DGE Report, April 2004
The Evolution of DGE
On May 22, 2003, ground was formally broken for DGE’s new building. On April 12, 2004, this attractive, energy efficient laboratory/office building was dedicated. Many of the same cast from Carnegie and Stanford were present at both events. You may view more details on DGE’s Web page under News and Archives below.
Here, I point out an evolutionary progression of departmental research emphasis. When the first Carnegie building at Stanford was finished about 75 years ago, two groups of plant scientists moved in. One of these was labeled Experimental Taxonomy lead by William Hiesey. This group studied the interaction between plant genetics and the environment for more than 20 years, and its publications are still recognized worldwide. However, by the late 1950ies, Hiesey and his colleagues recognized that a new emphasis was needed. Thus, they recruited Olle Bjorkman from Sweden to lead the evolution of Experimental Taxonomy into Physiological Ecology (PE). It was this group that added Joe Berry and Chris Field who are now leading PE into a whole new Department of Global Ecology.
Bjorkman reclining in an original staff lunch chair. DGE Director Field and Carnegie President Meserve have just cut the ribbon.
Lydia Olander receives prestigious AAAS Congressional Science Policy Fellowship.
This means that she will be supported for a year starting in September learning to help Congress address problems relating to science policy. Congratulations!
Measuring Vegetation Changes from Space
Greg Asner and his colleagues publish new data confirming that satellite imaging can be used to measure something as detailed as the physiology of the Amazon rainforest canopy. The results are published in the on-line early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 5-9, and a striking image may be viewed on the DGE News Web site.
DGE Seminars, Carnegie, 4 PM
Field Lab Meetings
April 14, Wed. Jim Randerson, Earth System Science Dept., Univ. Calif., Irvine. Fire and the global carbon cycle. Jim presented a study that combined satellite-based estimates of burned area and an inverse analysis of atmospheric CO anomalies to evaluate the contribution of fire emissions from different continents to trace gas variability during the 1997-98 El Nino. He found that Southeast Asia accounted for ~60% of the global fire emissions anomaly during the El Niño, and that significant and previously underestimated contributions from Central America (20%), northern boreal regions (10%), and South America (south of the equator; 10%) were also critically important in terms of explaining atmospheric trace gas anomalies. Globally, total carbon emissions from fires were 2 Pg C/yr higher in 1998 than in 2000, and accounted for ~2/3 of the CO2 growth rate anomalies during the study period.
Members of the Field Lab. met
on Wed., March 31 to discuss the program for the coming Quarter. It was decided to continue meeting at noon on Wednesdays and learn about Modeling Programs. Since Lisa Moore is already working on a Program to analyse her Jasper Ridge data, she agreed to explain it to the Group next week. Subsequently, the Group decided to practice with this Model.
Towards the end of May, Brent Helliker will be leaving Carnegie at Stanford for Vienna. He expects to be there for a year working in the Isotope Hydrology Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency under the auspices of the United Nations. More specifically, he will be coordinating a program to sample H2O isotopes in plants on a global scale. A second project will be to develop a chemical method to sample atmospheric water vapor.
Special Seminar: April 13, noon, DGE Conference Room, Boaz Luz, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University, Jerusalem will speak about Primary production, the Earth’s Dole effect, and the elusive alternative oxidase.
April 7, Wed. Joshua Schimel, Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology, Univ. Calif., Santa Barbara. "Linking environment, microbial communities, and ecosystem processes: a whole soil profile perspective."
April 8, 12 PM, Josh will also conduct a Seminar in the DGE Conference Room on 'Microbial substrate use in Arctic tundra soils across the "zero degree curtain:" implications for C & N cycling'.
Jasper Ridge Update 4/13/04
It’s nearly harvest time at Jasper Ridge. It would have started this week except several of the grasses are not yet in bloom, making them difficult to identify. Therefore, measurements for the JRGCE (see Field Lab Web page) are continuing, probably until next week. Shown here are David Kroodsma adjusting the rate of flow of CO2 over the plots and recent Stanford graduates, Allison Appling and Tawni Tidwell recording root-scans of each quarter of each plot to estimate root densities.
Archives of past Newsletters and Events.
Editor Jan Brown
(She will be away from her computer to recouperate from knee replacement surgery for several weeks from 4/20/04.)