Today at Berkeley Lab

Susan Hubbard Appointed ALD for Earth and Environmental Sciences

Hubbard was selected after a comprehensive search and approval of the UC Regents. Her appointment is effective immediately. Director Alivisatos announced the creation of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area in March to position Lab programs for greater impact in environmental sciences, climate change, and subsurface energy resources. More>

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Making Nuclear Facilities More Resilient

Berkeley Lab was among the organizers of the Pacific Rim Forum on the Earthquake Resilience of Nuclear Facilities, held in Berkeley June 8-9. Participants shared lessons and developments for enhancing the earthquake resilience of nuclear facilities, and to identify technological gaps and research needs. More>

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Searching Amazon Forest for Clues to Climate Change, Drought

For several days at a time each week, earth scientist Kolby Jardine rambles along slippery, oft-muddy roads for miles into the heart of the Central Amazon. His goal is to assess the impact of climate change in some of the most lush, diverse and undisturbed jungle on the planet, and perhaps gain a better understanding of California’s drought. More>

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Newfound Groups of Bacteria are Mixing up the Tree of Life

Jill Banfield, a Senior Faculty Scientist in the Earth Sciences Division and a UC Berkeley professor, led a team that discovered a large number of new groups or phyla of bacteria. The more than 35 new phyla equal in number all the plant and animal phyla combined. Berkeley Lab’s Kenneth Williams was also involved in the research. More>

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Lab Intern Receives Silver Medal at HHMI Conference

John Ramirez, who is being mentored by Tamas Torok of the Earth Sciences Division, won a silver medal for a poster he presented on the detection of riboswitches in mycobacterial viruses at a recent Howard Hughes Medical Institute conference. Ramirez is a student at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX.

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Enhancing Seismic Safety of Nuclear Facilities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a collaboration involving Berkeley Lab, U.C. Davis, and Nevada, Reno, on a major DOE-supported multi-year project to develop advanced computational tools for simulating the earthquake response of nuclear facilities. More>

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Characterizing Arctic Ecosystem Functional Zones

In an NGEE study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Lab earth scientist Haruko Wainwright sought to characterize the spatial variability of properties within the Arctic landscape that influence soil respiration of greenhouse gases. More>

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Lab Researchers Run ARM Aerial Campaign in Alaska

Lab scientist Sebastien Biraud (pictured) and Margaret Torn are leading an aerial campaign for DOE’s Atmospheric Measurement Research (ARM) Climate Research Facility over Alaska’s North Slope to take air samples and find out why current climate models underestimate how rapidly the Arctic is getting warmer. More>

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Lab Scientist Invents New Technique to Understand Cloud Behavior

With two off-the-shelf cameras David Romps and Rusen Oktem are collecting three-dimensional data on cloud behavior that have never been possible to collect before. Romps hopes his stereophotogrammetry technique will shed new light on cloud behavior and thus allow scientists to improve global climate models. More>

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Clay Barriers Restrict Ionic Transport

In a paper featured on the cover of the May 12 issue of Environmental Science & Technology Letters, a team of scientists (including ESD’s Carl Steefel and Ian Bourg) demonstrated, for the first time, that anions can be completely excluded from the smallest pores within a compacted illitic clay material. More>

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