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Friday, Sept. 26, 2008

In the News: And Now, the Biggest Question in the Universe

TABL imageFiguring out the nature of dark matter and dark energy is now the biggest question in the universe. Both could reveal the origin and fate of the cosmos, as well as the physical laws that govern it. For Berkeley Lab cosmologist Saul Perlmutter, who led one of the teams that discovered dark energy and is now leading the SNAP effort, a final answer is tantalizingly near, but it was finding the question that was the real joy. Dark energy, he said, was "the little crack in the blind that gives us some insight into what we've never thought before. More>

TABL imagePeople: Team Gets $24.5 Million for Environmental Clean-Up Focus Area

Susan Hubbard and her Environmental Remediation Program group in the Lab’s Earth Sciences Division have been awarded a $24.5 Million, five-year grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research to develop a Sustainable Systems Science Focus Area. The research will help guide environmental cleanup of metals and radionuclides. More>

People: EETD Staff Contribute to APS Report on Energy Efficiency

TABL imageThe American Physical Society last week released a report titled Energy Future: Think Efficiency. A number of researchers from the Environmental Energy Technologies Division contributed to the study, which argues that energy efficiency is the most economic way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Levine was a member of the study group, and Vince Battaglia, Richard Brown, Arun Majumdar, James McMahon, Alan Meier, Stephen Selkowitz, and Venkat Srinivasan were acknowledged. More>

Tech Transfer: UC Students Evaluate Market Potential of Lab Technologies

TABL imageBerkeley Lab may be bursting with technologies to address the global energy problem, but it isn’t always clear how best to get those technologies into the marketplace. Enter an eternally renewable — and free — resource: grad students. Through a partnership with the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), a student-led campus group, students will evaluate technologies developed at the Lab, assess their commercial viability, and conduct a market analysis. The hope is that business plans could emerge from the Cleantech to Market (C2M) program. More>

Construction Update: One-Lane Traffic Near Guest House Today

To accommodate a concrete pour at the Guest House construction site today, the north bound lane of Lawrence Road in that area will be blocked off and all traffic will share the southbound lane throughout most of the day. Flaggers will direct traffic flow. Staff should also be aware that cement trucks will be traveling from the Blackberry Gate to the Guest House during work hours.

Facilities: Road Closures Tomorrow to Accommodate Maintenance

Maintenance will require the following traffic interruptions tomorrow (Saturday): McMillian Road closed at Bldg 76 (Access to Bldg 69 limited to foot-traffic); Lawrence Road, near the cafeteria, closed in both directions; Grizzly Gate closed. Staff should also be aware that there is a Cal Football game starting tomorrow at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Steve Blair (x5927).

Employee Development: Online Learning and Books Now Available

The Berkeley Lab Institute is now offering expanded options for professional skill development. The Skillsoft online resource includes more than 4,000 books and over 3,100 courses and briefs.  There is recommended curriculum for team leads and supervisors and for those interested in project management fundamentals, and learning options in a of range topics such as communications, career development, time management, and Microsoft Office. A license is $100 per employee for access Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2009. More>