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The Fundamental & Exploratory Research Program in the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) at LBNL includes exploratory research in important new energy and environmental topics conducted under the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. This program is funded through a “tax” on Lab project—a small percentage of the funds allotted to Lab programs gets set aside for LDRD. The projects conducted within this program are expected to be new, innovative, and speculative—not augmentations of existing projects. In this way, Berkeley Lab develops “seed capital” for future scientific advances.