SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
A Uranium Dilemma
Profile: Just for the Cello of it
SLAC Guest House to be Renamed Stanford Guest House
SLAC Welcomes New Employees

SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 8, 2006

(Photo - Bacteria)
A species of metal-eating bacteria from the genus Shawanella, shown here growing on a mineral of iron called hematite. (Image courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.)

A Uranium Dilemma

Uranium contamination is a major concern at decommissioned mining and ore processing facilities around the United States. The migration of uranium has led to contaminated ground water in many locations and the threat remains for further contamination unless costly measures are taken to isolate the contaminates and stop their spread.

"There are billions of gallons of contaminated ground water," said SSRL environmental scientist John Barger. "The fate of much of the uranium contaminate in ground water remains uncertain. It is very difficult to clean up."

Now, two promising new studies conducted in part at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) could lead to better ways of controlling underground uranium contamination.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Just for the Cello of it

(Image - Karin Horwath)
Administrative Associate Karin Horwath marches not simply to a different drummer, but to an entirely different instrument altogether. A native of Illinois, Horwath pulled up stakes in early 2006, sold her house, gave her furniture to her sister, loaded up an RV and headed west—all for the love of her own instrument, the cello.

Horwath's love of the cello is a relatively new one. She began taking lessons just six years ago, after it dawned on her that there was nothing stopping her from doing so. "I don't know how the idea came about. I've just always liked it," she says.

Then in 2005, while attending a week-long cello seminar in the Bay Area, she felt the call to relocate. The chemistry she felt with the instructor, she says, made it clear. "It was pretty evident this is where I need to be."

Horwath didn't make the journey alone, however. She lives with her four cats—Cole, Anna, Mia, and one she was reluctant to name (although he answers to "the squirt"), whom she bottle fed as a kitten while volunteering at an animal shelter.

But despite the miles traveled and time invested, when asked if her love of the instrument points toward orchestral ambitions, she demurs. "That's a lot of pressure," she says. "I really just want to learn to play."

SLAC Guest House
to be Renamed
Stanford Guest House

(Photo - Guest House)
The Guest House first opened its doors in 2003. (Click on image for larger version.)

Formerly called the SLAC Guest House, the Stanford Guest House will celebrate its re-christening in an open house on Wednesday, November 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will feature tours of the facility, complimentary lunch, and a raffle of gift baskets and free-night stays. Those planning to attend the celebration are requested to RSVP by calling (650) 926-2800 or by emailing The event is open to all in the SLAC and broader Stanford community.

"We are excited to host this event and welcome Stanford community members to this rebirth of the Stanford Guest House," said Rodger Whitney, Executive Director of Student Housing and Chief Housing Officer, whose organization operates the Guest House.

SLAC Welcomes
New Employees

(Photo - New employees)
SLAC welcomed seventeen new employees yesterday at orientation. From left to right, front to back, they are: Sheldon Ryan, Karin Horwath, Macy Yeung, Farah Rabhar, Tao Tang, Hok Leung, Rosie Renteria, Sandra Brown-Grossinger, Benjamin Savage, Jim Healy, Guadalupe Makasyuk, Donald Schafer, Jonghoon Kim, Mario Santana, Nicholas Reeck, Frank (Ed) Reese and David Moore.

Events (see all | submit)

Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all | submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at