Posts Tagged ‘Earth Sciences Division’

Early Air Points to Cold, Dry Mars

Monday, April 21st, 2014

[BBC] Berkeley Lab earth scientist Michael Manga comments on a new study of the Mars atmosphere, which suggests the planet was not a permanently warm wet world and that periods of arid, sub-zero conditions existed. Manga says: “The density of the atmosphere controls climate. And climate, in particular temperature, determines whether liquid water can exist on the surface. … Their inferred atmospheric pressure is low enough that the greenhouse gas would not have been strong enough for liquid water to exist, except under the right combination of rare orbital conditions.” More>

Travel Above the Arctic Circle During April 24 Hangout on Air

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

On April 24 at 11 a.m., join several scientists from the Earth Sciences Division in a Hangout on Air that will take you from above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to Berkeley Lab. Along the way, you’ll learn how and why scientists study permafrost to better understand the vulnerable Arctic ecosystem — and what may happen to it as the climate changes. Participating scientists include Craig Ulrich from Alaska, Tim Kneafsey from a CT scanning lab in Building 74, and Romy Chakraborty and Neslihan Tas from a microbiology lab in Building 70. Go here to watch the hangout.

Earth Sciences Talk Tomorrow on Rock Physics and Geomechanics

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

On Friday, the Earth Sciences Division will host a Distinguished Scientist Seminar featuring Joe Stefani from the Chevron Energy Technology Company. Stefani will give a talk titled “The Earth is Cleverer than You Are: Learnings in Earth and Seismic Modeling & Applications of FD Modeling to Rock Physics and Geomechanics.” The seminar begins at 10:30 a.m. in Building 66 Auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer session. More>

Lab Scientists’ Microbe Count Helps Break BioBlitz Record

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Lab scientists led by Gary Andersen and Eric Dubinsky helped break the BioBlitz record by counting nearly 1,000 species of bacteria and archaea in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area last weekend. As part of BioBlitz 2014, a project of the U.S. National Park Service and National Geographic, they took soil and water samples from several places around the Bay, including Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands and Baker Beach in San Francisco. This is the first time microbes have been included in the census, and thanks to Berkeley Lab and the PhyloChip, a DNA microarray that can test for 60,000 species of microbes, this year’s BioBlitz identified 2,304 species. More>

Biosciences’ Mary Maxon Gives Talk on Strategic Planning in the Scientific Arena

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Mary Maxon —the Lab’s head of Biosciences Strategic Planning and Development — will give a presentation on the Biosciences Strategic Plan and how it can be applied in other scientific areas. The event takes place Monday, April 7, at 1:30 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. She will also provide research on how other research institutions are managing federal budget challenges. The Lab’s Biosciences Area covers energy, environment, health, and biomanufacturing research in the Physical Biosciences, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Genomics Divisions. The talk will be live streamed.

Quinn Receives Water, Environmental Modeling Forum Life Membership Award

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Nigel Quinn, a staff scientist in the Earth Sciences Division, was awarded the Distinguished Life Membership Award for 2014 from the California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum. The award is given to members of long standing who have been members of the organization for over 10 years and have established a distinguished record of service. Quinn was a founding member of CWEMF and led the organization as Convener for three years. He was instrumental in initiating several model user groups, organized a significant number of technical and training workshops and been a strong advocate for CWEMF among state and federal water agencies.

Lab Researchers to Count Microbes in BioBlitz This Weekend

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Lab researchers including Gary Andersen and Eric Dubinsky will use their PhyloChip device to count microbes as part of BioBlitz 2014, a project of the U.S. National Park Service and National Geographic. Every year scientists and volunteers identify and count as many living species as possible in a different national park. On March 28-29, the Lab team will count bacteria and archaea in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It will be BioBlitz’s first-ever microbe census. Visit their Biodiversity Festival booth at Crissy Field in San Francisco on Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or Saturday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and watch them demo DNA extractions. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Lab and Japan Atomic Energy Agency Reach Nuclear-Related Agreement

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Earlier this month, Berkeley Lab and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency reached a long-term agreement to collaborate on developing methodologies for evaluating the impact of geologic disposal on the living, surface environment, and on developing environmental safety science, starting this summer. The agreement culminated a successful trip to Japan by a group of 10 Lab-UC Berkeley scientists. The last day of the trip coincided with the three-year anniversary of the magnitude-9.0 earthquake off the east coast of Japan; a workshop involving the group was stopped at 2:46 p.m. for a moment of silence to commemorate the disaster victims. More>

Colorado Snowmaking in the Name of Science

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Last month Earth Sciences Division geoscientist and avid skier Ken Williams started a snowmaking enterprise in Rifle, Colorado — but not for skiing purposes. His snowmaking was part of research associated with uranium cleanup at Rifle (with possible application to sites worldwide) —part of a DOE effort to measure the level of snowmelt infiltration into soil and groundwater at the site. Rifle is of particular interest because groundwater contamination there is taking longer than other sites to naturally dilute. At Rifle, low oxygen, low-nitrogen conditions evidently prevent this process from happening, at least at the speed scientists would hope, and they wonder what can be done about it. More>

Earth Sciences Talk Tomorrow on Geospatial Analysis of Hydrogeologic Data

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

On Friday, the Earth Sciences Division will host a Distinguished Scientist Seminar featuring Shlomo Neuman from the University of Arizona, Tucson. Neuman will give a talk titled “A Multiscale Approach to Geospatial Analysis of Hydrogeologic (and Many Other) Data.” The seminar begins at 10:30 a.m. in Building 66 Auditorium and will be followed by a question and answer session. More>