Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Students are our future

A personal message from Nan Sauer, Associate Director for Chemistry, Life and Earth Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory
June 1, 2015
Nan Sauer, Associate Director for Chemistry, Life and Earth Sciences

Nan Sauer, Associate Director for Chemistry, Life and Earth Sciences


  • Community Programs Director (Acting)
  • Carole Rutten
  • Email

Nancy SauerEach year, the Laboratory welcomes our summer students, including many from our local northern New Mexico communities. It doesn’t matter if this is their first summer with us or if they have been returning each summer for years; their contributions are an important part of our work, and we benefit from their fresh perspectives and intellectual energy.

A crucial aspect of our program is that we bring in not only science, technology, engineering and math students but also those in the business and operations fields, so staff across the Laboratory benefit from their presence. 

What is perhaps even more important is that the students benefit from us, and we pride ourselves in making sure they have a good experience while working here. Their managers and mentors are committed to training the interns, teaching them about working at the Laboratory and supporting them in achieving their own work goals. Because a significant percentage of our regular staff started out in our student programs, we see students as a vital investment in our future.

It’s said that a good scientist knows the right answers, but that a great scientist knows the right questions; this truism applies equally to students. While they are with us, we encourage them to discover the “right” questions by engaging in the open exchange of viewpoints and ideas.  We strive to demonstrate technical excellence in an atmosphere that is respectful and supportive. The diversity of our backgrounds, talents and perspectives enriches all of us and allows us to learn and work together. 

We also encourage our students to take advantage of everything the Laboratory and the local communities have to offer and to take time to learn about work that is outside their expertise.  The Laboratory offers seminars and presentations that cover a wide range of topics, and there are many ways for students to get involved and make connections with each other, such as through research and creative projects. 

Please join me in welcoming our summer students and supporting them while they work in, and explore, our beautiful surroundings and neighborhoods. 

- Nan Sauer