January 2010


Jan. 5: Romain Bernard, Grassland Science, ETH, Zurich spoke to the title How can plant diversity affect soil N cycling? Investigating from gene abundance to N2O fluxes. Romain showed pictures of the large study area near Jena of four blocks each containing 21 plots. It takes a large crew just to keep the weeds down. Understanding the hierarchy of controlling mechanisms is decisive to predict changes in soil nitrogen cycling.

Jan. 12: John Weyant, Professor of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford Univ. spoke to the title: Developing Global Climate Senarios with Integrated Models. He outlined several Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) that are beginning to be used by various modeling communities. The critical work comes next to explain and characterize uncertainties. Eg: The role of aerosols in keeping the temperature cooler than it otherwise would be.

Jan. 22: Dr. Mary O'Connor from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara spoke to the title – General temperature dependence of metabolism and the consequences for rates and outcomes of ecological processes. She showed us the many examples of similar relationships between metabolism and temperature in numerous organisms drawn from the literature as well as ongoing experiments. Following on these observations, the effects of temperature changes in the future may be predicted or modeled for various ecosystems.

Jan. 28: Dr. Julia K. Baum, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, CA spoke to the title Ocean Ecology in an Era of Global Change. Her primary research interests are in marine environments, and she described what happens when some of the great sharks are killed off, leading to an increase in cownose rays, and decrease in scallops. This is only one example of species interaction that affects various environments.

Asner Group

Jan 13: Asner announced a publication on which he is one of the authors in Biological Conservation online: Long-term effects of fragmentation and fragment properties on bird species richness in Hawaiian forests. A feature of this work is the use of the Carnegie Airborn Observatory (CAO) data to assess forest volume in relation to bird abundance. The Groups' latest work can be seen at Web URLs: http://spectranomics.ciw.edu;
http://cao.ciw.edu; http://claslite.ciw.edu>

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. Jan Brown, jbrown1@stanford.edu




Caldeira Group

Jan. 22: Ken Caldeira was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.  Only one in each thousand members is elected to Fellowship each year. The award will be presented during the AGU Meeting next December.

Field & Berry Groups

Jan. 8: The Lab Group met to plan meetings for the winter & spring quarters. C. Field brought samples of marzipan (almonds reduced to a paste with sugar added) for people to sample and analyze. He said that the flavor may be enhanced by the addition of the enzyme, isomerase.

Jan. 15: The Group met to watch a video of the Richard Alley lecture from the AGU December, 09 Meeting on the Phanerozoic carbon cycle. <http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtm>
Tasting: Chris Doughty brought cans of four brands of sardines, but because no one was in the mood for salty food, we decided to save them for a future date.

Jan. 29: Adam Wolf led a Group discussion of Part 1 of the 1998 Edition of Greenhouse Puzzles by W. S. Broecker & T-H Peng titled KEELING'S WORLD.

Jan. 27: Lab Manager Glenn Ford finally persuaded Carnegie to let him retire at the end of this month. He came to work as a technician at Plant Biology in June 1971 following his graduation from Stanford as a Chemistry Major. Glenn’s expertise and helpful personality will be most difficult to replace and sorely missed. The photos were taken at a luncheon in his honor at the Buca Di Beppo restaurant in Palo Alto.
On Jan. 29, he wrote "Today is my last day at Carnegie.  I am retiring after 38+ very interesting and mostly pleasurable years of service (there were a few power failures, floods, etc that I could have lived without).  All of you (and good number of people before you) have contributed those good times.  I am taking some very fond memories with me.  While I would like to stop and say goodbye to each of you individually, that just isn’t going to be possible – so I will have to do it this way.   I thank you all and hope to stay in contact with many of you. All the best in *your* future – and keep up the good times at Carnegie! Bye for now" Glenn