SLAC Today is available online at:
http://today.slac.stanford.edu

In this issue:
SLAC Medical Department Receives 50 Doses of H1N1 Vaccine Today
People: Eric Shupert on Developing Diversity at SLAC
Fermi Telescope Sees Brightest Blazar Flare
Reminder: eShop Snack and Learn Seminar Today
Around SLAC: Visitor Center Revamped

SLAC Today

Wednesday - December 9, 2009

SLAC Medical Department Receives Initial 50 Doses of H1N1 Vaccine Today

The SLAC Medical Department will receive today an initial 50 doses of H1N1 "swine" flu vaccine for staff belonging to one of the priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Populations at SLAC that are included in the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are:

  • pregnant women
  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • persons under the age of 24 years
  • people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems

If you meet any of these criteria, please contact the Medical Department (x2281) to request an evaluation to receive the H1N1 vaccination. Please note that the supply is extremely limited and SLAC Medical Department cannot guarantee availability to all who request the vaccine at this time. Further doses are being released to SLAC as they become available. More information will be provided at that time.

People:
Eric Shupert on Developing Diversity at SLAC

(Photo - Eric Shupert)
(Photo by Adam Mann.)

Eric Shupert has a brand new job. Hired just over a month ago for the newly created position as manager of Workforce Development and Diversity at SLAC, Shupert's task focuses on the lab's personnel and future.

"It's all about career and skills development, leadership development, succession planning and incorporating the principles of diversity and inclusion into all those programs," he said.

Shupert is in the early stages of developing strategies and plans with each of the lab directorates, from Operations to Particle Physics and Astrophysics. He hopes to figure out the current and future needs of the lab, analyzing gaps that are in need of attention.

Once these investigations have been done, he will work with the directors to address these gaps. Since the composition and availability of each directorate's workforce is different, the approach will be unique to each area.  Read more...

Fermi Telescope Sees Brightest Blazar Flare

(Image - FGST sky map)
Unprecedented flares from the blazar 3C 454.3 in the constellation Pegasus now make it the brightest persistent gamma-ray source in the sky. These all-sky images, which record the numbers of high-energy gamma-rays captured by Fermi's Large Area Telescope on Dec. 3 and Nov. 18, clearly show the change. See also this video comparing the two all-sky images. (Image: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration.)

A galaxy located billions of light-years away is commanding the attention of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and astronomers around the globe. Thanks to a series of flares that began September 15, the galaxy is now the brightest source in the gamma-ray sky—more than ten times brighter than it was in the summer.

Astronomers identify the object as 3C 454.3, an active galaxy located 7.2 billion lightyears away in the constellation Pegasus. But even among active galaxies, it's exceptional.

"We're looking right down the barrel of a particle jet powered by the galaxy's supermassive black hole," said Gino Tosti at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Perugia, Italy. "Some change within that jet—we don't know what—is likely responsible for these flares."

Blazars, like many active galaxies, emit oppositely directed jets of particles traveling near the speed of light when matter falls toward their central supermassive black holes. What makes a blazar so bright in gamma rays is its orientation. In this case, one of the jets happens to be aimed straight at Earth.  Read more...

Reminder:
eShop Snack and Learn Seminar Today

Don't forget, today's the day to go to Kavli Auditorium for the eShop Snack & Learn seminar, presented by the SLAC Procurement Department, Pacific Supply & Safety and Staples Advantage. The 9 to 11 a.m. session will include training and discussions of the eShop system for online office supply purchases.

Around SLAC:
Visitor Center Revamped

(Photo - SLAC Visitor Center)
(Photo by Lauren Knoche.)

SLAC's Visitor Center is once again open for business. A collaboration between SLAC Communications, InfoMedia Solutions and the Carpentry Shop, the updated center features new highlights of the lab's science and staff. Take a moment out of your day and swing in to check it out.

(Photo - SLAC Visitor Center)
(Photo by Lauren Knoche.)

The updated center includes copies of Nobel Prize medals for research completed at SLAC, a mini-tour of lab research  programs and many new photos of faces from around the lab.Also, look out for additional features and updates in the new year!

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