USGS Science in New Mexico

USGS Science in New Mexico The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand t You are responsible for the content of your comments.
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Congratulations to New Mexico Water Science Center's very own Anne Tillery, who was a co-author on the report "Climate C...
11/01/2023

Congratulations to New Mexico Water Science Center's very own Anne Tillery, who was a co-author on the report "Climate Change in New Mexico Over the Next 50 Years: Impacts on Water Resources".

The landmark report was a statewide collaboration of science experts from The University of New Mexico - UNM , New Mexico State University , New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources , New Mexico Tech and USGS.

The authors were invited to receive the prestigious Frye Award from the Geological Society of America and the Association of American State Geologists Foundation at this year's meeting in Pittsburgh.

You can check out the report here! https://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/monographs/bulletins/164/

Nitrate is one of the most ubiquitous groundwater contaminants. Researchers sampling in the Albuquerque Basin have found...
10/26/2023

Nitrate is one of the most ubiquitous groundwater contaminants. Researchers sampling in the Albuquerque Basin have found nitrate concentrations in groundwater at, or sometimes above, the EPA maximum contaminant level for drinking water of 10 mg/L. Take a look at concentrations in a new USGS Nitrate Map Viewer for the Albuquerque Region, where red stop signs indicate locations with higher levels.

You can read more about the process and the results in the report below.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969722044436?via%3Dihub

Learn more about nitrogen and water: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/nitrogen-and-water

Fall is in the air 🍂
10/20/2023

Fall is in the air 🍂

It’s that time of year! The sandhill cranes are coming to town!  You can visit them at Bosque del Apache National Wildli...
10/13/2023

It’s that time of year! The sandhill cranes are coming to town!

You can visit them at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in celebration of National Wildlife Refuge week, October 8th – 14th.

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’d like to share some pictures from the recent USGS open house at the South...
10/09/2023

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we’d like to share some pictures from the recent USGS open house at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute.

To help grow and strengthen our Tribal connections in the Region towards co-production of science, the USGS has worked to organize a USGS Tribal Engagement Series. The goal of the series is to strengthen existing relationships and build new partnerships with Indigenous communities around risk and impacts of water scarcity in the basin.

The USGS co-hosted, open house in Albuquerque at the Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) on September 26th was the inaugural event in the series. USGS scientists from multiple science centers across New Mexico and Colorado were available to discuss our science capabilities and held an interactive panel on USGS science in the region.

Please visit https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/colorado-river-basin/news/tribal-engagement-series-drought-colorado-river-basin for more information on our Tribal engagement series.

Do you know what a 4-day, 3-year low streamflow frequency is?  If not, no worries, we’ve got you covered.  (If you do, w...
10/05/2023

Do you know what a 4-day, 3-year low streamflow frequency is?

If not, no worries, we’ve got you covered. (If you do, why aren't you working here??)

Understanding of low flows in perennial streams is critical for water-supply management; waste-load allocation; and water quality and quantity for irrigation, recreation, and conservation. A report released last week presents equations for computing some of these critical low-flow values for perennial streams across the State of New Mexico. Check it out for more information! Regression Equations for Estimating the 4-Day, 3-Year Low-Flow Frequency and Adjusted Harmonic Mean Streamflow at Ungaged Sites for Unregulated, Perennial Streams in New Mexico (usgs.gov)

In 1889, the Rio Grande at Embudo streamgage became the first USGS streamgage in the nation. Since this time, USGS facil...
09/28/2023

In 1889, the Rio Grande at Embudo streamgage became the first USGS streamgage in the nation. Since this time, USGS facilities across the nation have been strategically located to better coordinate science programs with our partners and more efficiently conduct critical operations. Today, we continue this tradition of conducting high-quality science using cutting-edge technology, to continue a mission we've been actively pursuing for over a century.

Last Wednesday, September 20th, New Mexico Water Science Center hosted an open house for our cooperators to share about new technologies, current science programs, and how the USGS functions. We hosted a full day of activities including tours of our facilities and labs, hands-on activities with some of the state-of-the art equipment we use to collect and analyze data, and a series of short presentations.

Thanks to all our cooperators for contributing to our science and a fantastic day!

The Navajo call them jaa'abaní (or “ears like leather”), we call them bats.  USGS New Mexico scientist, Dr. Ernest Valde...
09/22/2023

The Navajo call them jaa'abaní (or “ears like leather”), we call them bats. USGS New Mexico scientist, Dr. Ernest Valdez, with support from the USGS-Office of Tribal Relations, recently attended the inaugural Pacific Northwest Native American Workshop on Bats. The meeting was attended by representatives from 14 tribal communities including two from New Mexico. During this workshop, indigenous knowledge keepers provided information on the loss of traditional ecological knowledge in the context of bats, biology, and changes across their lands.

This past week, scientists from USGS New Mexico were invited by New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute an...
09/19/2023

This past week, scientists from USGS New Mexico were invited by New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute and the MESA USA Consortium to participate in the STEM Showdown, a program offered to middle- and high- school students in northern New Mexico.

Some goals of the STEM Showdown include broadening perspectives on what STEM is, showcasing New Mexicans in STEM fields, and reinvigorating learning in an outdoor immersive setting for school aged youth in northern NM.

The STEM Showdown this year was held at Storrie Lake State Park, Las Vegas, NM. USGS hydrologists Caleb Van Zante and Lydia Coenen had a great time sharing common USGS hydrologic equipment and techniques along with STEM career insights with 40 students from Santa Fe High School.

USGS Hydrologist Stephanie Roussel admires the streamgage at Rio Chama Below El Vado Dam while floating past on her padd...
09/01/2023

USGS Hydrologist Stephanie Roussel admires the streamgage at Rio Chama Below El Vado Dam while floating past on her paddleboard.

While enjoying your long Labor Day weekend, remember that streamflow in New Mexico is often unpredictable. Be sure to check the USGS streamgage before you float! Fortunately, paddleboarding can be a great way to keep paddling through late summer and fall, when streamflow can be too low for bigger boats.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08285500/ =00065&period=P7D


USGS Water Resources

Monsoon season frequently occurs right after wildfire season in New Mexico, leading to potentially dangerous flooding in...
08/22/2023

Monsoon season frequently occurs right after wildfire season in New Mexico, leading to potentially dangerous flooding in burned areas. For this reason, timely access to the burned areas for installation and maintenance of rain and stream gaging stations is critical, but access in burned areas is generally restricted after a wildfire for weeks or longer to only those with the proper training.

Hydrologic Technicians from the New Mexico Water Science Center recently completed their Basic Wildland Firefighter training in Salida, CO. This training allows them to obtain an Incident Qualification Card "Red Card". The group of Technicians will be available to respond quickly to active wildland fires in order to make repairs, install and recon critical gaging stations. These gaging stations provide crucial information to the National Weather Service as well as state and local emergency managers for the protection of life and property.

August is National Water Quality Month, established by the EPA in 2005 to call attention to the importance of access to ...
08/15/2023

August is National Water Quality Month, established by the EPA in 2005 to call attention to the importance of access to safe, clean drinking water for the nation. For decades, the USGS has been a leading science agency in monitoring water-quality trends throughout the Nation, including here in New Mexico.

New Mexico Water Science Center hydrologists recently published a study on the potential effects of oil and gas extraction on water quality at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Due to the area’s unique geology, the sole source of groundwater for the park’s drinking supplies is very deep groundwater near historical oil and gas development. The study found extremely old, slow-moving groundwater that is likely mixing across rock units targeted for oil and gas extraction. This study will be followed soon by a second publication featuring a groundwater model simulating hydrofracking on the aquifer beneath Chaco.

You can read more about the study here:

https://www.usgs.gov/publications/water-quality-chaco-culture-national-historical-park-and-potential-effects-hydrocarbon

And stay tuned throughout the month of August for more NMWSC water quality stories!

Snow-capped mountains, alpine streams, endless desert vistas and 300 days of sunshine a year. If you like working outdoo...
07/24/2023

Snow-capped mountains, alpine streams, endless desert vistas and 300 days of sunshine a year. If you like working outdoors with a team of experienced colleagues in New Mexico’s enchanting landscapes, come and join our team!

New Mexico Water Science Center supports a diverse workplace and cooperates with USGS Mission Areas, and Federal, State, local, and Tribal partners to address hydrologic challenges facing New Mexicans and the nation.

The New Mexico Water Science Center is hiring hydrologic technicians for several locations throughout the state. Check out the listing below.

USAJOBS Announcement: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/737422600

NM Hydrologic Technicians were working at the Gavilan Canyon at Skunk Canyon streamgage near Hollywood, NM along the edg...
07/14/2023

NM Hydrologic Technicians were working at the Gavilan Canyon at Skunk Canyon streamgage near Hollywood, NM along the edge of the 2022 McBride Fire burn scar at the perfect time to witness the stream rapidly rise and fill with sediment as it responded to a high-intensity rainfall event happening upstream.

Extra caution is always advised in or near recently burned areas as they frequently experience significant increases in floods and debris flow due to decreased watershed capacity to absorb water.

Following a wildfire, those familiar, peaceful stream channels (like Skunk Canyon) can abruptly morph into conduits for fast-moving landslides that threaten life and property.

Debris flow hazards safety tips:https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2022/3078/fs20223078.pdf

Heads up! USGS New Mexico Water Science Center Hydrologists Andre Ritchie and Andrew Roberston will be presenting at the...
07/07/2023

Heads up! USGS New Mexico Water Science Center Hydrologists Andre Ritchie and Andrew Roberston will be presenting at the 2023 New Mexico Groundwater Conference in Albuquerque on July 12th and 13th. Andre will be discussing USGS groundwater modeling projects and Andrew will give an overview of the long-running groundwater monitoring network in the Mesilla Basin.


For the full program see:https://agwt.org/sites/default/files/2023_nm_groundwater_conference_program_8.pdf

When is the last time you went fishing with your dad? 🎣Whether your favorite fishing spot is Bluewater Lake, pictured he...
06/17/2023

When is the last time you went fishing with your dad? 🎣

Whether your favorite fishing spot is Bluewater Lake, pictured here, or a quiet fishing hole on a mountain stream, what better excuse to get out than this year’s “Go Fishing Day”, which happily coincides with on Sunday?

Pro fishing tip: Check out the water levels at your favorite fishing spot before heading out! https://dashboard.waterdata.usgs.gov/app/nwd/en/?region=lower48&aoi=wsc-nm

Happy   Month! 🏳️‍🌈Albuquerque Field Office Chief Fletcher Brinkerhoff was assisting with the Albuquerque Pride Parade t...
06/15/2023

Happy Month! 🏳️‍🌈

Albuquerque Field Office Chief Fletcher Brinkerhoff was assisting with the Albuquerque Pride Parade this past weekend, where he had a chance encounter with Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

As a Department of Interior agency, we applaud Secretary Haaland's efforts to lift up the LGBTQI+ community and celebrate diversity as a benefit to our agency and programs.

Happy Cave Week!   Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave in southern NM is the 10th longest cave in the U.S. and contains the lo...
06/08/2023

Happy Cave Week!

Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave in southern NM is the 10th longest cave in the U.S. and contains the longest mapped, subterranean, calcite formation in the world. USGS New Mexico Water Science Center is working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to understand the source of the unique calcite deposits in the Cave.

Pictured in pink are research hydrologist Johanna Blake and student hydrologist Keely Miltenberger collecting a groundwater sample (a common occurrence) while underground (much less common)! In the second picture hydrologist Christina Ferguson joins Dr. Blake drilling cores of the calcite deposit. The water chemistry and solid chemistry from the cores will be used to help define the source of the water that deposits the Snowy River calcite.

You can take a look at the data they’ve collected so far here: https://data.usgs.gov/datacatalog/data/USGS:5eb1d84482cefae35a29c3fe

Additional information about the BLM-managed, Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave can be found here: https://www.fortstanton.org/blm-national-conservation-area

  that you can estimate changes in aquifer levels using precise measurements of the Earth’s gravitational field over tim...
06/02/2023

that you can estimate changes in aquifer levels using precise measurements of the Earth’s gravitational field over time?

A recent pilot study used these changes – called microgravity – alongside observational well data – to estimate aquifer rebound in the Mesilla Basin, southern New Mexico, over a period of three years.

This study demonstrates that the inclusion of microgravity observations can increase precision in conventional groundwater monitoring methods.

Learn More: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926985122003871?via%3Dihub

Happy  !  USGS technicians use a radar gun to measure streamflow velocity during a Spring runoff-related high flow event...
05/26/2023

Happy !

USGS technicians use a radar gun to measure streamflow velocity during a Spring runoff-related high flow event at Jemez River Outlet below Jemez Canyon Dam on April 12th.

The streamflow velocity (measured in ft/sec) combined with channel geometry (ft²) allows technicians to compute streamflow discharge (ft³/sec).

Jemez River Outlet below Jemez Canyon Dam: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08328950/ =00065&period=P365D

May is  . Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing wildlife habitats, and carbon storage am...
05/23/2023

May is .

Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing wildlife habitats, and carbon storage among may other benefits. New Mexico may be known for its semi-arid climate, but we also have plenty of wetlands (nearly 60,000 acres!) throughout the state, including the spectacular Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, Socorro County.

Learn more about work to restore and protect wetlands in New Mexico via our partners at the NM Environment Department: https://www.env.nm.gov/surface-water-quality/wetlands/

Happy Bike to Work Day! New Mexico Water Science Center Hydrologist, Kim Beisner, is doing her part to help our science ...
05/19/2023

Happy Bike to Work Day!

New Mexico Water Science Center Hydrologist, Kim Beisner, is doing her part to help our science center compete against other USGS science centers to log the most bike miles during Bike Month Challenge and show them how great biking in New Mexico is.

Safe riding everybody!

Happy  ! USGS technicians snapped this picture looking upstream from the Gallinas Creek near Montezuma, NM streamgage du...
05/12/2023

Happy ! USGS technicians snapped this picture looking upstream from the Gallinas Creek near Montezuma, NM streamgage during a trip to service water quality equipment on 4/13. Spring runoff was in high gear, as discharge at Gallinas was 120 cubic ft. per second.

For real-time water quality information, see: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/08380500/ =00065&period=P7D

Staff from the USGS New Mexico Water Science Center and the USGS Office of Tribal Relations participated in the Tribal G...
05/03/2023

Staff from the USGS New Mexico Water Science Center and the USGS Office of Tribal Relations participated in the Tribal GIS conference held at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, NM on 4/24-4/28.

USGS is committed to working with our tribal partners and providing unbiased scientific information as part of the Federal Trust Responsibility to the nation's tribes.

USGS Earth Resources Observation & Science Center - EROS

It's Earth Day! 🌍 Planting a tree? Cleaning up your neighborhood? Or just getting out there to commune with nature?Pictu...
04/22/2023

It's Earth Day! 🌍

Planting a tree? Cleaning up your neighborhood? Or just getting out there to commune with nature?

Pictured here is a serene spot in Frijoles Canyon at Bandelier National Monument if you need inspiration.

How are you going to celebrate ?

USGS technicians are busy responding to   across New Mexico Rivers. Recent snowpack conditions on the Jemez River waters...
04/17/2023

USGS technicians are busy responding to across New Mexico Rivers. Recent snowpack conditions on the Jemez River watershed - as measured by snow-water equivalent - were five times higher than average, contributing to an extensive spring runoff.

Technician Nate Reynolds is shown here during a trip to measure high flow on the Jemez River near Jemez, NM on Wednesday April 12th.

Check out current conditions for this site: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/inventory?site_no=08324000.

Natural Resources Conservation Service –National Water and Climate Center: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/wcc/home/

02/02/2022

A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study finds that peak runoff on the Rio Grande could arrive earlier in the season by the end of the century, negatively impacting a watershed where demand already exceeds supply.

  -USGS is hiring!The USGS Forest and Rangeland Science Center is looking for a Supervisory Research Ecologist to lead t...
12/17/2021

-USGS is hiring!

The USGS Forest and Rangeland Science Center is looking for a Supervisory Research Ecologist to lead the planning and ex*****on of applied ecological investigations important to Department of the Interior and other resource managers in rangelands of the western U.S. There is one vacancy in either Boise, ID or Corvallis, OR. All qualified U.S. citizens are encouraged to apply at USAJOBS - Job Announcement by midnight EST on 1/14/2022.

For your holiday reading pleasure, check out this recent report - Estimates of Water Use Associated with Continuous Oil ...
12/14/2021

For your holiday reading pleasure, check out this recent report - Estimates of Water Use Associated with Continuous Oil and Gas Development in the Permian Basin, Texas and New Mexico, 2010–19
http://ow.ly/2QoY50H9Wem

In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey started a topical study to quantify water use in areas of continuous oil and gas (COG) development. The first phase of the study was completed in 2019 and analyzed the Williston Basin. The second phase of the study analyzed the Permian Basin using the same techniq...

Check out this   that uses cool geochemistry to solve a complex   puzzle and provide understanding on how   moves throug...
10/13/2021

Check out this that uses cool geochemistry to solve a complex puzzle and provide understanding on how moves through the subsurface to water-supply wells.

https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215076

In 1999, a jet-fuels release was discovered at the Bulk Fuels Facility on Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Contaminants had reached the water table and migrated north-northeast toward water-supply wells. Monitoring wells were installed downgradient from the facility to determine the...

    storage estimates in Upper   alluvial basins (in CO, NM, and TX) mostly decreased from 1980 to 2015, with some incre...
06/25/2021

storage estimates in Upper alluvial basins (in CO, NM, and TX) mostly decreased from 1980 to 2015, with some increases observed in some basins for short time periods.
Learn more- http://ow.ly/bDVm50FiSpq

04/29/2021

What makes a location great for geothermal energy? Recent findings indicate that many of the most productive parts of the developed Brady geothermal field in western Nevada are located near stressed faults and in areas with substantial numbers of faults and fractures. These characteristics provide pathways for hot groundwater to rise towards the surface from depth where it can be used for renewable energy generation. This work was conducted in collaboration with the USGS Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center and aims to aide future geothermal characterization efforts and sustainable resource management. The article can be accessed here: http://ow.ly/4AJC50EB2Ng

Related 3D map - https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sim3469
3D map video - http://ow.ly/3gL350EB42G

On this  , learn how snow is a critical part of New Mexico's water resources. In this video at http://ow.ly/7EpC50EvgN6,...
04/22/2021

On this , learn how snow is a critical part of New Mexico's water resources. In this video at http://ow.ly/7EpC50EvgN6, filmed in collaboration with , USGS hydrologist Dr. Dave Moeser discusses how forest structure and changing climate play an important role in the region's snowpack and runoff. We learn the basics of how snow runoff is predicted and how advances in operationalizing near real-time data can improve our prediction capability for the future.

Some of our favorite data on snowpack - how it is collected, why it's important, and where some of our challenges are - is discussed in this video. Special t...

04/01/2021

Check out our webinar on Friday on W. TX/S. NM science - gobs of geospatial, geochemical, and geophysical goodies http://ow.ly/jjBl50EeMOJ

Developing a thorough understanding of water resources from transboundary aquifers along the U.S.-Mexico border by using a comprehensive, integrated analysis of available scientific data enables water managers to make better informed decisions. Jurisdictional oversight of transboundary groundwater r...

12/11/2020

How is snowpack affected by forest disturbance such as from a wildfire? Understanding how changes in a forest can have an effect on the amount of snow is critical to resource management.

A recent report by scientists from , Univ. of Arizona, and Univ. of Nevada modeled changes in snowpack under a variety of meteorological conditions at a forested site in . The forested site, located in the Jemez Mountains, experienced a high severity burn in the 2011 Las Conchas fire. The post-fire snow distribution was substantially altered due to changes in forest tree structure. Increases and decreases in post-fire snow were largely correlated with changes in several direction‐based forest structure metrics. Locations with decreases in snow following the fire were on southern aspects that transitioned to south facing canopy edges, canopy gaps that increased in size to the south, or where large trees were removed. Locations with largest increases in snow occurred where all canopy was removed. Changes in canopy density metrics, typically used in snow models to represent the forest, did not fully explain the effects of fire on snow distribution. In this study area, canopy structure metrics were found to be an important influence on snow water resources after a canopy disturbance.

The results of this work help to predict the impact of forest disturbance and silviculture practices on water resources that come from snow. Learn more from the report at http://ow.ly/gUhh50CIdxl

07/10/2020
The New York Times

New Mexico Water Science Center Hydrologist Shaleene Chavarria weighs in on how climate change has landed New Mexico in the middle of a megadrought despite near average snowfall last season.

06/25/2020

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Reliable and accurate high-resolution mapping of the Nation’s waters are critical inputs to models and decision support systems used to predict risk and enable response to impacts on water resources. It is necessary to know where the water is and how it relates to features beyond the stream network like forests, cities, and infrastructure. An up-to-date, high-resolution national hydrography framework is required to support these important needs.
To address those needs, the USGS has released NHDPlus High Resolution. NHDPlus HR is built by integrating high-resolution National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) data with 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) 10-meter digital elevation model (DEM) data into a suite of vector, raster, and tabular datasets.
A new fact sheet with details has been released: http://ow.ly/Cuuc50AgJqe

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Des Moines vs Springer | New Mexico High School volleyball Live Stream 2020
Watch Live Here: http://syehkhambali.sportfb.com/hs.php
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The Springer (NM) varsity volleyball team has a home conference match vs. Des Moines (NM) today @ 5p.
US National Weather Service Albuquerque New Mexico
Wat Buddhasothorn of New Mexico USA
USGS Science in New Mexico
Miss New Mexico USA
Mexico, New York
Welcome to another . On Monday thunderstorms moved through our area of New Mexico and have the Refuge a much needed drink. Thanks to our partnership with USGS Science in New Mexico a weather station shows exactly how much rain we received.

They have weather stations in many locations, check out their website to find one near you. Until next week, take care.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nm/nwis/uv/?site_no=345843106410701&PARAmeter_cd=00045
ACT FAST (May 14th deadline)‼️The USGS Science in New Mexico is seeking volunteer field assistants to help capture and mark small mammals (mice, voles, woodrats, chipmunks, etc.). Plague (a vector-borne disease of mammalian hosts) is causing significant and chronic conservation dilemmas in the western US. They are studying the ecology of plague in the White Mountains of New Mexico.

Learn more about this opportunity https://wfscjobs.tamu.edu/jobs/plague-ecology-and-mammal-conservation-research-technicians-new-mexico-4/
The USGS Science in New Mexico is hiring an Interdisciplinary Research Ecologist/Wildlife Biologist to be posted in , .

Applications are due March 24, 2020.



https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/560728400
What are the chances that over the last couple of years in the North East, and the South East are indications that, that part of the U.S. is getting hit with the beginnings of a miniature ice age or longer? The last one was over 10,000 years ago. That time frame for our part of the world is normal, so we are long over due. The only other thing I would take a guess at would be that the Earth's poles are starting to shift. ???
Just got back from the field, To a splendid double rainbow at the office!