DGE Newsletter, April 2005
Spring Harvest at Jasper Ridge
Carnegie building wins award!
April 25: Fair weather favored the start of the first harvest at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment. At least 10 workers began clipping and coring the plots. The surface growth of a small square in each quadrant was carefully collected. Perennials and annuals were placed in separate plastic bags for later analysis. Litter was also saved. Tod Tobeck coordinated their efforts. Then another group dug core samples at 10 & 20 cm depth from each quadrant. In addition to this group effort, Natalie Boelman and Eben Broadbent collected small leaf samples from designated plots for pigment (spectroscopic) analysis.
The new, very green, building for the Carnegie Institution's Dept. of Global Ecology on the Stanford Campus was awarded top honors April 16 by the American Institute of Architect's local chapter in the 'Energy & Sustainability' category. This follows on the heels of a 'Special Mention' by R&D Magazine in their national Lab of the Year award contest. Congratulations to Chris Field and the rest of the Global Ecology researchers and staff, EHDD architect and Stanford Lecturer, Brad Jacobson, Rumsey Engineers, DPR Construction, and the entire design and engineering team.
General information on the awards can be found at: See their upcoming May issue for more info
Asner Lab News
Greg is traveling this month as follows:
April 15: Boulder, CO - meeting
April 18-20: NASA HQ and GSFC FLORA meeting
April 26-29: NASA HQ Senior Review Panel meeting
Dave Knapp is standing in for him back at the Lab.
April 20: Those who watched the National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth on PBS were able to see Greg leaning out of a heliocopter flying over the Hawaiian landscape (see March News).

April 27: Dave Knapp is pictured below testing the new LIDAR scanner that uses infrared light to determine the locations of objects in 3-dimensions, in conjunction with a digital camera. It can be used in the field to get rapid measurements of plant dimensions over large areas.

On April 13, Todd Tobeck introduced two new people who will be working for the JRGCE from now through early summer. They are from left to right: Clare Baldwin & Chris Lilgeberg. The first spring harvest is planned for April 25.
Field Lab Meetings
April 1: It was decided that the Group will meet on Wednesdays at 11 AM, April 6, 13 & 20 and on Mondays at 1 PM in May. Initially, the subject will be about Integrated Assessment of Climate Models.
We then enjoyed a powerpoint presentation of photos of Death Valley taken by Chris and Yuka during the group's recent trip. The flowers are spectacular this spring because of an unusual amount of rain.
April 6: Jason Funk led the discussion about William Nordhaus's DICE model of integrated assessment that estimates future changes in both climate and economics. He showed us an Excel version of the Model. Because time was cut short by the Conference Call (see Outreach) this topic will be continued next week. Jason also provided an assortment of delicious ginger cookies & milk.
April 13: Jason continued his discussion of the DICE model and helped us to understand what it predicts under several senarios. The tasting was of several brands of root beer with ice cream to make floats.
April 18: During Tea Time (10:30), Kim Nicholas Cahill practiced the Poster Session she will be presenting at a couple of future meetings titled: Emission Pathways, Climate Change, and Future Wine Grape Quality in California."
April 20: David Kroodsma discussed the MERGE Model for Climate Change with various inputs as described in
Berry Lab News
April 4: Joe Berry and Larry Giles returned from South Africa where they installed some new replacement instrumentation. They were able to see some wild animals too.
The tower with instruments to measure the energy, water and CO2 exchange of the ecosystem. It is located in Kruger Park, South Africa, and funded by NASA
The instrument package installed at the tower site was constructed by Larry Giles, designed to make precise continuous measurements of the CO2 concentration of air sampled at the top of the tower, and to automatically collect flasks of air which are shipped back to CIW for analysis including its isotopic composition. This installation is the first of at least three packages that will be installed at various locations across Africa. The data from these will be used to obtain improved estimates of the carbon balance of the surrounding regions. Currently there are no measurements to constrain the role of this continent in the global carbon cycle.
Below, a committee of local residents discuss the theoretical justification of the study.
Many volunteers have helped weed the area around DGE necessitated by heavy spring rains. The plantings from a year ago are looking fine! The star jasmine planted along the sides of the buildings on black fences is in fragrant bloom. Photos below were taken on 4/13/05.
Recent papers by Brent Helliker, Alan Betts and JB developed the theoretical basis for relating CO2 concentration and isotope ratios to photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration of the plants on a continental scale.
The following Seminars were held at 4 PM in Carnegie's large seminar room:
Apr. 6: Dan Cayan, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "Warming of western North America in recent decades—natural variability or climate change?"
Apr. 20: Kenneth Cassman, Dept. Agronomy & Horticulture, Univ. Nebraska. "A Global Ecological Perspective of Agriculture to Ensure Food Security and Protection of Ecosystem Services.
Dr. Cassman filled our heads with many stimulating facts. e.g. Irrigation allows 40% of our food supply to be grown on 18% of arable land, globally. We were left to digest how this impinges on global water use and supply. Optimistically, we were left with the thought that chaos may yet be averted by students, such as those in his audience, bringing fresh ideas to the needed research.
Apr. 6: At 1 PM, the Field Lab Group was able to sit in on a Conference Call arranged by the Union of Concerned Scientists for about 60 California scientists. The subject was Climate Change in California: Choosing our Future. Chris and Dan Cayan (today's Seminar speaker) each spoke for about 20 min on how future global warming may affect California. Dan Kalb then spoke on political implications. At 2 PM, the call was extended for 30 min to take questions.
Editor Jan Brown
Click on photos for enlargement.
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