Fermilab Today Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday, Nov. 7
3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 8
10 a.m.
Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: A. Para, Fermilab
Title: First Look at the Hamamatsu MPPC
11 a.m.
Academic Lecture Series - One West
Speaker: G. Landsberg, Brown University
Title: Experimental Signatures for Extra Dimensions in Space - Part 2
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: F. Tackmann, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: GenEvA: A New Framework for Event Generation
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: A. Dragone, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Title: Monolithic Signal Processing for Radiation Detectors: Late Developments at BNL

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.



Partly sunny 43°/30°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Wednesday, Nov. 7
- Vegetable beef
- Fish & chips
- Smart Cuisine: Grilled salmon
- Country fried steak w/pepper gravy
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted slice pizza
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato ragu

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, Nov. 7
- Chipotle chicken w/corn cakes
- Latin confetti salad
- Rum pecan cake

Thursday, Nov. 8
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Volunteers set record at annual Prairie Seed Harvest

AD's Jean Slaughter and John Rea, a volunteer from Batavia, IL, examine different types of seed collected at this year's second Prairie Seed Harvest on Nov. 3.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, for the 33rd year in a row, students, scouts and volunteers gathered in Fermilab's Main Ring to help harvest seeds. The volunteers were there as part of the laboratory's Prairie Seed Harvest, an event that facilitates the collection of seeds as part of Fermilab's prairie restoration efforts.

Martin Valenzuela, lead groundskeeper for Roads and Grounds, estimated that this harvest attracted more than 300 volunteers. "We definitely had a record number of volunteers," said Martin Valenzuela, whose department facilitates the harvest. "It was nice to see so many people interested in helping the prairie."

The annual event continues the legacy of community outreach and prairie restoration started by Bob Betz, a Midwest prairie expert and professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University. Betz started the seed harvests, which have helped restore more than 1,200 acres of prairie at Fermilab during the last 33 years.

Each winter, the Roads and Grounds staff stores and processes the seeds collected by volunteers. In the spring, some seeds are planted at the laboratory in areas where planned prairie fires occurred to kill off invasive, non-natural plants. Other seeds are exchanged for different plant varieties with local county forest preserves or donated to more than 40 schools and non-profit organizations so that they too can start natural prairies. "We believe, 'Why not spread the wealth?'" Valenzuela said. "We're all in this together."

Virginia Babcock, Chairman of the Batavia Women's Club Conservation Department, appreciates far-reaching effects of Fermilab's seed collection. "It's good to know that the seeds are going beyond the prairie," she said. Babcock and other members of the Batavia Women's Club have volunteered and served lunch at the harvest for the last ten years.

Other longtime seed harvest volunteers enjoy learning about the prairie and its plants. Kevin Collins of Carol Stream, IL has volunteered at the Prairie Seed Harvest for the last seven years. He met Dr. Bob Betz at his first harvest. "I'd try to sponge up anything he said, every bit of information," Collins said. "It's been so rewarding to see how the prairie progresses each year."

-- Haley Bridger

Two volunteers collect seed from prairie within the Main Ring at this year's second Prairie Seed Harvest on Nov. 3.

In the News

Consumers feeling the
helium squeeze

From Chicago Tribune, Nov. 5, 2007

The gas that floats balloons also powers industrial and scientific projects. And it's disappearing fast.

Helium is the talk of the party balloon industry these days, and it is not a discussion being carried out in high-pitched giggles.

The second most plentiful element in the universe is suddenly in short supply on this planet, and that means soaring prices for a lot of things, balloons included.

"Some customers have told me they're just not going to sell balloons anymore because they can't get helium," said Chicago party wholesaler Lee Kaufman. "Everybody's scrambling."

As raw materials crises go, the helium shortage clearly takes a back seat to the global oil crunch. But the repercussions go well beyond the cost of decorating for birthdays or bar mitzvahs, while also shining a light on an obscure federal helium program that has proved critical to feeding the world's growing appetite.

Read More

From the Computing Division

Networking to the world

Today's column is written by Vicky White, head of the Computing Division.

Vicky White

Networking to the World - this is the title of Fermilab's exhibit at SC07, the annual exhibition on state-of-the-art computing. SC07 will take place in Reno next week.

Our booth always attracts much interest because it emphasizes the science that we do. In it, we display scientific artifacts, such as cosmic ray detectors and silicon detectors, alongside demonstrations of our computing prowess.

The "networking" referred to in the title of our exhibit is as much about human connections, or networking, as it is the high bandwidth networks that connect us to universities and other laboratories in the U.S. and worldwide.

During the past few days, I have been reminded of just how diverse human networking is regarding computing. Last week, I attended a meeting in Washington, D.C. This was a meeting where the chief information officers and computer security managers of all of the DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories got together to share information, work with the DOE CIO's office staff and focus on IT infrastructure management issues. This is one of the "families" that we belong to - the DOE laboratory system. We have much in common and share a strong commitment to safety and cyber security. Yet there also are differences in our laboratories' missions and in our approaches

This week we were visited by the Computing and Software management team of the CMS experiment. The CMS team is on a worldwide tour of all seven Tier 1 Centers that support CMS. The Fermilab Tier 1 Center is the largest of the seven and we were pleased to show them our state-of-the-art Grid Computing Center and discuss CMS computing and software. This is a different "family" that we belong to - the one of Open Science worldwide.

At the same time, some of our folks are attending a networking meeting in Europe. This meeting is a gathering of people who work together to help ensure that we have the data paths needed for open science for the LHC. It is yet another family, with its own set of interests and issues.

We in Computing are privileged to be able to walk and work in such broad and diverse circles of people.


New hires

New hires Oct. 31 - Nov. 5:

  • Sergo Jindariani - research associate - PPD
  • Pedro Movilla Fernandez - research associate - PPD
  • Sandra Charles - equal opportunity specialist - WDRS
  • Chad Thompson - chemist - TD
  • Britney Rutherford - engineering physicist - PPD
  • Mingqi Ge - research associate - TD

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Nov. 6

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, has no reportable injuries. Fermilab has worked 32 days since its last OSHA recordable injury. The full report is here.

Safety report archive


Have a safe day!

Wilson Hall building closed Sunday
A scheduled power outage will affect all floors of Wilson Hall on Sunday, Nov. 11, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The outage is necessary for annual feeder 44 maintenance. The building will be closed during the outage. Please remember to power down all essential electronics at the close of business this Friday.

Volunteer nominations due Nov. 21
The Director's Volunteers reception will be Dec. 6. Each year an award is given to exceptional volunteers to the K-12 Education programs. Nominations for the award are due by Nov. 21 to Carol Angarola or Gayle Millman. More information on the award can be found online. Fermilab Today will also provide more information.

Project X physics workshop Nov. 16-17
Fermilab will host a user's workshop Nov. 16-17 to discuss the physics of Project X. The group will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in One West. A wine and cheese talk by Michelangelo Mangano runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The Saturday session will be partly in One West, but also will include parallel sessions in different rooms. Streaming video of the sessions will be provided. The agenda can be found here. You should register if you plan to attend in person or via streaming video. Online registration is available.

EAP office hours temporary change
The EAP office will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov. 9. The EAP office will resume the regular schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The EAP is available 24/7 by calling (800) 843-1327.

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