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Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009


Save Energy, Increase Health and Happiness

Research by Mark Mendell and Anna Mirer of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division suggests that operating buildings in ways designed to save energy — with indoor temperatures slightly cooler in winter and warmer in summer — not only saves energy but improves the health of the occupants and makes them more comfortable besides. More>

scientistIn The News: Urging Researchers to Curb Their Carbon Footprint

In the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology, EETD’s Evan Mills has a cover story, “Sustainable Scientists,” examining how scientists might practice energy efficiency in research facilities to help reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce the amount of research money spent on energy costs. He notes that scientific research in the U.S. has a yearly energy bill of about $10 billion, and results in 80 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. More>

People: Smoot Awarded Oersted Medal for Teaching Physics

smootBerkeley Lab physicist George Smoot, who won a Nobel Prize in 2006, on Saturday received the Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers during a ceremony in Chicago. The medal, which was established in 1936, honors “those who have had an outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics.” He was cited for research and writing on CBR anisotropy and the formation of galaxies and its impact on the way physics and astronomy are taught. More>

Safety Note: Brush Up on Biking Acumen with Training Course

bicyclesWhile bicycles provide a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around, most agree that riding in urban settings can be dangerous, particularly if cyclists don’t understand the rules of the road. To help educate emerging bikers, or veterans who want to brush up on their knowledge, free safety classes are offered throughout the Bay Area. Training sessions are sponsored by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

People: Where Did You Place in Last Runaround? Results Now Posted

Those who’ve been dying to know where they placed in last year’s Runaround can now take a look at the results, which have been posted online. Meredith McMurdo was the top women’s finisher, while Dula Parkinson racked up another win for the men’s group. The total number of runners was 647.

HR: Veterans and Individuals with a Disability Invited to Self-Identify

The Lab invites individuals with a disability and covered veterans to self-identify as part of the federal mandate for institutions to take affirmative action when hiring and promoting individuals. Submitting such information is voluntary and will be kept confidential. Employees who wish to self-identify can do so via the Employee Self-Service website or by filling out a form and mailing it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (MS 90K-0119). The forms should be completed by Feb. 29. For questions, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (x7443).

Proposed Policy: Postdoctoral Fellows

Berkeley Lab is beginning the formal review and employee comment period for the proposed consolidation of its Postdoctoral Fellow policies in Regulations and Procedures Manual (RPM) Section) 2.28. The purpose of the Postdoctoral Fellows policy is to enhance a postdoctoral fellow employee’s work experience by providing performance feedback, and detailing the supervisor’s role in managing a postdoctoral fellow employee, which includes providing guidance, coaching, and mentorship. The policy also addresses recruitment and the length of a postdoctoral fellow appointment. This policy applies to non-represented postdoctoral fellow employees only. Represented employees should contact their union representative or consult their collective bargaining agreement. To comment on this proposed change, contact [email protected] by Feb. 21.