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DGE Newsletter, January 2006
Jan. 4: Ken Caldeira participated in the KQED/NPR Forum with Host, Michael Krasny to discuss Global Climate and Policy. Other guests on the Program were James O'Brien, Robert Socolow, Thomas Heller and Thomas Moore. The Program can be replayed at www.kqed.org/epArchive/R601041000. Many of the same topics were brought up later in the day by Seminar Speaker, Marty Hoffert.
Chris Field is again leading a Stanford Freshman Seminar on Climate Change that meets twice a week during Winter Quarter.
Jan. 25: Dr. Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation Science for the Nature Conservancy described her work that involves how to ask the right questions to establish priorities for Conservation on a global scale.
Jan. 11: Dr. Ying Ping Wang, CSIRO Atmospheric Research Group spoke on the Interactions of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in a legume/ non-legume mix forest stand: A theoretical model.
Asner Group
Greg Asner is pleased to announce the receipt of two research grants. One is from the McArthur Foundation for the study of Rainforest Disturbance Throughout Peru and the other from the Keck Foundation for development of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) for Worldwide Ecosystem Studies.
Dr Wang has been a visiting scientist at Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology for about six months.  His expertise is in modeling terrestrial ecosystem at scales ranging from individual leaf to the whole terrestrial biosphere. As a graduate student in the University of Edinburgh, he developed a model, MAESTRO that has been used by many research groups around the world as a research tool. He has developed process-based models for grain growth, wheat production, shoot and canopy photosynthesis, water, carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, and the two-leaf canopy scheme. His current research interests are greenhouse gas emissions from terrestrial ecosystem, land surface scheme in climate models, spatially explicit inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, estimation of parameters of terrestrial ecosystem models using multiple constraints, regional and global inversion.  See his web page at <http://www.dar.csiro.au/profile/wang.html>
Field & Berry Groups
Jan. 12: At this first meeting of the Quarter, Kerry Emanuel from MIT was our guest discussant and spoke about his recent work on Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. That is also the title of his paper in Nature of 4 August 2005. He has used data from satellite imaging of the earth to study hurricane intensity.
A list of members who will present their recent research results on future Thursdays was initiated.
Chris brought six cheeses that all owed their varying flavors to mold fermentation (e.g. roquefort). They varied from sharp to mild, but all were delicious as was the dark bread with them.
Jan. 19: The Group met to discuss three recent papers related to climate change. Two had to do with land use input to various models and a third with Methane emissions from terrestrial plants under aerobic conditions. The last paper, published in the January 12 issue of Nature, elicited the most discussion and will require more corroboration We welcomed Jason Funk back from New Zealand where he has been doing field work (see Archive Newsletter of June, 2005). Chris Field is spending this week at an IPCC Meeting in Mexico.
Jan. 24: An article by Jason Funk appeared online in the Ecosystem Marketplace titled Maori farmers look to environmental markets in New Zealand. See
Jan. 26: Ben Houlton presented a power-point description of his research into nitrogen fixation as a possible fringe benefit for phosphorus enrichment in terrestrial ecosystems in collaboration with Drs. Wang and Field.
Ben also provided six chocolate bars to taste ranging from 52% to 90% cocoa. All were delicious.
The FLAB presentation schedule for the remainder of the quarter is: Feb 2 John, Feb 9 Claire, Feb 16 Adam, Feb 23 Jason, March 2 Ulli, March 9 Kim, March 16 Noel.
Jan. 6: Dr. Sue Thayer, Research Associate in Plant Biology, spoke about her studies on Jasper Ridge titled: Gene Expression Changes in Geranium dissectum in Response to Global Change Factors in an Annual Grassland Ecosystem.
Jan. 4: Dr. Martin Hoffert, Emeritus Professor of Physics, New York University spoke on An Energy Revolution for the Greenhouse Century. Any effective response to global scale, fossil fuel burning induced adverse climate change, accompanied by
Jan. 27: An informal Global Ecology Department Meeting was held in the Lobby at 10:30 AM. A number of issues were discussed mostly having to do with interactions and space. To foster more communication between research groups, everyone is encouraged to attend Tea Time (10:30) on Wednesdays.
Landscaping: During the past week, the areas in front of our building have been plowed and new flats of native grasses purchased including species from eight genera: Nasella cernua, Nasella pulchra, Elymus multisetus, Poa secunda, Festuca idahoensis, Koeleria micrantha, Melica californica, Stipa comata, Muhlenbergia rigens
Planting started after lunch and continued the following day. Only a few areas need additional planting. Click on photos.
depletion of cheap oil resources, as the global economy grows 2-3% per year, requires fundamental innovations in energy supply and conservation. Development of emission-free coal plants for electricity and hydrogen with carbon capture and storage, an appropriate nuclear option, and renewable energy for buildings, ultra-light vehicles, and high-tech means of energy storage and transmission are key issues. A pro-active policy emphasizing Apollo-like alternate energy research and development on a global scale is explicated.
Ying Ping Farewell
Jan. 20, 06: Nine Carnegie folks gathered at Antonio's Nut House (littered in spent peanut shells) to say "Goodbye" to Dr. Wang before his return to Australia the next day. A memorable moment was when Yingping built a map of Australia entirely out of empty peanut shells. First, he made a map of the entire continent, highlighting such areas as Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Barrier Reef. Then he re-shuffled them to a high-resolution map of the city of Melbourne and the location of his house. It was like Google-Earth, Yingping style! It was sad to see him go, but clear the sort of impact he made on folks during his visit at Carnegie. Ben
Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown@globalecology.stanford.edu
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