September 7, 2001 Search the Currents Archive

Mystery at Sea: Float Goes Missing in the Pacific

Berkeley Lab Founder Remembered

Mystery at Sea: Float Goes Missing in the Pacific

By Paul Preuss

On Aug. 15 the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s 170-foot Research Vessel New Horizon left port in San Diego laden with equipment and researchers from Berkeley Lab and other organizations, its primary mission to calibrate and test new instruments for measuring the carbon dynamics of the ocean. But within days one important device, a new SOLO float, had gone missing.

SOLO — for Sounding Oceanographic Lagrangian Observer — was designed to rise and sink to measure ocean water temperature and salinity. Jim Bishop of the Earth Sciences Division, co-director of DOE’s Center for Research on Ocean Carbon Sequestration, worked with colleagues to augment the basic SOLO design with instruments to monitor concentrations and sizes of particulate matter, and to equip SOLOs for satellite telemetry.

Two such "robotic carbon observers," launched in the North Pacific in April, are still operating beyond their expected lifetimes (see Currents, April 20, 2001). The similar float launched off the California coast would test a simple method of estimating carbon sedimentation.

The worst place I knew

"I torture-test this stuff," says Bishop, chief scientist on the voyage, "and for the trial of the SOLO, I picked the worst place I knew."

Point Conception, west and north of Santa Barbara, is a good place to test a depth-diving carbon sensor because of the rich biology of its coastal waters. But the swift California Current that flows down the coast has been infamous since the days of Sir Francis Drake, and the Point’s high winds frequently turn the sea surface to chop.

The newly launched SOLO sent plenty of information as the New Horizon continued north to Monterey Bay. Mornings and afternoons the float dove to 300 meters and at night to 1,000 meters, resurfacing, as program-med, to send its accumulated data to ORBCOMM satellites overhead.

But it wasn’t sending its positions, which it should have been able to determine using an onboard global position system (GPS). Perhaps rough seas prevented a good satellite fix.

Jim Bishop gives a final check to one of the 12 large-volume filtration units before deployment from the New Horizon.
Photos by Roy Kaltschmidt

The forensic science of the sea

Meanwhile, in the course of developing "a forensic science to detect biological activity in the deep sea," the New Horizon’s crew worked their way farther into the Pacific. They tested a new kind of optical instrument to measure particulate inorganic carbon in the water, and they calibrated two other instruments.

One, the Multiple Unit Large Volume Filtration System, collects particulate matter. The other measures conductivity, temperature and depth. By operating the two instruments side by side, says Bishop, "we could look at the signals we were getting from one, then look at what the other brought up and say, ‘My gosh, here’s what we saw.’"

Everybody worked. Berkeley Lab photographer Roy Kaltschmidt did double duty as a scientific crewman, helping deploy and retrieve the massive instruments and analyze the results.

All the while the mystery of the hide-and-seek SOLO was deepening. The float wasn’t hiding intentionally, but because it was submerged for all but a couple of hours a day, it might as well have been a submarine with orders to run silent, run deep.

After the float

Although they didn’t have a position, "we knew where we put it, we knew the currents in the region, and we had the data on temperature and salinity it was sending back," Bishop says.

Temperatures were useful because upwelling waters near shore are colder than offshore waters. At Bishop’s instigation the New Horizon had been equipped to measure temperature and salinity; this data could be compared with what SOLO was reporting as the ship closed on the float.

Currents were trickier. Although the California Current moves southward on the surface, at mid-depths there is a "poleward countercurrent." With SOLO spending so much time below, the float might well be drifting in different directions at different times of day.

An unexpected clue came on a 1,000-meter dive when SOLO reported reaching a depth of only 706 meters: it had hit the bottom.

On Aug. 27, an exhausted Jim Bishop wrote up his weekly Chief Scientist report as a debate among a group of fictional puzzle-solvers: playing himself, the Chief Scientist claims "I can find SOLO with a thermometer," while a Dynamicist claims "I can find SOLO with a basic understanding of the dynamics of the California Current;" yet another researcher claims, "I can find SOLO with a bathymetric map" (a depth chart, that is). The sailors in the galley got into the act and began practicing to retrieve the float with rod and reel; any albacore snagged during this exercise were purely fortuitous.

Bishop’s fiction imagined the "shore-based SOLOists" simply waiting for the SOLO to "tell us where it is," and on August 23 it did just that. Apparently carried poleward by mid-depth currents, SOLO reported a position north-northeast of where it had been launched. Then the GPS "clammed up" again.

When the float hit bottom a second time, Bishop claimed that this event was welcomed by one of the researchers who was out to get core samples.

A dark and stormy night

Captain Murray Stein of the New Horizon laid out a search plan that brought the ship ever closer to its quarry, employing his own knowledge of the area. The ship arrived near Point Conception on Saturday, Aug. 25, in 12-foot seas and 35-knot winds, with only three hours of daylight remaining.

While researchers aboard plotted temperature gradients and depth soundings, scientists onshore had ordered SOLO to abort its dive program and stay on the surface. The first signal to abort was not received. Did the second get through? Unless they found the float, the searchers would never know.

At last SOLO sent one more position report. Remarkably, the captain’s search plan already had the ship heading straight for it, but another anxious hour went by before the searchlight caught the gleam of reflective tape on SOLO’s antenna. The captain eased the ship alongside, and at 11:30 p.m. Berkeley Lab’s Todd Wood made the critical snatch. The SOLO was lifted aboard without a scratch.

Bishop concluded his log entry by noting that, despite the wayward SOLO, the mission’s science was "a 200 percent success". Oddly, he remarked, "the rod and reel club" from the galley was still angling off the stern days later.

Lessons learned from the SOLO’s "torture test" will be put to good use, Bishop says, when four more floats are launched in the raging waters of the Antarctic this coming January.

Berkeley Lab Founder Remembered

Nobel Laureate and Berkeley Lab founder Ernest Orlando Lawrence was remembered last month during a special installment of the Summer Lectures Series, commemorating what would have been Lawrence’s 100th birthday. Mary Prud’homme, one of Lawrence’s daughters, shared some fond memories of her father with the packed audience in the Building 50 auditorium. The session also included a showing of a special documentary about Lawrence’s life and career and a sound and picture montage by TEID’s Loretta Heintz. Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt

Lab Gets Multimillion-Dollar Funding for New Computational Tools for Scientific Computing

Berkeley Lab scientists will be in the forefront of a major effort announced last month by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new generation of tools and technologies for scientific computing. The $57 million program, Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing (SciDAC), will fund 51 projects nationwide, involving collaborations among 13 DOE national labs and more than 50 colleges and universities. More than 150 proposals had been submitted for funding.

Berkeley Lab scientists will lead six of the projects and are key partners in another six. The Lab has received approximately $1.9 million for the remainder of fiscal year 2001 and expects to receive more than $6 million annually for the next three to five years.

"Berkeley Lab’s success in this very competitive SciDAC process demonstrates the extensive experience and expertise of our staff, and their ability to determine the best approaches for solving some of the most challenging problems in computational and computer science," said Laboratory Director Charles Shank.

SciDAC will help create a new generation of scientific simulation codes that will take full advantage of the extraordinary computing capabilities of terascale computers (machines capable of doing trillions of calculations per second) to address ever larger, more complex problems.

"Under the SciDAC program," Shank continued, "we will be developing the next generation of scientific simulation codes to help scientists across the country take even greater advantage of these resources as they study some of the biggest scientific questions ever: What will be the energy source of the future? Is our climate changing? What are the secrets of our genetic makeup? What is our universe made of?"

The program also includes research on improved mathematical and computing systems software and will develop collaboratory software to enable geographically separated scientists to work together and share data more effectively.

Said NERSC Director Horst Simon, "We’re gratified that our lab’s leading-edge expertise in such areas as grid technologies, applied mathematics, benchmarking computer performance and scientific data management have been recognized and that our staff members are in the vanguard of creating the scientific computing environment of the future."

Berkeley Lab scientists will lead the following programs:

  • Algorithmic and Software Framework for Applied Partial Differential Equations, to develop a high-performance framework for solving partial differential equations arising from problems in magnetic fusion, accelerator design and combustion.

  • Scientific Data Management Integrated Software Infrastructure Center, to provide coordination for the unification, development, deployment, and reuse of scientific data management software.

  • High-End Computer System Performance, to permit the generation of realistic performance levels and the application of this information to the design of future applications and computer systems.

  • Advanced Computing for 21st Century Accelerator Science and Technology, to establish a comprehensive terascale simulation environment for use by U.S. particle accelerators to address the most challenging problems in accelerator design, analysis, and optimization.

  • DOE Science Grid, a multi-laboratory project to develop, evaluate and deploy services to support the Science Grid — an infrastructure that enables the integrated, collaborative use of high-end computers, networks, databases, and scientific instruments around the nation.

  • Advanced Methods for Electronic Structure, a chemical sciences project that will focus on the calculation of the physical and electronic structure of molecules with greater accuracy.

Berkeley Lab scientists will also collaborate with other laboratories and universities on the following SciDAC projects: Terascale Optimal Partial Differential Equations Simulations Center; Collaborative Design and Development of the Community Climate System Model for Terascale Computers; Scalable Systems Software Integrated Software Infrastructure Center; National Collaboratory to Advance the Science of High Temperature Plasma Physics for Magnetic Fusion Energy; Earth Systems Grid II; and Particle Physics Data Grid Collaborative Pilot.

For more information about SciDAC see scidac/.

Washington Report

DOE Names New Assistant Secretary

Dan Brouillette, former senior vice president of R. Duffy Wall and Associates, is DOE’s new assistant secretary of energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position he will promote DOE policies, programs and initiatives by acting as a liaison with Congress, state, tribal, city and county governments, other federal agencies, and the general public.

"Dan is a valuable addition to the Department and I am excited about having him on board," Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. "He will play a vital role when Congress returns and the Senate begins to debate the energy bill."

DOE to Be Pilot for New R&D Investment Initiative

The Bush administration has announced that it is developing new "investment criteria" for federal R&D projects that "will also be used to assess the performance of research programs." DOE — which will spend more than $7.7 billion, or 40 percent of its FY 2001 budget, on research —will serve as a "pilot" for the initiative, which is intended to guide FY03 funding for renewable energy, nuclear energy, clean coal, fossil energy and energy conservation programs.

Under the plan announced in a report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the administration will try to reduce by half the number of applied R&D programs in DOE’s FY03 budget that directly benefit individual companies. The report says many of these projects benefit corporations that could fund their own R&D projects without federal assistance.

"For example," the report says, "DOE continues to fund gas-to-liquid conversion research even though the process has been commercialized to the point that one multinational oil company is considering investing up to $6 billion for new plants based upon this technology."

OMB also says many R&D projects have "ended up stepping beyond the legitimate purposes of government to compete with, or unnecessarily subsidize, commercial ventures."

As an example, the report says DOE last year provided $30 million for a midsize turbine development project "even though the market had advanced to the point where all manufacturers had backlogs of orders."

According to the report, "after our initial effort in applying uniform investment criteria to the applied energy technology programs, OMB will assist in the transfer of investment criteria to the rest of DOE, and other departments and applicable agencies with applied R&D programs in time to assist in the formulation of the president’s 2004 budget."

OMB and the Office of Science and Technology Policy also plan to work with NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Defense Department, the National Institutes of Health, and the DOE to develop separate criteria to evaluate basic research in the FY04 budget process.

The OMB report is available at — Lynn Yarris

Three Generations of Goldhabers

On July 26, when Brookhaven National Laboratory celebrated the 90th birthday of its former director, Maurice Goldhaber, now distinguished scientist emeritus, it was the occasion for a gathering of family physicists. In this group portrait, Maurice sits front-row center, flanked by his nephew Benny Eichhorn, professor of statistics at Rider University (left) and his brother Gerson, a member of Berkeley Lab's own Physics Division and professor at UC Berkeley. Standing are Maurice's son Michael, a Ph.D. physicist working in public policy at Berkeley (left), his grandson David Goldhaber-Gordon, assistant professor of physics at Stanford (center), and his son Alfred, professor of physics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Photo by Roger Stoutenburgh, BNL

Researchers in Life Sciences Win Awards

Computer Scientist Jinyi Qi of Life Sciences’ Department of Functional Imaging Data Analysis Group will be the recipient of the 2001 Medical Imaging Science Young Investigator Award from the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS). The award, established in 1995, recognizes young investigators in the medical imaging science community who have made innovative technical contributions. Qi will be presented with an award of $1,000 at the annual NPSS Medical Imaging Conference in San Diego this November. IEEE is a non-profit association of more than 350,000 members in 150 countries.

Huang-Pin Ben Hsieh, a researcher in the Life Sciences Division under the mentorship of Ulli Weier, was awarded a Cancer Research Foundation of America fellowship for "Gene Expression Profiling for High-throughput Screening of Human Tumors." Upon completion of his work at the Lab, Hsieh will assume a position at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center and continue his research on the development of microarray technology for diagnostic and medical applications.

Life Sciences Division researcher Jingly Fung Weier received the Vector Laboratories Outstanding Young Investigator Award at the Histochemical Society’s 52nd Annual Meeting in Santa Fe. She conducts research on molecular and genetic studies on human placental development at both Berkeley Lab and UC San Francisco.

ALS Shut Down for Superbend Installation

Due to the installation and commissioning of superconducting bend magnets ("superbends") into Sectors 4, 8, and 12 of the ALS storage ring, the ALS was shut down temporarily starting on Aug. 20 and will be unavailable to users until Oct. 3. The superbends will allow the ALS to accommodate up to 12 new beamlines suitable for research programs such as protein crystallography, which require high flux and brightness at higher energies than those provided by existing bend magnets. Time for beamline realignment has been scheduled for Oct. 1-3, replacing several shifts originally scheduled for users. Any missed shifts will be made up during the next running period.

Going into its third week of the shutdown, things are proceeding exceptionally well. All three superbend magnets were installed and aligned two days ahead of the planned schedule, electrical and water connections have been completed, and the controls and monitoring systems have been tested. Now the ALS is in its critical commissioning period, in which the accelerator is adjusted to function with the new magnets.

Genome Institute To Be Featured on KQED

An upcoming episode of "Springboard: Exploring the Digital Age" on KQED will feature "Genetics at a Crossroads." A year after the mapping of the human genome, the program will examine the use of this new tool and its ramifications for society.

The program will air on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 1:30 a.m and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m.

Animal Research Program Accredited

Berkeley Lab’s animal research program was recently granted continued full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, a private, non profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science. To earn and maintain this seal of approval, research programs undergo rigorous evaluations every three years and must demonstrate that they are exceeding minimum standards for the care and use of laboratory animals established by federal regulations and policy. Berkeley Lab has been accredited since February 1981.


In the print version of the June 15, 2001 issue of Currents we ran a cropped version of this picture misidentifying the person in the middle as the late Jimmy Vale, a former head of the 184-Inch Cyclotron. The person seated is in fact Fred Yeater, and Jimmy Vale is the person on the left, on the telephone.

Currents regrets the error and apologizes for the confusion it may have created.

Breast Cancer Forum Update:
From Estrogen to Imaging

In Aug. 23, Berkeley Lab launched its first Breast Cancer Research Awareness Forum with a lively discussion about the role of estrogen in breast cancer prevention and treatment in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Building 50 auditorium. Moderated by Life Sciences Division Director Mina Bissell, the inaugural Forum featured Susan Love, adjunct professor of surgery at UCLA, and UC Berkeley professor of cell and developmental biology Satyabrata Nandi.

Emerging from the discussion was the acknowledgement that breast cancer can occur in response to both environmental factors, such as chemical carcinogens and radiation, as well as lifestyle-related factors such as smoking, diet and exercise. Risk factors also include early menstruation, early and/ or late menopause, not having children or bearing children after the age of 30, obesity, hormone replacement therapy, and contraceptive pills — all of which impact the body’s endocrine system, particularly with estrogen. Although there is a genetic component to breast cancer, the majority of cases do not have a genetic basis.

Nandi’s studies have focused on evidence that first-full-term-pregnancy (FFTP) up to the age of 30 has a permanent effect on reducing the lifetime risk for developing breast cancer. The earlier the age at FFTP, the greater is the protection from breast cancer. His group has been able to mimic the protective effect of pregnancy and succeeded in developing a short-term estrogen treatment which prevented the development of mammary tumors in rats.

Love emphasized the complexity of breast cancer, suggesting that women obtain as much information as possible about their relative risk factors so they can make informed decisions about whether or not to take estrogen. She also highlighted efforts to detect breast cancer earlier, including the technique of ductal lavage, a washing procedure that can identify cancerous and precancerous cells in the milk ducts of the breast. The procedure has been dubbed "Pap smear for the breast" because it is a similar nonsurgical approach to identifying abnormal cells before they manifest as cancer.

In its second installment, on Monday, Sept. 10, the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Forum will present "Berkeley Lab Breast Cancer Research: Imaging Cancer from Micro to Macro Scale" at noon in the Building 50 auditorium. Feature will be two prominent Berkeley Lab experts in the field: Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, head of Life Sciences Cancer and Tissue Biology Group and Bill Moses of the Department of Functional Imaging. They will survey the division’s breast cancer research activities, from molecular, cellular and radiation biology to the development of new compact and ultra- sensitive imaging devices for the detection of breast cancer.

Education in the Spotlight

Broadening our Outreach Efforts

By Lisa Gonzales

A student explains her summer research during the annual poster session last month.

As part of its growing educational outreach efforts, Berkeley Lab is attracting increasing numbers of students and teachers who spend time here to enrich their scientific knowledge.

Last month’s undergraduate research poster session, for instance, which is sponsored by the Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE), featured presentations from 71 students who worked in all scientific divisions. They participated under two programs funded by the DOE: the Energy Research Undergraduate Laboratory Fellowship and the Community College Initiative in Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Computing, open to students from California community colleges partnered with the Lab.

This summer CSEE also reached out to high school students through the new High School Student Research Partnership Program that brought 25 high school students and recent graduates from Richmond, Oakland and Berkeley to work as paid interns for six weeks. Most of them had demonstrated a strong interest in science and wanted to learn about careers in the field.

CSEE also conducted other outreach programs during the summer through programs such as the Pre-Service Teacher Program (PST), designed to provide educational training and research experiences to a diverse group of undergraduates interested in becoming K-12 science, mathematics, and technology teachers.

Two physics teachers from the Oakland School District work on a cosmic ray detector as part of a professional development program.

The Integrated Science Partnership Project, a four-week program for Vallejo science teachers funded by the California Postsecondary Education Commission, has brought middle- and high-schools science teachers to work with researchers here to compile curriculum materials to be distributed to all the science teachers in the district to supplement textbooks, develop classroom activities, and keep abreast of current research.

The Computer Information Sciences Diversity Outreach Program, hosted by the Computing Infrastructure Support Department, hosted 10 community college teachers for a week in July. The program attracted faculty from the College of Alameda and Laney, Ohlone, Vista, Merritt, and Diablo Valley colleges, and the Peralta Community College District headquarters.

"Berkeley Lab has some of the finest technical talent in the country," said Charlie Verboom, CIS’s desktop support manager. "We offer the community more than just great science — we have a premier computing environment and we want to let people know about it."

Computational science brought in four graduate students to take part in a special DOE graduate fellowship program. Students from across the country spent three months honing their computational science skills with scientists at Berkeley Lab as part of the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship program. (See the next issue of Currents for more.)

A future scientist tries his hand at 3-D magic in the Lab’s Visualization Lab.

The Engineering Division provided educational outreach for undergraduates through a couple of different programs. One brought in students for eight to ten weeks, while the other program offered full-time positions that typically lasted six to eight months in lieu of going to school. These programs give students an opportunity to gain work experience prior to graduation. Twenty-nine students participated this summer, most of them from California, although some came all the way from the University of Bordeaux in France, Tuskeegee University in Alabama, and Seattle University in Washington.

Finally, the littlest future scientists were hosted by Berkeley Lab through the Science Exploration Camp. A total of 84 children participated in the six-week program, with the general public making up a third of the participants. For the first time, seven scholarships were awarded. The camp provides hands-on activities that expose youngsters to the wide range of science at the Lab. Each week focused on a different theme, such as "Fun with Quarks and Gluons" and "Genomes to Giants." The children visited labs on the Hill and made use of the scientific resources of the Law-rence Hall of Science and the UC Botanical Gardens.

A First Step: A visit to Historically Black
Colleges and Universities

By Jim Triplett

In May of this year, Deb Hopkins and I visited four of the many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Florida A&M in Tallahassee; Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama; Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; and Howard University in Washington D.C. Our goal was to learn what Berkeley Lab’s Engineering Division should be doing to attract graduates from the Engineering Schools of these institutions, as well as how to develop strategies for nurturing long-term working relationships with them.

What was clearly evident from our visit was that most of the graduates were hired into companies and institutions that are integrally involved in the placement proceedings because they had already established working relationships with the universities, their faculties, and the students early in the educational process.

In Tuskegee, for example, we met with the dean of the Engineering School, Dr. Legund Burge, who explained that there is tremendous competition to hire the 125 engineering graduates Indeed, last Fall, 300 companies attended Tuskegee’s annual career fair to compete for less than half that many graduates.

At Florida A&M University we met with Dr. Makola Abdullah and his graduate students in the department of civil engineering. Among the ideas we discussed were pursuing educational grants that would bring faculty and students to LBNL during the summer, as well as potential long-term collaborative research projects. We also discussed with both Florida A&M and Morgan State the possibility of hosting a seminar series or course with video- and web-based tools to take advantage of their state-of-the-art video conferencing capabilities.

Dr. James Johnson, the dean of the engineering school at Howard University, advised us that the best way to build a working relationship would be to utilize their existing program that places students in 15-month internship between their junior and senior years by recruiting local high school students to attend Howard. These students could then return to the Bay Area to perform their internship at LBNL.

This visit Deb Hopkins and I took was just a starting point. Over the coming months, we will be working to follow up on these ideas and to determine implementation strategies that will add to the Engineering Division’s educational outreach programs.

Vegetation Program, Quick Response
Keep Disaster at Bay

By Monica Friedlander

On Aug. 16 firefighters from Berkeley Lab, the City of Berkeley and the East Bay Regional Park District extinguish a grass fire on the border of Berkeley Lab and the Lawrence Hall of Science.

A six-year effort to protect Berkeley Lab’s hillside from a possible conflagration, combined with a rapid response from three fire agencies, paid off last month, preventing a small grass fire on the border between the Lawrence Hall of Science and Berkeley Lab from spreading. The grassfire, which affected a quarter-acre area the afternoon of August 16, was quickly extinguished. No one was injured.

This wasn’t the first such fire, but it served as another reminder of the role played by the Lab’s vegetation control effort in providing a first line of defense against Mother Nature, shielding the Laboratory and surrounding areas from possible disaster.

"This was a small fire, with no significant damage, thanks to the Lab’s vegetation management program," said Don Bell, the Lab’s emergency manager. "Before the program went into effect we used to have a lot of fringe bloom, plants that burn hotly and could have spread the fire. Now they are all gone. The vegetation management program paid off. It reduced the fire danger to the Laboratory."

The program consists of measures ranging from tree and grass cutting, to the use of goat herds to graze and reduce fuel, to computer modeling — all skillfully designed to sustain a fire-safe landscape.

Equal credit for the quick end to the fire goes to the quick response and effective coordination of the response team, according to Fire Captain Mike Berejkoff.

"A mutual aid call went into effect with the City of Berkeley, the East Bay Regional Park District and Berkeley Lab," he said. "All three agencies arrived together."

The fire skirted the Lab fenceline uphill from Building 26 but did not venture onto Lab property. Burleys covering the hillside caught fire and caused most of the flame and smoke. The dry grass was already goat-scavenged, which helped as well.

The flames were extinguished within four to five minutes, as firefighters dug a scratch line around fire and foamed it to make sure it was out.

"This is the type of fire that could have gone into the eucalyptus grove behind Building 75," Berejkoff said. "It was put out very well, textbook style. All agencies were on the same radio frequency. All were part of the plan and the plan worked."

For more information on the Laboratory’s vegetation management program see the Jan. 12, 2001 issue of Currents. The program is also described in a new Almanac published by the Hills Emergency Forum (see sidebar below.)

Vegetation Management Almanac Now Available

Facilities’ Rich McClure Coauthored Guide

A detailed description of how to implement vegetation management as a tool to prevent wildland fire is now available thanks to a collaborative effort among five local experts, including Rich McClure of Berkeley Lab’s Facilities Department.

The Vegetation Management Almanac for the East Bay Hills was published recently by the Hills Emergency Forum and may be purchased from the Tilden Nature Area Environmental Center (525-2233) for $25. Copies are also available at the Lab library.

The book, which includes 62 stunning full-color pictures, is intended to help East Bay residents identify native plants and habitats to create fire-resistant landscapes. The illustrations serve as a wonderful visual aid for distinguishing "bad" plants while promoting fire-resistant vegetation.

Say McClure, "It was a pleasure working with the other agencies and organizations in developing this book. It is clear that wildland fire risks can be cost-effectively managed in ways that work with the local environment conditions."

The other specialists are Charli Danielsen, a long-time advocate of local native plants; Ed Leong, a supervisor at the East Bay Regional Park District; Margaret Kelley, a naturalist at the Tilden Nature Area; and Carol Rice, a fire management consultant.

The authors’ goal is the removal of nonnative plants, especially those that are weedy or fire-prone, and their eventual replacement with native plants.

In addition to a vegetation management guide and comprehensive plant descriptions and illustrations, the Almanac includes seven case studies (including Berkeley Lab’s vegetation management plan) and a bibliography.

Since its recent publication, the Almanac has already drawn interest from the media. KCBS aired a piece on it recently, and the New York Times plans to do a review in an October issue of its Sunday Book Review magazine.

The Hills Emergency Forum, which published the Almanac, is a consortium of eight local jurisdictions formed after the 1991 East Bay Hills fire.

For more information, call Cheryl Miller at 893-9888.

McClure Presentation at Fire Conference;
Preview for Lab Audience on Oct. 5

Rich McClure will make a presentation at an upcoming Wildland Fire Conference entitled "Ten Years After the 1991 East Bay Hills Fire," to be held in Oakland on Oct. 10-12. The presentation will overview Berkeley Lab’s wildland fire safety program and the improvements made that are designed to allow the Laboratory to survive a Diablo-wind-driven firestorm.

McClure will preview his talk for Lab employees on Friday, Oct. 5 at noon in the Building 50 auditorium.

Science Education Lecture on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, physicist Elizabeth H. Simmons of Boston University will discuss the successful education and outreach activities that were part of the Snowmass 2001 Summer Study on the Future of Particle Physics. Her lecture, open to the public, will be held at 4 p.m. in the Building 50 auditorium.

Simmons is a much-honored theoretical particle physicist with a passion for scientific education.

At Snowmass she chaired the committee that organized teacher and student workshops, public lectures and demonstrations, and a Science Weekend at Snowmass Village that drew over 1,400 people. For three weeks, dozens of physicists shared the excitement of science with the population of Aspen, Snowmass, and surrounding communities. In the Cosmic Ray Balloon Ascent, for example, costumed physicists carried aloft detection equipment of the period to recreate the 1911 discovery of cosmic rays by Victor Hess.

Simmons’ talk will recap the Snowmass program in photos and discuss factors contributing to its success and prospects for long-term progress.

"High-Energy Education and Public Outreach: Lessons from the Outreach Program at Snowmass 2001" is presented as a Physics Division research progress meeting supported by the General Sciences Workplace Committee. For more information, contact Gerry Abrams at X7188.

Bulletin Board

A Breather at the Nuclear Physics Conference

Participants in the nuclear physics world’s most important meeting — the International Nuclear Physics Conference — take a break to enjoy the view from the Lawrence Hall of Science during this summer’s event, hosted by Berkeley Lab and held on the campus of UC Berkeley. The conference takes place only once every three years, and this time attracted more than 600 scientists, and students from the U.S. and around world the week of July 30 - Aug. 3. The Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and its director, Lee Schroeder, organized the program.

LHS Special Event

The Lawrence Hall of Science will host an open house on Sept. 20 featuring a reading by the Marin Theatre Company from an upcoming play on physicist Richard Feynman. LHS will also debut a new cafe and preview its fall exhibit "Scream Machines: The Science of Roller Coasters."

Crafters Wanted

Berkeley Lab’s annual Craft Fair will be held on Nov. 14, and participants are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. Items for the fair must be hand-made. The only requirement is that crafters donate one item for a free prize drawing. For more information contact Shelley Worsham at X6123 or saworsham@

Laser Vendor Fair

Berkeley Lab’s Laser Safety program is hosting a laser vendor fair on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Perseverance Hall. Representatives of laser manufactures, protective eyewear, power meters, and other related products will demonstrate their products. Refreshments will be provided.

Photo: Laser.tiff

New Boise Cascade Ordering System

Boise Cascade Office Products has updated their computer system and will switch to an enhanced web-based ordering system,, effective Oct. 1. Four informational training sessions will be held to demonstrate Boise’s new ordering system: Thursday, Sept. 20 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Building 50 auditorium; and Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Perseverance Hall.

Boise is the Laboratory’s systems subcontract vendor for office and paper products. For more information call Zelma Richardson at X4216 or ZLRichardson@

In Memoriam: Wes Turmage

Wes Turnage, a mechanical technologist in the Engineering Division since 1982, passed away August 6. He was 41.

He began working at the Lab when he was 18, and spent his entire career here until his untimely death. He is survived by his wife Amber, daughter Jennifer, his mother, one brother, and two sisters.

24th Annual Lab Runaround

Whether you like to walk, run, jog, bike, compete for prizes or just partake in one of the most popular events at Berkeley Lab, the annual Runaround is for you — and it’s happening next month, on Friday, Oct. 12. As always, the 3 km race starts at noon at the firehouse and finishes at the cafeteria.

Everyone is encouraged to participate, and ample time will be allowed for all participants to finish the course at their own pace. Individual and group costumes are a popular feature of this event, and prizes are offered in various fun categories.

The Runaround website ( runaround/) includes a downloadable course map, results for the past 15 years, safety tips and other event information.

As in past years, a noncompetitive bikearound will be held starting at 11:30 a.m. at the firehouse.

For more information contact runaround coordinator Steve Derenzo at X4097.

Employee Referral Program a Success

Back in February, the Human Resouces Department launched a pilot referral award program designed to enhance recruitment efforts at Berkeley Lab. The Employee Referral Incentive Program (ERIP) encourages employees to draw on their existing contacts and networks as potential sources for qualified candidates by awarding $1,000 to employees whose referral of an external applicant leads to a successful hire.

Since its inception, the response to this Department of Energy-approved one-year program has been very positive. At the halfway mark, ERIP has received 247 referrals that led to 26 successful hires. The program administrators would like to thank all of those who have participated and encourage others to do so.

To make a referral, complete an ERIP referral form and send it with the candidate’s resume to or by regular mail to ERIP Coordinator, MS 937-600. Do not send the referral to the hiring supervisor only.

The referral form and additional information about the program can be found at HR website at

EAA Clubs Fair

The Employee Activities Association (EAA) is organizing a "Meet the Clubs" fair on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the cafeteria lawn. Representatives of the various recreational, cultural and wellness clubs will talk with visitors about their groups and hand out information. Come and find a new club to join. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided.


General Interest

SEPTEMBER 10, Monday

12 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium
SEPTEMBER 11, Tuesday

Outreach: Lessons from Snowmass 2001
4 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

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

SEPTEMBER 12, Wednesday

10 a.m – 2 p.m., Perseverance Hall

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., cafeteria lawn

SEPTEMBER 20, Thursday

10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Bldg. 50 auditorium

SEPTEMBER 24, Tuesday

10:30 a.m., Franklin & 20th Streets,Oakland

Send us your announcements

Announcements for the General Calendar and Bulletin Board page may be sent to Seminar & Lectures items may be mailed to currents_ You may also fax items to X6641 or mail them to Bldg. 65B. The deadline for the Sept. 21 issue is 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17.

Seminars & Lectures


In-situ Studies of Initial Rusting of Iron: A Multianalytical Approach
Speaker: Christopher Leygraf, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

SEPTEMBER 10, Monday

First Results from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
Speaker: Kevin Lesko, Nuclear Science Division
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

SEPTEMBER 11, Tuesday

Sex, X and Chromosome Segregation
Speaker: Barbara Meyer, Howard Hughes Medical Inst., UC Berkeley
4 p.m., Bldg 66 auditorium

High-Energy Education and Public Outreach: Lessons from the Outreach Progam at Snowmass 2001
Speaker: Elizabeth Simmons, Boston University
4 p.m., Bldg 50 auditorium

SEPTEMBER 13, Thursday

An Atomic View of Forming Passive Oxide-Compound Semiconductor Interfaces for MOFETs
Speaker: Andrew Kummel, UC San Diego
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

SEPTEMBER 17, Monday

QCD under Extreme Conditions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
Speaker: James L. Nagle, Columbia University
4:30 p.m., 1 Le Conte Hall

SEPTEMBER 18, Tuesday

Genetics of Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis: Lessons from Mendelian Disorders of Lipid Metabolism
Speaker: Helen Hobbs, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
4 p.m., Bldg 84, Rm 318

Emergent Orders
Speaker: Dung-Hai Lee, UC Berkeley
September 20, Thursday

New Catalytic Materials for Hydrotreating Catalysis
Speaker: Mark Bussell, Western Washington University
1:30 p.m., Bldg. 66 auditorium

EH&S Classes – September 2001







EHS 116

First Aid

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 275

Confined Space Entry

9:00 – 11:00



EHS 274

Confined Space Retraining

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 330

Lead Hazard Awareness

1:30 – 2:30



EHS 10

Introduction to EHS at LBNL




EHS 60

Ergo for Computer Users

2:00 – 3:30



EHS 123

Adult CPR

8:30 – 12:00



EHS 210

Hoist Training

10:30 – 12:00



EHS 231

Compressed Gas

1:00 – 3:30



EHS 125

CPR Child/Infant

6:00 – 8:00



EHS 135

Earthquake Safety

9:00 – 10:00



EHS 348

Chemical Hygiene




EHS 280

Laser Safety

1:30 – 4:30



EHS 260

Basic Electrical Awareness

10:00 – 11:30



EHS 52

Back Safety

9:00 – 10:30



EHS 735/ 738/739

Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogen

1:30 – 2:30



EHS 730

Medical Biohazardous Waste

2:30 – 3:30



EHS 530

Fire Extinguisher




EHS 283

Ultra Violet User Safety

2:00 – 3:00



EHS 400

Radiation Protection-Fundamentals




EHS 432

Radiation Protection-Lab Safety

1:30 – 4:30



EHS 10

Intro to EH&S at LBNL

1:30 – 3:00



EHS 277

Confined Space-Permit Writer

9:00 – 10:00



EHS 279

Scaffold Safety

1:30 – 2:30



EHS 210

Hoist Training




EHS 604

Hazardous Waste Generator

9:30 – 11:00



EHS 622

Radioactive-Mixed Waste Generators

11:00 – 12:00



EHS 256


1:30 – 3:00


* Includes EHS 392/405, followed by the orientation. Please arrive at 8:15 for sign-in.

For more information or to enroll contact Valerie Espinoza at or enroll at Preregistration is required for all courses except EHS 10. Times and locations are subject to change. For a full, updated schedule see

AIM Computer Classes

AIM, a Walnut Creek-based computer software training firm, provides onsite PC computer courses to Lab employees. Classes are held in Bldg. 51L from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An updated class schedule through December, plus class descriptions and registration information, are available at

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

Flea Market

Autos / Supplies

‘99 HONDA CIVIC HX, 2 dr, silver, 29K mi, fuel-efficient, factory alarm, keyless entry, pwr locks/ win, 6 CD changer, complete service docs/manuals, $11,900/ bo, Johnny, X7683, 333-3466

‘97 TOYOTA CAMRY LE 4 dr se-dan, 77K mi, orig owner, dk red, auto, ac, abs brakes, pwr drs & win, cruise, alarm, great cond, garaged, $9,400/bo, Charles, (925) 376-3728

‘95 PLYMOUTH VOYAGER, 81K mi, V6 3.0 liter, 7 passengers, ac, am/fm/cass, dual airbags, integrated child seats, $6,500/bo, Laurent, X6108, 234-5564

‘95 DODGE NEON Sedan 4 dr, dk grn, 4-cyl 2.0 L, at, fwd, 58K mi, ac, pwr steer/lock, am/fm/ cass, dual air bags, abs, exc cond, $4,400/bo, Caroline, 528-1424

‘95 TOYOTA COROLLA DX sedan 4 dr, avail 9/30, white, 4 cyl 1.8 L, at, fwd, 68K mi, anti-theft alarm system, ac, all pwr, am/fm/ cass, very good cond, $7,500/bo, Caroline, 528-1424

‘93 TOYOTA CAMRY LE, 118K mi, white, tint win, ac, airbag, remote lock/alarm, am/fm/cass, full service rec’s, very good cond, recent smog, $6,300, Phil, X6512, 649-9744

‘92 MAZDA 626 4 dr, 69K mi, at, pwr steer/breaks, sunrf, am/fm/ cass, exc cond, $3,900/bo, Karina, 526-7975

‘89 VOLVO 740 turbo wagon, 150K mi, 2nd owner, well maint, cruise, pwr dr & locks, leather seats, sunrf, many new parts, $5,500, Mary, $5,500, 524-9281

‘88 BUICK LESABRE, 3.8 V6, 4 dr, metal grey, 160K mi, ac, cruise, pwr locks/seat, am/fm, clean, runs well, many new parts, $750/bo, Sami, X2774

‘86 FORD F250 4X4 TRUCK, 140K mi, crossbed tool box, heavy-duty lumber rack, Mary, $5,500, 524-9281


BERKELEY HILLS, room w/ sep bth, kitchenette, laundry & entrance in a 2-story house, patio, garden, bay view, quiet neighbrhd, 1 blk from 65 bus, pref quiet, serious tenant, no smoking/ pets, $750/mo incl water, garbage, gardener, Bill or Ada, 452-1580

BERKELEY, 2 bdrm unfurn apt, ground flr, quiet, safe cul-de-sac, walk to Monterey Mkt, BART, washer, fridge, stove, curtains, $1,500/mo, avail now, Louise, 526-4281, Phil, X6512 PHaves@

BERKELEY, beautiful completely furn 3 bdrm/2 bth home in Park Hills nr LBNL overlooking Tilden Park, avail 9/1-4/1 or for shorter periods in between, $2,000/mo, Jennifer, 649-0301

BERKELEY, College/Ashby area, 1 bdrm tastefully furn, linen, dishes, hi-fi, VCR, microwave, sunny, safe, walk to UC, split level, ga-rage, hill view from terrace, $975/ mo, for 1 mature, neat, non-smoking visiting researcher, avail mid/late Sept (flex), 1 yr,

HAYWARD, 2 bdrm house, 1 bth, Mission Blvd, walk to BART, avail 8/24, first/last/sec dep, $1,500/ mo, Shelley, X6123

NORTH BERKELEY 1 bdrm, 2 flr garden cottage, approx 500 sq ft, view of quiet, gated, priv garden, skylights, tile flrs, light, sunny, clean, small upstrs bdrm w/ view of hills, priv entr, offstreet park, close to bus/BART, walk to shops, fully furn, 1 yr lease pref/not req, $l,350/mo+util, first, last +$700 dep, nonsmok, pets possible, Ja-net, 527-0210,

Home for Sale

CHARMING 2+ bdrm bungalow w/ office, bright & sunny, hrdwd flrs, country kitchen w/ built-in nook, formal dining rm w/ built-in cabinets, wood stove, deck & lush gardens, great area, 20 min drive to Lab, $260K, Suzanne, 235-2516

Housing Wanted

LODGING for 2 adults, 3 kids (ages 6-12), 4 nights, Dec.20-23, in or around Berkeley, house sit or rent ok, Steve, X6263,

VISITING PHD STUDENT from Sweden seeks housing for Nov to Apr, 1 bdrm apt or shared housing near ALS, non-smoker, quiet & responsible, Goran, X4079,

VISITING RESEARCHER from France/Brazil, female, needs room in apt or house from 10/1/01 - 3/30/02, nonsmoker, quiet, Kathy, X4931,

VISITING SCHOLAR seeks furn room or apt, 9/28 - 03/20, reasonably close to pub trans to Lab, Lorri, X7493,

Misc Items For Sale

9’ KAYAK w/ skirt, $275; pool/spa filter, stainless steel Mita 100, case w/ 2 cartridge filters, $50, Jim, (925) 831-9958

ACERPOWER 233MHz desktop computer, 96 MB, 4 GB HD, 56k modem, X32 CD-ROM, integrated ethernet/soundcard, new 15" monitor still in box, $150, Daniel, X5964, (707) 648-0520 aft 5pm

APS KODAK FILM, 6 rolls, 25 exp 400 spd, bought recently by mistake, make offer, send e-mail with subject "APS film," Ashok,

BABY JOGGER, Dream Design/ Baby Trend, exc cond, $150; Little Tykes rocking horse, low, great for small tots, $15; 2 high-chairs, w/ removable trays/legs, $20 ea; Little Tykes play garden, indoor/ outdoor, accessories, $20; Johnny Jump-up, $15; sm climbing cube w/ slide, $20; pine armoire, unpainted, lge, top/bottom drs/ shelves, $125, Mary, 524-9281

BICYCLE REI Novara Dirt Rider 20" children size (5-10 yrs old), 10-spd Shimano, blue, as new, $125, Edith, X5553

CHILD CRAFT CRIB, gorgeous, natural solid oak, exc cond, $140/ bo; picnic table w/ benches, $45/bo, Norm, X6724, 533-8765

COLLECTIBLE BARBIES (Coca, Cola, Holiday Jewel, Evening Extravagnza, Autumn, Avon Exclusives, etc), prices vary, all dolls in box w/ certificates of authenticity, Lisa, (925) 906-9786, X5314

ELECTRIC DRYER, 2 yrs old, good cond, $200, Max, X4022, (925) 247-0001

G4 COMPUTER, 400Mhz, 10GB w/ DVD player, exc cond barely used, comes w/ software loaded & OS 9.0, keyboard & mouse, Paijoun, X4290, 758-4700

GARAGE STORAGE, 10x20, secure, El Cerrito near San Pablo & Central, no vehicles or workshop, non-smoking premises, avail now, $175/mo, Nance, X7328, Joan, 526-9048

HUGE YARD SALE, multi-family, Sat 9/8, 8:30-2:00, collectibles, household, gadgets, designer clothes, gardening, oriental rugs, paintings, textiles, furn, books, objects d'art, Russell & Hillegass, Elmwood Distr, Susan, X5437

iMAC COMPUTER 350 MHz G3, Blueberry, 64 MB RAM, 6 GB HD, great cond, orig box, software, orig CDs & manuals, $585/bo, Monica, X2248, 601-5757

LOW-IMPACT TREADMILL, Precor 9.21I, 2 yrs old, mint, $1,000, Lynn, (925) 363-3978 aft 7 pm

MAC CLONE, Powercenter 150, 150 MHz 604PPC, 64 MB, OS 8.0, 1.1 GB HD w/ ext modem & 1 GB of ext HD space, Apple 13" RGB monitor, $250/bo, Eli, X5975

MARK MORRIS production of Platee, 2 tickets, Berk Phil Ba-roque & UCB Chamber Chorus, Zellerbach, Wed 10/3, R Tiers, row HH, $120/pr, George, X5368, 841-8868

MOVING SALE: washer, dryer, dishwshr, all exc cond, $180/ea; microwave, $60; 2 kids beds, $50/ ea; futon, $25; dining table, $50; TV, $50; VCR, $65; much more, Laurent, X6108, 234 5564

PET KENNEL, med size, barely used, for dog or cat, $10; orange crate cass boxes, $1/ea; ceramic money banks, $2; ceramic dolls, $5; vintage collectibles (teapots, dishware), $2-5, Melissa, 665-5572

QUEEN SZ BED w/ mattress & boxspring, wood, all in very good cond, $350, MS, (925) 631-0510 eve, (925) 878-5000 cell

SF OPERA TICKETS: Arshak II 9/21, Rigoletto 9/29, Tosca 10/26, Carmen 6/14, $170/pr, Balc Crc 1st row, Diana, X6444

STATIONARY BIKE w/ reading rack, $75; bell bike helmet, $10; solid wood desk chair, $25; white place settings, wine glasses, stainless silver, pots/pans, bo, Susan, X5437

TREADMILL, electric w/ variable ramp angle & pulse monitor, Cadence 2300 model, like new, $98/bo, Dick, (925) 284-5236

YOUTH BDRM FURNITURE, white washed pine, twin headbrd, chest w/ 5 drawers, double dresser w/ mirror/bulletin bd, student desk w/ lighted hutch & chair, nightstand, toy chest, beautiful cond, pd $1,500+ 4 yrs ago, asking $600, Janice, X4943


CUTE FEMALE KITTEN free to a caring home, indoor, blk, 11 wks, playful, healthy, my husband has allergies, have to give her away, Hanjing, X2835, 528-2649


EXERCYCLE w/ adj seat, Anne, X6504, 525-1152

HOUSEKEEPER in the Lamorinda area, bimonthly, recom appreciated for reliable person, Janice, X4943, (925) 631-1131

PARTICIPANTS for a quantity group purchase of a compact LED flashlight, see, price depends on final quantity but will be less than 1/2 listed price, Ted, X5256


VISITING FRENCH PHYSICIST 9/15 - 12/15 would like to rent Montpellier villa, south France, same period, villa completely furn, 4 rms, nice garden, quiet, secure university/hospital area, $1,200/mo incl util, Ferid Rachdi, (33) 4 67 14 45 10 or (33) 4 67 72 18 35,, Barbara, X6875

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. Ads must be submitted in writing via e-mail (, fax (X6641), or delivered/ mailed to Bldg. 65B. Ads run one week only unless resubmitted, and are repeated only as space permits.

The deadline for the Sept. 21 issue Thursday, Sept. 13.