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In this issue:
New ES&H Policy and ALD Commitments to Safety
People Today: SSRL Summer Students
Register for the 2008 DOE Golf Challenge
Conservation Tip of the Week: Now Serving...

SLAC Today

Wednesday - July 16, 2008

New ES&H Policy and ALD Commitments to Safety

SLAC's new ES&H Policy.
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Last month, Lab Director Persis Drell signed a new Environmental, Safety, and Health Policy. At the same time, all six Associate Laboratory Directors (ALDs) signed individual Environment Safety and Health Commitments. These documents emphasize SLAC's commitment to protecting the environment and the health and safety of everyone on site. They also address the ways in which employees and managers will work together to ensure safety.

"We are moving forward with the goal of dramatically improving safety at SLAC," said Drell. "I know we are making progress because of what I see and what I hear from people throughout the organization. A healthy conversation about safety is emerging, indicating a change in the air. We are going through—and will continue to go through—some growing pains, but dramatic ES&H performance improvement is a journey. We are all taking the journey together."

In this fiscal year, 17 people have been hurt at SLAC, 12 so severely that they had to miss work. In addition, there have been many events which could have resulted in injury or insult to the environment and which did result in equipment damage or necessitated the redirection of resources to address the issues. By going back to the fundamentals of the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management System (ISEMS), and thinking about tasks ahead of time, everyone can be a leader in environmental stewardship and can help SLAC be an injury-free work environment.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

SSRL Summer Students

SSRL Summer Students (from left to right) Ben Cherian, John Rabedeau and Brendon Soltis are keeping busy.

The job title "summer intern" conjures up an image of someone who fetches coffee and cleans the copier. But Brendon Soltis, John Rabedeau and Ben Cherian are all summer interns at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), and such boring tasks are nowhere in their job description. Working with Jinhu Song, their days are full of analyzing data, programming and writing software, working directly with researchers and users, and contributing to SSRL research. For them, the summer internship is an early glimpse at what their own careers might have to offer.

Soltis is familiar with the SLAC campus. A computer science major at California Polytech, this is his third summer as an intern. Last year, he did computer programming for SSRL, even though he was very new to it. Returning to school, though, he says the summer training gave him a head start in his classes. He's currently working on a project to determine how humidity affects the drying time of one of the beam line robot arms. Outside of SSRL, Soltis is still enjoying the summer, going to concerts, hanging out with friends, and indulging in home cooking.

John Rabedeau applied for the summer internship after he heard about it from his father, Thomas Rabedeau, who also works at SSRL on beam line development. Now John is enjoying the summer at SSRL, in between semesters at Stanford University. While he considers majoring in computer science, he says working at SSRL has been a good chance to test the programming waters. "I'm learning how to program and deal with problems as I go," he said. "I write a program, see if it runs. If it doesn't, I go back and change things to see what's wrong. It's sort of been trial by fire."

Ben Cherian lives in San Jose and attends the California Institute of Technology as an Applied Physics major. Searching for summer work, he found an opening at SSRL and applied. He says it's exciting to talk to the researchers and the users about their work, and interesting to see what they do day-to-day. He currently writes control software for the crystallography beam lines. "So far I've written new software for the cryocooler which keeps the protein crystals frozen during data collection," he said. "Programming is good because it's made me realize that I want to be an applied physics major. I like what the programs are for more than writing them."

As excited as the students are to be working at SSRL, their advisor seems equally pleased to have them. Song lists a number of applications that the students are working on which will make things easier for users and staff. "For them, it is a real work experience," he said. "They get a taste of what it takes to work in a national lab, and we gain many features that users really want us to have."

Register for the 2008 DOE Golf Challenge

(Photo - SLAC team at the 2007 DOE Golf Challenge)
The SLAC team at the 2007 DOE Golf Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Mike Hogaboom. Click on image for larger version.)

Come out and help SLAC bring home the trophy at the 21st annual DOE Golf Challenge, to be held September 8 at the Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton. The tournament is hosted by the SLAC team this year and features prizes for individual play as well as two-man and four-man best ball formats. Each two-person team from SLAC will be paired with another two-person team from another Bay Area lab.

Sign up as an individual or invite a guest. Players will use their September NCGA Handicaps; players without established handicaps will use the Callaway System. The $90 per player registration fee includes the green fee, range balls, boxed lunch and a contribution to the prize fund.

Registration and fees are due no later than Friday, August 8 at 3:00 p.m. Contact Phil Cutino (x4822) for more information.


Conservation Tip:
Now Serving...

Summer is an excellent time to entertain, so why not host a healthier, more sustainable party? Lead by example and purchase organically grown or local beverages and food stuffs.

In serving organic beer we can help create healthy farms. Earth Share describes organic brewers products as, "... being made from hops grown on USDA certified, organic land that contains no pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetic engineering." Sounds good to me! Besides the obvious health benefits you’ll receive from lessening your chemical intake, you’ll be supporting sustainable farmlands for many more generations of hops-growing. Try Wolaver’s Ale, distributed locally, one of the first certified organic brews in the country. Wolavers uses environmental strategies from bio-diesel boilers, to heat recovery methods, to energy efficient lighting.

Try a truly fine healthy wine! This should not be a huge challenge for Californians. One winery I like to recommend is Sunstone, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. Sunstone has been growing their vines in a biodiverse California Certified Organic environment since 1990. You can purchase their wines on-line and have them shipped directly to your house for a 20% discount. Don't forget that chemicals used on non-organically grown grapes are absorbed through the skins of the fruit and leach into the soil contributing to water pollution, soil depletion and a loss of biodiversity.

Sometimes it's more earth-friendly to buy locally, even if it means NOT buying organic. Try to find a brewer or vineyard who produces locally, and you'll cut down on the (often large) transportation cost. The number of miles your beverage travels can in some instances be substantial. When possible, always try to buy local.

SLAC Name Change

  • Members of the SLAC community can share their comments and suggestions about the plans for a new name for SLAC here:


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