SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
2008 LSST All-Hands Meeting Attended by 160 Scientists
People Today: John Ku Lives Life in the Green Lane
Award Reporting Form
Conservation Tip of the Week: SLAC Joins USGBC

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 4, 2008

2008 LSST All-Hands Meeting Attended by 160 Scientists

Attendees of last month's
LSST All-Hands Meeting.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Excitement for the proposed Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) continues to build as the project moves forward. Twenty-five tons of glass for the telescope's 8.4–meter-wide primary and tertiary mirrors was cast in March and is slowly cooling at the Steward Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona. The mirror will be removed from the furnace by mid-August and will then begin the long grinding and polishing process.

In the meantime, LSST collaborators aren't just sitting around waiting. The 2008 All-Hands Meeting for the collaboration of scientists working on the LSST took place from May 19th to 23rd at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One hundred and sixty scientists and engineers representing all areas of the project—divided into camera, telescope and data management sections—gathered there to discuss the goals and direction of the project over the next year. This was the first meeting at which the Science Collaborations formed last year were all able to meet together.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

John Ku Lives Life in the Green Lane

John Ku poses with his 2007 Honda Civic, which runs on compressed natural gas.

SLAC Structural Analyst John Ku likes to live green. He recycles batteries and oil, and replaced all the light bulbs in his home with compact fluorescents. But when he bought a compressed natural gas vehicle in September, he was thinking more about his daily commute than the low emissions. Natural gas vehicles in California qualify for High Occupancy Vehicle stickers. Ku lives in San Jose, and his 25 mile commute can be very long in heavy traffic.

"The carpool sticker was a big motivator for me," Ku said.

Ku has worked at SLAC for over five years, first on the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, and now on the digital camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. He and his wife Rachel are raising three young boys, and they keep busy volunteering at their school, camping and hiking. Ku's favorite hobby is judo, and he's planning to watch the Olympic Judo trials in Las Vegas in June.

His new car fits his busy lifestyle. He says he's enjoying the faster commute and the savings in fuel costs—while gasoline has shot past $4 per gallon, compressed natural gas, a domestic resource, costs a little more than half that. Ku also says he's enjoying the free parking in San Jose garages and metered spaces that comes along with owning a natural gas vehicle.

Ku also likes doing something good for the environment. Natural gas burns more cleanly than gasoline, Ku said, producing very few emissions. His car, the Honda Civic GX NGV, has been certified America's Greenest Car by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for the fifth year in a row.

But a natural gas vehicle is not for everyone, Ku said. He can only fuel it at special natural gas fueling stations. About 15 of these stations dot the metropolitan Bay Area, and they're common in other cities nationwide, but are often scarce along major highways.

"It's basically a commuting car," Ku said. Although he has driven the car to Los Angeles, he and his wife mostly use it around town. In addition, a natural gas vehicle has very little trunk space due to all the safety features surrounding the gas tank. When his family goes camping, Ku said, they take his wife's Yukon.

"That probably cancels out the natural gas car," he laughed.

Award Reporting Form

(Photo - trophy)Have you or has someone you know at SLAC recently received an award? Please let us know about it by completing the online Award Reporting Form. (A link to this form can also be found in the "Handy Links" section of the online version of SLAC Today.) Information submitted via this form is sent to the Director of Human Resources, the SLAC Today Editor and the SLAC Archives and History Office.


Conservation Tip
of the Week:

In response to Executive Order 13423 (Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management), the Department of Energy (DOE) Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) Initiative and DOE Order 430.2B, SLAC has taken yet another small step toward enhanced sustainability by joining the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Corporate Member. The Corporate Membership includes all full-time SLAC employees and will be very useful to those whose responsibilities include supporting site sustainable efforts in achieving USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. LEED provides a dashboard of metrics by which buildings are judged and subsequently rated.

Our mandate is for 15% of our qualified floor space to become LEED "Gold Certified" by 2015. All construction projects greater than $5 million dollars will need to be LEED Gold Certified unless special circumstances exist that will support a formal DOE exemption. Any SLAC full-time employee who participates in Commercial Interior, Existing Building Renovation or New Building Construction (with budgets in excess of $5 million) should be aware of the LEED requirements and incorporate them into the project design criteria.

General information regarding the LEED requirements can be accessed through the USGBC webpage. If your job dictates that you learn the requirements in greater detail (and you would like to use SLAC's Corporate Membership discounts on literature and or instructional materials, webinars, training seminars and so on), you can open an individual account under the SLAC corporate umbrella. The savings can be considerable and this is highly recommended for individuals looking to minimize costs associated with the LEED certification requirements.

SLAC employees can contact Lisa Adair (x4613) or John Steward (x2897) for instructions on opening a personal account.


Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (submit)

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

View online at