Today at Berkeley Lab Berkeley Lab logo US Dept. of Energy logoBerkeley Lab logo
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009


Alfalfa Sprouts Hold Line on Meandering Streams

Sinuous, meandering streams produce diverse and wildlife-rich habitats and are the aim of many river restoration efforts, but until now, the bank, water flow and sediment conditions required to form and maintain meanders have been largely a matter of speculation. Now, a UC Berkeley study reports the first experimental creation of meanders in a flume — a scaled down representation of a natural channel using alfalfa sprouts to represent vegetated stream banks. These experiments reveal some of the necessary conditions for formation of meanders on Earth and throughout the solar system. The work was conducted by Berkeley Lab earth scientist William Dietrich and graduate student Christian Braudrick. More>

People: CRD’s Meza Named One of ‘100 Influentials’

mezaJuan Meza, head of the High Performance Computing Department in Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, has been named to Hispanic Business magazine's annual list of 100 influential Hispanics. The list, published in the October issue, includes Hispanics who play leading roles in politics, business, science, information technology, health care, education, the media and other areas. Meza and Puerto Rican astronaut Joseph Acaba are the only two scientists on this year's list. More>

majumdarPeople: Majumdar Confirmation Hearing Broadcast at 7 a.m. Tomorrow

Arun Majumdar, the director of the Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will undergo a confirmation hearing in Washington D.C. at 7 a.m. (PST) tomorrow. The hearing will be webcast live. He was nominated by the Obama administration to lead ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy housed within the Department of Energy. The group will conduct high-risk, high-reward energy research.

narasimhanPeople: Earth Scientist Narasimhan Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

The Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRA) has given Berkeley Lab earth scientist T.N. (Nari) Narasimhan a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in the field of groundwater hydrology. The honor will be conferred today during the 18th Annual Conference of GRA and the concurrent 27th UC Biennial Groundwater Conference of the Center for Water Resources in Sacramento. As described in the citation, "This award is presented annually to individuals for their exemplary contributions to the groundwater industry" and who "have been pioneers in their field of expertise."

surveyPostdoc: Share Opinions on ‘Best Places to Work’ Via Survey

Lab postdocs are invited to participate in a survey conducted by The Scientist magazine to gauge "The Best Places to Work." Past publication of the survey’s results have helped postdocs and other researchers measure the quality of their own positions against others, and enables institutions to learn more about the quality of the work environment they provide. Go here to take the survey, which ends on Friday, Nov. 24. Those who take the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $250 Amazon gift card. The results will be posted in the March 2010 issue of The Scientist.

Policy: Proposed Change to Catastrophic Leave Sharing

From June 24 through July 24, the Lab had proposed a policy revision to RPM §2.26 (Catastrophic Leave Sharing). The policy revisions proposed at that time included the following changes: (1) redefining the meaning of catastrophic illness or injury, and (2) adding catastrophic casualty loss and catastrophic bereavement loss as additional components for requesting leave donations. In addition, the Lab proposes to change the name of the policy from "Catastrophic Leave Sharing" to "Leave Sharing," and to make the program available to those employees in "good standing." Go here to read the proposed policy. This policy applies to non-represented 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 Oct. 23.

Today at Berkeley Lab is produced by Public Affairs' Communications Group