Northern Chapter of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering


(a quasi-periodical)


One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. -- Marie Curie


Publishing Information from the Editor

First, the disclaimer: any errors are the responsibility of Laura McNamara, LAWIS Newsletter editor. Please send any comments, corrections, and/or items for inclusion to lauramc@lanl.gov, or call 665-9685. This April 2000 issue is the third of the year; if you're interested in previous issues, many are available on the LAWIS home page (http://home.lanl.gov/lawis/New sLetters).

Regarding my request for reader responses to the LAWIS Newsletter: well, it appears we have a small but enthusiastic audience that enjoys reading the public announcements about upcoming volunteer and social activities. So if you've got an announcement for such an event, it's probably a good idea to advertise it in here! Pass the word - the newsletter is open to outside submissions about community service activities, talks, seminars, et cetera.

The editor would like to extend special thanks to Cathy Cleland and Tinka Gammel for their fine work in reformatting and posting the newsletter to the LAWIS Website.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Newsletter will issued electronically during the first week of every month. Announcements or news items must be on my desk by the last Monday of every month to make the next issue. Please contact me if you prefer hardcopy format and I'll be sure to send one out. Lastly, scroll to the end of this newsletter and check out the neat community service opportunities coming up this spring - these are Laboratory-approved activities, so get involved!

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The next meeting of the LAWIS Steering Committee will be Thursday, April 13th , 2000 at 7:00 a.m. Look for us in the back of the cafeteria (or just listen for the laughter). If you'd like to pry open your eyes along with the rest of us earlybirds, please feel free to do so. The rest of the LAWIS meetings have been scheduled for 7 AM as follows:

Lastly, if you'd like to talk to one of the Steering Committee members, all our contact information is available on the LAWIS Web Page, scrupulously maintained by Tinka Gammel and Cathy Cleland. The list is located at The list is located at ( http://home.lanl.gov/lawis/NMNWSE_Northern.html). We're glad to hear from you.

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The last Steering Committee meeting took place on March 9th, 2000. The minutes that follow haven't yet been officially approved, but I think they capture what we discussed pretty completely. The final approved version will be posted on the Web after the Steering Committee meets on April 13th.

BIG NEWS: WE HAVE A POST OFFICE BOX. You'll see in the minutes below that Alexine strongly urged we spend the money on a P.O. Box. Janie took care of the problem immediately. Our new, official address as of March 13th:

Los Alamos Women in Science (LAWIS)
P.O. Box 564
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Members Present: Janie Enter, Mary Stinecipher-Campbell, Alexine Salazar, Susana Delgado, Huyen Dinh, Margo Clark, Cathy Cleland, Laura McNamara. Tinka Gammel arrived at 8AM.

Minutes: The meeting began with unanimous approval of the January and February meeting minutes. Members suggested minor corrections to the February minutes, including a couple of spelling changes in names. Cathy Cleland also noted that she was listed as a presenter in the EYH information included in the February Minutes; she clarified that she was an organizer, not a presenter and that she doesn't care to be listed - but wants to make sure that the presenters get credit for their work. Alexine noted that the EYH info in the February minutes and said that an updated version of this year's EYH information on the Web would list Cathy correctly as an organizer. With these corrections, the minutes were approved.

Treasurer's Report: Susana Delano gave the Treasurer's Report. She said that the LAWIS books hade been audited by Angelique and Claudia, and that she was waiting for their signatures to finalize the audit. The only minor problem uncovered was a check that was listed in the deposit rather than the debit column. Susana also said that she has gotten her name and signature on the card at the bank and can now write checks. She has reimbursed Cathy $51 (and still owes her a whopping 21 cents), and reimbursed herself for $125. Checks totaling $675.00 were deposited to the EYH account. She is going to deposit the checks for EYH. Margo and Alexine will be owed money for EYH activities and as Susana gets receipts she will reimburse them for EYH related expenses. Susana will be leaving soon for extended travel, though the dates aren't definite. She will hand the checkbooks over to Janie when her travel dates are finalized and she is ready to leave. The LAWIS accounts are still in the black.

Membership Report: Cathy Cleland gave the membership report. Cathy Cleland has done a lot of work with the membership database, updating it with information she's gotten from the state office and transferring the entire database from FileMaker Pro to Excel. She entered the new people and updated much of the information in the database, including information about education and work backgrounds, which she says are 'impressive.' Cathy also asked the Committee about the Member-at-large position - is anyone filling it currently? There was no agreement about who is currently considered our member-at-large, though it is agreed that she cannot be holding one of the executive positions. However, committee chairs are eligible for member-at-large status. Lastly, Cathy will be e-mailing members who haven't paid their latest dues to remind them that they need to send a check in to maintain their membership. She asks that anyone who receives this e-mail respond ASAP to let her know if they've already updated their account, since there's a delay between the time when members send in their dues, and the time at which the state organization forwards the information to her.

Lunchtime Talks: Huyen reported that she has talks scheduled through May now. The next Lunchtime talk is on 14 March, when Claudia Lewis will speak on "Using Quaternary dating methods, stratigraphy and patterns of stream incision to constrain models of post-orogenic rock uplift: Preliminary results from the Ebro basin, Spain." Lisa Gutierrez from the Laboratory's Diversity Office has agreed to speak in May, but wants some guidance about an appropriate topic. Huyen e-mailed the LAWIS list for approval of several different discussion topics. Janie mentioned that Cas Mason in trying to coordinate something with AAUW that's of mutual interest; perhaps Lisa's talk could be that event? Huyen will talk to Cas about that. Meanwhile, the Steering Committee discussed several topics for conversation, including a discussion of the role of women's organizations at the Laboratory, the retention and recruitment of female staff, particularly postdocs; how the DVO is defining its mission and what its role/agenda will be in the future, particularly now that it's split from OEO. Huyen said that Lisa has some stats on women at LANL and may be able to give a good discussion about gender and culture communications. Also discussed: bringing other speakers to the Laboratory, including Madeline Albright. Janie suggested that Huyen call her office; Janie found her staffers helpful and noted that the Sate Department would probably pick up the tab for her visit, since there's some talk about a transparency/ disarmament center being developed at the Laboratory. LAWIS may explore bringing women who wrote "Their Day in the Sun." Get together with Museum or Director's Office to co-sponsor their visit, perhaps organize a colloquium on the book.

Expanding Your Horizons: Alexine, Janie and everyone else involved in EYH Coordination is tired this week, but their hard work paid off enormously with another successful day of talks and workshops. 147 girls of the 168 registered attended the event, 23 schools were represented. EYH this year had 18 workshops, up from 16 last year. 28 presenters, 18 'gophers' helped out. Everything was 'more' this year, said Alexine - kids, workshops, teachers, schools, workshops and PAPERWORK, which was a headache and has the potential to get worse. Committee this year had to deal with a lot of issues related to security and safety.

The bottom line: getting EYH off the ground will get harder and harder. Transportation is becoming a major problem, since we are no longer allowed to use GSA vans/taxis to transport minors who are not in the employ of the Laboratory. Personal vehicles are one option, but the driver must assume personal liability. Alexine said that the state organization might have to assume some sort of insurance responsibility for EYH participants here, since our site has unique transportation issues (as in, we can't do EYH without some sort of transportation system for participants). Susana suggested renting vans, but question of how to pay, allowable expenses, comes up with rentals. Other paperwork problems: in future, there will be more permission/release forms required, including parental permission for girls to participate, for photos to be taken of the participants, for transportation, and possibly other legal issues.

Security is also a huge stickler: the focus on security has impacted everything at the Laboratory and EYH is no exception. One major security problem this year concerned 2 girls who are not citizens of the United States - Laboratory was going to require that they be badged. Backed off because girls are only in 8th grade, but Janie both question where it's written that any visitor over the 8th grade has to be badged at all. Alexine pointed out that Laboratory management and DOE both insist that they are not trying to discriminate against foreign nationals, but the badging issue directly marks these kids as outsiders, not just to Laboratory but also to classmates. Could have negative impacts on the girls, particularly if they're immigrants whose parents are trying to establish citizenship. Suggestion that Diversity Office take up this issue. General agreement among Steering Committee seemed to be that this is a very important problem, one that could hurt some of the girls by identifying them as 'outsiders.' EYH organizers will have to address this issue next year; as Alexine pointed out, our program is unique and how we establish our policies can set precedents for other programs and for the Laboratory.

Alexine also talked about funding from within the Laboratory, that technical divisions give what little money they can, but generally don't have much fiscal wiggle room for things like EYH, and frequently ask why STB isn't underwriting the EYH program. STB does provide support for substitute teachers in schools. Substitutes are a more easily allowable cost for STB than EYH because of their existing programs with schools for teachers. EYH spent some of its money to give teachers book about encouraging girls to go into math and science (if you're interested in ordering a copy, the ISBN is 0-86651-323-X and Alexine can get info for you), as well as lunch for the teachers that attended. These are allowable costs. Lots of discussion about different groups in Laboratory that offer funding - STB, DVO, CRO, technical divisions, etc. Internal funding will probably continue to be a problem for organizers next year.

EYH accounts probably nearly zero-ed out, Alexine reported, but she asked Committee to approve fiscal support for an EYH thank-you party/closeout meeting on the 16th of March. Motion was made, seconded, and approved for roughly 500 in support for refreshments for 70 or so people, maybe fruit and dessert?

EYH Odds and Ends:

SCIENCE FAIR UPDATES: Margo reported that the State science fair is coming up soon in Socorro but didn't know the exact date. Cathy was LAWIS representative for regional fair at NM Highlands, said that since LAWIS gave $50 for awards we are now considered a 'Silver Donor.' Also sent over stickers, the ever-popular dinosaur certificates for kids, and sent a self-addressed, stamped envelope so we can find out who won our awards. Highlands is interested in getting LAWIS to judge but Cathy told them that we were 'judged out.' They suggested that we conserve our energies next year to judge at regionals, since it's a pretty big event - 400 kids. Also, the Taos Science Fair organizers called Tinka and winners' names are now on the Webpage.

BYLAWS: Mary has identified one potentially problematic area in the bylaws: can we do e-mail elections? E-mail not secure or private. Tinka will look into ways of solving problem, including establishing a one-time-only voting mechanism for the Web Page using a unique identifier for each member. She is also going to amend the by-laws so that the 'one year in good standing' provision for membership in the Steering Committee is changed to read 'in good standing,' since Steering Committee isn't really paying attention to that rule anyway. Please see discussion below under 'Webpage' for more about the vote-by-web issue.

NEWSLETTER: Laura will ask Huyen for names of LAWIS members who need to get hardcopy of newsletter. Also will finish a LAWIS introductory brochure for inclusion in New Hire packets. Has to be in at HR by May 1 for summer students.

WEBPAGE: Tinka reported that we got an apology from Inkspot for spamming LAWIS members, but Tinka is worried about members dropping off list every time something like this happens. Steering Committee members discussed options for restricting list activity so spamming opportunities are limited. Tinka has talked to CIC representative who expects that Laboratory will soon have access to software that limits posting ability to people on a list AND within a certain general domain - like 'LANL.GOV.' Janie suggested restricting posting ability to LAWIS subscribers only, but Tinka pointed out that we do get legitimate postings from Lab organizations; she prefers that they be able to post directly, so that her name/LAWIS is not connected to activities or events (as it would be if she were to forward info to list).

ODDS AND ENDS AT THE END: Also discussion of encouraging/inviting representatives from other LANL women's organizations, like the WDWG, to our meetings. This might be a way of recruiting new members for the Steering Committee next year. Perhaps ask someone from SEAC to attend meetings, get involved in activities. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 AM.

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If you're a GRA or you've got a GRA working for you: In case you hadn't heard, Student Programs in HR has a new GRA Program Coordinator. Cathy Majerus will be working with the Student Programs Team (Carol Hogsett, Melissa Velarde, Debbie Leyba, and Sharol Tafoya) through summer 2000. Her office is in the Otowi Building on the second floor, her phone number is 667-4257, and email is majerus@lanl.gov.

Seeking Talented Note Taker: The LAWIS Newsletter editor - yes, that's me - can't attend many of the lunchtime talks. So I'm looking for someone to take brief notes for the 'Past Events' section - nothing fancy, just a paragraph or so summarizing the main points of the talk and maybe a few questions. You could even call me after the talk and let me know how it went. No salary offered, but you'll get credit as a cub reporter! Contact Laura: 665-9685 or lauramc@lanl.gov.

And Calling All Web Experts:Cathy and Tinka are looking for some help setting up a voting system for the next LAWIS elections. They are looking for someone with CGI scripting skills, Perl and HTML. If you can help, or you know someone with these skills, please contact Cathy and/or Tinka.

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Past Events

On Tuesday, March 14, 2000 , Claudia Lewis of EES-1, LANL gave a talk entitled "Using Quaternary dating methods, stratigraphy and patterns of stream incision to constrain models of post-orogenic rock uplift: Preliminary results from the Ebro basin, Spain." In addition to technical information, she discussed her career path and the development of her research interests. A synopsis of her talk was featured in the state NMNWSE Newsletter. Thank you, Claudia!

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Remember: for all Lunchtime Talks, Sideroom C is open from 11:30-1:30 for an early or late lunch and socializing. Nonmembers are invited join us, so bring a friend!

TINKA IS PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING: Cathy Sisneros of the Santa Fe Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Public Information Office is wondering if LAWIS members are interested in hearing an update on WIPP. Tinka Gammel is collecting responses from LAWIS members, so you can contact her to cast your vote. If you're interested in having Cathy talk to your group, you can call her directly at 982-7129. Tinka has also been thinking about field trips lately.... Her list of possible destinations includes a combined WIPP/Carlsbad/Trinity Site venture, similar to the one that she organized a couple of years ago. trip to White Sands or other interesting area, a trip to the Nevada Test Site, a visit to Chaco Canyon near Farmington to look at the 25'' telescope recently donated to the site, and a local Jemez geology field trip. You can call Tinka to discuss these possibilities with her, or e-mail her: jtg@lanl.gov.

Lunchtime Talk, Wednesday, April 12, 2000, 11:30 am -1:00 pm, Otowi Cafeteria, Sideroom C: Irene J. Beyerlein, MST-8: STRUCTURE PROPERTY RELATIONS, will be giving a talk entitled 'Micromechanical Stress Redistribution Models And Their Implications On Statistical Failure Of Composites.' ABSTRACT: In this talk, I will present results from various shear lag models for stress redistributions from multiple fiber breaks in large, unidirectional continuous fiber composites. Agreement is quantified for simple configurations of fiber breaks. The implications of these stress concentration results on statistical crack formation are discussed. Closed form expressions for key fiber stress concentrations are applied in developing probabilistic strength theories. The analytical probability models predictions are shown to be in good agreement with empirical distributions from representative Monte Carlo simulations of elastic composite fracture.

Lunchtime Talk, Tuesday, May 9, 11:30am -1:30pm (talk at 12:00pm), Cochiti Room, Study Center: Please note that there's been a room change... This talk is jointly sponsored with AAUW. Lisa Gutierrez, Director of Diversity Office, LANL. Title TBA. As we usual with the Otowi Siderooms, the Cochiti room is reserved from 11:30 to 1:30 for people who like to eat earlier or later, and informal discussion. You are welcome to come for just the talk at noon. Questions are encouraged!

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The Women's Diversity Working Group has extended its deadline until April 7th for submitting new membership applications. More information is available at their website: www.lanl.gov/orgs/dvo/wdwg/women.html.

AAUW Third Annual Book and Author Meeting, featuring Lynnette Baughman: Sunday, April 9, 2000, 3:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. Lynnette will discuss her book, A Spy Within, which is set in modern-day Los Alamos. She will also discuss her other writing experiences and talk about her creative inspiration. She lives in Los Alamos and is a regular contributor to many publications. This meeting is co-sponsored with the Los Alamos Arts Council. The Los Alamos Historical Museum Book Shop will be selling copies of her book, and Lynnette will be happy to sign them.

Careers and Curiosity is Coming up Quickly! Put this on your calendar: April 11th, 2000, for the first time being held at Espanola Middle School. The AAUW sponsors this activity to acquaint young girls with the possibility of careers involving math and science, to encourage them to take math and science courses in middle and high school, and to acquaint young boys with women who have successful careers in these areas. The teachers have specifically requested presentations in the areas of geology (rock samples), water quality, genetics including anything to do with DNA, ecology and anything to do with chemistry. This list should not be used to exclude other areas. You can get involved: women who use math and science in their careers are being invited to set up hands-on activities at local schools for a day. Participation in Careers and Curiosity is approved by the Laboratory for Community Service Time, by submitting a form 704 available online at enterprise.lanl.gov/forms/704.pdf. These kids really need to see what career opportunities are out there. Denise says: 'As an added incentive, the principal has offered to feed us lunch. I have sampled her cooking and it's worth a trip to Espanola!' For more information about Careers and Curiosity and some great photos of previous events check out home.lanl.gov/dcg/CC/C+C.html. You can also contact Denise George: 667-6248, or dgeorge@lanl.gov.

Tenth Annual Santa Fe Cares AIDS Walk needs volunteers: Kristina Moreno of Biosciences and Biotechnology (BS-2) contacted the newsletter looking for volunteers to plan the AIDS walk, to sell ads in the program, form walk teams, help with the Wellness Pavilion Tents, volunteer at the Walk itself, to spread the word and most of all, to participate in the AIDS Walk! This is a Laboratory sanctioned activity. For more information, you can call Santa Fe Cares at 989-9255, or contact Kristina: kmoreno@lanl.gov, 7-6752.

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(http: //home.lanl.gov/lawis/).