Monday, April 8, 2013

Have a safe day!

Monday, April 8

2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: Eric Charles, SLAC
Title: The Fermi Large Area Telescope at Four and a Half: Astrophysics, Dark Matter Searches and the 130 GeV Line

3:30 p.m.


Tuesday, April 9

3:30 p.m.


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Wilson Hall Cafe

Monday, April 8

- Breakfast: oatmeal raisin pancakes
- Bourbon Street gumbo
- The Fermi burger
- Veal parmesan
- Smart cuisine: country baked chicken
- Classic club sandwich
- Assorted pizza
- Buffalo chicken tender ranch salad

Wilson Hall Cafe menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 10
- Grilled five-spice chicken
- Thai rice pilaf
- Sugar snap peas
- Pineapple upside-down cake

Friday, April 12

Chez Leon menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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From symmetry

CERN offers UN advice on bringing women into science

In CERN's first opportunity to engage directly with a UN organization since it gained observer status, grad students suggested ways to improve the situation of women in science. Image courtesy of CERN

European physics laboratory CERN dedicated its first act as an observer to the United Nations General Assembly to addressing the disparity between the number of men and women who build careers in science.

Graduate students Kate Pachal of the University of Oxford, Barbara Millan Mejias of the University of Zurich and Sarah Seif El Nasr from the University of Bristol gave a presentation via web conference to the youth session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council on March 27.

They offered 10 recommendations: three ways to attract more young women to science, three ways to increase the number of women hired in science and four ways to encourage women to stay in science for the long haul.

The recommendations came about as a result of an informal discussion that took place on March 11 involving 15 young female scientists from CERN.

Read more

Kelly Izlar


In memoriam: Tom Fitzpatrick

Tom Fitzpatrick

Fermilab lost a great asset and friend on March 31, when PPD/EED employee Tom Fitzpatrick unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. He was 53 years old.

Tom graduated from the Wisconsin School of Electronics with an associate degree and started his 31-year career at the lab in 1982. He loved working at the lab and always joked about the fact that he was a Fermilab "lifer." He enjoyed the informal atmosphere but quickly demonstrated that he took his work very seriously and could rise to whatever challenges came his way. Although he started as an electronics technician with a two-year degree, he later worked at the engineering level. His expertise, creativity, communication skills and ability to get the job done were widely known and respected throughout the laboratory.

Tom also had a very rich personal life and will be greatly missed by his family. He was married to his wife Luann for 24 years and had four children and several grandchildren. Luann described Tom as one who cared deeply about the people in his life, supporting and encouraging them to do their best. She acknowledged the huge role that he played in helping and allowing her to achieve her goals.

Tom was focused on quality and excellence in everything he did. He was a master brewer, very well-known and respected in the craft beer community. He loved to fire up his barbecue smoker, often preparing great meals to accompany his top-notch brews. He also gardened and transformed his family's home and yard into something very special. His skills at disc golf, darts and bag throwing were formidable. Tom had a quick, sharp wit and a wonderfully cynical sense of humor. Those who knew him were quite familiar with his penchant for biting sarcasm and his insightful criticisms. He brought laughter and a unique spirit to the 14th floor of Wilson Hall that will be sorely missed.

Tom Zimmerman, PPD

In the News

Building support for the DOE Office of Science

From FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News, April 3, 2013

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to all members of the House of Representatives on March 28 urging them to sign an accompanying letter "to express our strong support for robust and sustained funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the critical research, unique scientific facilities, and expert personnel that it supports." The letter will be sent to House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

Read more

In the News

Fermilab to offer Wonders of Science show

From My Suburban Life, April 4, 2013

When: 1 p.m. Sunday, April 14
Where: Fermilab, Kirk Road and Pine Street, Batavia

Cost/Info: A Wonders of Science Show is set for 1 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the Ramsey Auditorium in Wilson Hall at Fermilab, at Kirk Road and Pine Street, Batavia. The show is a fast-paced demonstration of scientific concepts, geared toward children. Presented by a group of high school teachers, the show aims to make science fun and accessible. The cost is $4 per person. For information, visit

Read more

Tip of the Week:
Ecology and Environment

Protecting migratory birds

Even the "everyday" American robin is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Photo: Harry Cheung, PPD

For most people, protecting wildlife means taking into account endangered-species lists published by federal and state wildlife agencies. Species on these lists are those whose very existence is threatened, usually due to human activities. These lists are relatively short, and they contain species that are, almost by definition, uncommon.

There are also laws intended specifically to protect bird species. Most of these laws were passed near the turn of the 20th century, when women's hats were adorned with feathers and plumes taken from a variety of birds. The demand for plumes was so great that it put the existence of some species in jeopardy. The U.S. legislature passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 to protect birds from these activities.

MBTA applies to birds that migrate between countries by "normal ecological processes." Over 1,000 species, including the ubiquitous American robin, are protected because conservation status doesn't depend on the viability of the species. Because the law prohibits a broad range of activities, the interpretation of what constitutes a violation fluctuates. The broadest interpretation would make even unintentional and otherwise legal acts criminal if they result in taking birds. Thus, inadvertently affecting migratory birds during construction or other activities could have serious repercussions.

However, the courts have usually held to a narrower interpretation. In 2001, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13186, Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds, which clarified guidance for federal agencies on protecting migratory birds. It directs each agency to outline a plan to avoid harming migratory birds and to take proactive steps to conserve bird populations. A Department of Energy memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was finalized in 2006 and provides a number of measures designed to "protect and conserve" migratory birds.

How does this affect Fermilab? The essence of the DOE plan in the MOU is that any actions undertaken by DOE should take steps to "protect, conserve and restore" migratory bird habitat to the fullest extent practicable and to review possible impacts of agency actions on migratory birds, avoiding them where practicable. That means we must evaluate these impacts in our normal course of conducting environmental reviews under NEPA and avoid or minimize impacts to even the most common birds as much as reasonable.

Rod Walton

Photo of the Day

Snow fences curl up and hibernate

The snow fences around Fermilab grounds have come down, a sign that we're putting winter behind us. Photo: Barb Kristen, PPD
In Brief

Hadron Collider Physics School deadline - April 30

The eighth annual Joint Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer School will take place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 6 at CERN. The school targets postdocs in experimental high-energy physics as well as senior Ph.D. students in HEP phenomenology who are working toward the completion of their thesis projects.

Applications are due on Tuesday, April 30. More information is available online at the summer school website.


Today's New Announcements

Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer School open for applications

STEM career expo - April 10

Wonders of Science - April 14

Engineering Group to hold seminars at Fermilab - April 26

The World According to Higgs - Chris Quigg - April 12

Fermilab Heartland Blood Drive - April 15-16

Fermilab Arts Series: Barynya: Music & Dance of Russia - April 20

UChicago: Willy Wonka - movie and science demos - April 21

Web queries security changes

Reminder - FSA debit card PIN required

Free Zumba trial classes

English country dancing meets Sunday afternoons in Kuhn Barn

International folk dancing meets Thursday evenings in Kuhn Barn

Indoor soccer