DGE Newsletter, September 2004
Lab. Meetings
Sept. 29, In an outgrowth of last week's meeting, Steve Allison led the discussion of the paper by J.P. Schimel & J. Bennett, "Nitrogen Mineralization: Challenges of a Changing Paradigm."
Claire Lunch brought a batch of delicious peanut & chocolate cookies baked according to a recipe copied by her mother from a train magazine years ago.
The DGE Annual Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, October 10 from 2-6 pm. Kathleen Brizgys will be in charge of organizing it. You'll be hearing from her.
Sept. 23. Hi all,
You are invited to Global Ecology Depart-ment picnic on Sunday, October 10th from 2-6 pm. Please come celebrate the beginning of the new academic year with the Global Ecology folks, as well as with your families and friends. The picnic will be at Carnegie, on the lawn behind the main building. We will provide fresh salmon, bread, and drinks, and the rest will be supplied by you! in pot-luck form.
Please email me and let me know 1)whether you are coming, 2)how many guests you will be bringing, and 3) what category (salad/sidedish/dessert) your pot-luck item falls into. If it looks as though every one is bringing the same thing, we may do some sort of online sign-up, but for now I'll just
hope we get some even distribution of food groups.
Hope to see you all there, please email me with any questions. Kathleen <>
Sept. 22, The Field Lab. Group met to discuss the paper by E. B. Rastetter & G. R. Shaver, A Model of Multiple-Element Limitation for Acclimating Vegetation in Ecology 73, 1992, pp. 1157-1174. Hugh Henry led the discussion which revolved around defining various limitations to plant growth in the short- and long-term. This led into the topic for next week: Nitrogen Mineralization and a paper by Schimel & Bennet in Ecology 85, 2004, pp. 591-602.
Lisa Moore continued our delicious culinary practice by providing a loaf of 'Mom's Hundred Dollar Bread' and the recipe that won her mother a prize from our local newspaper about 25 years ago!
Sept. 15, During their regular noontime meeting, the Field Lab. discussed a review paper from Plant, Cell and Environment (1999) 22, 583-621 titled The interaction between elevated carbon dioxide and nitrogen nutrition: the physiological and molecular back-ground. It was also an opportunity to introduce our new Lab. Tech. Yuka Estrada.

Also on Sept. 15 at 1 PM, Greg Asner met with four technicians in his group to brief them on the Brazilian Project. He described how the analysis of remote sensing data from satellites has been used to measure logging, deforestation, and road building in the Amazon Basin. David Knapp, as Senior Tech, will be helping to direct the other three more recent additions to the Department, Dan Pendleton, Paulo Oliveira, and Eben Broadbent in ongoing analyses of these large data sets.
We've just learned that Amanda Warner, who was a Lab. Tech. in Asner's Group and left last spring, recently accepted a job with Research Systems, Inc. (RSI) in Boulder, Colorado. She plans to start a graduate program in journalism next year at the Univ. of Colorado.

Landscaping with Natives
This scene, taken from the rear or west end of our building, illustrates the advantage of native plants in our dry summer climate. The attractive grass in the foreground is Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer grass). In back of that is a brown, unwatered strip that has several young oaks that don't show up in this picture, but next is a green weedy area that receives water from the experimental corn being grown for research by Plant Biology. There are seven other native grasses planted on the other sides of the building.
Sept. 8, The Field Lab. met at noon to discuss models of plant growth. Halton Peters led off by presenting a 1984 paper by Iwasa and Roughgarden on models of Shoot/Root Balance of Plants. Stanford Prof. Hal Mooney contributed to the discussion and also some background on Yoh Iwasa, an excellent modeler.
Kathleen Brizgys revived our energy levels with a delicious chocolate-pecan pie.
At 1:30 pm, we were joined by others particularly connected to the Jasper Ridge Field Station. Dave Kroodsma gave a powerpoint presentation summarizing some of the heat and CO2 data collected from last spring's plots.
Tea Time
Chris has determined that most great institutions have an official Tea Time, and we agree. (Doesn't this sound more high class than Coffee Break?) But to quote Chris, "We are all working so hard and with so much focus that we are failing to take full advantage of our surroundings and our colleagues. In addition, the focus means that we tend to talk with each other on a scientist to scientist basis and not on the equally important basis of friend to friend."
Our first Tea Time took place at 10:30 AM on Monday, Sept. 13 in our ground floor lobby. About 10 people showed up, and it was a good opportunity to introduce out newest member — Paulo Oliveira from Portugal and Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology. He will be working in Asner's Group as part of the Brazilian project. Look for his photo under Personnel on our Web page. See you on Wednesday and/or Friday, same time, same place.
Tea Time has turned out to be the best time to learn what's going on in the Department besides actual experiments. On Friday, Sept. 17, Kim Carlson was introduced. She recently graduated from Stanford and will be a Lab. Tech. working in Asner's lab. As usual, look for her photo on the Personnel Web page. Soon we plan to have those photos tacked to the hall wall on the second floor as well.
Travelers: Chris Field begins extensive trips Sept. 18; first to Vienna for a meeting of the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), then, the following week to Kuala Lumpur for another meeting of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA). We may catch him briefly back at Stanford on Sept. 30th. Robin Martin returns to Hawaii Sept. 20 for about 10 days to continue her measurements in the tropical rainforest above Hilo. Greg Asner will be off to Brazil again soon.
Sept. 20th found a new Lab. Tech. on the Brazil Project in Asner's lab., April Villagomez, and Susan Finlayson is back in the Field Lab. as a Lab. Tech. for Jasper Ridge.
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