DGE Newsletter, February 2005
Feb. 16 - Kyoto Begins
Please join us for another great quarter of Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology Seminar Series. The seminars will be on the dates indicated below, from 4-5 p.m., with refreshments to follow.
Feb. 16 (Wednesday) - Franklin Orr, Professor of Petroleum Engineering & Director of the Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford Univ.
"Stabilizing Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations: Can Geologic Storage of CO2 Help?" In a word: Yes. The technology for CO2 injection is well established, and Lynn described the various types of formations such as coal mines and oil wells where a part of atmospheric CO2 may be sequestered. One area needing further research is how best to concentrate and transport this gas.
At an extended "Tea Time," the Department celebrated the beginning of the Kyoto Treaty signed by over 140 nations worldwide to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and mitigate global warming. Although the USA has not signed on, the influence of this important document may have beneficial effects, leading to further cooperation among nations.
Feb. 10-12: A Symposium titled Whole Earth Systems, Integrating Environmental Science, Technology and Policy and celebrating Stephen H. Schneider's professional contributions and 60th birthday was held on the Stanford Campus. It was attended by nearly 250 of Steve's friends, colleagues, and students. Many presented papers related to climate change which will be published by Island Press. There was emphasis on better ways to communicate environmental science to the public.
We welcome Noel Gurwick to the Field Lab Group. Noel is a post doc from Cornell and will be research coordinator for the Global Change Experiments at Jasper Ridge, replacing Hugh Henry.
Field Lab Meetings
Winter Quarter, the FLAB continued meeting on Fridays at noon with discussions centered around Scientific Publishing.
Feb. 4, Michael Newman and Grace Baysinger, the librarians at Biology and Chemistry, respectively, answered our questions about Stanford Library policies. We were especially interested in how they are trying to meet faculty and students research needs in the face of budget cuts and increased journal costs.
Feb. 25, Kim Cahill, aided by Lisa Moore, presented some initial results she had compiled from a survey of faculty and students asking what journals they regularly read and/or submit papers to, and why. A very long list of journals related in some way to Ecology were named, and Chris commented on many of them. It was also obvious that for the Survey to have meaning, the questions asked must be more specific.
Asner Lab News
Last month, we announed that Greg Asner, Robin Martin, Kim Carlson and David Knapp were working in Hawaii to collect and analyse data from AVIRIS (Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) as it flew over the island. David and Kim returned early in February with ground-based data only because the plane carrying AVIRIS was delayed.
However, Greg and Robin stayed and were able to collect very exciting data for the first time. Because Greg could control the flightpath of the plane by telephone on the ground, the different life-zones and ecosystem regions were covered without interference from clouds and in the same short time period .
The Spectrometer can measure the molecular properties of plants with very high fidelity in real-time in a 1-3 meter pixel size. For example, any invasive species are easily recognized.
Although now, the Group has much current data to analyse, sadly this is probably the last it will collect because NASA has canceled its support of AVIRIS for budgetary reasons.
Chris Field was appointed Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford beginning Feb. 1. He also chaired a meeting of The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) during the week of Feb. 6 in New Delhi.
Greg Asner gave a lecture on Feb. 17th titled Eyes in the Sky: Air and Space Observations of Our National and Global Ecology in the Series called Capital Science Evenings at the Institution's headquarters in Washington, DC. See <> for more details.

Chris Field is teaching a Freshman course for eight students on Climate Change: Drivers, Impacts & Solutions. The Course meets twice a week for two hrs each time during Winter Quarter.

David Lobell is leading a Graduate Seminar on Ecosystem Modeling for six students during Winter Quarter. The Course meets for two hours on Mondays. David also recently received an EPA Star Fellowship to continue to support his graduate work.

Berry Lab News
This month we completed the installation of a new stable isotope mass spectrometer in the Department of Global Ecology, and we updated an existing instrument. Together, these two instruments will provide the Department with a powerful analytical facility to support the use of natural abundance stable isotopes in ecological research.
One of the machines will be devoted to analysis of air samples for the concentration and 18-O and 13-C ratios of CO2 and will contribute to NOAA, DOE, and NASA funded studies of carbon cycle processes over N. America and Africa.
The second machine can be used to study oxygen isotopes in molecular oxygen, important in studies of respiration and photosynthesis. It will also increase the capacity for automated measurement of the isotopic composition of plant and soil samples.
Larry Giles is the technician whose magic keeps these instruments in peak condition.
Archives and PDF Archives of past Newsletters and Events .
Editor Jan Brown
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