February 2010


Feb. 3: Alex Hall, Professor,
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA spoke to the title: A Strategy to Improve Projections of Climate Change. This Seminar was sponsored by Stanford's Dept. of Environmental Earth System Science and held in the Y2E2 Building at noon. Later Dr. Hall moved over to DGE to continue discussions of his research with Ken Caldeira and other interested students and faculty for a couple of hours. Much of Hall's studies involve measurements of the albedo effects of snow cover and sea ice in the Arctic and how those may cause feedbacks in models of global warming.

Feb. 8: DGE Alum Cristina L. Archer, Dept. Geological and Environmental Sciences, CSU-Chico spoke to the title: Wind power: a bridge between energy and environment. The seminar was sponsored by Stanford's Dept. Geological & Environmental Science where she is a candidate for a position. Christina has done extensive research on how we can practically extract useful energy from wind including the costs and combining it with solar/thermal.

Feb. 19: Dr. Duncan Menge, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, CA spoke to the title: Resolving the dual paradoxes of nitrogen limitation and nitrogen richness. Studies have shown that temperate forests are usually nitrogen (N) limited whereas the opposite is generally true for tropical forests. This raises questions as to the function of leguminous plants in the tropics as well as how N balances may change with temperature and species interactions.

Feb. 26: Prof. Cliff Mass Department of Atmospheric Sciences,
University of Washington, Seattle spoke to the title: High-Resolution Regional Climate Simulations over Western North America: Are There Any Local Surprises as the Planet Warms?
 His modeling studies of the climate over restricted areas of the earth, taking account of barriers such as mountain ranges, may make it possible to predict local effects of climate change. Prof. Mass was introduced by Prof. Stephen Schneider, Stanford's Biology Dept.



Editor's Note: Since November 09, this Current News page has been formatted by Dreamweaver. It has taken some time for us to learn this new application, but thanks to Yuka Estrada and Rob Genova progress is continuing. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Jan Brown, jbrown1@stanford.edu




Asner Group

Feb. 22: A Carnegie Briefing on Climate Change was held to highlight the
work Greg Asner and his dedicated group of technicians, post docs & students are doing on tropical deforestation. Carnegie President Richard Meserve and Carnegie Trustee Will Hearst were the hosts. In his presentation, Greg described his use of both satellite-based and airplane-based remote sensing techniques to study deforestation in the Amazon and other tropical areas. Increasingly powerful and accessible techniques are giving scientists and governments the ability to monitor logging, mining, agriculture, and other landuse changes. A new version of the monitoring software, CLASlite, is becoming widely available on a Google platform and will enable governments to develop their own monitoring programs. The event was also an opportunity to thank supporters of this research, particularly Hearst and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Marion O'Leary organized the event.



Feb. 5: Eben Broadbent reports: Great news! Our study on tourism and forest conservation in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica has finally been published, several years after completing the field work… The first in a three part series. Abrazos! See URL: <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14724040902953076>

Field & Berry Groups

Feb. 5: The Lab Group continued the discussion begun on Jan. 29 of Keeling's World from Broecker's Greenhouse Puzzles.
Tasting: Lena Perkins provided a great spread including toasted rosemary bread, French bread, cream cheese, capers, and dried cranberries, all of which went into a blind taste test of four kinds of smoked salmon. They were king, coho, sockeye, and Chilean farmed Atlantic salmon. Joe got near a 100% on identifying them. Hummus was provided for the vegetarians among us.

Feb. 12: Carolyn Snyder led the continuing discussion of Broecker’s Greenhouse Puzzles with the first half of MARTIN’S WORLD.
Tasting: Carolyn brought six brands of Blue Cheese including Danish Blue, Treasure Cave, Italian Gorgonzola (creamy), French Roquefort (sharp), English Stilton, & Pt Reyes (mild) which we enjoyed on French bread. Chris filled us in on the origin of this moldy cheese that also undergoes a bacterial fermentation before adding a Penicillin species.

Feb. 26: Over lunch, the Group discussed possible new projects that might be carried out to everyone's benefit. The placement & choice of electronic sensors over a landscape were considered together with a field trip.
Tasting: Kyla had purchased six varieties of faux yogurts from the Whole Foods store. These were made from fermented soy milk to which vanilla, coconut & other flavors had been added.