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Heinrich, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Announce $1 Million Annually For Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

on March 23, 2016 - 8:09am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich with members of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Tuesday at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Courtesy photo 

From The Office Of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced Tuesday that the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge will receive $1 million in additional annual funding to engage urban communities and youth in conservation and outdoor recreation.

The Refuge, located in Albuquerque's South

Prescribed Burn Planned On Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District

on March 22, 2016 - 6:35am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are working with communities in the Jemez Ranger District to conduct the bi-annual Thompson Ridge slash-pit prescribed burn. 
The slash pit, 10 miles north of Jemez Springs, is a collaborative effort between the Jemez Ranger District and the surrounding area to promote fire-adapted communities in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). 
WUI refers to the transition zone between natural areas and human development.

Prescribed Burn Planned On Santa Fe National Forest Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

on March 22, 2016 - 6:11am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to begin the previously announced prescribed burn in Gallinas Canyon and Las Dispensas area on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District Wednesday, March 23, if conditions are favorable. 
Once ignitions have started, they are expected to last up to seven days.
Fire managers would like to complete the Gallinas Canyon burn by Thursday, March 31, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources. 
The 1,000-acre

How The Hen House Turns—The Eyes Have It

on March 22, 2016 - 5:56am
How The Hen House Turns
By Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.
The Eyes Have It

As a biology student, I was enthralled with the amazing diversity of tiny critters that swam energetically in a drop of water under the microscope. After studying embryology, I was even more amazed that any of us were ever born halfway normal. But comparative Anatomy in the Zoology Department at college topped them all. The variety of eyes that have evolved on this planet is amazing.

It's not just the eyes' variety of color and design, as pictured in a recent issue of National Geographic.

White House To Host Water Summit ... Los Alamos Watershed Research Among Featured Projects

on March 21, 2016 - 6:38pm

LANL News:

On Tuesday, March 22—World Water Day—the Administration will host a White House Water Summit to raise awareness of the national importance of water and to highlight new commitments and announcements that the Administration and non-Federal institutions are making to build a sustainable water future.

A project from Los Alamos National Laboratory will be among the research areas featured.

Safe, sufficient, and reliable water resources are essential to the functioning of every aspect and sector of U.S.

NMED Calls On EPA To Reimburse $1.5 Million For Emergency Response To Gold King Mine Spill

on March 21, 2016 - 6:29pm
NMED News:
SANTA FE  On Friday March 11 the New Mexico Environment Department called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reimburse $1,505,155 for short-term emergency response activities associated with the Gold King Mine spill.  
On Aug. 5 an EPA work crew triggered the Gold King blowout near Silverton, CO that released three million gallons of contaminated water into a creek that flowed into the Animas, then San Juan Rivers.

Prescribed Burn Planned On Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District March 21 Through May 14

on March 19, 2016 - 1:07pm

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the previously announced prescribed burn on the south end of the Paliza treatment area within the boundaries of the Southwest Jemez Mountains Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project on the Jemez Ranger District.

The window for the Paliza prescribed burn will open March 21 and extend through May 14, 2016. The decision to burn will be dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources.

The 5,409-acre Paliza treatment

Eleven Bandelier Experts Take Over Nature Center

on March 19, 2016 - 8:33am

Releasing a banded Chipping Sparrow. Photo by Sally King


Bandelier National Monument is celebrating 100 years, but what will the next 100 look like? Bandelier’s rangers and scientists will be at the Los Alamos Nature Center 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 to answer questions and continue the celebration.

Throughout the evening, Bandelier’s experts will give mini-talks about the park’s ecology, astronomy, biology, backcountry trails, restoration efforts, and anthropology in the context of climate change.

NMED Secretary To Discuss Revisions And Seek Input To LANL Consent Order

on March 17, 2016 - 4:57pm
The Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board (NNMCAB) is one of eight Site-Specific Advisory Boards established to involve local citizens in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) environmental
clean-up decision process at its nuclear facilities. Members of the public are encouraged to attend NNMCAB meetings and provide their unique perspective on environmental issues.
The NNMCAB will meet 1-5:15 p.m. March 30 at Sandia Resort, Ballroom A, 30 Rainbow Road in Albuquerque. At 1:45 p.m.

LANL: Small Businesses Win Technical Support To Develop Clean Energy Technologies

on March 17, 2016 - 10:15am

LANL News:
  • DOE’s Small Business Vouchers Pilot Provides Funds to Catalyze Innovation

Four small businesses will be working with Los Alamos National Laboratory to accelerate the nation’s transformation toward a clean energy economy as part of the Department of Energy’s Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot project.

These businesses will gain access to world-class laboratory resources to help move innovative ideas and technologies closer to the marketplace.

“Small businesses can be real catalysts for innovation and job creation,” said Melissa Fox, program director for Applied Energy Programs

LANL: Nature Study Reveals Rapid Ice-Wedge Loss Across Arctic

on March 15, 2016 - 11:21am

LANL scientist Cathy Wilson measuring how soil properties change with depth at the DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic, field site near Barrow, Alaska. Courtesy/LANL

Ice wedge polygons impound snowmelt runoff at the DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment field site near Barrow, Alaska. Thousands of square miles in the Arctic are covered by an interconnected network of ponds in polygon-shaped formations. Recent research reveals rapid and widespread degradation and melting. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Widespread permafrost phenomenon with major hydrological, climate

Heinrich Cosponsors GMO Food Labeling Legislation

on March 15, 2016 - 3:47am

Office Of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

"Providing transparency to consumers will ensure they are able to make informed decisions about the products they buy and feed their families."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is cosponsoring S.2621, the Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to ensure that consumers can find genetically modified organism (GMO) ingredient labeling on food packaging, while ensuring that food producers are not subject to confusing or conflicting labeling requirements in different locations.

Critters Emerge From Winter Under Local Porch

on March 15, 2016 - 3:35am

Critters living under the deck of a home on Oakwood have awakened from their long winter nap. Photo by Leland Lehman/

This critter can't eat fast enough. Photo by Leland Lehman/

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Climate Change And The Birds Of Northern New Mexico Pt. 1

on March 15, 2016 - 3:35am
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Part 1: Climate Change and the birds of northern New Mexico
By Robert Dryja
We have been exploring the data of the Christmas Bird Count. Los Alamos now has a snapshot of birds seen in December 2015 (See here.)
The Christmas Bird Count shows that a few bird species are commonly seen while other species are increasingly rare. Ten species of birds account for about two-thirds of all the birds seen in the Los Alamos area.
The other seventy one species compose the remaining one-third of the birds seen. CHART I show this pattern for the 81 species.
Five other areas of

First Round Of Funding Unveiled To Commercialize Products Created Through Labs; Universities

on March 14, 2016 - 4:56pm

From The Office Of The Governor:

ALBUQUERQUE — This afternoon, Gov. Susana Martinez announced the first batch of funding to help develop and commercialize several innovative products that are the result of partnerships between researchers at New Mexico's laboratories and universities, and the private sector.

The initiative is through the Technology Research Collaborative, which Martinez reestablished in 2013 and allows teams of researchers to compete for funding to bring their ideas and products into the marketplace.

“The technology we develop and create in our labs and universities is

District II Garden Club Meets March 23

on March 14, 2016 - 9:52am
The Summit Garden Club of Los Alamos is hosting the District II Annual Spring Meeting 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at the United Church Graves Hall, 2525 Canyon Road.
The public and all garden club members are invited to attend.
Registration: 9-10:30 a.m. (breakfast of muffins, breads, drinks is provided)
Executive Board Meeting: 9:30-10:15 a.m.
General Meeting: 10:30 a.m. to noon
Lunch/Program: 12:15 - 2 p.m. (Please provide information on special dietary restrictions with your check/reservation.)
SPEAKER: Roy Michelotti - “Butterfly Basics and Some Common

How The Hen House Turns: Animal Partners

on March 13, 2016 - 2:25pm
Youngsters get aquainted. Courtesy photo
Animal Partners
By Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.
The word partner is appropriate, I believe, when applied to the relationship between humans and animals who have agreed to cooperate for whatever they are asked to do.

Asked is the key word here, for animals have been routinely coerced or enslaved by humans over many thousands of years. I'll look at that in the next article.

A partnership assumes some degree of fulfillment or reward for both parties.

Planetarium Feature Film Premiere: Mysteries Of The Unseen World March 12, 13, 26, & 27

on March 11, 2016 - 2:50pm
PEEC News:
There is still time to see the latest nature center full-dome planetarium film, Mysteries of the Unseen World. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is showing this fascinating film in the planetarium at 2 p.m., March 12, 13, 26, and 27.
This planetarium film lets us embark on an adventure to discover unseen worlds and hidden dimensions beyond our view. With the help of technology, we can unravel the mysteries of things too fast, too slow, too small or simply invisible.
Mysteries Of The Unseen World, an original production by National Geographic

Energy Department Announces Denver As Next Location For Solar Decathlon Competition

on March 11, 2016 - 10:32am

Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. won the 2015 DOE Solar Decathlon. Courtesy/DOE

DOE News:

DENVER – At an event today in Denver, Colo., the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Dr. Franklin Orr, joined Mayor Michael Hancock to announce Denver as the host city for the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition in the fall of 2017.


Grand Canyon Adventurer Speaks March 16

on March 11, 2016 - 7:11am
Coming Down South Kaibab Trail one mile below the rim. Photo by Benedict Dugger

LA Mountaineers News:

The Los Alamos Mountaineers will offer an exciting presentation Wednesday, March 16 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, by life-long trail explorer and outdoors adventurer Benedict Dugger who resides in Phoenix. Social and reports of recent and upcoming trips are at 7 p.m. The program is at 7:30 p.m.

Dugger was born and raised in the Netherlands, 5,200 miles away from the Grand Canyon, surrounded by green rain-soaked pastures in a country where the highest hill is 300 feet and

Udall At VA Budget Hearing: Improve Access To Care For Rural Veterans

on March 11, 2016 - 7:05am
  • Also presses VA Secretary on restoring trust in VA, continuing burn pit exposure research 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a hearing Thursday about the fiscal year 2017 budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Sen. Tom Udall continued his call for the VA to improve care for veterans living in rural New Mexico and rural communities across the country.  
Udall has championed the need to improve access to rural veterans' health care through expanded use of telehealth technology, increasing transportation options and by

‘Spectrum’ Show Celebrates Link Between Art And Science

on March 9, 2016 - 2:29pm
Grasping Synapses by Todd Siler. Courtesy/CU Art Museum, University of Colorado
UNM News:
ALBUQUERQUE — DaVinci knew it. Michaelangelo knew it. And the artists and scientists featured in the annual Art of Systems Biology and Nanoscience show know it, too: art and science are closely related.
This year’s show, ‘Spectrum,’ will feature stunning artwork by artists inspired by nature and dazzling images by scientists studying nature at the smallest scales. “All the pieces are really quite beautiful,” says Bridget Wilson, PhD, who is organizing the event.

Luján Discusses Easement Issues With Secretary Jewell

on March 9, 2016 - 12:56pm
U.S. Rep. Ren Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District attended a Natural Resources Committee hearing earlier last week to discuss important easement issues impacting Santa Fe County and San Ildefonso Pueblo. 
While Luján is not a member of the committee, he attended the hearing in order to bring up this important matter with Interior Secretary Jewell. Below are his remarks as delivered. Click here to watch his remarks and to access the documents submitted into the committee record and presented to Sec. Jewell.

NM Delegation Urges EPA To Address Compensation Delays For Gold King Mine Spill Victims, Work With State To Monitor Water Quality

on March 9, 2016 - 11:21am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed concerns with delays in compensation for costs and damages in New Mexico caused by the EPA’s Gold King Mine spill in Colorado six months ago.
They urged the EPA to process reimbursement claims submitted by the state and the Navajo Nation and to set up an Office of Gold King Mine Spill Claims to begin processing compensation for victims.

Interior Department Names Jeff Klein Executive Director Of Natural Resource Investment Center

on March 9, 2016 - 7:25am
DOI News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor announced Monday that the Department has tapped business leader Jeffrey D. Klein to lead the Natural Resource Investment Center (The Center) as its first executive director.
Klein is charged with fostering partnerships with the private sector to develop creative financing opportunities that support economic development goals while advancing the Department’s resource stewardship mission.