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

In this issue:
Dale Knutson Returns to PNNL; Bob Hettel Becomes Acting ALD for Accelerator Directorate
Arthur Bienenstock Named to Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Risa Wechsler: Shedding Light on the Dark Side
Colloquium Today: Anthropogenic Nitrogen: Too Much of a Good Thing?

SLAC Today

Monday - May 3, 2010

Dale Knutson Returns to PNNL; Bob Hettel Becomes Acting ALD for Accelerator Directorate

(Photo - Dale Knutson and Bob Hettel)
Dale Knutson (left) and Bob Hettel. (Photos by Brad Plummer.)

SLAC Director Persis Drell has named Bob Hettel as acting associate laboratory director for the Accelerator Directorate. Hettel takes the reins from Dale Knutson, who has returned to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory after his two-year deployment to SLAC.

Hettel, who most recently served as deputy director for the Accelerator Directorate, first came to work at SLAC as a student in 1968. In the ensuing years, he helped design the first instrumentation for SPEAR and eventually became head of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Accelerator Systems Division. Hettel will serve as Knutson's replacement until the search for a permanent replacement is completed.  Read more...

Arthur Bienenstock Named to Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

(Photo - Arthur Bienenstock)
Arthur Bienenstock. (Photo courtesy Arthur Bienenstock.)

The news came by fax. On March 31, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences sent Arthur Bienenstock word that he had been elected a foreign member of the academy during its general meeting on March 24.

"I was most pleasantly surprised by this unexpected honor, in spite of some signals that had arrived earlier," Bienenstock wrote in an e-mail to SLAC Today. "I had been doing what I love to do in Sweden – encourage science and university improvement."

Bienenstock was director of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at SLAC from 1978 to 1997, among many other accomplished roles, and is currently special assistant for federal research policy to Stanford University President John Hennessy and director of the Wallenberg Research Link/Swedish Contact CenterRead more...

Risa Wechsler:
Shedding Light on the Dark Side

(Photo - Risa Wechsler)
Risa Wechsler, assistant professor of physics at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. (Photo: Stanford University.)

At the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Risa Wechsler looks for visible clues to unlock the riddles of the unseen Universe.

In short, her career path has led to three Kavli institutes and one program, giving her particularly extensive roots in the Kavli community.  Read more from the Kavli Foundation...

Colloquium Today: Anthropogenic Nitrogen: Too Much of a Good Thing?

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

Today at 4:15 p.m. today in Panofsky Auditorium, Stanford University bio-geo-chemist Peter Vitousek will present "Anthropogenic Nitrogen: Too Much of a Good Thing?" The colloquium is free and open to all.

While human changes to the global carbon cycle have received a great deal of attention, humanity has altered several other cycles to a greater extent. More nitrogen is now fixed anthropogenically (mostly for fertilizer) than is fixed biologically in all terrestrial ecosystems. The resultant enrichment makes a relatively small contribution to climate change and a larger one to air quality—and it transforms the structure, dynamics, and diversity of many terrestrial and coastal marine ecosystems. Mitigating these changes will require far more efficient use of nitrogen in agricultural systems—a challenge that is complicated by the heterogeneity of intensive agricultural systems around the world.

Vitousek is a professor of biology at Stanford and senior fellow at the Wood Institute for the Environment.

Next week, Stanford and SLAC astrophysicist Phil Marshall will present "Gravitational Optics - Measuring Distances in the Universe with Galaxy-sized Lenses."

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