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Lightning Splinters Tree Near LAHS Golf Team

on August 21, 2016 - 6:43pm
Lightning struck this tree Friday afternoon about 300 feet from the LAHS golf team during a practice session at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Photo by Jon Doorn 
Los Alamos Daily Post

A powerful bolt of lightning splintered a tree Friday at the Los Alamos Golf Course near 16 Los Alamos High School Golf Team members and four coaches.

The strike occurred at around 4 p.m., about 300 feet away from where the team was practicing.

Sam Crooks, 15, described the experience during an interview today with the Los Alamos Daily Post.

“I felt electricity run through me.

Planetarium Film At Nature Center: We Are Stars

on August 21, 2016 - 2:11pm

We are Stars, a planetarium film shows at 2 p.m. Aug. 27-28 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy photo


PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s (PEEC’s) popular planetarium film, We are Stars, is back for one weekend. We are Stars connects life on earth to the evolution of the universe by investigating the chemistry of stars. This family-friendly film will screen in the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 28.

Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the Los Alamos Nature Center and are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

This Week At The Reel Deal

on August 19, 2016 - 5:12pm

AGU: Climate Change Could Cause Major Decline In Antarctic Krill Habitat By 2100

on August 19, 2016 - 7:53am
AGU News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Antarctic krill, small crustaceans key to the Antarctic marine food web, could lose most of their habitat by the year 2100, according to a new study published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Researchers combined climate simulations with a krill growth model to find that changes in water temperature and sea ice in Antarctic waters could shrink krill habitat by as much as 80 percent by the end of the century, potentially causing a decline in krill that could ripple throughout the entire marine food

SFNF: Prescribed Burn Planned For Española Ranger District

on August 18, 2016 - 10:09pm
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to take advantage of the warm days and cool nights of September to conduct prescribed burns in the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed and on Borrego Mesa, both on the Española Ranger District.
The September window is intended to take advantage of fall weather but is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.
The planning area for the Watershed prescribed burn totals 1,800 acres within two to eight miles east of the City of Santa Fe.

NOAA Launches America’s First National Water Forecast Model

on August 18, 2016 - 10:06pm

The new National Water Model will provide river forecast guidance at 2.7 million locations (in blue), complementing the 4,000 locations (in yellow) where National Weather Service river forecasts are currently issued. Courtesy/NOAA

NOAA News:

NOAA and its partners have developed a new forecasting tool to simulate how water moves throughout the nation’s rivers and streams, paving the way for the biggest improvement in flood forecasting the country has ever seen.

Launched today and run on NOAA’s powerful new Cray XC40 supercomputer, the National Water Model uses data from more than 8,000 U.S.

Smart Design With Suzette: Join Me For My Green Design Class!

on August 18, 2016 - 10:04pm

Los Alamos

Green is everywhere these days--in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology.

With a million messages and ideas coming at us from all sides, it can be easy to get caught up in the ordinary stuff--switching to organic foods, turning down the thermostat, recycling -- without thinking about the big picture of how your actions stack up.

Worse, you could even be suffering from a little green “fatigue” -- that is, tuning out the green messages due to its message overload.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, the truth is that everything single thing we do, every

Heinrich To Host Summit On Energy Storage Strategies For Industry And National Security

on August 18, 2016 - 9:35am

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

ALBUQUERQUE - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will host the 2016 Energy Summit: Energy Storage Strategies for Industry & National Security in Albuquerque.

The event is Tuesday, Aug. 23 and will bring together industry leaders, scientists, and grid and national security experts, and feature panel discussions with representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S.

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: What Are Feathers Used For?

on August 17, 2016 - 5:18pm
 Picture 1: Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Photo by Joseph Pescatore 
PEEC Amateur Naturalist: What are Feathers Used for?
By Robert Dryja
Summer now is at its peak and so is the population of hummingbirds. Some of us may be refilling our hummingbird feeders twice a day and have up to eight hummingbirds arriving at the same time to feed. Hummingbirds are observant and learn where to go for a meal at any time of day. They also may loose their shyness, circling within inches of a person who is refilling a feeder. Some will even land on a person’s hand for a sip of sugar water.
This is

A Mountaineer’s Story: Temples, Tigers, & Tak-Taks

on August 17, 2016 - 10:47am
Join Melissa Bartlett Aug. 23 as she reveals her unique experiences in Thailand. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Los Alamos Mountaineers host a presentation Tuesday, Aug. 23 by adventurer Melissa Bartlett detail her month-long trek through Thailand.
The Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting will start at 7 p.m. and cover information about upcoming outings and Bartlett's talk begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
In 2015, Bartlett hopped on a bus in Southeast Asia.

NASA Issues Report On New Mexico Methane Hotspot

on August 17, 2016 - 10:39am

NASA News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  NASA released a study Monday on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico.
The report, based on intensive aerial surveys and ground crews, is a follow-up on the 2014 satellite report that initially found the “hotspot” in the region, and sought to further identify and explain its causes.

The study identified 250 large methane plumes emitted from well pads, storage tanks, pipelines, gas processing plants, and venting from the San Juan coal mine.

Udall: Navajo Nation Deserves Justice For Damages From Gold King Mine Spill

on August 17, 2016 - 9:16am
ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued a statement in support of the Navajo Nation's decision to pursue justice for ongoing damages due to last year's Gold King Mine accident, which sent 3 million gallons of toxic sludge coursing down the Animas and San Juan rivers and through the Navajo Nation.   

"The Navajo people have been on the receiving end of devastating environmental disasters brought on by the federal government and private industry for far too long.

Explore The Universe: Modern Astrophysics For Everyone

on August 16, 2016 - 10:17am
Courtesy photo
UNM-LA News:
UNM-Los Alamos Community Education is offering a unique opportunity for all community members who have an interest in learning more about the universe.
Beginning Aug. 23 and running through November, “Explore Your Universe: Modern Astrophysics for Everyone” will meet 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In this class, students will work in small teams on current, unsolved research problems in astrophysics, guided by mentors who work as astrophysicists at LANL and span a wide range of expertise. Class facilitator Dr.

SFNF: Forest Restoration Grants Awarded

on August 16, 2016 - 8:43am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  As part of the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP), the Santa Fe National Forest has awarded more than $1 million in grants for forest rehabilitation, riparian restoration and the environmental planning analysis for future restoration work.
The 2016 grants will go to the following recipients:
  • $360,000 to Padilla Logging Restoration LLC to purchase heavy equipment and expand capacity to support forest rehabilitation work.
  • $359,994 to WildEarth Guardians to decommission 15 miles of road, restore 200 acres of meadow by removing small trees, and perform

Heinrich Launches Online Zika Resource Center

on August 15, 2016 - 1:24pm

Courtesy image

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen.  Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is providing New Mexicans with critical resources and raising awareness about the health threat posed by the Zika virus. 

Today, he launched a Zika Resource Center on his website to provide information about the virus and tools to help New Mexicans stay healthy.

“While the Zika crisis grows, it’s more important than ever that New Mexicans have access to critical information about how to keep themselves and their families safe during the summer months and while traveling.

PEEC Talk: Protecting New Mexico's Aquatic Resources

on August 15, 2016 - 9:01am

Dr. Rossana Sallenave presents a talk on research behind water quality in New Mexico at talk at 7 p.m., Aug. 30 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy/PEEC  

PEEC News:

Dr. Rossana Sallenave will present a talk about important water quality issues and what can be done to preserve New Mexico's aquatic resources at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

Dr. Sallenave will discuss the effects of water quality on aquatic ecosystems, including their biota.

Daily Postcard: Orphaned Cubs Continue Rehabilitation

on August 15, 2016 - 7:09am

The latest photo captured on a video cam shows orphaned bear cubs Valley Girl and Cowboy playing and plumping up nicely during their rehabilitation at the Land of Enchantment Wildlife compound and will be ready for release soon. Courtesy/LEWF

SFNF: Tussock Moths Defoliate Douglas-Firs

on August 14, 2016 - 1:32pm

Caterpillar of the Douglas-fir tussock moth on a Douglas-fir near Shaggy Peak, Santa Fe National Forest 2016. Courtesy/Dr. Tom Coleman, USDA Forest Service

Aerial view showing Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation near Shaggy Peak, Santa Fe National Forest.  Courtesy/Crystal Tischler, USDA Forest Service

SFNF News:

Several thousand acres of Douglas-fir and white fir on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest have been defoliated by the Douglas-fir tussock moth (DFTM), which is likely to lead to noticeable tree mortality in the Cañada de los Alamos area near

Children’s Clinic Of Los Alamos Joins List Of Sponsors Of Nature Playtimes At The Nature Center

on August 13, 2016 - 5:00pm

PEEC News:

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, “Nature places virtually no bounds on the imagination and engages all of the senses. For all children, this setting allows for the full blossoming of creativity, curiosity, and the associated developmental advances. The outdoors also presents marvelous opportunities for parents to interact with their children in a fashion that fosters both the development of the relationship and the child.

Nearly 1,000 Lightning Strikes Over Weekend On SFNF

on August 1, 2016 - 4:13pm

This past weekend saw nearly 1,000 lightning strikes within Santa Fe National Forest boundaries. Photo by Robert Chavez

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast for this week in Northern New Mexico includes afternoon and evening thunderstorms with heavy rain. This past weekend saw nearly 1,000 lightning strikes within Santa Fe National Forest boundaries.  As welcome as the moisture is, the monsoon season carries risk.

Forest visitors are urged to learn about lightning and use good judgment and basic safety precautions when hiking, fishing or camping on the Santa Fe

WIPP Mine Rescue Team Wins Field Competition National Championship

on July 31, 2016 - 6:04pm

The WIPP Blue Mine Rescue Team poses with their national championship trophy in the field competition. Front row from left, Ty Zimmerly, Kirk Nance, Heath Fowler, Richard (Stik) West and NWP President and Project Manager Phil Breidenbach. Back row from left, , DOE Carlsbad Field Office Mine Operations Manager Kenny Padilla, Ed Kyser, Manny Marquez, Nico Dominguez, Chris Dominguez, Lance Turnbow, Gary Kessler and NWP Emergency Operations and Security Manager David Stuhan. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Blue Mine Rescue Team captured top honors in the field

NASA’s Kepler Mission Verifies 1,284 New Planets

on July 31, 2016 - 1:20pm
This artist’s concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Image by W. Stenzel/NASA

NASA News:

NASA’s Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets – the single largest finding of planets to date.

“This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler,” said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth.”

Analysis was performed on the Kepler space telescope’s July 2015 planet

Passport To Pajarito Program Logs Nearly 2,000 Hikes

on July 30, 2016 - 7:32am
Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Almost 2,000 hikes have been reported in the first few months of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s (PEEC’s) Passport to the Pajarito Plateau program.
This highly popular program is a fun way to get families outside, exploring the trails together. The program is a partnership between PEEC, Los Alamos County, Bandelier, and the Valles Caldera with generous support from the Delle Foundation.
Participants hike the trails in the passport (which are also included in PEEC’s free Los Alamos Trails app for iOS and Android operating systems) and

Air Force Releases RFP For Replacement To Nuclear Air Launched Cruise Missile

on July 29, 2016 - 8:36pm

USAF News:

The U.S. Air Force released today a request for proposals to industry for its Long Range Standoff, or LRSO, nuclear cruise missile program. Up to two contract awards are expected in 4th quarter fiscal year 2017.

The Long Range Stand-Off weapon will be developed to replace the aging AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missile. The AGM-86B was fielded in the early 1980s with a 10-year design life. The current ALCM remain safe, secure and effective, it is facing increasingly sustainment and operational challenges against evolving threats. 

LRSO’s range, survivability, reliability and

NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn To Step Down

on July 29, 2016 - 7:42pm

NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn


SANTA FE – Today, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn will step down effective Aug. 12.

Secretary Flynn has served as Cabinet Secretary since 2013 and as Environment’s General Counsel from 2011 to 2013. Deputy Cabinet Secretary Butch Tongate will serve as acting Cabinet Secretary.

NMED Deputy Cabinet Secretary Butch Tongate

“Secretary Flynn has put his heart and soul into protecting our environment and always put New Mexicans first,” Martinez said.