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A LivermoreLos Alamos team is developing a computer simulation system that can accurately predict wildfire behavior based on existing weather conditions, types of vegetation, and terrain. The teams goal is to help emergency response managers to plan for fires, anticipate where and how quickly an existing fire will spread, and evaluate the effectiveness of alternative firefighting strategies. With this program, fire managers could use their limited resources much more effectively, thereby saving lives, property, and irreplaceable resources. The program combines a physics-based wildfire model developed at Los Alamos with the extensive emergency response capabilities of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center at Livermore, including its weather prediction and smoke transport codes. The team has been validating the program by simulating well-documented wildfires. An early simulation successfully re-created a wildfire that occurred in Calabasas, near Malibu, California, in 1996. A more exhaustive validation of the programs capabilities has been to reconstruct the first half-hour of the catastrophic 1991 fire in the hills of Oakland and Berkeley, California.
Livermores prestigious Lawrence Fellowship Program recently completed its fourth year with 15 fellows having been selected from among 1,849 applicants. The fellows specialties run the gamut from mechanical engineering theory to advanced microscopy, sensors, plasma physics, theoretical biology, Monte Carlo simulations, materials science, and theoretical biophysics. Two more fellows recently began their three-year tenure. The Lawrence program has numerous advantages for both its fellows and the Laboratory. Fellows enjoy a great deal of freedom in their choice of research areas. They can pursue the latest advances in their field and be mentored by internationally recognized senior staff scientists. Or they can choose to do research in a new and different area where Livermore excels. The Laboratory benefits by attracting promising young scientists from around the world, whether they become one of the few Lawrence fellows, accept one of the many other fellowship opportunities available at Livermore, or become a full-time employee.
Livermore sensors are aimed at the "kill" vehicle when it intercepts an incoming ballistic missile.
Livermore's biological research program keeps pace with emerging national issues, from studying the effects of ionizing radiation to detecting agents of biological warfare.