Microbes to Biomes
Microbes are the most abundant and diverse forms of life on Earth, occupying every living system in our biosphere. The interactions of microbes with one another and with their environment are critical to the health and well-being of their host biome, whether it is cropland, fresh water or the human body. How do microbial communities interact with each other and their environment from the molecular to the biome scale? How do external factors, such as disease or climate change, influence these interactions and outcomes? Berkeley Lab researchers are seeking to understand relationships between microbes and their host biomes, vital to our planet’s future.
Extreme Data Science Initiative
Extreme-scale or “exascale” computing promises to transform scientific fields where experimentation has become too expensive, too dangerous or outright impossible to perform. From understanding how the human brain functions, to predicting how biomes and critical ecosystems will respond to climate change, to the rapid discovery of exotic new materials that can meet fast-changing technological demands, scientific research will increasingly depend upon simulations that accurately model the real world. This will require new modes of inquiry and discovery from scientific data sets and unprecedented volumes of data acquisition and processing.
Brighter X-Rays, Sharper Focus
The chemistry that drives technology and animates life emerges from atomic and molecular interactions that determine how complex materials such as superconductors and biological systems like the ribosome work. Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) provides bright ultraviolet and x-ray light for observing and, ultimately, controlling chemical bonds. A proposed brightness upgrade of the ALS would open up new opportunities in solar energy, batteries, biofuels, carbon sequestration, catalysis, drug development, environmental remediation, and new materials. The upgrade would utilize existing building infrastructure and keep the ALS at the frontier of x-ray science.
Berkeley Lab researchers are pioneering solar-based sustainable energy technologies, but until these technologies mature, energy efficiency remains the most available route to sustainability. From science-based efficiency standards for appliances, to advances in building and lighting technologies, to foundational work in lithium ion batteries and new technologies for carbon capture and sequestration, Berkeley Lab has been a world leader in energy innovation. Spinoffs from Lab research already contribute billions to the national economy in savings and revenue; the Lab is now developing new ways to accelerate the transition from basic to applied research, developing new approaches to technology transfer, and finding ways to engage industry earlier and more directly.
Diversity and Inclusion
Berkeley Lab has a tradition of multidisciplinary teams working together to bring science solutions to the world. Fostering a diverse workforce—in experience, perspective and background—and culture of inclusion are key to attracting and engaging the brightest minds and furthering our record of scientific excellence and groundbreaking innovations. Our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative will focus on recruitment, taking leadership on diversity, assessing our equitability, ensuring a family-friendly workplace, and “growing our own.” Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Berkeley Lab.
Service Technologies for Science
Berkeley Lab is committed to providing efficient, cost-effective services to support our scientific mission. To accomplish this, the Lab is deploying a unified online portal that will enable customers to access all major operational services in one location, leveraging investments already underway across Operations. As Financial, Human Resources, Facilities, EHS, and Protective Service systems begin significant improvements to their core software, each will also invest in improving their operations to work in concert with these software investments. Together, these modernized systems will help to improve transparency and decision-making and manage the cost of providing the environment for world-class science.