DGE Newsletter, August 2004
On August 16, a study was published in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that had been submitted by Chris Field and included three other members of our Department, Kim Cahill, Elsa Cleland, and Claire Lunch, among its authors. The paper “Emissions pathways, climate change, and impacts on California” generated news releases from the NY Times, CIW in Washington, and our local Universities. Dr. Greg Asner and two members of his Lab Group, Amanda Cooper and David Knapp, attended the 3rd Science Conference of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) held in Brasilia, Brazil, July 27-29, 2004.
Asner gave a presentation in the plenary session entitled "Remote Sensing of Selective Logging: Challenges, Successes, and the Future". The presentation described the history of techniques that have been used to detect selective logging in the Amazon and the latest progress that has been made with modern sensors. Since selective logging is a major land-use in the Amazon region, it is important to identify its location and extent in order to understand its ecological impact.
In a special session on disturbance events and forest ecology, Asner also gave a presentation entitled "Amazon-wide Gap Fraction and Selective Logging from Satellite Analyses". This presentation described how the Asner Lab is using satellite sensors with an Automated Monte Carlo Unmixing (AutoMCU) algorithm to determine gap fraction, allowing for improved quantification of carbon stocks.
Amanda Cooper and David Knapp each presented posters at the conference. Amanda's, entitled
"Method for Large-scale Mapping of Forest Canopy Damage in Amazonia," outlined the process by which satellite imagery is processed with the AutoMCU methodology to create maps of canopy damage. David's was entitled "Sensitivity of Automated Monte Carlo Unmixing to Surface Reflectance Uncertainties caused by Aerosols, Water Vapor, and Terrain Slope-Aspect". This poster quantified the uncertainties in AutoMCU output based on changes in atmospheric aerosols, water vapor, and terrain using the 6S radiative transfer model of the atmosphere.
Kim Cahill is working at The Nature Conservancy in California this summer, studying the ecological impacts of vineyard development and the potential for sustainable vineyard management practices to promote biodiversity. This project stems from to her work last year with Chris on the effect of climate change on California agriculture, particularly grapes, the second-most valuable agricultural commodity in the state.
Members Leaving
Lydia Olander starts her AAAS Congressional Science Policy Fellowship in September. After she arrives in Washington, she will go through an orientation and then find a Congressional office to work in. She may work in the office of a Senator, Representative or Committee. Her role with be to help interpret and explain the current state of our scientific understanding on subjects of concern to constituents and policy makers. Lydia may be required to address any area of science.
Andrew Elmore
has completed his post-doc with us and will be a professor at Dartmouth College in the Dept. of Earth Sciences.
Amanda Cooper has moved to the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL). She will be doing a PhD under John Weishampel at UCF's Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Ecosystems Lab
and Sarah Robinson has also left.
New Members
Dan Pendleton is our newest arrival working in Asner's group. He recently received his MS from Cornell Univ. in Crop & Soils Science but was really from Applied Mathematics. Here, he will be working on pattern recognition in the Brazilian rainforest.
Guanghui Lin recently joined Berry's Group as a Visiting Scholar for the next six months. Dr. Lin came from China in 1988 for PhD studies at the Univ. of Miami, Florida. He was with the Biosphere 2 Center of Columbia Univ., Arizona (now closed) but also is Research Professor and Team Leader at the Institute of Botany, CAS, Beijing. His research interests include stable isotopic studies of possible mechanisms responsible for plant adaptation to contrasting environments and for ecosystem process response to global change.
Editor Jan Brown
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