Fermilab Today Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

Wednesday, Nov. 12
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Michael Lemonick, Princeton University and Time Magazine
Title: William Herschel, the First Observational Cosmologist

Thursday, Nov. 13
1 p.m.
Physics and Detector Seminar - West Wing, WH-10NW
Speakers: Sami Tantawi, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Marc Ross, Fermilab
Title: Reports from the CLIC08 Workshop
Speaker: Andrei Seryi, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: The ILC Low P Option
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Chris Sachrajda, University of Southampton
Title: Kaon Physics with Chiral Quarks
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Henryk Piekarz, Fermilab
Title: Proton Source for HINS First Tests

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



Rain likely

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Nov. 12
- Cajun style lentil soup
- Cajun chicken ranch
- Tilapia w/jalapeno lime sauce
- Chicken parmesan
- Smoked turkey panini pesto mayo
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken Alfredo fettucine

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesdsay, Nov. 12
- Eggplant parmesan
- Romaine, walnut & apple salad
- Espresso coupe

Thursday, Nov. 13
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Marsh project earns Fermilab an environmental award

The Nepese Marsh in the Fermilab Village in June. The Marsh was once a sewage treatment area.

Turning a sewage treatment area into a wildlife haven that reduces greenhouse gases has helped to save the laboratory money and earned Fermilab regional and national recognition.

Later today, Roads and Grounds employee Dave Shemanske will accept a natural landscaping award from the Chicago Wilderness Congress and the U.S. EPA on the laboratory's behalf for the Nepese Marsh Restoration Project in the Fermilab Village.

During Fermilab's first few decades, the pond behind the village was used as a sewage treatment area. Aerators in the 4- to 5-acre area kept water moving to break down sewage.

Connecting to Warrenville's sewer system in the 1990s made the pond obsolete. Converting it saved the laboratory about $4,000 a year in operating costs.

"We thought we could save the laboratory money by eliminating this equipment. If we turned it back into a marsh, plants could do the same thing - break down raw sewage," Shemanske said.

In 1999, Roads and Grounds employees pumped down the oxidation pond's 4.5 feet of water and sewage. They piled up the sludge and let it dry out, creating islands inside the oxidation pond area.

Bob Betz, former founder and leader of Fermilab's Prairie Restoration Project, and his interns collected wetland species before winter that year and heavily seeded the space. Shemanske continues that work, spending his lunch hours and free time collecting plants and heavily seeding the marsh.

"Dr. Betz had an influence on a lot of us," Shemanske said. "We're raised on a construction background with blacktop and concrete. Most construction groups would have gotten a bulldozer and filled that in, but the new maintenance focus is to go green."

The area has become a favored birding spot. Fermilab Natural Areas hopes to raise funds to build a walking path and benches there.

"This space is coming along nicely," said Rod Walton, Fermilab ecologist. "It increases our biodiversity. Although small, it soaks up carbon and doesn't heat the atmosphere like blacktop would."

Shemanske feels honored to accept the award. "We strive to keep Fermilab a world-class site doing world-class physics," he said.

--Rhianna Wisniewski

The oxidation pond, or sewage treatment area, before it was converted into a marsh.

In the News

Where do science supermachines go when they die?

From New Scientist, Nov. 2, 2008

Like a man hoping to find a second-hand sports car at a knockdown price, Lon Morgan used to regularly peruse the for-sale ads in Commerce Business Daily. Then one day in 1995, Morgan saw exactly what he had been looking for and submitted a bid. Three weeks later, Morgan and his company International Isotopes were the proud owners of parts from the world's biggest atom smasher for the princely sum of $4.5 million.

Morgan had bought part of the defunct Superconducting Super Collider, a behemoth of a machine designed to search for the much vaunted Higgs boson, aka the God particle, which is supposed to give all other particles their mass. When funding for the 87-kilometre-round SSC was slashed in 1993 a cool $2 billion had already been spent. Now the huge tunnels in Waxahachie, Texas, sat dark and empty. Since the parts for the accelerator had never actually been assembled into a working machine, they sat crated up in a warehouse, awaiting their new owner and their new destiny.

Read more

From the Business Services Section

How are we doing?

Dave Carlson, head of the Business Services Section, wrote this week's column.

Dave Carlson

Safety is among the first things we think of when we evaluate our performance here at the laboratory. In FY2008, Fermilab turned in some very impressive ES&H results.

But there are dozens of other non-safety measures that are part of the annual DOE-FRA Contractor Performance and Evaluation Measurement Plan for Fermilab management and operation. Many of these measures have single targets. For example, the safety goal was to achieve a Total Recordable Case Rate of 0.65 or less in FY2008.

In contrast to this, the Procurement and Property Management systems within Business Services each have a different measurement tool known as a Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC contains a set of many detailed performance requirements that factor into an overall score. The overall BSC results are what DOE uses to evaluate how we are doing.

For FY2008, both the Procurement and Personal Property BSC scores added up to "A" grades. Congratulations to all the people who helped Fermilab to achieve this mark. To the extent that the BSC measures the right things, the grade assures that our systems are working efficiently, effectively and in line with laboratory and DOE expectations.

So how does DOE compute the grade? The BSCs for both Procurement and Property Management systems examine our operations from four perspectives: customer, internal business, learning and growth, and financial. Across these four areas the Procurement BSC contains 14 measures and the Property BSC contains 22. The 36 specific measures cover a surprisingly wide range of subjects, including internal controls, supplier management, effective use of competition, good socioeconomic citizenship, inventory results, speed of process, education and development, cost of doing business and reduction of fuel use. The target scores are largely set by or negotiated with DOE, with some allowance for self identification of meaningful measures.

But this is no time to rest. The BSC menus evolve each year. To achieve again a top score, we need to stay focused and make improvements where possible.

Photo of the Day

Breakfast with scientists

Students from the Sigma Pi Sigma 2008 Quadrennial Congress have breakfast with scientists on Friday, Nov. 7, in the Fermilab cafeteria. Fermilab hosted the meeting.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, Nov. 12

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes three injuries, one of which is reportable. An employee pinched a finger in the hinge of a vanity being tossed into the trash. Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


Have a safe day!

Barnstormers Model Airplane Club meeting Nov. 12

Fermilab health fair Nov. 13

International Folk Dancing, Nov. 13

Public lecture on history of Fermilab Nov. 14

Join Fermilab volleyball, training

Barn dance Sunday, Nov. 16

NALWO Thanksgiving feast Nov. 17

English Country Dancing, Nov. 23

Director's volunteer award Nov. 25

Exciting Explorations! child care program offered Nov. 24-26

Additional Activities

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