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More on these and future activities is available on the

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Yoga Club
Class with Inna Belogolovsky
Bldg. 70-191

Environmental Energy Technologies
Understanding Polymer-Electrolyte-Fuel-Cell Gas-Diffusion Layers

Adam Weber
Bldg. 90-3122

3:45 p.m.
Nuclear Engineering
When You Need Answers: The Role of the Consulting Engineer in Solving Complex Problems
Carlos Barrera
3105 Etcheverry Hall

6:30 p.m.
Physics Department
Energy Trends and Technologies

Steven Koonin
155 Dwinelle Hall



11 a.m.
Chemistry Department
Metal Directed and Driven Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Species

Peter Stang
120 Latimer Hall

1 p.m.
Molecular Foundry
Molecular Network Reinforcement of Sol-Gel Glasses

Geraud DuBois
Bldg. 67-3111

4 p.m.
Chemistry Department
Exploring Atmospheric Chemistry from Space: The Challenge and the Potential
John Burrows
120 Latimer Hall

4 p.m.
Life Sciences and Genomics
Genomic Methods for Exploring Morphological Variation and Regeneration in Birds and Mammals
Michael Lovett
Room 149A/B, JGI (Walnut Creek)

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March 3-7 Menu

6:30 to 10:30 a.m.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Coffee Bar

Mon. - Fri: 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Weekends: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Personalized Footprint
With Carbon Calculator

UC Berkeley researchers have created a carbon calculator that shows people as well as cities and businesses how their lifestyles contribute to global warming and identifies areas where they can reduce their footprint. The CoolClimate Calculator website allows users to tweak variables to estimate the amount of carbon dioxide they generate annually. Debuting last week, the latest edition of the CoolClimate Calculator was created by scientists at the campus's Berkeley Institute of the Environment (BIE) and the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). Working with BIE and RAEL to design the calculator were Berkeley Lab, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, and Next 10. Full story.

Gamma Ray Bursts
Studied with ‘Forensics’

To watch the most powerful explosions in the universe, it helps to be quick on the draw. In seconds to minutes, the titanic blasts known as gamma-ray bursts can release more energy than our sun in 10 billion years. The initial flash of gamma rays is followed by a stream of electromagnetic radiation flowing from the site. The energy bathes nearby stars, nebulae, and galaxies in a brilliant afterglow, providing a floodlit view of the blast's environment. Joshua Bloom, a UC Berkeley astronomy professor and guest with Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, compares the analysis of a gamma-ray burst to a crime scene investigation. "If you blow something up over the course of a second, what you have left is this forensics scene. You have to look for the fingerprints of something that isn't there anymore," he says. Bloom uses this technique to help explain the origins of these phenomenal explosions. Full story.


Flexible Spending
Account  Deadline

Employees enrolled in SHPS HCRA and/or DepCare have until Saturday, March 15, to spend unused funds from their 2007 account.  June 15 is the deadline to file claims for expenses paid with 2007 funds. Receipts must be retained for all flexible spending account debit card purchases. SHPS may ask for a copy of the receipt if needed to validate the purchase as an eligible expense. Account balances can be checked on the SHPS website.


Catalyst for Snow
May be Microbes

Microbes may be responsible for snow — and rain, for that matter. They are certainly involved in much of the man-made snow used by ski resorts, which add dead microbes to the mix in their snowmaking machines. And now scientists have discovered such biological precipitation catalysts in natural snows — in such far-flung locations as Montana and Antarctica. This does not prove that the microbes were actually in the clouds, seeding the snowfall, but other researchers, including microbial ecologist Gary Andersen, with Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division, have found as many as 2,000 varieties of microbes in the air above Texas cities. Full story.

Right Reasons, Right Way
To Replace Windows

To hear window salesmen tell it, replacing old single-pane windows with modern double-pane ones will cut heating and cooling bills in half. Don't believe the hype. True, today's best windows are twice as energy-efficient as those from a decade ago, but because windows make up only a fraction of a home's exterior, actual energy savings will be no more than 25 percent, and maybe just 5 or 10 percent. While it's not worth buying new windows solely for the energy savings, go for efficient ones if you're replacing them anyway. In most of the country, says Dariush Arasteh, with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, you should spend an extra $10 to $20 each for windows that have argon gas between the panes and a low-emissivity coating, an invisible film that blocks heat from going through the glass. That can knock 8 to 15 percent off heating and cooling bills. Full story.


Next ‘Science Theater’
Talk is Monday, March 10


The next “Science at the Theatre” talk will take place next Monday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m. Mary Ann Piette, with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will present a free lecture on “Saving Power at Peak Hours,” at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2015 Addison St. Piette will discuss the adoption of demand response technology, which seeks to reduce the use of peak electric power through automated controls, pricing, and advanced communications, among other strategies. The goal is to reduce average electricity prices and prevent future electricity crises. The event is sponsored by the Lab’s Friends of Science group.

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