Today at Berkeley Lab

Organic Carbon Can Resist Breakdown in Underground Environments

A new study reveals that organic matter whose breakdown would yield only minimal energy for hungry microorganisms preferentially builds up in floodplains, illuminating a new mechanism of carbon sequestration. Berkeley Lab contributed to this research. More>

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Jonathan Ajo-Franklin Named New Geophysics Department Head

Ajo-Franklin will lead the department, housed within the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, effective June 15. His research focuses on using geophysical techniques to understand dynamic alterations in subsurface properties of relevance to the environmental and energy sectors. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford and was an MIT postdoc before joining the Lab. More>

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Earth Sciences Talk on Drylands

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Area will host a Distinguished Scientist Seminar on Friday, May 5, at 10:30 a.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. UC Berkeley professor Paolo D’Odorico will discuss “Ongoing Vegetation Changes in Drylands.” More>

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EESA Faculty Scientist Mary Firestone Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Mary Firestone, of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA), was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Her work includes developing a greater understanding of the soil microbial environment. She has collaborated with EESA researcher Eoin Brodie on studies examining the role of microbial communities in the environment.

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Lab Staff Volunteer at East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day

Volunteers from the Biosciences and Earth and Environmental Sciences areas, and Government & Community Relations Office, recently participated in East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day. At the event, 300 high school students learned about STEM careers through tours and conversations with STEM professionals. Go here for more on Biosciences’ and here for EESA’s participation.

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Peter Fiske Named Director of Lab’s Water-Energy Resilience Institute

Starting May 15, Peter Fiske will be the director of Berkeley Lab’s Water-Energy Resilience Institute, a new position that underscores the Lab’s commitment to developing solutions for the challenges associated with the interdependence of water and energy systems. He comes from Richmond, California–based PAX Water Technologies Inc., where he was the Chief Executive Officer. More>

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Apply for a UC Global Food Initiative Student Fellowship

The fellowships will support research activity related to the UC Global Food Initiative. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, and are expected to work in collaboration with Berkeley Lab scientists. Get more information here, or contact Peter Nico of the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area by or before May 12.

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EESA Releases Strategic Vision 2025

April is Earth Month and the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area has released its strategic plan, EESA Strategic Vision 2025. This plan describes the collective vision of EESA’s scientists for the next decade and outlines five “Grand Challenges” and goals for three “Cross-Cutting Technologies and Platforms.” This year marks EESA’s 40th anniversary at Berkeley Lab. To learn more, visit EESA Strategic Vision 2025.

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April 7 Earth Sciences Talk on Global Carbon Budget

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Area will host a Distinguished Scientist Seminar at 10:30 a.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. Pierre Regnier of the Université Libre de Bruxelles will present “Global Carbon Budget and its Anthropogenic Perturbation in the Land-Ocean Continuum: From Catchments to the Globe.” More>

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Soil, Climate Research Makes Science Magazine Cover, Podcast

A recent Science magazine podcast interviewed EESA’s Caitlin Hicks Pries on a study she co-led with Margaret Torn on how soil might contribute to global warming (16:10 mark). Their study was also the cover of the most recent issue of the magazine.

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