Submitted by Nancy Brown, CUCRA representative
Membership: We have a number of positions becoming vacant as the calendar year ends. Due to the lack of personal contact with the pandemic, our slate of officers, to be voted for next month, is incomplete. The nominees include President, Howard Hatayama; First Vice President, Kim Williams; Second Vice President, Vacant; Secretary, Ken Barat; Treasurer, Howard Matis; Activities Coordinator, Vacant; and Participation Coordinator, Jane Tanamachi. We appointed Lynn Yarris to be Newsletter Editor at the end of the year, and Nancy Brown remains the representative to CUCRA with Bob Cahn remaining the alternate representative.
Concers: Our in-person activities continued to be limited by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to remain socially distant. Even with the arrival of several vaccines, it will be a while before we can resume normal activities. The use of Zoom for the EX-Ls virtual luncheons has allowed us to alleviate some of the impacts of COVID isolation and has the unexpected benefit of allowing retirees who have moved away from the Bay Area or who have limited mobility, to attend the talks. Members
Activities: The EX-Ls continues our quarterly 'luncheons' and speaker series virtually on Zoom.
There have been two new talks since our February luncheon. In May, Peggy Norris, formerly of LBNL, now the Deputy Director for Education and Outreach at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, S.D., spoke about SURF and its Connections to California and LBNL in history, science, and education. She traced the transformation of SURF from a gold mine to a major science laboratory including an exciting virtual tour underground, reviewed the science experiments of SURF, focusing on three with ties to Berkeley Lab: the search for mysterious and elusive dark matter, understanding the nuclear reactions that happen in the core of stars and working towards enhanced geothermal energy. Finally, she delved into how the history, science, and many other facets of a scientific facility in rural South Dakota are changing the educational landscape of the state and region in STEM, and how the pandemic has led to challenges but also new opportunities to give all students access to high-quality, engaging, relevant, equitable and rigorous science education. She cited the particular challenges of reaching out to and providing relevant and appropriate resources for the Native American students in local schools. She also mentioned the key role that the SURF Foundation plays in creating these opportunities. In August, Jerry Przybylski, a retired engineer from LBNL, spoke on Keeping Honey Bees. After retiring from a career that spanned the PEP-4 Time Projection Chamber at SLCA to the IceCube kilometer-scale particle astrophysics detector at the South Pole, he took up urban beekeeping at his home in Oakland about 10 years ago. His father kept bees on a dairy farm in Wisconsin until 1960. Jerry talked about beekeeping spanning the aboriginal practices in cave painting, Egyptians 4500 years ago, to modern movable frame beekeeping that started about 150 years ago. He also explained what to do if you run into a swarm, and how the Alameda County Beekeeper Association maintains a swarm-hotline.
Retirement Center Interactions: We look forward to continuing to work with the University of California Berkeley Retirement Center to keep our membership engaged. Kris Thornton, the Center's Associate Director retired, and has been replaced by Camille Koue. Many of our future activities will be accomplished using Zoom, and we all look forward to meeting in person at some later date.
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