking for the birds one sees and hears every day.  

The community is invited to join longtime Los Alamos resident and bird watcher Joe Fitzgibbon at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 for a hike along the Cañada Bonita and Nordic Ski Trails.

The high-elevation trek winds through mixed conifer forest and offers breathtaking views. This is the perfect opportunity for adults and children who can hike up to five miles to get outside and admire local species of birds.

Tales Of Our Times: A 500-Year Flood Apportions Risk

on August 26, 2016 - 11:50am
Tales of Our Times 
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
 
A 500-Year Flood Apportions Risk
 
Good sense keeps working best when we notice it least. A case in point is the 500-year flood. The term seems to tell the last time and the next time such a bad flood will hit. In reality, the term is a beautiful tool that describes and manages flood risk.
 
The special term works in major ways to measure and divide the risk of flooding among government, citizens and the free market. Dividing up risk is a central reason societies organize.
 
Technically, a 500-year flood is the

Wider Temperature Tolerance Is Based On Ion-pair-coordinated Polymers

on August 25, 2016 - 4:35pm
Researchers Yu Seung Kim,left, and Kwan-Soo Lee. Courtesy/LANL
 
LANL News:

A new class of fuel cells based on a newly discovered polymer-based material could bridge the gap between the operating temperature ranges of two existing types of polymer fuel cells, a breakthrough with the potential to accelerate the commercialization of low-cost fuel cells for automotive and stationary applications.

A Los Alamos National Laboratory team, in collaboration with Yoong-Kee Choe at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan and Cy Fujimoto of Sandia National

National Park Service Is 100 Years Old Today!

on August 25, 2016 - 8:36am

Turret Arch and North Window are two of the massive stone arches at the Windows Section in Arches National Park Utah. Photo by NPS/Jacob W. Frank

NPS News:

The National Park Service turns 100 years olds today and everyone can take part in the celebration.

The centennial kicks off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs.

The National Park Service invites the nation to find a park and discover the national parks and programs in their own backyard.

National Park Service Turns 100 Years Old: All Parks Are Free To Visit Aug. 25-28

on August 24, 2016 - 3:16pm

NPS News:
 
My name is Cheyenne and I am a rising 5th grader at an elementary school in Maryland. This Thursday, Aug. 25, the National Park Service turns 100 years old.

To celebrate this anniversary, all national parks will be free to visit Aug. 25-
28, and I wanted to tell you why I hope you will go to FindYourPark.com and plan a visit to some of these amazing places.

Parks are very important to me. When you go to parks, you are able to see just how beautiful and awesome the outdoors can be and how we must be good stewards of our planet.

Sure, you can go on an adventure in a video game, or

Robot Electrocutes Invasive Lionfish In Coral Reefs

on August 24, 2016 - 3:01pm
Courtesy photo
 
RISE News:
 
A US non-profit company has designed an innovative method of controlling the spread of lionfish threatening to devastate fish stocks and coral reef ecosystems in warmer ocean waters.

Robots In Service of the Environment (RISE) joined deep ocean research charity, Nekton, on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic to test a prototype being developed to operate remotely in deep water to locate and deliver a fatal electric shock to the invasive species.

Nekton’s research vessel was off the Bermudian coast conducting the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, a pioneering

Summit Garden Club Fall Plant Sale Sept. 10

on August 24, 2016 - 8:43am

Summit Garden Club President Shelby Redondo displays a few of the plants for sale at the Sept. 10 event at PEEC.  Photo by Nancy Nunnelley 

GARDEN News:

Here's some good news for anyone in need of more plants for their home or garden or who just can’t pass up a good bargain, especially when it involves plants. Summit Garden Club is holding a plant sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road.

More than 300 landscape garden and indoor plants will be available for sale, in 2-inch to 1-gallon containers, some even in 5-gallon containers.

Valles Caldera Celebrates National Park Service Birthday With Free Entry Aug. 25-27 And Special Event Saturday

on August 23, 2016 - 5:27pm

VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS — Valles Caldera National Preserve, in partnership with Los Amigos de Valles Caldera and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, is celebrating the National Park Service centennial anniversary with free entry from Aug. 25-28 and a special event 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.

Visitors on Saturday can participate in the preserve’s “BioBlitz” where citizen-scientists of all ages can help the NPS discover and document the plants and animals that call the preserve home.  

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, the preserve’s friends group, will sponsor a variety of

Governor Activates State Emergency Operations Center In Preparation For Potential Flooding Statewide

on August 23, 2016 - 4:17pm

STATE News:

Today, Gov. Susana Martinez directed the activation of New Mexico Emergency Operations Center to assist in the coordinated response to flooding across the state, including Rio Arriba, Sierra, Dona Ana and Eddy counties.

These counties, including other areas of the state, have been hit with heavy rain, which is expected to continue throughout the week.

“As monsoon season continues to bring heavy rains and flooding throughout the state, I’ve activated the Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation and assist in response as needed,”  Martinez said.

A Business Case For Solar Discussion Wednesday

on August 23, 2016 - 3:02pm
 
PES News:
 
To better educate the public about solar energy, the system installation process and cost savings, Karen Paramanandam with SunPower by Positive Energy Solar (and member of projectY cowork Los Alamos) is hosting discussion “A Business Case for Solar," at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 150 Central Park Square, Los Alamos.

Paramanandam is suggesting that business owners and homeowners interested in learning more about solar energy also bring their utility bills with them.
 
The event is free, and the public can RSVP at 

Protecting New And Existing Parks For Next 100 Years

on August 23, 2016 - 7:25am
By SANDERS MOORE, Director
Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center

There’s no better time than the 100th anniversary of our national park system to redouble our efforts to protect our country’s most spectacular natural areas.

Our top priorities this Centennial include:

#1 With its massive size, colorful walls, and breathtaking views, the Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing places on earth. But while the national park itself is protected against destructive activities like mining and drilling, the area surrounding it is not.

LANL: DOE Pilot Program Connects Entrepreneurs With Expertise At National Laboratories

on August 22, 2016 - 5:08pm

PajaritoPowder, LLC, a fuel-cell-catalyst company based in Albuquerque, is one of the voucher recipients that will partner with Los Alamos. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Los Alamos National Laboratory will give technical assistance to three fuel-cell technology companies, including one based in Albuquerque, that have been awarded vouchers by the Department of Energy as phase two of the Small Business Voucher (SBV) pilot program.

The program partners small businesses working toward clean-energy technologies with national laboratories so they can better leverage their world-class capabilities and

PEEC’s Geology Program For Kids Starts Sept. 20

on August 22, 2016 - 1:03pm
Kids will participate in hands-on activities and field trips provided by the summer Pebble Pups program. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Youth ages 5 to 9 are invited to explore geology this fall at the Los Alamos Nature Center in the Pebble Pups program, organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
 
This program helps kids embark on a journey to learn about rocks, fossils and local geology through active games and activities with Patrick Rowe of the Los Alamos Geological Society and an experienced PEEC educator.

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