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Monday, Nov. 16, 2009

HR Benefits

‘Total Rewards’ Site Puts Lab Benefits Under One Roof

The cutting-edge science, spectacular views, and dynamic workforce are among the many reasons a job at the Lab is desirable. But there are numerous human resources benefits that staff enjoy as part of their overall compensation.

To help current and prospective employees find and better understand these benefits, the "Total Rewards" website and brochure was created.

"We wanted to create a comprehensive location where staff can learn more about the programs offered," said HR Benefits and Compensation Manager David Wiedrick. "These programs encompass nearly every aspect of an employee’s work environment, addressing their physical, financial, intellectual, and social and emotional needs."

It is estimated that on average, based on appointment type, the value of these benefits is 40 percent over base salaries.

Total Rewards organizes benefits under the categories of compensation, health and welfare, retirement, work life, training and development, and additional information. Under these headers are links to such services as the Health Care Facilitator, a retirement pension plan calculator, and pre-tax transportation deductions.

Go here to view the website, which includes a downloadable PDF of the brochure.

Research: Taking the Lead Out of Piezoelectrics

Ramamoorthy Ramesh of the Materials Sciences Division and his grad student Robert Zeches were members of a research team that showed that the application of epitaxial strain to thin films of bismuth ferrite alters the material’s crystal structure to produce a significantly enhanced piezoelectric effect. This provides the first lead-free alternative to the current crop of piezoelectric materials. Changes to the bismuth ferrite were imaged using the TEAM 0.5 instrument at the National Center for Electron Microscopy. More>

Safety: Lichty Talk on H1N1 Flu Pandemic Now Online

A video of Lab Medical Director Peter Lichty's talk concerning recent developments in the H1N1 flu pandemic is now available for viewing online. Lichty describes current data on the spread of the virus, as well as methods for influenza control, including H1N1 vaccine. View the video here. More on the Lab's readiness for H1N1 is available on the Pandemic Flu website.

Research: Vibrations Key to Efficiency of Green Fluorescent Protein

Chemists — including Berkeley Lab physical bioscientist Richard Mathies — have discovered the secret to the success of a jellyfish protein whose green glow has made it the darling of biologists and the subject of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The researchers' study of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the structural changes it undergoes when it fluoresces is the cover story of the Nov. 12 issue of the journal Nature. The researchers used extremely short laser pulses – 20 millionths of a nanosecond, or 20 femtoseconds – to take snapshots of GFP to determine the structural changes it undergoes when it fluoresces. More>

People: Foundry’s DeYoreo to Become Materials Research Society President

The Molecular Foundry’s Jim DeYoreo has been elected vice president and president-elect of the Materials Research Society (MRS), an organization of 15,000 scientists and engineers in 50 countries around the world, studying interdisciplinary research in materials science. He will be responsible for establishing policy, monitoring progress of the Society toward its long-term goals, and setting the strategic directions for the major activities of the Society, including its meetings, publications, interactions with government agencies, and cooperative efforts with other professional societies throughout the world. More>

Special Event: Lawrence Hall of Science Hosts ‘Geek Out’ Nights

Calling all "nerds." The Lawrence Hall of Science is now sponsoring monthly Wednesday night programs aimed at adult audiences who "think fantasy football is better than the real thing and that a spreadsheet is a reasonable way to keep track of past relationships." Each "Geek Out" event features a different topic, with this Wednesday's focusing on what it would take to survive on Mars. Planetary scientist Adrian Brown and physicist Matt Fillingim will moderate. For a $10 admission price, guests can enjoy appetizers, a cash bar, and full access to exhibits, as well as the speaking program. The event begins at 7 p.m. More>

Employee Activity: Onsite Blood Drive Tomorrow

The Philanthropy Club will be hosting a blood drive tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Bloodmobile will be parked in the Cafeteria parking lot. Go here to register (sponsor code is LBL).

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