Long-time lab employee celebrates

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By Roger Snodgrass

Gerald Martinez celebrated his 35th anniversary with Los Alamos National Laboratory Thursday at De Colores restaurant with his wife Rochelle and colleagues.

Martinez, who has served for a total six years on the Tribal Council at San Ildefonso, is the great-grandson of the renowned potter from San Ildefonso, Maria Martinez. He has worked in some 10 different groups and divisions during his time at the laboratory.

During the laboratory’s 60th anniversary, Martinez was featured as one of five generations of his family employed by the lab.

The list includes his great-grandfather Julian, Maria Martinez’ husband, his father’s father Adam Martinez; his father Edward, Gerald, and his son Nicholas, who has worked as a summer student at the lab.

His father Edward Martinez worked for 41 years at the laboratory as a microfilm technician supervisor.

“Are you going to pass me,” he asked Gerald.

“Oh, I’m thinking about it,” Gerald answered.

“It’s a long ways to go yet,” Gerald Martinez said Thursday.

Over the years, he has worked as a technical illustrator and a member of the cultural resources team. He has been involved in community outreach and served as tribal liaison between LANL and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.

He said he has particularly enjoyed working with the cultural resources team because much of the work is outdoors.

“I had the opportunity to go into the secure areas and see some of the ruins in there, where my tribal members could not access,” he said. “Some of the oral history from my great-grandfather mentioned certain details, and some of the areas I visited were places he talked about. I was able to identify them from the surrounding items.”

The Pueblo of San Ildefonso is LANL’s nearest Native American neighbor. Its boundary is contiguous to much of the laboratory’s eastern edge.

On occasions, Martinez said, he has been able to bring elderly members and youth of the pueblo in to visit some of their ancestral sites.

Martinez was recognized at the lunch along with Bruce Masse, an archeologist in the group who was celebrating his 10th anniversary at the lab.

Chris Cantwell, LANL’s associate director for environment health and Air Quality David Janecky, deputy group leader of the Ecology and Air Quality Group, were among those congratulating the two guests of honor.