Friday, November 2, 2012

Research predicts vulnerable forests

Park Williams, with a newly minted Ph.D. and a curiosity about how forests respond to a changing climate, arrived at Los Alamos National Laboratory in April 2011. It was the heart of the hot drought that fueled the devastating Las Conchas forest fire.

Using tree ring records, Williams and his colleagues have concluded that the drought of 2000-12, in terms of its combination of tree-stressing dryness and heat, was the fifth worst in the last thousand years. (full story)

Tech challenges after a storm halts transportation

Is there technology to help a city like New York manage disasters like this week's hurricane?

Turns out, the Los Alamos National Laboratory has transportation simulation software that can help cities get the planning down to a science. It's called TRANSIMS and FastTrams, and Adel Sadek uses it. He's a University of Buffalo Transportation Systems Engineering professor. (full story)

NASA rover’s first soil studies help fingerprint Martian minerals

Initial experiments completed by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have shown the mineralogy of Martian soil to be similar to that of weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii.

CheMin uses X-ray diffraction, which provides more accurate identification of minerals. The CheMin team includes Indiana University Bloomington geologistDavid Bish, David Blake of NASA Ames Research Center and David Vaniman of Los Alamos National Laboratory. (full story)

Working with Curiosity’s ChemCam laser

Curiosity Rover Update with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Nina Lanza. In this NASA video Nina explains how the ChemCam instrument works and how the science team is using it to explore a tiny cluster of rocks with an erosion pattern they've nicknamed ‘Stonehenge." (full story)

NSF supports unique, high-performance supercomputer center

The PRObE Center in Los Alamos is the world's first supercomputing system for large-scale systems research.

Withsupport from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Carnegie Mellon University created and opened the PRObE (Parallel Reconfigurable Observational Environment) Center, a one-of-a-kind computer systems research center located at Research Park in Los Alamos. (full story)
Lab’s community plan soldiers on

Back in September, the Board of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC unanimously approved recommendations to continue its $3 million a year contribution to support aCommunity Commitment Plan.

The plan provides the lab’s Community Programs Office with funding from LANS’ management fee to invest in regional education, economic development and charitable giving programs. (full story)

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