| G E N E R A L |

August 21, 2007

ESD's New Climate Science Department

ESD enhanced its technical expertise in the area of climate modeling and prediction by hiring Sr. Scientist, Bill Collins. As a Department Head, Bill is now set to lead a newly formed ES Department called, Climate Science which consolidates staff from ESD's four other departments (Ecology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Hydrogeology). ESD anticipates the formation of the Climate Science Department to officially commence by October 1, 2007.

July 23, 2007

BUD, UXO, ESD, R&D 100 What Does this All Mean?

ESD is proud to announce yet another successful R&D 100 submission for 2007. The Berkeley Unexploded Ordnance Detector, otherwise known as BUD, is a system built by Berkeley Lab staff to detect buried unexploded ordnances (explosives) in sites such as closed military bases. Congratulations to the scientific team involving the expertise and hard work of ESD scientists Alex Becker, Erika Gasperikova, Frank Morrison, and J. Torquil Smith; and the Engineering Division's Jean-Francois Beche, Larry Doolittle, Jim Greer, Robin Lafever, Alessandro Ratti, and Harold Yaver. As announced on July 5, 2007, BUD was one of three award-winning Berkeley Lab technologies for 2007. More about this story.

R&D 100 Cover BUD
{image details: Cover of LBNL's R&D 100 submission. Clockwise from the top: BUD performing in field test in Yuma, AZ; map depicting UXO-contaminated land in the U.S.; examples of types of unexploded ordnances from 20 mm to 155 mm projectile.}

May 01, 2007

New to the ES Staff, Bill Collins

New to the ES Staff, Bill Collins appears on ABC 7 Local Broadcast with Wayne Freedman and discusses what it takes to model climate. Go here for the story & videocast.


{image details: Collins featured in KGO Channel 7 News}

ESD for EBI

Earth Sciences is here for the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI)


January 22, 2007

The Search for the Next Division Director

Berkeley Lab has begun the search for its next Division Director for Earth Sciences. Ernie Majer has been serving as Acting Division Director since the untimely death of Bo Bodvarsson in November 2006. Majer will also serve as the Chair of the Division Director Search Committee, which comprises representatives from the Earth Sciences Division, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Material Sciences Division/The Molecular Foundry, Human Resources, and U.C. Berkeley College of Letters & Sciences. Berkeley Lab has posted the Division Director job description. Go to Berkeley Lab's Employment page or go directly here for details.

November 30, 2006

In Memoriam - Bo Bodvarsson

Berkeley Lab Earth Sciences Leader Dies (11/30/06, Berkeley Lab, Research News)


Other press: SF Chronicle, The Oakland Tribune

July 5, 2006

The Carbon Explorer Takes the Prize

ESD is proud to announce that the Carbon Explorer, created and developed by a scientific team headed by ESD's Jim Bishop, has won one of R&D Magazine's coveted "R&D 100" Awards, as one of the 100 most significant proven scientific advances for 2005. As announced on July 5, 2006, the Carbon Explorer was one of four award-winning Berkeley Lab technologies for 2005-the most ever won in one year by Berkeley Lab.


{image details: Carbon explorer in the Pacific Ocean.}

Without the ability to accurately observe the faster-than-daily changes in ocean life cycles, over vast spatial scales, scientists lack the ability to predict how the ocean will respond to rising CO2 levels, crippling their ability to develop accurate models of global warming or devise strategies to prevent it. The Carbon Explorer meets this need by gathering unparalleled amounts and types of data to improve modeling capability in this critical scientific area.

The Carbon Explorer is a free-drifting float, roughly the size and shape of a gas cylinder, that submerges to measure particulate carbon in the upper layers of the ocean and then returns to the surface to report its data. With its system of carbon sensors, advanced communications devices, and remote operating capacity, the Carbon Explorer enables, for the first time, the continuous tracking of the biological processes of the carbon cycle in the ocean. It can stay in the ocean year-round to observe the annual variations in levels of particulate organic carbon (POC). The Carbon Explorer measures POC at a level of accuracy, precision, and frequency previously unachieved, and it does so in real time. Moreover, Carbon Explorers have been deployed to date in some of the world's most remote and extreme ocean environments (where ships could not safely operate), consistently yielding data that had never before been generated and resulting in two publications in Science (1 & 2).

In order to track the global carbon cycle, and particularly the exchange between atmospheric and oceanic carbon mediated by the sea's abundant zooplankton, Carbon Explorers descend and rise on schedules that can be reprogrammed by satellite. Carbon Explorers were the first instruments to observe natural fertilization of a plankton bloom in the North Pacific by iron-rich, wind-blown dust from a storm in Central Asia's phenomenon predicted but never seen before. Carbon Explorers recorded the first evidence of carbon exported to the ocean depths by artificially fertilized plankton in the Southern Ocean; reporting for over a year, the Explorers operated through the Antarctic winter, long after the plankton bloom had dissipated. Carbon Explorers instrumented with new sensors operated for months in the Atlantic to record coccolithophore blooms. Carbon Explorer research payoff has been momentous and promises to become even more significant in future.

Bishop wishes to thank the members of the team who brought the Carbon Explorer into being: Russ Davis and Jeffrey Sherman at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, California); Casey Moore and Alex Derr of WETLabs (Portland, Oregon), and Todd Wood and David Kaszuba of ESD. Funding of Carbon Explorer development and science was through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program administered by the Office of Naval Research; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Program; and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Global Programs. For more information, go to this web site.