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DGE Newsletter, December 2008
Field & Berry Lab Groups

Dec. 1: Kimberly Nicholas Cahill fulfilled her requirement for a PhD Degree by defending her Dissertation before a capacity audience followed by a reception in Stanford's new Energy & Environment (Y2E2) Building
a short block from the Carnegie campus. Her title was Climate change and the future of the wine industry in Sonoma and Napa, California, and included topics such as Ecological Systems Management, Vulnerability & Adaption. Congratulations Kim!
Dec. 5: Carolyn Snyder told us about some of her recent work that she intends to apply to her Dissertation Project. She titled her presentation Paleoclimatic Perspectives on Climate Sensitivity; Uncertainty analysis
of climate sensitivity using a novel spatial reconstruction of sea-surface temperature over the past 500,000 years.
Tasting: We enjoyed delicious fresh strawberries and cream. The comparison was between the creams that we dipped the berries into. They included whipping cream with or without added sugar, creme fresh (slightly sour French cream) and coolwhip in a can.
Dec. 12: Alex Nees described his recent research project to apply IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List Categories as a way to track tropical diversity. He is looking at levels of extinctions and endangered species of plants on tropical islands.
Tasting: Chocolate! Trader Joe's was able to provide him with eight bars from different countries: Peru, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Santo Thomas & Tanzania plus coffee beans from Ethiopia, Mexico & Sumatra. If you click on the photo below, you may see how happy all that chocolate made us.

Dec. 10: Dr. Pier Luigi Vidale, Univ. Reading Dept. of Meteorology, UK, spoke about Modeling CO2—H20 connections in numerical weather forecast and climate models. He emphasized the role that soil moisture and circulation play in the energy balance over land surfaces and predicted a warmer, dryer future with perhaps more frequent precipitation.
Asner Group
Dec. 4: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded the DGE with a $1.6-million grant to expand and improve CLASLite
(The Carnegie Landsat Analysis System Lite), a new, user-friendly method that enables even the smallest governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to map tropical forests from
their desktops. The technology will rapidly advance deforestation
and degradation mapping in Latin America, and will help rain forest nations better monitor their changing carbon budgets.
About 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and degradation of tropical forests,” remarked project leader Greg Asner. “And much of it occurs in developing nations, where monitoring capabilities are often unavailable to governments and NGOs. This grant allows us to improve and expand CLASLite,
and to train many people from tropical forest nations so that they can determine where and when forest losses are occurring. Perhaps most importantly, rain forest nations will be able to better determine how much CO2 comes from deforestation and degradation—information that has been very scarce in the past. We hope that CLASLite will become a central tool for rain forest monitoring in support of global carbon crediting for REDD—the United Nations initiative on
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation.”
David Knapp has been a key figure in the CLASLite development, noting that “ we have learned through the training of new users of CLASLite  that forest monitoring can become an everyday activity that no longer requires huge investments in computers or expertise. This is our goal.”
Dec. 16: Asner announced, "
We just completed another sampling of canopy trees for the Spectranomics Project. We used our tropical
wet-season down time to tackle a significant taxonomic piece of the Caribbean ecoregion. We started in the sub-tropical moist forests of south Florida and worked our way down to the wet montane forests
of Puerto Rico, which shares the tree flora with most central-southern Caribbean islands.  Photos of these two mini-campaigns are available at:
Florida (http://picasaweb.google.com/Spectranomics/
Puerto Rico (http://picasaweb.google.com/Spectranomics/
Next stops in early 2009 include Panama, Costa Rica, and Madagascar."
Dec. 19: Science magazine announced that Christopher B. Field has been elected an AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected “for his central role in developing global ecology, with major contributions to the global carbon cycle, climate-change impacts, and feedbacks of ecosystems to climate change.”
Dec. 19: The Departments of Plant Biology & Global Ecology joined for the annual Carnegie Holiday Party, held in the main Seminar Room with some of the food in the old building's hallway leading out to the other building because the weather was both cold and damp. Thanks to Woei-Jiun Guo (shown below with Acting Director, Wolf Frommer) for getting us all together and to Evana Lee for ordering and preparing stupendous, varied and delicious Chinese food plus numerous contributed desserts. Ismael Villa helped to set up the lights and space, and many others lent a hand when needed. About 150 people gathered in good fellowship. Erica Stein helped children decorate cookies. Donations to the Ecumenical Hunger Program for needy families in East Palo Alto filled seven boxes. Winners of the Tree Ornament Contest were Jiang Shu Liu, Bi Huei Hou & Stephan Wenkel.
Guyana Paez-Acosta has recently joined the Asner Group as Program Coordinator for South America. Originally from Venezuela, she will be traveling back & forth between the two continents.
Mona Houcheime has joined the Asner Group as a Research Technician.
Caldeira Group
Kenny Schneider from Israel has joined the Caldeira Group as a post doc.
Dec. 22: Ken Caldeira was named one of New Scientist's Science Heros of 2008. Congratulations! "He was tapped for his leadership in science-based approaches to geoengineering. You can read about it at <http://www.newscientist.com/>"

Dec. 15-19: The American Geophysical Union (AGU) holds its annual fall meeting in San Francisco's Moscone Center with the following current and former DGE participants in order of appearance. Thank you to Adam Wolf for generating this list.
Monday: Maoyi Huang, Carbon Dynamics of Montane Native Hawaiian Rainforests Under Climate Change: Empirical and Modeling Studies;
Adam Wolf, Ecosystem Resilience to Changing Climate Patterns: The Role of Hydrology II Posters
Tuesday: Cristina Archer, Global assessment of high-altitude wind power;
Carolyn Snyder,
Uncertainty analysis of climate sensitivity using a novel spatial reconstruction of sea- surface temperature over the past 500,000 years;
Jack Silverman, Ecosystem-scale effects of aragonite saturation, temperature, and nutrients on coral-reef calcification;
David Lobell, California agriculture in a changing climate;
Long Cao,
Ocean fertilization and ocean acidification;
Ulli Seibt, New estimates on the magnitude of fractionation during photorespiration
Wednesday: Adam Wolf, Allometric constraints to inversion of canopy structure from remote sensing;
Steve Davis, Drainage Reorganization and its Effect on Paleoaltimetry Studies;
Jean-Baptiste Feret and
Greg Asner, Improved Retrieval of Chlorophyll and Carotenoids Contents at the Canopy Scale Using Hyperspectral CAO Data and PROSAIL Model;
Ken Caldeira, Engineered Carbon Storage in the Oceans;
Chris Andreassi,
Fire and Long-Term Carbon Accumulation in Boreal Peatlands are Controlled by Interactions Between Climate and Successional Dynamics;
Thursday: Ken Caldeira, Will peak oil accelerate carbon dioxide emissions?
Joe Berry,
Constraining the Terrestrial Carbon Cycle With Atmospheric Measurements of Carbonyl Sulfide.
Friday: Jen Johnson, Soil Warming Alters the Nitrogen Cycle: Ecosystem Implications and Feedbacks to the Climate System;
Elliott Campbell, Biofuels production on abandoned and marginal agriculture lands in the Midwestern United States;
David Lobell, Climate effects of biofuels: measuring some key parameters;
Roland Pieruschka, Stomatal conductance based on energy balance.
Greg Asner,
Stand Structural Controls on Evapotranspiration in Native and Invaded Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Hawaii.

Archives & PDF Archives of past Newsletters
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Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown1@stanford.edu