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A LiDAR survey of a local stream collected from one of ORNL’s drones. Credit: Andrew Duncan/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The Autonomous Systems group at ORNL is in high demand as it incorporates remote sensing into projects needing a bird’s-eye perspective.

Fungal geneticist Joanna Tannous is gaining a better understanding of the genetic processes behind fungal life to both combat plant disease and encourage beneficial processes like soil carbon storage. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Joanna Tannous has found the perfect organism to study to satisfy her deeply curious nature, her skills in biochemistry and genetics, and a drive to create solutions for a better world. The organism is a poorly understood life form that greatly influences its environment and is unique enough to deserve its own biological kingdom: fungi.

Students from UC Merced collect water samples at Guadalupe Reservoir in Santa Clara County, California. Credit: UC Merced

Environmental scientists at ORNL have recently expanded collaborations with minority-serving institutions and historically Black colleges and universities across the nation to broaden the experiences and skills of student scientists while bringing fresh insights to the national lab’s missions.

ORNL’s award-winning ultraclean condensing high-efficiency natural gas furnace features an affordable add-on technology that can remove more than 99.9% of acidic gases and other emissions. The technology can also be added to other natural gas-driven equipment. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL

Natural gas furnaces not only heat your home, they also produce a lot of pollution. Even modern high-efficiency condensing furnaces produce significant amounts of corrosive acidic condensation and unhealthy levels of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and methane. These emissions are typically vented into the atmosphere and end up polluting our soil, water and air.


An illustration of the long-term evolution likely to occur as rising temperatures and subsequent thawing of frozen Arctic soils affects the northern Alaska tundra, as predicted by a high-performance model created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Credit: Adam Malin and Ethan Coon, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists set out to address one of the biggest uncertainties about how carbon-rich permafrost will respond to gradual sinking of the land surface as temperatures rise.

Hydrologist Jesus Gomez-Velez brings his expertise in river systems and mathematics to ORNL’s modeling and simulation research to better understand flow and transport processes in the nation’s watersheds. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Hydrologist Jesús “Chucho” Gomez-Velez is in the right place at the right time with the right tools and colleagues to explain how the smallest processes within river corridors can have a tremendous impact on large-scale ecosystems.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Dave Weston works in a chamber at the DOE SPRUCE whole ecosystem experiment site in the peatlands of northern Minnesota. Credit: Kyle Pearson/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A quest to understand how Sphagnum mosses facilitate the storage of vast amounts of carbon in peatlands led scientists to a surprising discovery: the plants have sex-based differences that appear to impact the carbon-storing process.

Jason Gardner, Sandra Davern and Peter Thornton have been elected fellows of AAAS. Credit: Laddy Fields/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Three scientists from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

Paul Langan will oversee ORNL's research directorate focused on biological and environmental systems science. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Paul Langan will join ORNL in the spring as associate laboratory director for the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate.

ORNL’s David McCollum, pictured at the entrance to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt, was one of more than 35,000 attendees at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Credit: David McCollum

David McCollum, a senior scientist at the ORNL and lead for the lab’s contributions to the Net Zero World Initiative, was one of more than 35,000 attendees in Egypt at the November 2022 Sharm El-Sheikh United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, Conference of the Parties, also known as COP27.