February 23, 2001 Search the Currents Archive

Sally Benson Named Lab Deputy Director

Storing Carbon In the Ocean: A Promising Option

Sally Benson Named Lab Deputy Director

By Ron Kolb

Some of earth scientist Sally Benson’s most notable work has involved a fair measure of field hydrogeology as she strove to deal with a selenium-contamination crisis at the Kesterson Reservoir in the Central Valley in the mid-1980s.

The link between such muddy-boots field work and administrative responsibility for a $400 million operation may seem tenuous on the face of it. But Benson’s ultimate success at Kesterson, newsworthy and scientifically notable, was a product of imagination, teamwork, initiative, and energy, qualities she has brought to all her scientific endeavors and expects to bring to her new job as Berkeley Lab’s second-ever Deputy Director for Operations. On April 2, she will succeed Klaus Berkner, who will retire after 37 years at the Laboratory, the last seven in his current position.

"Sally Benson’s combination of knowledge, experience, and drive will enable her to make a unique contribution to this challenging role," wrote Laboratory Director Charles Shank in a labwide e-mail announcement last Friday. "I have every confidence that Dr. Benson will uphold the tradition of excellence put in place by Klaus Berkner."

Like Berkner, Benson is a scientist who has spent her entire professional career in Berkeley — she’s been here since 1977 when she was hired as a freshly scrubbed geology graduate from Barnard College. She started as a technical assistant in the Energy and Environment Division and, as she worked her way through UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Material Science and Engineering, she moved up through the staff scientist ranks in a career highlighted by creative solutions to some of California’s most intractable environmental problems.

In 1993, Director Shank named her Division Director for Earth Sciences, and in 1997 he gave her additional responsibilities as Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy Sciences, a member of the senior management team.

"I know the Lab at many levels," she says. "And as a result of collaborations with a whole range of research institutions, I think I know what it takes to be a great place to do science. I am committed to maintain that atmosphere here."

She brings experience in building strong relationships — with the Department of Energy, the University of California, and private industry, among others; successful departmental management of people, projects and budgets; and that essential attribute, a sense of humor.

She also knows how to delegate. "My husband balances our checkbook," she laughs.

But she can handle finances, too. In the eight years she has guided the Earth Sciences Division, which now includes the financial challenges of more than 250 projects, the division’s budget and staff have more than doubled. The importance and impact of the work have likewise grown measurably. She points with pride to her development of the climate variability and carbon management programs, as well as her creation of a collegial team of scientists and staff, working on some of the most challenging issues facing the Department of Energy.

These are achievements that should serve her well in a position that manages a budget of $150 million, a work force of 1,300, and programs in engineering and technical services; administrative services; environment, health and safety; facilities; finance; human resources; and internal audit. "One of the important things I hope to bring from a scientific division to the operations side is a commitment to fostering and recognizing creativity, teamwork and initiative across the board," she notes.

With the responsibility come challenges, some of which she identifies without hesitation or apprehension. "We have to figure out how to deal with a growing lab with a fixed footprint," she says. "We need to continue to build our research programs, because that’s a sign of a healthy organization — so how can we accommodate the facilities and the staff?

"And we want to position ourselves to get a favorable contract," she adds, referring to the upcoming negotiations with the DOE and the University of California on Berkeley Lab’s management contract extension.

She is also quick to point to the "works in progress" that Berkner initiated and her desire to maintain their momentum. "Klaus has tremendous integrity. He always has a balanced view of things in trying to be fair but meet everyone’s needs at the same time. And he has that great intellect that he combines with thoughtfulness when confronting the problems."

A tough act to follow, but Benson seems well positioned for the new role. In fact, her enthusiasm for the days ahead couldn’t be greater.

"We are at an incredibly exciting time in the Lab’s history," she said. "The Lab started with an astoundingly rich period of work in a scientific area much narrower than we have today. It has evolved and transformed itself into a true multidisciplinary institution at world-class level in many disciplines. The richest opportunities now lie at the boundaries between disciplines and we are uniquely positioned to exploit them. We bring not only our disciplinary strengths in the physical and biological sciences, but also our strengths in engineering and in the teamwork necessary to tackle problems of scale. How to bring all these pieces together to tackle major national issues such as energy — once again front line news — is what we should strive for."

Benson wants to be part of the scientific solutions, too, in her plan to continue her scientific research, which has focused on groundwater hydrology and carbon sequestration. For more than 15 years, she has studied the selenium contamination caused by agricultural drainage in the Central Valley, and she plans to continue that work.

"We are poised for an explosion of contributions," she says of the Lab’s future. And now, as Deputy Director for Operations, she will be instrumental in guaranteeing Berkeley Lab’s capacity to deliver on the promise.

Storing Carbon In the Ocean: A Promising Option


This is the second of two articles about carbon sequestration programs at Berkeley Lab. See the Feb. 9 issue of Currents for a look at the storage of carbon underground.

By Paul Preuss

Researchers launch SOLO, a float that records temperature, salinity, circulation, and carbon biomass concentrations.

One of the most promising places to sequester carbon is in the oceans, which currently take up a third of the carbon currently emitted by human activity, roughly two billion metric tons each year. The amount of carbon that would double the load in the atmosphere would increase the concentration in the deep ocean by only two percent.

Two sequestration strategies are currently under intense study at the Department of Energy’s Center for Research on Ocean Carbon Sequestration (DOCS), where Jim Bishop of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division is codirector with Livermore Lab’s Ken Caldeira. One is direct injection, which would pump liquefied carbon dioxide a thousand meters deep or deeper, either directly from shore stations or from tankers trailing long pipes at sea.

"At great depths, CO2 is denser than sea water, and it may be possible to store it on the bottom as liquid or as deposits of icy hydrates," Bishop explains. "At depths easy to reach with pipes, CO2 is buoyant; it has to be diluted and dispersed so it will dissolve."

What happens to carbon dioxide introduced into the ocean in this way may soon be field-tested in Hawaii. Over a two-week period researchers plan to inject 40 to 60 metric tons of pure liquid CO2 over 2,500 feet deep in the ocean near the Big Island.

One variable they will be measuring is acidity. Water and carbon dioxide form carbonic acid, "but once diluted in sea water, carbonic acid is not the dominant chemical species," Bishop says, "because of seawater’s high alkalinity and buffering capacity." If calcium car-bonate sediments are involved, acidity is even less. "Think of Tums," he suggests.

Fertilizing the ocean

The other major approach to sequestration is to "prime the biological pump" by fertilizing the ocean. Near the sur-face, carbon is fixed by plant-like phytoplankton, which are eaten by sea animals; some eventually rains down as waste and dead organisms. Bacteria feed on this particulate organic carbon and produce CO2, which dissolves, while the rest of the detritus ends on the sea floor.

"There are areas of the ocean that are rich in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus but poor in phytoplankton," says Bishop. "Adding a little iron to the mix allows the plankton to use the nutrients and bloom. The energy for the process is supplied by sunlight. Already commercial outfits are dropping iron filings overboard, hoping to increase fisheries — meanwhile claiming they are helping to prevent global warming."

In fact, Bishop explains, "if the excess fixed carbon in plants is eaten by fish near the ocean surface, the net effect is no gain. And in every part of the ocean there are open mouths."

No one really knows where the carbon trapped by fertilization ends up. In one iron-fertilization experiment in warm equatorial waters, chlorophyll increased 30-fold in a week, and there was increased carbon sedimentation down through 100 meters. But the bloom shortly dissipated, the fate of the carbon in deeper waters wasn’t followed, and long-term effects weren’t measured.

In a more recent experiment in cold Antarctic Ocean waters the plankton bloom persisted much longer. Seven weeks after the experiment ended a distinct pattern of iron-fertilized plankton was still visible from space — "which means the fixed carbon was still at the surface."

Bishop says that "people who want to add iron think the particulate matter will fall straight to the bottom; I have sampled natural plankton blooms, and I have not seen that happen. These guys have a potentially effective method of sequestering carbon, but as yet there is no scientific basis for their claims."

Carbon sequestration by direct injection into the deep ocean involves the capture, separation, transport, and injection of CO2 from land or tankers.

Fishing for data

One of Bishop’s specialties is measuring the ocean’s particulate organic and inorganic matter at different depths to determine variations with ocean circulation patterns and biological regimes. He and his colleagues lower units overboard that pump and filter thousands of liters of seawater through meshes of different size, trapping biological products and dissolved minerals. "In my former life I was a garbage collector," he jokes. "But this way we can tell how the ecosystem functions."

Because ships are expensive, carbon data is sparse. Much more data is needed to calibrate ocean circulation models such as those developed by Livermore’s Ken Caldeira, who uses computers to visualize the possible consequences of both major strategies of sequestration.

Of these circulation models Bishop remarks that "any oceanographer would say, ‘that looks like the ocean’ — because decades of ship observations have given us knowledge of how the ocean circulates."

But representations of how fast things are happening at middle depths could be off by a factor of four, he says, "and we have no way of knowing unless we get more data. We can’t afford enough ships, but we can do the job with floats."

Flying and gliding through the depths

Project Argo, a consortium of scientists from a dozen countries, is now deploying some 3,000 floats around the globe to measure the temperature and salinity of the upper 2,000 meters of the ocean. "They sink, stay down for two weeks, come up and send their position and data to a satellite," says Bishop. "They’re like 3,000 points of light. They’ll give us the mid-depth circulation."

Bishop and colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and from private industry have developed a modified float dubbed SOLO, supported by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (a consortium of universities and other research organizations) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. SOLO is equip-ped with instruments for measuring organic and inorganic carbon, both in solution and tied up in particles — a "robotic carbon observer" with more sophisticated timing and positioning systems and faster data transfer than the Argo floats.

Four SOLOs will be launched this year in well-studied areas of the northern Atlantic and Pacific, where weather ships were once located. "Weather ships gave us more than just weather. When satellites came in, we lost an important source of time-dependent measurements of how ocean chemistry changes, seasonally and day to day."

Unlike trees, Bishop notes, the plants that fix carbon in the ocean typically live and die in a single day. "This makes it really hard and expensive to follow the variability of plants using a ship. When the weather gets bad all work on the ship stops — yet biology goes on unobserved." But after floats are placed in currents from ships or planes, they "fly as balloons do, for seasons."

A more versatile platform is a robotic "glider" that can be launched from a harbor. Bishop says that a miniature submarine glider dubbed Spray, developed at Scripps and Woods Hole, "is an exciting new vehicle that we are learning how to use this year. You tell it where to go, what to do, and to come back when it’s done."

Equipped with big batteries and a Global Positioning System receiver, Spray can be programmed by satellite to maintain a heading or adjust course and depth. Thus, Bishop says, "Gliders can effectively monitor what happens after ocean fertilization, swimming back and forth through the fertilized patch, measuring biomass and iron concentration at various depths."

Assessing change

DOCS is working to develop new platforms and instruments to gather sufficient data on fertilization, direct CO2 injection, and other methods for ocean carbon sequestration, data that will help researchers understand the implications for the oceans and the global environment. The most important questions are possible changes in biogeochemical processes — and how the public responds to them.

"We need to define the sequestration strategies and find out if they can really work, and if there are problems associated with them," says Bishop. "One of our most important tasks is to establish DOCS as a consistent, unbiased voice on the scientific issues. We want to be an educational center, not an engineering center."

For more on ocean carbon sequestration, visit http://www-esd.lbl.gov/DOCS/index2.html.

Snow in Berkeley? An Arctic Surprise

Kids were jumping with joy and building snowmen up the hill from Berkeley Lab last week as Mother Nature blanketed the Berkeley and Oakland Hills with snowfall totals not seen in the Bay Area in 25 years. Some people even packed bagfuls of snow to take home with them, thanks to the arctic blast that plunged the snow level down to 500 feet. The unusual treat on Feb. 13 did not reach low enough to bless most of us at the Lab with the fluffy stuff — nor to snarl traffic here as it did on many roads in the region. But at higher elevations at the Lab and up in Tilden Park, a dreamlike layer of snow transformed the landscape for much of the day.

News from AAAS Annual Meeting

AAAS President Calls for Science Cabinet Post


By Lynn Yarris

This past week (Feb. 15-20), more than 4,000 scientists and engineers, educators, students, policy-makers, and journalists gathered in San Francisco for the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general science organization. The theme of this year’s event, "Building the Future Through Science, Engineering and Technology," got off to a rousing start when AAAS president Mary Good, in her opening speech, called for the creation of a Cabinet-level position for science and technology policy.

"Without sharp increases in government financing for graduate-level training of new scientists and engineers, as well as for nonmedical research, the United States could be in a much less competitive position in 25 years than it is today," Good said. "This would affect our overall well-being, as well as being a threat to our national security."

The dean of the College of Information Science and Systems Engineering at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as well as an award-winning chemist, Good is an experienced political insider, having served in various appointments under presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. During the Clinton Administration, she was Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department. There she oversaw, among others, the technology programs that are administered by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and the Office of Technology Policy.

In her AAAS speech, Good noted that while the pace of American science has been phenomenal over the past decades, it is slowing down. The drop coincides with a decline in federal dollar support of science and engineering education. For example, in the past 15 years, she said, the number of students earning degrees in engineering has dropped by 20 percent. In each of those years, the number of Ph.Ds in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science has also shrunk. During this same period, the number of foreign students earning science and engineering degrees at American universities has dramatically increased. China, for example, produces more than twice as many engineers as the United States, and Japan produces 75 percent more.

"When one compares our workforce to our global competitors, we find that we lag behind most of the industrialized world in the percentages of 24-year-olds with natural science and engineering degrees," Good said. "The United States is clearly a leader in biotechnology and information technology. However, it is beginning to fall behind in areas where we were once leaders, such as in chemistry and electronics."

Good said that a cabinet-level science post could be responsible for the coordination of federal R&D; a review of government laboratories for the purpose of restoring responsibility for "mission execution" to lab directors; and the creation of programs that encourage students to enter science, math, and engineering careers.

Previous calls for a cabinet-level science position have never received much support from presidents or members of Congress.

Among other highlights at the AAAS meeting were public lectures on human genomics delivered Saturday and Sunday evenings by Francis Collins and Craig Venter, the respective heads of the public and private human genome mapping efforts, plus a special lecture by Alfred Berkeley III, president of the Nasdaq Stock Market. Dozens of Berkeley Lab scientists gave papers or participated in the various symposia.

Berkeley Lab also participated, through Ron Kolb of the Public Information Department, in a joint exhibit with SLAC, the Livermore and Sandia national labs, and DOE’s Oakland Office.

Human Genome Consortium, JGI Make Headline News


By Paul Preuss

Shown here at a recent JGI Policy Board meeting in Walnut Creek are, left to right, Dan Rokhsar of JGI, Paul Predki of JGI, Gerry Rubin of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, David Galas of the Keck Graduate Institute, Susan Lucas of JGI, Richard Gibbs of Baylor College of Medicine, JGI Director Trevor Hawkins, James Watson of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Pier Oddone, deputy director of Berkeley Lab, Jeffrey Wadsworth of Livermore Lab, Richard Lifton of Yale University, William Press of Los Alamos Lab, Berkeley Lab Director Charles Shank, Jeff Boore of JGI, and Paul Richardson of JGI.

On February 12, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium and Celera Genomics, a private company, held a joint press conference in Washington, D.C. to announce simultaneous publications in Nature (Feb. 15) and Science (Feb. 16) describing the mapping, sequencing, and analysis of the human genome. In June of last year the same parties announced the working draft of the human genome. The February Science and Nature papers were the first official publications of those results and also included work completed since June.

Because a background interview with Craig Venter, head of Celera, leaked to the British press the preceding weekend, much of the news was already circulating when the press conference was held. Among the interesting (if not entirely surprising) results was the conclusion that there are relatively few human genes — some 30,000 to 35,000 instead of the 100,000 or more considered likely by many.

Another surprise was the very uneven distribution of these genes on the chromosomes; some chromosomes appear to be "urban centers," with up to 10 times as many genes as chromosomal "deserts." Although not all genes have been counted, their uneven distribution is assumed on the basis of distributions of the four bases in DNA.

Last April the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute, a multilaboratory facilty in Walnut Creek now headed by Berkeley Lab’s Genomics Division Director Trevor Hawkins, announced the draft sequences of chromosomes 5, 16 and 19, which comprise some 11 percent of the genome as a whole. Rapid sequencing technologies employed by JGI have allowed it to produce numerous genomes since, including 16 microbial genomes (15 in the month of October alone), the large genome of the white rot fungus, the large mouse chromosome corresponding to human chromosome 16, and ongoing projects to sequence the pufferfish and the sea squirt.

The sequencing of other organisms is spurred by the realization that many human genes are closely analogous to those found in primitive organisms such as bacteria, plants, insects, and fish — indicating that the large proportion of human "junk" DNA (DNA that does not encode genes) is crucial in controlling gene expression and development. It is also clear that the structure and activity of proteins holds many of the secrets of what makes humans human.

Lab Engineers Elected to NAE


Three engineers from Berkeley Lab were among the 74 new members elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions in the field, honoring those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice or who have demonstrated unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

Robert O. Ritchie, head of the Structural Materials Department in the Materials Science Division and a professor at UC Berkeley, was recognized for his contributions to the understanding of fatigue fracture and the failure of advanced metals, intermetallics and ceramics. He is currently overseeing the proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Fracture to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii in December.

George H. Brimhall of the Earth Sciences Division and director of the Earth Resources Center at UC Berkeley was recognized for his work to advance geological modeling and ore deposit exploration. His research interests focus on mineral exploration science and nonrenewable resource issues.

David Jenkins, an engineer in EETD’s Advanced Energy Technologies Department and UCB professor emeritus, was recognized for his theoretical and practical contributions to improving water quality worldwide through applied research on biological waste-water treatment processes.

Also elected to the Academy were two UC Berkeley faculty members: Albert P. Pisano, FANUC Chair of Mechanical Systems and director of the Electronics Research Laboratory; and Sosale Shankara Sastry, chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department.

B Factory Results Cause a Stir at AAAS Meeting


By Lynn Yarris

BABAR Spokesperson calls latest results
"the most challenging answer nature could have given us."

The 1200-ton BaBar detector located at SLAC must sift through millions of beam crossings per second in order to identify the three or four "golden events" that reveal evidence of CP violation. The first BaBar results were recently published in Physical Review Letters.

The first results from the B Factory to be published by the BaBar detector collaboration, of which Berkeley Lab researchers are prominent members, may or may not support the Standard Model — too early to tell. But they did generate a lot of comments at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which was held in San Francisco February 15-20. While scientists disagreed on whether the news from BaBar was good or bad, everyone seemed to applaud the performance of the detector and the B Factory collider.

"The B Factory is operating like a fire hose, flooding us with data," said Princeton University physicist Stewart Smith, spokesperson for the BaBar Collaboration. "BaBar physicists are delighted by the opportunities to do great physics that we have been given so early in the game, and we are working extra hard to cope with all the challenges that this embarrassment of riches presents."

Said Jonathan Dorfan, director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) where the B Factory is located, "This is the culmination of more than a decade of efforts by hundreds of scientists and engineers around the world. Our experiment is beginning to yield tantalizing physics results."

B Factory is the popular name given to the $177 million "asymmetric" electron-positron collider collaboratively designed and built by researchers with SLAC, Berkeley Lab and Lawrence Livermore National Lab, whose mission is to produce copious quantities (with factory-like reliability) of B mesons — sub-atomic particles containing a "bottom" quark. BaBar is the $80 million, 1,200 ton detector system responsible for sifting through the millions of collisions taking place every second that the B Factory is running and identifying those "golden events" that yield meaningful data. It, too, was designed and built by a collaboration that included Berkeley Lab.

Measuring the lifetime of a B meson and a B-bar meson — the B meson’s antimatter counterpart — allows scientists to search for a subtle difference in their decay called CP violation. This event, if verified, could help explain why the processes that created our universe favored matter over antimatter.

"We are now poised to study a wide array of B and B-bar decay channels independently and measure any differences in their respective rates," Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone said when the B Factory and BaBar first began yielding data. Oddone is credited with being the father of the B Factory, as he was the first to propose that colliding electron and positron beams of unequal energies would make it possible to study CP violation. Prior to the B Factory, electron-positron colliders had always been designed to smash together beams of equal energies.

The first results from BaBar, which will be published in Physical Review Letters, are based on nearly 25 million collision "events" accumulated in 1999 and 2000, of which 630 were events showing evidence of CP violation. For a matter-antimatter asymmetry measurement called "sin 2ß" whose possible values range from –1 to +1 with 0 representing no CP violation, the Standard Model of particle physics predicts a value of 0.72. The value for sin 2ß observed at the B Factory to date is 0.34 with an error range of ±0.20. This means that the real value could agree with the Standard Model’s prediction, or it could be zero, which would require theorists to come up with something new.

"It’s starting to get interesting," theorist Joseph Lykken of Fermilab said of the BaBar results at the AAAS meeting "We’re almost at the point of challenging the Standard Model and its explanation of CP violation."

Theorist Michael Dine of UC Santa Cruz found the news from BaBar depressing. "I desperately wanted the results (for sin 2ß) to be zero."

BaBar spokesperson Smith called the results "the number from hell, the most challenging answer that Nature could have given us."

Nonetheless, the BaBar results are the most precise measurements ever made of B meson and a B-bar meson decay, a precision made possible by the better-than-expected performance of the B Factory, which was able to reach its projected collision rate between electrons and positrons during its first 18 months of operation — an unprecedented achievement.

Said SLAC director Dorfan, "The B Factory is achieving its promised performance, and it will exceed that promise during the coming year."

The B Factory has just begun its second experimental run which is to continue through August and will enable the BaBar researchers to greatly refine their measurements.

Lab, City Officials Meet to Address Energy Crisis


By Ted Gartner

Jeff Siegel, a graduate student in the Energy Performance of Buildings Group, was among the speakers at the ernergy seminar held at the Lab last week.

That directions the City of Berkeley needs to take to survive the current California energy crisis was the subject of a noontime seminar held last Thursday by Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD). Leading the discussion were Jeff Siegel, a graduate student in the Energy Performance of Buildings Group, Rick Diamond, staff scientist with EPOB, Bill Golove of EETD’s Energy Analysis Department, and Neal de Snoo, the energy manager for the City of Berkeley. Siegel, who also is chair of Berkeley’s Energy Commission, made a presentation similar to one he presented the previous evening to the Berkeley City Council.

Berkeley’s Energy Commission was established to advise city leaders on policy Berkeley should take to maintain a healthy energy system. At an earlier brainstorming meeting of the Commission, ideas such as conservation, system efficiency, renewable sources, reliability, and social equity were suggested as possible strategies. Out of these, the Commission agreed that conservation should be the first method used by citizens to lower their utility bills.

Other ideas posited for greater investigation include municipalization of the utilities, an opt-out aggregation program for Berkeley residences, and rates based on climate-based load profiles. Conservation tactics could include such simple actions as turning down thermostats or installing attic insulation and waterheater wraps. Many believe that conservation efforts will result in less pollution and lower costs, and will protect ratepayers from future price spikes.

The Energy Commission will recommend that the City Council aggressively promote conservation measures and allocate city resources to these tasks. Other suggested measures will be more problematic. If Berkeley were to municipalize its utilities (buy the poles and wires), there would be no guarantees of cheaper rates, and the city would have to price and maintain an existing system. An opt-out aggregation would allow residential and small commercial ratepayers to form one large energy-purchasing block, making the city the default power provider, but such a measure would require a change in state law and still not guarantee any cheaper electricity rates.

The final picture of the crisis presents both good– and bad-news scenarios. The bad news is that the problems will likely be exacerbated this summer when usage will be higher; the good news is that the crisis presents a substantial opportunity for Berkeley to improve its environmental stances and commit itself to further reduction of greenhouse gases.

After the Commission presentation, the City Council passed an encompassing resolution that listed nine different responses to the crisis. The text of the resolution can be found on the city’s web site at http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us.

Scientist Honors High School Teachers
by Donating His Textbook to Alma Mater


By Lisa Gonzales

David Attwood

At Island Trees High School in Mineola, New York, David Attwood was not what one would call a stellar student. In fact he had no intention of attending college. Only due to the persistence of a guidance counselor did Attwood become the first member of his family to pursue a higher education.

Today, Attwood is the director of Berkeley Lab’s Center for X-Ray Optics, as well as a Berkeley professor in the departments of electrical engineering and computer science. But he never forgot his teachers from Island Trees High, and now has found a way to show them his appreciation.

Earlier this month, Attwood had his recently published textbook, Soft X-Rays and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation: Principles and Applications, to be presented by his former science teacher, Ira Finkel, to his alma mater and the school district at a board of education meeting.

"I don’t think any of them had any idea of their impact on me," says Att-wood of his science teachers at Island Trees. "But they were patient and encouraging, and I wanted them to know how much I owe them."

Said Superintendent of Schools Richard Segerdahl, "This textbook is a wonderful tribute to the district and our teachers who dedicate themselves to their students"

Attwood reconnected with the faculty who had taught him and sent them a copy of his textbook, along with an inscription that acknowledges the influence of the faculty on him.

"It was great to give this text to the school that taught me, since the book itself is an outgrowth of my lectures and teaching at Berkeley’s grad program for 14 years," he said.

In the inscription Attwood also tells students, present and future, not to give up or be discouraged by academic failure and inspires them to move beyond what they previously thought possible.

"In America, it is never too late to pursue your dreams."

Attwood was unable to attend the presentation, but he was represented by members of his immediate family.

Science Fair Fun for Judges and Students Alike


By Lisa Gonzales

Tony Hansen of the Engineering Division served as a judge at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Science Fair last week. He is shown here discussing one of the winning inventions at last month’s EnergySmart Inventors’ Summit held at Berkeley Lab.

Take several glass Christmas tree balls. Freeze, refrigerate, boil, or bake them. Drop these treated balls from a fixed height. Which treatment will create the most brittle balls?

This was one of the 200 experiments entered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Science Fair, held last week. Eighteen scientists and engineers from the community served as judges, including Tony Hansen of Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division.

"I love participating in our educational outreach programs," says Hansen, who is regularly involved with the summer educational programs here and is a strong advocate of the Lab as a resource for science in the community. "I just wish we were doing more."

For the students, receiving evaluations from research scientists gave context to what they are learning in the classroom.

"The projects enabled our students to put the scientific method into practice," says science teacher Kate Aughenbaugh. "By receiving feedback from these scientists, the kids can connect what they do in the classroom to what research scientists do in their laboratories."

The entries were divided into four groups: physical science, engineering, behavioral science, and life science. Some of the students performed common experiments, such as testing the relative lifetimes of batteries in a tape player or studying the ability of a detergent to remove different stains, such as grass and mustard. Others were more inventive and sophisticated. An example was a standardized apparatus in which a hammer was hinged onto a flat surface, allowing it to drop at a constant force in order to measure how much force was needed to hit different types of nails into a piece of wood.

Two to three entries were picked from each category to advance to a regional competition. The winners in Hansen’s physical science group were: identical glass milk bottles which were painted in different colors, filled with water, and then placed in the sun to test if the colors would affect water temperature; an experiment that introduced agitation during the process of crystallization in solutions of sugar and Epsom salts to see if moving the liquid would make a difference; and a wind tunnel built with a vacuum cleaner and a clear box that used cigarette smoke to investigate flow patterns of air over different objects.

"It was such a pleasure to see some of the true inventiveness present in these science projects," says Hansen. "Getting out there in the science classroom is important — not just to the kids, but to the future of our institution. We need to think about where the next generations of our scientists will come from."

As for those Christmas tree balls: Would you be shocked to know that the most brittle balls were the ones heat-treated, while the frozen balls were the strongest? So were the judges. The student researcher, however, had shown a good scientific method of repeating the experiment several times, and the results were statistically consistent. Which just goes to show that even the most experienced scientists can be surprised at a science fair.

Bulletin Board


Science Exploration Camp Begins Registration

Early registration for the Science Exploration Camp 2001 (SEC) has started last week. The camp is open to children of Berkeley Lab and UC employees and consists of six one-week sessions that run from July 23 through Aug. 31.

Fees are $185 per week during early registration (Feb. 15 – March 31), $200 per week during open registration (April 1 – May 15), and $215 per week after May 15. The fee covers the core program, which runs from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. Before- and after- camp care is available at no additional charge from 7:45 to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. till 5:15 p.m.

Camp positions open

SEC is currently seeking an experienced science teacher to be camp director. This individual must be capable of developing curriculum for the camp morning science program for approximately 30 students (ages 7 to 11) and have supervisory experience. The possibility exists for complementary employment with the Lab’s Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE) during the summer, to allow the camp director to work full-time during the summer months. Employment with CSEE will be at the discretion of the Center’s director. Please inquire about details in your application for employment.

Also open is the position of assistant director to provide continuity between the morning science program and the afternoon recreation program. This person will lead the recreation, which will include outdoor recreation activities, field trips, and quiet time activities.

Other positions available include camp counselors, who will assist the director with science activities. Applicants should be entering twelfth grade or be older. SEC is also looking for two energetic high school students to volunteer as counselors-in-training (CITs) for each week of SEC and assist with science activities.

The counselor and CIT positions are excellent opportunities for teenage children of LBNL employees.

For more information about the camp and registration instructions, see http://sciencecamp.lbl.gov or contact SEC at X6566, [email protected].

Fight Breast Cancer with Tax Donation

UC Vice President Michael V. Drake would like to encourage UC employees to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Fund on their 2000 state income tax returns.

Line 56 on the 2000 California Income Tax Return Form 540 provides an opportunity to make a donation either from the tax refund itself or by adding a contribution.

The Breast Cancer Research Fund, administered by the University of California, spearheads research efforts into the causes, prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer.

March 1 Deadline for E-Mail
Adjustment of Offsite Servers

To enhance cyber-security at the Lab, a change has been implemented in the central e-mail servers which requires certain Berkeley Lab computer users to perform a one-time adjustment to their e-mail preferences.

This change only affects computers outside the Berkeley Lab network — that is, those outside the Laboratory premises, the Joint Genome Institute, the Oakland Scientific Facility, the Lab’s DC office, or those connected to the Lab by direct dial to the PPP service or via ISDN.

Employees who wish to continue to send e-mail using their Lab e-mail account through the Lab’s servers will need to change the outgoing mail (SMTP) server to smtp2.lbl.gov in their e-mail application by March 1.

Users sending e-mail via the Lab’s web-based interface at http://www.lbl.gov/mail/ will not be affected.

For further instructions see http://www.lbl.gov/ICSD/CIS/CITG/messaging/EmailRelaySolution.html or call the Help Desk at X4357.

Weight Watchers: New Series Starts

If you are interested in joining the Weight Watchers at Work program, offered onsite, contact Cathy Sage at X6266 to participate in a new 12-week series. A group of 24 or more participants is needed before a series can be started. The cost is $10.95 per week and a three-session payment option is available to anyone who joins by the first week.

In Memoriam — Thomas B. Lewis

Thomas B. Lewis, a retired program manager for the Engineering Division, passed away on Jan. 14 at his home in Lafayette after a two-year illness. He was 78. A funeral mass was held on Jan. 18 at St. Monica’s in Moraga.

Lewis’ career at the Lab began in 1950 and spanned four decades. At the time of his retirement he was manager of the Mechanical Engineering Technical Section.

Colleagues remember him as a kind and generous man.

"He was a people person," says former colleague Maggie Petersen. "He was a super negotiator with a strong sense of fair play. People would seek him out to help resolve conflicts. He knew how to listen and how to get you to see things from the other person’s view."

An Oakland native, Lewis attended UC Berkeley and participated in ROTC. After graduating in 1943, he joined the Marine Corp before attending Officers’ Training School and receiving his commission.

He was also actively involved in the peace movement and the cause of social justice, his son Jeffrey says. "My father was deeply concerned about the victims of war, especially the children."

A devoted family man, he spent his retirement years enjoying family life. "People were his interest," says his wife of 58 years, Eleanor.

In addition to her, Lewis is survived by children Kathleen, Jeffrey and Michelle, and granddaughters Caitlin and Megan. Charitable donations in his name may be sent to the Northern Light School, 4500 Redwood Road, Oakland, CA 94619.

EH&S Classes: March 2001








EHS 800

Occurrence Reporting

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 61

Ergonomics for Workstation Evaluators (retraining)

10:00 – 12:00

50 aud


EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 62


12:30 – 3:30



EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 62


12:30-3:30 p.m.



EHS 62


8:30 – 11:30



EHS 116

First Aid

8:30 – 12:30



EHS 62


12:30 – 3:30



EHS 275

Confined Space Hazards

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 330

Lead Hazard Awareness

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 10

Introduction to EH&S at LBNL*

8:30 – 10:15

50 aud


EHS 739


10:00 – 11:00



EHS 730

Medical/Biohazardous Waste

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 154

Building Emergency Team Training

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 260

Basic Electrical Hazard Awareness

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 348

Chemical Hygiene/Safety

9:30 – 12:00



EHS 231

Compressed Gas Safety

1:00 – 3:00



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 256

Lockout/Tagout (LO/TO)

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 400

Radiation Protection-Fundamentals

9:00 – 12:00



EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:00 – 4:00



EHS 432

Radiation Protection-Lab Safety

9:00 – 2:00



EHS 604

Hazardous Waste Generators




EHS 622

Radioactive/Mixed Waste Generators

11:00 – 12:00


* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in. For more information or to enroll, contact Susan Aberg at [email protected] or enroll via the web at http://www-ehs.lbl.gov/ehstraining/registration/. Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10 (Introduction to EH&S). Times and locations are subject to change. For a full, updated schedule of EH&S training sessions see http://www-ehs.bl.gov/schedule/.


General Interest

THURS., March 1

7:30 - 3:30, cafeteria parking lot

MON., March 5

11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., cafeteria parking lot

TUES., March 6

By appointment, Bldg. 65A conference room

TUES., March 13

8:30 a.m. , Bldg. 50 auditorium

WED., March 14

By appointment, Bldg. 65A conference room

THURS., March 15

7:30 - 3:30, cafeteria parking lot

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 currents_ [email protected] lbl.gov. You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the March 9 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, March 5.

Seminars & Lectures

MON., February 26

The Hubble Deep Field and its Legacy, S. Beckwith, Space Telescope Science Institute
4:30 p.m. in 1 LeConte Hall

TUES., February 27

Assembling the Human Genome, Gene Myers, Celera Genomics
4 p.m., Bldg 84, Room 318

New Sampling Methods for Airborne Microorganisms, Klaus Willeke, U. of Cincinnati
Noon, Bldg. 90, Room 3148

Detailed Study of Raman Instabilities and Electron Acceleration in the Self-Modulated Laser Wake Field Accelerator
Jérôme Faure, Ecole Polytechnique-Université Pierre et Marie Curie
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room

WED., February 28

The Climate Crisis, the Cover Up, the Prescription, Ross Gelbspan, author
11 a.m., Bldg. 90, Room 3148

THURS., March 1

Future Linear Colliders, Jonathan Dorfan, SLAC
4 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

FRI., March 2

Quantum Effects in High-Gain Free-Electron Lasers, Carl B. Schroeder, UCLA
10:30 a.m., Bldg. 71 conference room (refreshments at 10:20)

MON., March 5

Quantization, Symmetry and Phase Factor: Thematic Melodies of Twentieth Century Physics, C. N. Yang, State University of New York at Stony Brook
4:30 p.m., 1 LeConte Hall

TUES., March 6

Observation of an Excess in the Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson at ALEPH, Jason Nielsen, CERN
4 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

Detection and Destruction of Anthropogenic Toxins in Drinking Water Resources, Rolf Halden, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
12 p.m., 338 Koshland Hall

Harnessing the SMAD Pathway for Control of Pathogenic Mechanisms Dependent on TGF-b, Anita B. Roberts, National Cancer Institute, NIH
4 p.m., Bldg 66 auditorium

WED., March 7, 2001

Is Life Digital or Analog? How Life Might or Might Not Survive in a Cold Expanding Universe, Freeman J. Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study
5:30 p.m., Pauley Ballroom

THURS., March 8

Neutrino Oscillation Physics with Upgraded Conventional Beams, Stephen Geer, FNAL
4 p.m., Bldg. 50A, Room 5132

Forecasting the Demand of Woodfuels in Ghana
Speaker: Essel Ben Hogan, Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
Noon, Bldg. 90, Room 3148

AIM Computer Classes: February – March


AIM, a Walnut Creek-based computer software training firm, provides onsite PC computer courses to Lab employees.





Excel 97 Intermediate



Illustrator 8.0 Intermediate



Dreamweaver 3.0 Int/Adv



Access 97 Advanced



FileMaker Pro 4.0



Excel 97 Advanced



PageMaker 6.5 Intermediate



Illustrator 8.0 Advanced



Dreamweaver 3.0 Fundamentals



PageMaker 6.5 Production 11



Photoshop 5.5 Web Production



HTML 4.0 Programming Level II



PageMaker 6.5 Production 2



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. All in-house courses are taught on PCs with Windows 98®. The 97 series programs are used by the newest version of Microsoft Office for Windows 98®. Series 6.x programs for the Mac are nearly identical to the Windows 98® versions. 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].

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

‘97 GEO-METRO, 5 spd, exc stereo, 37 mpg, 92K mi all long highway miles, looks in/out like 20K mi, looks/runs super, engine has better than new compression (1.0 litre), $2,900/bo, (WAITING FOR CONTACT INFO)

‘96 TOYOTA TACOMA, SR5, 4 wd, 5 spd, extra cab, grn w/tan int, camper shell, loaded, exc cond, $17,500, Tracy, X5737, (925) 313-8920

‘96 TOYOTA 4 RUNNER SR5, loaded/metal silver, 72K mi, exc cond, Toyota cert, $22,000/bo, Lila, X6386, (925) 609-9119

‘91 MERCURY SABLE, extra-low miles, 21K mi, 4 dr, burgundy w/ gray int, loaded, pwr everything, antilock, am/fm/cass, runs/looks great, all maint recds, $6,000, Jo, 652-0372

‘91 NISSAN NX 1600, white, 2 dr, orig owner, exc cond, great commuter car, 113K mi, $1,700, Tracy, X5737, (925) 313-8920

‘91 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE GX, La Salle silver, tan int, 123K mi, auto, am/fm/cass, premium sound, runs great, $3,000, John, 614-7696

‘91 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN, white, blue int, exc cond, pwr win/locks, cruise, new at, ac, am/ fm/cass, seats 7, all records, 119K mi, $4,200, Michael, X5650, 925-947-1111

‘88 TOYOTA CAMRY LE, grey, 198K mi, good cond, cruise, ac, pwr steer/win/lock, stereo/cass, moonrf, runs great, $1,500/bo, Harsh, (925) 210-1883

‘88 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS, burgundy w/ plush gray int, very good cond, runs exc, all pwr, V8 engine, cass, ac, $1,800, Cynthia, X4242; 483-7076 eve

‘67 122S VOLVO WAGON, 250K mi, good driveable cond, Ruth-Mary, X7844


BERKELEY house for rent, 2 bdrm/2 ba, 5 blocks from campus, 2228 Dwight Way, off street parking, Igor, $1,650/mo, 652-8284

BERKELEY Victorian flat, 1 bdrm, furn, 2742 Fulton betw Ward & Stuart, avail 3/1, 1-yr lease, $1,600/mo, terms neg, Steve, X5396, Ingrid, (415) 388-5122

KENSINGTON house, furn, 3 bdrm, view, garden patio, quiet, 2 cats, pref visiting LBNL staff, avail spring trerm, flex, $1,400/ mo, Ruth, 526-6730

KENSINGTON, room in 5 bdrm grad/profess’l household, semi-cooperative, almost vegetarian, recycling, non-smoking, relaxed, friendly, lge sunny kitchen, bay view, w/d, dishwasher, garden w/ fruit trees & compost bins, patio, hot tub, no pets, no TV in common areas, $450/mo+util+house cleaning ($18/person/mo), [email protected]

NORTH BERKELEY 1 bdrm/1 ba upper flat, fully furn incl dishes & linens, fireplce, laundry, partial view, off-street parking for 1 small car, carpeted, on #8 busline, near park, non-smoking, no dogs, cats neg, avail 3/1 but 4/1 ok, $1,350/mo + util, Rachelle, (415) 435-7539

RICHMOND HILLTOP BAYVIEW, bdrm w/ ba in spacious 2 bdrm apt, share kitchen/living area w/ 2 room mates and 2 cats, great amenities, bus service to BART, avail now, $560/mo, non-smokers, Cathy or Jason, 758-9442, [email protected]

RICHMOND, sublet at Hilltop bay view, spacious 1bdrm/1 bth apt, dishwasher, w/d, microwave, fp, cable ready, patio w/ storage, covered parking, controlled access gate, indoor/outdoor heated pools/spas, 2 lighted tennis courts, gym/free aerobic classes, near Hilltop mall & Pinole shopping ctrs, bus line directly to BART, 30-35 min drive to LBNL, avail after 3/30, renewable in Sep, $1,080/mo, Michele, 223-1706 aft 7 pm or lv msg

SAN FRANCISCO/MISSION, fully furn 1 bdrm apt w/ TV, VCR, CD in lively Latino neighborhd, 15 min walk to BART, 45 min commute to LBNL, avail March through May, $1,200/mo +util, Henri, X5865

SAN LEANDRO, furn room in 2 bdrm house, 14 mi to LBNL; share bth, kitchen & laundry, $600 & split util, avail now, John, 448-1769, 798-5960

WALNUT CREEK, share 2 bdrm 1.5 ba apt w/ professional female, onsite laundry & pool, safe area, near biking/walking trails, BART, supermarkets, master bdrm w/ priv bth, closet space & storage; seek female roommate, late 20s-late 30s, mature, stable, quiet, energy-conscious; no smoking/pets, long-term, $585+1/2 gas & electric, basic cable incl, move in 4/1 or possibly earlier, Madeline, (925)934-2520

Housing Wanted

AUSTRIAN PHYSICIST COUPLE arriving in March seeks apt or shared housing for 3 mos - 2 yrs, quiet, near LBNL, Melissa, X5021

EX-HEADMASTER & SCHOOLTEACHER WIFE are visiting from Scotland & looking to house-sit or sublet 7/4 - 8/8 anywhere in Bay Area, Frank, X4636, 843-7029

VISITING PROFESSOR & WIFE looking for sabbatical home, approx 6/01 - 8/02, prefer location betw Berkeley & Livermore, [email protected], Mike, X2231

VISITING YOGA TEACHER seeks housesitting for part or all of March, Nan, 524-5185

House for Sale

EL SOBRANTE 2 bdrm/1 bth home, 2 car garage, room for RV, living rm, dining rm, lge kitchen, roomy corner lot, back yard, rose garden, approx 35 min to LBNL, $235K, Angela, 724-9450

Misc Items for Sale

ACT TICKETS, Enrico IV, by Pirandello, last preview 4/3 @ 8 pm, Geary Theater, 2 orch seats, $60/pr, Bob, (415) 921-0582

HESPERION XXI early music concert, 2 orch tickets, 3/16 @ 8 pm, $34 ea/bo, G. Gidal, X5368, 841-8868

MAGNELITE pots & pans: 3-qt saucepan, 10" and 14" fry/saute pans, 6-qt stockpot, Fred, X4892

SCANNER for SCSI Mac: Artec ViewStation A600c, bought ’95, rarely used, 24 bit color, 16.8 M colors, 8.5x14 scan area, 2400x 2400 interpolated res, LCD display, SCSI cable & OCR software incl, need to download updated driver, crack in plastic pocket on lid, glass is pristine, $50, Kymba, X8671, 526-9565

SONY CCD-V5 video-8 videocam, very light use, b/o, Mark, X6581

WINDSURFING EQUIPMENT, 8'6" Sea Trend accelerator, 9'6" Fanatic slalom board, Windwing, Ezzy & Naish sails 3.0-5.5, masts, booms, Erik, X6435


CHESS TABLE, Ruth 526-6730

CRIB, light colored wood, also interested in other baby items, Nomi, X5078, 558-0434

THAI LANGUAGE LESSONS, will exchange for tutoring in English, physics, math, French or woodworking, Fred, X4892

Lost & Found

FOUND: watch by Bldg. 70A, link chain, quartz, Corinthia, X4465

LOST: blue backpack, initialled SRT, somewhere between Fire Station & Grizzly Peak gate on Wed 2/7, Shaheen, X4556


BRICKS from an entire single-story chimney, internal & external, mostly broken, you haul from my Martinez backyard, Marc, X5076


SALTSPRING ISLAND BC, Canada, 3 bdrm house in 1 acre priv wood, ferry to Vancouver, Victoria, $800/wk, John, 849-1051

TAHOE KEYS at S. Lake Tahoe, 3 bdrm house, 2-1/2 bth, fenced yard, quiet, sunny, close to attractions, priv dock, great view, $175/night, 2 night min, Bob, (925)376-2211

Flea Market Policy

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 March 9 issue Thursday, March 1.