|June 15 , 2001|
By Ron Kolb
Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank mapped out an ambitious array of programs that may represent Berkeley Lab’s future over the next decade or so, pronouncing the state of the Laboratory as in good health in his annual address to employees on Monday, June 11.
His "Vision 2010" plan, presented to a full house of nearly 250 in the Building 50 auditorium, includes the following topical pathways: integrated computing as a tool for discovery, fundamental understanding of the universe, quantitative biology, nanoscience, and new energy systems and environmental solutions.
"These are our core activities, things we’ll be looking at in the next decade," Shank explained. "And they are all built on our historical strengths."
Sprinkling his talk with outstanding research achievements from the last year, the Director described a spectrum of initiatives that promise to keep Berkeley Lab at the scientific forefront of their respective disciplines. They are as broad as the universe and as small as the atom.
Astrophysicists are proposing the deployment of a satellite probe with a powerful telescope and camera to build upon the Laboratory’s breakthrough discoveries about the expansion of the universe. "Hopefully, by the end of the decade, we’ll be seeing new physics being done here," Shank said.
And then there’s the other universe, the nanoworld. "Using the Advanced Light Source as an important tool, scientists plan to work in a molecular ‘foundry’ to create and design new materials for microscopic applications, ‘atom-by-atom,’" according to Shank. The Laboratory hopes to get the go-ahead and funding for preliminary designs for this nanosci-ence center in the next year.
For the biosciences, Shank said, the future lies in its integration with the physical sciences, computing and engineering. "We would love to see biology as a predictive science, beyond just observation," he said. "We need to understand the biological system at the cell level, and there’s much more than a decade of work ahead." Shank cited the impressive advances already made at the Joint Genome Institute and the challenges ahead in determining protein and proteome structures.
Energy may be all the national rage right now, but it has been important for decades at Berkeley Lab, the Director noted. With important work proceeding in real time on the electricity crisis — including the creation of a consumer web site for conserving energy (savepower.lbl.gov) — the Lab is also focusing on solutions for the future. These include carbon management and sequestration efforts, critical hydrology studies at the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, and continuing studies of inertial confinement fusion as a potential energy source.
The future of computing will have a hand in all of the above, Shank said — from analysis of the cosmology data, to long-range climate modeling, to design of the next-generation accelerators, to solving the protein folding problem. DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) will be ground zero for many of the advances that are made, the hardware now operating from its new home in downtown Oakland.
As for the immediate future — the FY2002 budget — he said, "I remain optimistic. We have a budget right now of $420 million, and maybe we’ll see some modest growth. Positive things are happening in Congress right now."
He made a point of acknowledging the positive downward spiral of accident rates at the Lab, in particular those from ergonomic causes. "I hope everyone takes this very seriously and focuses to make sure that these kinds of injuries are minimized." He noted the "substantial effort" that the Lab has devoted to reemphasizing workforce diversity, in particular at the division level. And he made a special point of singling out the efforts of the administrative staff in support of science at the Lab.
"I want to especially thank the people in administrative services who make it possible for us to do our work. The Laboratory over the last few years has been especially outstanding, and much of it is to the credit of these people. So thank you very much," he said, to the affirming applause of the audience.
Shank thanked one other person. To close a talk that was so heavily weighted toward the future, he chose two photos from the past — Berkeley Lab’s founder and namesake, the late Ernest O. Lawrence. One picture showed Lawrence outside the door of the Radiation Laboratory, circa 1930s. The other showed an older Lawrence as Laboratory Director overlooking his 184-inch cyclotron and the Bay Area beyond.
"Ernest Lawrence would be 100 years old on August 8," Shank said. "It is important to remember the man who created our opportunity to have a laboratory here."
Videotapes of the Director’s talk are available for loan from the Laboratory Library in Building 50.
* * *
During his talk, Director Shank discussed the future of computing at Berkeley Lab and the advances that will be made with the hardware now housed at the new Oakland Scientific Facility, which was officially dedicated last month. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent Director Shank this congratulatory letter, which we could not print in its entirety in the last issue of Currents due to space limitations.
Starting July 1, the Laboratory security will change contractors, from Burns Security to Barton Protective Services. As a result, the familiar officers on the Hill will have a new, more casual look — but most of the people in the new uniforms will remain the same.
After reviewing competitive bids for site security, the Lab decided to contract Barton Protective Services, a full service provider specializing in security services to the research community.
"We wanted a security services firm with a markedly high level of professionalism, a firm that would embody the excellence expected at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory," said Sue Bowen, the Lab’s deputy security manager. "Barton embodies much of what we want in a services firm. They have a reputation for being responsive to client needs and working to find solutions to the day-to-day problems that present themselves in environments like ours."
Barton, which employs more than 10,000 people nationwide, has been named to Fortune magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" for the second consecutive year — the only contract security company to hold this honor.
Should they choose to do so, the onsite security officers now working for Burns will be able to continue with Barton, provided they meet their requirements.
As always, UC Berkeley Police will continue to provide law enforcement services to the Lab as well, and will work with Barton on security concerns.
For more information about Barton Security, visit their website at http://www.Bartonsolutions.com.
By Paul Preuss
Dan Dessau of the University of Colorado, his student Yi-De Chuang, and colleagues from the University of Tokyo have used the HERS endstation on beamline 10 of the Advanced Light Source to attack one of the most recalcitrant puzzles in the electronic theory of materials: what can explain colossal magnetoresistance?
Their results, published in the May 25 issue of Science, reinforce the growing realization that traditional electronic theories are incomplete.
Putting up resistance
Magnetoresistance, or MR, occurs when a material like iron is placed in a strong magnetic field: depending on orientation, resistance to electrical current increases or decreases by a few percent. MR was an early boon to the computer industry, because read heads using it outperform those using magnetic inductance.
In 1988 thinly layered materials were found that increased or decreased their resistivity by 20 percent or more in relatively weak magnetic fields — hence "giant" magnetoresistance, or GMR. GMR technology allows data to be stored even more densely and read more quickly, and is now used in most modern hard drives.
Then in 1993, materials were found that could increase or decrease resistance not by a few percent but by orders of magnitude. Hence "colossal" magnetoresistance — an effect no existing theory can explain.
Not the usual suspects
CMR is found in materials with the crystalline structure called perovskite, whose atoms are arranged in discrete layers of differing composition. Many perovskites have unusual electronic properties; all the known high-temperature superconductors are perovskites incorporating copper-oxide layers.
Lanthanum strontium manganese oxide — the perovskite studied by Dessau, Chuang, and their colleagues — is such a "sandwich," with double layers of manganese oxide, and it shows marked CMR. "The bilayers are where the current flows, and they are responsible for the CMR effect," says Chuang.
But it is an effect successful traditional theories don’t allow for. Double-exchange theory, for example, describes the relation between magnetic transitions and metal-insulator transitions in terms of the orientation of electron spins at adjacent sites. For lanthanum strontium manganese oxide there should be only about a 30 percent change in conductivity.
"In fact," Chuang says, "the observed changes are much bigger, by orders of magnitude. Thus the ‘colossal’ effect."
The remarkably successful quasiparticle concept (see sidebar), which uses fictitious properties to simplify the modeling of real particle behaviors, also fails. In lanthanum strontium manganese oxide, the calculated lifetime of quasielectrons is unusually long, even though the material is about as poor a metal as can be imagined.
Chuang sums up the paradox thus: "The compound has a Fermi surface" — a parameter indispensable for understanding a material’s electronic properties — "so it’s a metal. But if only 10 percent of the electrons are contributing to conductivity, it can’t be a metal! Why is the conductivity 10 times worse than it should be?"
Dessau and Chuang and their colleagues found a clue in their map of the Fermi surface: evidence of a "pseudogap," a phenomenon also observed in some of the copper-oxide perovskites and suspected of playing a role in high-temperature superconductivity.
A pseudogap, unlike the well-defined energy gaps of most semiconductors, is a porous boundary between insulating and metallic states; many electrons that might otherwise be available for conduction are effectively "swallowed" in the pseudogap. Because quasiparticle theory cannot account for pseudogaps, its appearance indicates additional factors at work.
A straight-edged surface
Lanthanum strontium manganese oxide, like other perovskites, is in many ways two-dimensional, with conduction occurring in the thin manganese-oxide layers. A graph of its Fermi surface has remarkably straight segments, not the smooth curves typical of ordinary solids — a clue that some conducting particles are confined to just one dimension. This kind of organization has been called the "stripe phase."
Such organization might arise if an applied magnetic field physically distorted the lattice structure of lanthanum strontium manganese oxide in a periodic way. If molecular orbitals were pulled closer together or pushed farther apart, insulating regions might alternate with one-dimensional "rivers" along which electrons could flow, hopping readily from one conveniently oriented molecular orbital to the next.
Thus several electronic states could exist simultaneously, sometimes cooperating with and sometimes competing against one another. Odd features like surprising conductivity and the long lifetimes of quasielectrons might be explained by fluctuations among different electronic states.
Dessau says, "The general concept of multiple electronic phases coexisting and competing with each other at nanoscale dimensions appears to be a general phenomenon for novel electronic materials — including these CMR materials and the high-temperature superconductors as well."
While this explanation preserves a role for traditional quasielectrons, whether quasiparticle theory continues to survive as more sensitive investigations of these extraordinary materials progress is yet to be seen.
"Studying these materials is intellectually stimulating and great fun," says Dessau, adding, "the understanding we gain can better equip us to engineer new materials or devices, with even more exciting or technologically desirable properties."
* * *
"Fermi surface nesting and nanoscale fluctuating charge/orbital ordering in colossal magnetoresistive oxides," by Y.-D. Chuang, A.D. Gromko, D.S. Dessau, T. Kimura, and Y. Tokura, appeared in the 25 May 2001 issue of Science magazine.
There are a hundred billion trillion electrons in a typical solid, and every one of them interacts with every other. Luckily, understanding a solid’s electronic structure doesn’t require precise quantum-state solutions for the whole kit and kaboodle.
Instead of coping with 10-to-the-23rd entangled electrons, solid-state physicists base their calculations on quasielectrons — entities with the same spin and charge as electrons but with fictitious masses and finite lifetimes, properties that allow realistic approximations of their local interactions as they move through a crystal. Quasiparticle theory, which dates from the 1950s, is unsurpassed at modeling a host of materials.
Among other things, quasiparticle theory modifies the straightforward energy-versus-momentum relation that applies to free particles by taking into account interactions of electrons with other nearby electrons, with the ion cores of atoms, and with phonons, which are quantized vibrations of the crystal lattice. A key parameter is the Fermi surface, giving the momentum values of all electrons at the Fermi energy, which separates occupied electronic levels from unoccupied ones.
"ARPES is a good way to look at these features with extreme sensitivity and very high resolution," says Yi-De Chuang, "especially using the improved HERS endstation and the extremely bright monochromatic beam available at the Advanced Light Source’s new undulator beamline 10."
When a sample is struck by the beam’s energetic photons it emits photoelectrons, which are collected by HERS, the High Resolution Energy Spectrometer. Key features can be reconstructed by measuring the precise angles and energies of the photoelectrons; using this angle-resolved photoemission spectrometry (ARPES), the energies and lifetimes of quasielectrons can be derived.
NAS Report Urges International Collaboration, More Funding
A panel of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has called on U.S. physicists to promote international collaboration and "make more of the importance of the applications of their work" to the life sciences. The report, Physics in a New Era, urges Congress and federal funding agencies to develop new protocols for international cooperation and provide stable funding for large-scale international projects.
Noting the abandonment of the Superconducting Super Collider project in 1993 and U.S. participation in the International Thermonuclear Energy Reactor in 1999, the report says that a global perspective is critical to the future of physics in the U.S. The report will be online later this month.
The panel also recommends that federal funding for basic physics be restored to the level it enjoyed 20 years ago, requiring spending to rise by about one-third. It argued that "along with the high-tech economy, the biological and medical sciences have benefited enormously from this research." The panel called on science agencies that fund physics to increase support for the work of small groups and individual investigators, saying that such funding is now "dangerously inadequate."
The Sciences Stops the Presses
One of the best public voices on behalf of the cause of science has been silenced. After 40 years of publication, The Sciences, the high-toned, graphic-rich magazine produced by the New York Academy of Sciences for a lay audience, was closed down following a unanimous vote by the NYAS board of governors on May 31. Staff members were immediately laid off and the website unplugged.
According to spokesperson Fred Moreno, NYAS has been "reshuffling its priorities and wants to devote more resources to practical matters, such as science education and studying the economic effects of pollution in the New York harbor." The non-profit publication has always been a financial drain on the Academy, but those who read it will mourn its passage.
Said Stanford University primatologist and acclaimed author Robert Sapolsky, "I’m sure it’s a good thing that the NYAS is worrying about technology and society, but it seems a real shame to end something as unique and superb as The Sciences."
Suspicious Minds at Russian Academy
A directive issued by the Russian Academy of Sciences orders its 55,000 members to report any international activities and contacts to its governing presidium. The title reads "The Academy of Sciences’ action plan to avoid any harm to the Russian state in the sphere of economic and scientific cooperation."
The directive requires that "specialist departments" and institute chiefs analyze "international agreements signed by scientific bodies in order to prevent the transmission abroad of information concerning national security." It also calls for "strengthening controls on articles being prepared and the exchange of information with foreign countries" in order "not to permit the publication abroad of unauthorized information."
About three dozen members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering visited Berkeley Lab on June 8 to attend a symposium entitled "Do Supercomputers Have a Future?"
The invitation-only symposium featured experts from the fields of supercomputer manufacturing, design and utilization: Burton Smith, chief scientist of Cray Inc., David Patterson, professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, and Bill McCurdy, head of Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences and a chemical physicist who computes on supercomputers. The afternoon concluded with a panel discussion, in which the three speakers were joined by Ed Oliver, head of DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, and Horst Simon, director of the Lab’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing division (NERSC).
Oliver, noting that Office of Science researchers are "truly insatiable for cycles," said that while the public may think of defense applications when they think of supercomputing, in 20 years the Office of Science will be "the dominant force in high-end computing in DOE."
The three top issues regarding the future of supercomputing, Oliver said, are: Can they build it? Does it work? And can scientists and engineers use it effectively?
Smith, who founded Tera Computer Co. to develop and build a supercomputer based on a radically different architecture known as multithreaded architecture, addressed Oliver’s first two points in his presentation, "What Happened to Supercomputers?" He said that today’s supercomputers are really multicomputers — or clusters of computers. In the past, supercomputers referred to specially designed and built systems, such as those built by Cray in the 1970s and 1980s. Those supercomputers consisted of custom vector processors which were very fast for their time, but have lost ground to systems which use hundreds or thousands of commodity processors to run jobs in parallel segments.
This parallel architecture, however, poses new challenges in accessing memory. In fact, although today’s parallel supercomputers calculate problems at speeds of trillions of calculations per second, the memory bandwidth is too small and the response time too long to keep up with the arithmetic functions. This problem of slow response time, called latency, affects most computers today.
Although many reasons — ranging from the end of the Cold War to decreasing costs of computer chips to lack of funding for computer research — have been offered to explain the decline of supercomputer manufactures, Smith said he thinks the real problem is the imbalance between bandwidth and computing speeds.
The problem, however, is not so much technological as it is political and social, he said. Because computers are so fast, most people think that computer architecture is a dead topic and there is no political will to address the problem, even though it is fundamental to the future of research in biology, fluid dynamics, physics, chemistry and other disciplines, Smith said.
"We have a clear need for a spectrum of computing," he said. "In supercomputing, there is a deficiency and we should fill it."
Speaking from the scientist’s perspective, McCurdy told the audience that when parallel computers were first deployed the systems presented scientists with a seemingly insurmountable barrier by requiring codes to be rewritten in parallel. However, scientists in all disciplines have overcome this hurdle and have achieved dramatic breakthroughs using parallel computers.
Now that the research community has made the paradigm shift to parallel computing, more powerful computers are needed to further advance research in areas such as genomics, combustion and materials science, McCurdy said. Climate research, for example, needs from 10 to 40 teraflop/s (trillions of calculations per second) of sustained computing speed to develop accurate models. By comparison, NERSC has recently installed a 3.8 teraflop-per-second IBM SP supercomputer — the world’s most powerful computer for unclassified research.
The dilemma for scientists, McCurdy said, is that now that they are taking advantage of these commodity-based systems, the scaling up to even larger computers will be limited by the problems of communication between processors. With the billion dollar annual market for scientific computing systems dwarfed by that for web servers, the emphasis continues to be on making faster processors, not increasing communication bandwidth or reducing latency, he said. The solution to this problem may come from other technologies, such as the optical networking being developed for faster Internet communications.
Patterson, who led the design and implementation of the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) — a computer that provides only a few simple instructions but executes them extremely quickly — said that another technology that could be adapted for supercomputers may already be at hand. As the next step, Patterson suggested adopting the technology of embedded computing, such as that used in cell phones, for future supercomputers. Such systems use low power and have the memory integrated with the processor. Using such chips for supercomputers, however, would require very special designs — unlike the current practice of using commodity processors.
In opening the symposium, Lab Director Charles Shank said it was "a privilege to host this event." Members of the National Academy of Engineering, part of the National Academy of Sciences, are elected to the academy, which prepares hundreds of advisory reports annually on issues of importance to the nation.
Steve Dardin and Eric Anderssen are shown by the Atlas pixel detector — a 100-million channel detector being constructed at Berkeley Lab which will be at the heart of the Atlas experiment. The picture was taken during the detector’s mock-up installation in Bldg. 51.
ATLAS is an international collaboration
of 1700 scientists from 150 institutes around the world. It will study
proton-proton interactions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland.
The pixel detector will be the world’s largest, and Lab scientists are
leading the effort for support structures and electronics for the project.
The detector is due to begin operation by the end of 2005. Photo by Roy
Eli Rotenberg of the Advanced Light Source has won the 2001 Peter Mark Award of the American Vacuum Society for "furthering our knowledge of nanophase and reduced dimensionality systems by creative use of angle-resolved photoemission."
The award recognize outstanding theoretical or experimental work by a young scientist or engineer (aged 35 or under).
Rotenberg has been a staff scientist at the ALS since 1996. As a member of the ALS Scientific Support Group, he is responsible for operations and the scientific program at Beamline 7.0. His work has focused on quasicrystals, magnetic nanostructures, and coupling the vibrational and electronic states of adsorbed atoms:
The award carries a $6,500 cash prize. Previous ALS users who have won the award include Dick Brundle, Franz Himpsel and Marjorie Olmstead.
UC Berkeley professor Mark A. Richards, an expert on the Earth's mantle and former chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Cal, will become the campus's dean for physical sciences starting next summer.
Richards, 45, will oversee faculty members and research initiatives in physics, astronomy, geosciences, mathematics and statistics. He has been with UC Berkeley since 1989 and is currently on sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University.
Richards will succeed P. Buford Price, who plans to return to the Laboratory on September 1. Professor Peter Bickel will step in as interim dean until Richards takes over next year.
The City of Berkeley announced yesterday that a panel of energy experts from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley is working in partnership with the city to find solutions to the energy crisis and plan for a sustainable energy future by developing a community energy plan.
The Energy Technical Advisory Group (ETAG) is co-chaired by Mark Levine, director of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and Dan Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and a faculty member at UC Berkeley.
"Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is one of the greatest sources of new ideas and technology with respect to energy efficiency and conservation," said City Manager Weldon Rucker. "Their involvement will be a great benefit to the community."
ETAG will advise the city in three major areas:
The City Council authorized the funding and committed to developing the energy plan at its meeting on March 20. ETAG held its first meeting on June 12 at Berkeley Lab.
Walter Popenuck, former chief architect for the Laboratory’s Plant Engineering Department (forerunner to today’s Facilities Department) who played an integral role in the revitalization of the Lab’s buildings during the 1970s and early 1980s, passed away in his sleep on Memorial Day at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. He was 79.
A native of Massachusetts and son of Ukrainian immigrants, Popenuck was a World War II Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and finished his military career as a Russian interpreter. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the G.I. bill and was awarded his bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1950. After moving to California in 1951 and working as an architect in San Francisco, he joined what was then the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory or "Rad Lab" in 1959.
During his 26-year career at the Laboratory, Popenuck left a strong imprint on the look of the Hill, overseeing the planning and design of numerous facilities, including Building 90. He also was the lead architect on the design study for the 200 Bevatron Accelerator, a one-mile-in-diameter proton synchrotron that would eventually become Fermilab’s Tevatron.
"Walter once told me that the people involved, the scientists, engineers, designers, and, ultimately, the users, were the most important aspect of any architectural project, said Don Eagling, head of the Plant Engineering Department until 1991 and a frequent collaborator with Popenuck. "His concepts formed the basis for LBL’s Long Range Development Plan which was approved by the U.C. Regents for the 1980s."
Popenuck is survived by four children, Karen, Tom, Bill and Tina Popenuck, and seven grandchildren, Sage Baggott, Katie Rose and Anthony Ferguson, and Gillian, John, Betty, and Caroline Popenuck. He is also survived by his brothers, Alec, John, and Misha, and by his ex-wife, Anne Harrigan Musser.
A quiet memorial service was held on June 9. Friends interested in making a donation in Walter Popenuck’s name may contact MIT.
Former head of 184-Inch Cyclotron
One of the main figures of the generation of accelerator physicists of the 1930s and 1940s, James T. Vale died on May 22 in Santa Rosa. He was 87.
In 1941 Lab founder Ernest O. Lawrence met Vale, who was working at the Univeristy hospital in San Francisco at the time, and hired him. Thus started Jimmy Vale’s 30-year career at the Laboratory, 20 of them as head of the 184 Inch Cyclotron crew.
Vale worked alongside science greats such as Luis Alvarez, Edwin McMillan, and Edward Teller, among others. He retired from the Lab in 1973.
Orphaned at age five, Vale spent his youth in the Midwest and southern California before arriving at the University of California in the mid-1930s.
His interests and knowledge extended beyond high energy physics and electronics. He spearheaded Lawrence's attempts to develop color television in the late 1940s and 1950s, and had a special interest in California native plants. He was also an accomplished photographer.
In 1936, Vale married Una Andrews (who died in 1990), and they had three children: Katherine Pryor of Shaver Lake, CA; Betty of Pawtucket, RI; and Tom of Madison, WI.
In 1988 Vale moved from the family home in Walnut Creek to Santa Rosa, where he died.
Wayne Greenway of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division has been cycling since 1992 and competing nationally and internationally since 1996. He is a three-time California Triple Crown Award winner, a title reserved for cyclists who finish three or more 200-mile bike rides a year.
But when he embarks on the ultimate endurance test — the Race Across America (RAAM), a grueling coast-to-coast bicycle race — winning will be only part of his challenge. Teaming up with breast cancer survivor Grace Geniusz from his home town of Moraga, Greenway will use the race as a fundraiser by soliciting sponsorship from both individual and businesses. Their goal is to raise $125,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund and John Muir Breast Center.
Said Geniusz, "The enormity of Wayne’s undertaking is overwhelming. My own personal challenges while battling breast cancer and Wayne’s challenges have many parallels: the feeling that you just can’t get through one more day or even one more hour."
Hailed as the toughest race in the world, the course will take Greenway through 10 states and 3,000 miles. The participants will start in Portland, Oregon and arrive in Pensacola, Florida, averaging 350 miles a day.
Greenway has been training for the race since October, biking to the Lab 18 miles each way from his home in Moraga three days a week.
"I have developed a pattern of doing races that continually raises the bar for me physically and mentally. RAAM is the ultimate stretch of my ability, and the race will probably take me to the most extreme reach of my limits."
His is the mentality of a world class athlete — in this case, with an altruistic twist.
"This is something that I want to give back to the community," he says, thanking his friends and coworkers who are making it possible for him to participate. "I wanted to funnel all this energy into a good cause." — Monica Friedlander
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Energy, and Health and Human Services will sponsor two public meetings in Oakland on Tuesday, June 19, to discuss the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, which is designed to compensate workers and their families who became seriously ill from working in the nuclear weapons industry.
The sessions, to be held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Oakland Marriott City Center, will provide workers and concerned citizens the opportunity to ask questions about the program and the application/claims process.
Passed in October 2000, the law provides for lump-sum compensation and related medical expenses to workers who developed disabling or fatal illnesses as a result of exposure to beryllium, ionizing radiation, silica and other hazards unique to nuclear weapons production. Compensation will also be available to survivors in certain instances, and to uranium employees who received benefits under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
The Department of Energy’s Office of Worker Advocacy will help workers file state compensation claims and list facilities where covered workers were employed. The Department of Health and Human Services will establish guidelines for estimating radiation doses and the likelihood that they caused a worker’s illness. And the Department of Labor will administer compensation and medical benefits.
Oakland is the only California location for the meetings, although similar "town halls" are being held in cities throughout the nation. For more information, contact DOE-Oakland at 510-637-1819.
Mother Nature’s Best Fire Control System
You may have been surprised to see our newest summer employees hard at work in the hills around the Lab. The billygoats, which belong to Goats Are Us in Orinda, have made their summer trek to Berkeley, where they graze to clean out dry brush and undergrowth.
"We’ve been bringing these goats up here for five years," says Bob Berninzoni of EH&S. "They started off grazing on only seven acres, but now we have a herd of about 800 goats cleaning up over 50 acres on the Hill."
Under the watchful eye of goatherds and border collies, these hearty eaters arrive here about mid-May with the last rains of the season and continue to eat their way across the steep slopes until about the end of June. Because vegetation management is the foundation of the Lab’s defenses against wildfires, the voracious appetite of these scruffy visitors is a natural way of reducing fire hazards.
"These goats work year-round," says Terry Holleman, owner of Goats Are Us. "During the fire season, they reduce the fuel load, and in the winter they reduce brush and star thistle and provide other types of clearing." The goats are being recognized as an environmentally-friendly option for vegetation management over controlled burns and herbicides. In addition to the Lab, Holleman’s clients include EBMUD, the East Bay Regional Parks District, UC Berkeley, and Public Works for the City of San Francisco.
When the herd is done clearing the Lab’s acreage, they will move on to the East Bay Parks and UC lands until they have gone through most of the west side of the Hills. The herd will then move south, all the way to Lake Chabot. Currently, a herd of mama goats and their kids are at Tilden Park, and their numbers are increased each day from the makeshift nursery behind Building 71. There are also a few Jacob sheep mixed in with the goats, a special request made by Holleman’s son, who wanted to raise this old breed of sheep which is known for growing up to eight horns.
Holleman credits the growing popularity of her business not only to the fact that these grazers are one of Mother Nature’s most effective fire control systems, but also because of the reaction people have to the bucolic image of the goats on the hillside.
"They just seem to have a calming effect," Holleman says. — Lisa Gonzales
TEID Launches Online Newsletter
The Technical and Electronic Information Department (TEID) has published a new online newsletter, now available on the TEID website at http://www-library.lbl.gov/teid/tmTeid/newsletters/TEIDNewsletterCurrent.htm.
The publication contains information about TEID services, updates on equipment and material improvements, and announcements about new technologies and customer projects.
Retirement Credit Allocation Plan
Under a new UC program called the One-time UCRP Service Credit Allocation, employees who have worked as temporary staff at some time during their UC career may be eligible to receive an additional retirement plan credit of either one or two years, provided they meet the plan’s criteria. Those individuals will be notified by mail later this year.
To qualify, employees must have been in active staff appointment at UC on Jan. 1, 2001 and been employed as a temporary staff for a period of at least six months. Other criteria and exclusions apply. More information will be published in Currents and on the UCbencom website (www.ucop.edu/bencom) in the coming months.
New YCAL Fares from Oakland Start July 1
Southwest and United have added over 40 new cities to the YCAL fares program. Service from Oakland has increased from 6 to 27 domestic destinations. Although fares have been increased slightly, the Travel Department says, the additional cities covered by the fares should reduce overall travel costs.
The new program is effective July 1 and Maritz, the Lab’s contracted travel agency, is entering the new rates into their reservation system and Travel Power, the online reservation system. The new rates will soon be posted on the Lab Travel website at http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/CFO-Travel.
Employees are reminded that according to Lab regulations, "In the absence of extenuating circumstances, travelers are required to obtain their tickets from the Laboratory's contracted travel agency." For more information contact the TravelHotLine at [email protected]
Computer Stretch Break Now for MAC Users, Too
As part of its commitment to integrating safety into work activities, EH&S has upgraded the software for Stretch Break — a program that prompts computer users to pause for a short break and do stretching exercises in their chairs — to make it available to both PC and MAC users. (The program was previously available for PCs only through a Lab site licence.)
Stretching can help relieve the stress that comes from working at the computer for long periods of time and prevent musculoskeletal disorders. The software features animated figures accompanied by text with instructions. Users have the option to cancel a break or delay it. Stretch Break can be downloaded from http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/ergo/stretchdownload.shtml.
Note: if you are experiencing any discomfort, please check with Health Services or your personal physician before engaging in any stretching activities.
For software installation questions contact Steve Abraham at X6730. For ergonomics concerns, contact Jeffrey Chung at X5818.
Solar Eclipse Day at the LHS
On June 21, the Lawrence Hall of Science will broadcast the solar eclipse seen in Africa live on a large screen in the LHS Auditorium. The LHS opens at 5:30 a.m. and the eclipse is expected to occur at 6:00 a.m. PST. NASA researchers and scientists from the Space Sciences Laboratory will be on hand to present and answer questions. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be offered between 5:30 and 6 p.m. LHS reopens at 10 a.m. with rebroadcasts of the eclipse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Related activities and safe solar viewing through sun-spotter telescopes are scheduled until 2:00 p.m. The event is included with museum admission.
Return Addresses Required by USPS
The U.S. Postal Service is enforcing its security restrictions concerning return addresses. All pieces of foreign mail and all domestic mail weighing 16 ounces or more are required to have return addresses. Mail without a return address can be refused by the USPS or end up in the "dead mail" file. Questions regarding the correct format for addressing may be directed to Michael Esver at X5353.
Pedal Pushers – Las Chupacabras 10-0
Standings after Week 2
1. Fully Loaded 3-0
LBNL Golf Club
JUNE 20, Wednesday
SEXUAL HARRASSMENT & DISCRIMINATION
JUNE 21, Thursday
JUNE 25, Monday
THE STUDENTS ARE COMING
JUNE 30, Monday
CALPERS LONG TERM CARE ENROLLMENT
Send us your announcements
Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to [email protected] Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to [email protected] You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the June 29 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, June 25.
Seminars & Lectures
JUNE 26, Tuesday
CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
July 30 – Aug. 3, 2001
Early Registration Deadline: June 29
Registration form available online. For more, see http://www.lbl.gov/~inpc2001/
AIM onsite PC computer courses:
Classes are held in Bldg. 51L from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class descriptions and registration procedure are available at http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/EDT/computers/PC_Classes.html. Courses are taught on PCs with Windows 98®. For users of a Mac 6.x series or an older Mac or PC version, the material covered in these courses will be applicable.
For more information contact Heather Pinto at [email protected]
Berkeley Lab’s Surplus Chemical Exchange Program offers unused chemicals to Lab employees for use in research projects funded by the DOE. Upon request, technicians from the Hazardous Waste Handling Facility deliver the materials free of charge within one or two business days. All chemical containers are sealed and have never been opened.
A complete list of chemicals can be found on the Lab’s Waste Minimization website at www.lbl.gov/ehs/wastemin. Some of the items available this month include:
Autos / Supplies
‘97 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLS, black, 35K mi, pwr locks/win, sunrf, ac, am/fm/cass, alloy wheels, new tires/battery, handles great, $12,000/bo, Amanda, X2353, 527-2814
‘96 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE Laredo, 64K mi, green, 4x4, V8, at, ac, roof rack, tow pkg, recent major service, new battery, exc cond, $13,900/bo, Bob, X6243, (925) 933 7536
‘95 CADILLAC SEVILLE STS, Northstar, flawless, every option, moonrf, Bose CD, warranty, metallic shale, 67K mi, $21,500/ bo, Kelly bluebook $22,700, Wayne, X7685, (925) 837-2409
‘93 FORD ESCORT LX 4 dr hatch, 113K mi, cass, new tires, timing belt changed, good cond, $2,900/ bo, David, 642-5589
‘92 FORD TAURUS, 82K mi, 3.8L V6, ac, ps, abs, pwr seat, cruise, dual airbags, 1 family owner, exc cond, $2,950, Bob, X4451, 548-2429
‘89 PLYMOUTH GRAND VOYAGER LE Turbo, burgundy, 120K mi, exc cond, new paint, a/c, pwr lock, $4,000/bo, Mike 799-5684
‘89 HONDA CRX-Si, silver, 110K mi, 5 spd manual, up to 40 mpg, ac, am/fm/cass, sunrf, new muffler/clutch/timing belt, recent full service, $2,600/bo, David Mays, X7083, 658-3902
‘86 SAAB 900 2 dr HB, white, 5 spd manual, 136K hwy mi, great cond, clean (non-smoker), major tune-up done, spent $2,000+ for new parts, $3,300, Nobu , X4585
‘74 PORSCHE 914 2.0, exc cond, perfect mechanicals, body, silver/blue paint, ride height adj, bilstein shocks, weltmeister suspension, variable rate springs, lowered 1", hi-perf hydraulic lifters, lightened flywheel, new stainless steel heat exchangers, removeable targa hardtop/conv, $7,500/bo, Wayne, X7685, (925) 837-2409
BERKELEY HILLS, 1 bdrm w/ priv bth in quiet house, close to Lab, share w/ landlord who is gone most of the time & 1 other tenant, beautiful view, many amenities, $845/mo incl laundry privil, non-smoker, Bart, 527-9380
BERKELEY HILLS, furn room in home, TV/VCR, quiet, #8 busline, 25 min walk to campus/Lab, $500/mo incl util & kitchen priv, male only, non-smoker, avail 7/5, Carolyn, 549-0648, [email protected] com
BERKELEY, rooms for rent by the week or mo in nice B&B, close to shuttle, currently 3 rms avail, Helen, 527-3252, Lorri, X7493
BERKELEY studio, sep kitchen, city ctr, walk dist to shuttle/BART, fully furn, avail 7/10, $895 incl util, Oleg, [email protected] lbl.gov
BERKELEY, sunny garden apt for short-term rental for vis scholars, 2-rm furn unit in priv home w/ kitchenette & bath, sep ent w/ brick patio faces garden, SF view, on 67 bus line to campus/downtown, max double occup, no pets/ smoking, avail July, $1,200/mo or $400/week, Roger Hahn, 526-0901 (h), 642-5199 (w), [email protected] socrates.berkeley.edu
EL CERRITO, room in beautiful Spanish-style house w/ garden, walk dist to BART, share house w/ music loving, samba/salsa dancing single mother & 2-yr-old son, own phone in rm (# has to be transferred), $600/mo + $250 dep, possible rent reduction for yardwork assist, Christian (current roommate), X2459, [email protected]
KENSINGTON lge 1 bdrm furn, full kitchen, partial bay view, backyrd, w/d, firepl, lge liv rm, no smoking/pets, walk to shops, avail 6/15 - 8/15, $1,200/mo + util, Dave or Pinar, 528-8625
KENSINGTON, rooms avail during summer term for visiting faculty and staff, quiet garden setting, $450/mo, Ruth, 526-2007
LAKE MERRITT, 2 bdrm apt, firepl, parking, close to BART, avail 6/23, $1,695/mo, gas/water/ trash incl, first & last + $300 sec dep, non-smoker, Ying, 531-6379, [email protected]
NORTH BERKELEY, furn lge sunny 1 bdrm apt, walk to stores, BART, public transp & campus, many amenities, priv garden, gated carport, avail yr-round by week/mo, Denyse, 848-1830
RICHMOND ANNEX, bright, furn room in 2 bdrm house to sublet, 20 min by car to Lab, 15 min walk to BART, nice view of SF, share kitchen, bth, liv/dining rms, yards, non-smoker, avail 7/1, $800/mo incl util (neg), must like animals, Sonia, X5944, 528-7923, [email protected]
VISITING GAMMASPHERE RESEARCHER & wife seek furn 1 bdrm apt starting early July +/- 2 weeks, pref near shuttle or public trans, John, X6318, 527-8790, [email protected]
VISITING RESEARCHER and wife from Israel seek a furn apt in Berkeley from 7/1, John, 527-8790, [email protected]
VISITING SCHOLAR from Spain seeks furn room in house near Lab/campus, Javier, [email protected]
VISITING SCIENTIST from France w/ wife & 2 daughters (3 & 6) seek housing 7/12 - 7/31, [email protected]
Misc Items for Sale
APPLE IBOOK G3 300mhz, 128mb ram, 6 gig hd, 24x cd, usb, 56 modem, ethernet, headphone jack, iMouse Jr., pwr adapter, 6 hr batt, laptop case, ext USB 250 MB zip drive, software neg, $950, Tom, X5192
APPLE IBOOK G3 300mhz, 160 MB ram, 3.2 GIG hd, 24x cd, USB, 56K modem, ethernet, headph jack, mouse, pwr adapter, 6-hr batt, laptop case, ext USB 250 MB zip drive, OS 9.1 & Windows NT 4.0, other software incl, $900, Elijah, X2908
DRYER Hotpoint Electric, lge capacity, heavy duty, 4 yrs old, white, $200/bo, Fred, X4382, 524-4138
GLASS DOORS 38x28 for firepl opening, $20; cast iron fire basket, $5; pair steel auto repair ramps, $20; mechanics creeper, $10; ‘81 Corolla service manual, $10, John, 849-1051
MOVING SALE : beige couch set, $300; cherry wood side tables, $100; cherry wood 6-pc dining rm set, $600; beige/brown full sz futon chair/bed, $300; 29" TV, VCR, stereo entert ctr, $200; 2 recliner chairs, $100/ea, all items in exc cond, Negest, 452-3141
RACING BIKE, Univega Nuovo-tech 450, exc cond, $180/bo; Toshiba 19" color TV, $50, Ursula, X4338, 215-7617
SLIDING DOORS for closet, mirrored, unit of 3, each 37x77.5", frame for all 3 is 80"x100", $75/ door or $200/unit, exc cond, Ruth, 526-2007
STATIONARY BIKE w/ book stand, $50; Bell bicycle helmet (adult sm/med) $10; twin wooden platform bed, firm matt, storage drawers, $75/bo, Susan, X5437
TIKI TORCHES, 6’ tall, 30 w/ natural finish, 12 painted black, orig $7/ea, ask $3/ea or $75 for all, James or Maxine, 541-0809
HOUSE SITTER in Orinda, 8/3 - 8/27, feed sweet dog who has own doggy door, possible use of one cars, 20 min to Lab, Mike, (925) 254-0609 or [email protected]
LANDSCAPING in Pleasanton/Livermore, one large and one small yard, references, estimate, call 521-7105
KIHEI, MAUI, 1 bdrm condo, across street from best beach on Maui, fully equipped, view the ocean, Haleakela, $400/wk, Fred/ Shar, 981-2073, 523-4150 (eve)
PARIS, FRANCE, near Eiffel Tower, furn elegant sunny 2 bdrm apt, avail yr-round by week/ month, Denyse, 848-1830
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, spacious chalet in Tyrol area, close to Heavenly, furn, sleeps 8+, sunny deck, pool & spa in club house, close to casinos, $150/ day, Angela, X7712, Pat/Maria, 724-9450
TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yrd, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, priv dock, great view, $175/ night, 2 night min, Bob, (925) 376-2211
Ads are accepted only from LBNL employees, retirees, and onsite DOE personnel. Only items of your own personal property may be offered for sale.
Submissions must include name, affiliation, extension, and home phone number. Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail ([email protected]), fax (X6641), or delivered/mailed to Bldg. 65B.
Ads run one week only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits. They may not be retracted once submitted for publication.
The deadline for the June 29 issue Thursday, June 21.