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Friday, Dec. 4, 2009


Superbright, Supermassive Supernova is the First of Its Kind

An extraordinarily bright, extraordinarily long-lasting supernova named SN 2007bi, snagged in a search by a robotic telescope, turns out to be the first example of the kind of stars that first populated the Universe. The superbright supernova occurred in a nearby dwarf galaxy, a kind of galaxy that’s common but has been little studied until now, and the unusual supernova could be the first of many such events soon to be discovered. SN 2007bi was found early in 2007 by the international Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory) based at Berkeley Lab. More>

copenhagenSpecial Event: Lab Energy Group to Host Side Event at Copenhagen

At the invitation of the U.S. State Department, Jayant Sathaye, head of the International Energy Studies Group in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will host a side event on the energy partnership between California and India at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next week. Sathaye’s group has been working with several regulators in India on demand-side management programs, and presenting with him will be some of their collaborators, including representatives of the California Public Utilities Commission and two Indian government agencies. Their talk will be at the U.S. Center, the first time the U.S. has set up such a forum at a global climate change summit. All events from the U.S. Center will be streamed live. More>

Special Event: Workshop on Ultrafast Soft X-ray Science

A four-day workshop on “The Future of Soft X-Ray Science” convened some 90 invited participants, including dozens of world leaders in ultrafast research, to discuss and debate their most recent advances, scientific ambitions, and expectations for the future. Roger Falcone, Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Photon Sciences, kicked off the proceedings on Monday, which focused on electron dynamics and chemistry on time scales of quadrillionths or even quintillionths of a second, and was chaired by William McCurdy, Daniel Neumark, and workshop organizer Oliver Gessner of the Chemical Sciences Division. The aim was to lay out an initial series of experiments for a next generation soft x-ray light source, a high-priority Berkeley Lab initiative. More>

Education Outreach: Lab Staff Inspire Students at Albany High

benEach Fall Albany High School holds Career Day, offering students in grades 9 to 12 the opportunity to hear professionals from many disciplines talk about their career and the path that led them to it. Berkeley Lab volunteers have served as a primary source of representation for scientific careers at the school for a number of years, this year adding operations and financial management to its repertoire. Jon Bashor and Jonathan Slack helped organize the event; volunteer career day speakers, who served from across the divisions, included Susan Addy, Ann Almgren, Andre Anders, Ben Feinberg (pictured), Tom Kirchstetter, Eleanor Lee, and Kim Williams. To learn more about future volunteer opportunities, including “Job Shadow Day” in the spring, contact Jonathan Slack.

Employee Development: Optimizing Presentations of Research and Data

presentationEmployees can learn how to best convey the significance of their research at two Berkeley Lab Institute (BLI) workshops on Thursday, Dec. 10. The classes are designed to help postdocs, research associates, and scientists present their findings persuasively. “Presenting Technical Data in Presentations” (BLI0116) will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and focus on designing effective PowerPoint presentations. “Creating Effective Visual Displays for Research Journals” (BLI0115) takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. and will explore capturing data in graphs and tables. Registration is required.

barrelSpecial Event: Lab Sponsors Holiday Food Drive

The Alameda County Community Food Bank and Berkeley Lab are hosting an onsite holiday food drive to help support and supply those in need of food. Staff deposit nutritious, non-perishable foods (no glass) in a number of barrels located throughout the Hill. Barrel locations include the cafeteria lobby, the 3rd floor of Building 90, the 3rd floor lobby of the Molecular Foundry (Bldg. 67), and the Joint Bioenergy Institute (north, east, south and west corners and kitchen). Financial donations are also accepted. The drive ends Jan. 4.

drinkHealth: Avoid Alcohol Consumption and Driving During Holidays

The Lab’s Health Care Facilitator’s office wants to remind all employees about the dangers of drinking and driving, especially during the holidays. Highway deaths due to alcohol-impaired drivers increase during the holiday season. In spite of all the warnings, public awareness, educational programs, and stiffer penalties for violators, some people will still make the decision to get behind the wheel of their cars while intoxicated. During the holidays, if you go to a party, appoint a designated driver. The Lab’s employee assistance program, CARE Services is available for confidential counseling and referrals for alcohol, drugs and other addictions. Call 643-7754 for more information.

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