July 2010

Asner Group

July 14: The CLASlite Capacity Building Program, coordinated by Guayana Paez-Acosta, aims at making available CLASlite throughout the Andes Amazon region by deploying a comprehensive and systematic capacity building effort. Since May 2009 and up to date,153 institutions, from the government, NGO and universities sector, and more than 350 individuals have been trained in CLASlite use. Guayana is working currently to organize the next CLASlite workshop in Suriname on August 5. See <http://claslite.ciw.edu/en/>
July 22-24: Greg Asner writes “Our airborne ecological work in South Africa’s Kruger National Park is being featured in a series of radio and TV shows. The attached is a radio piece covering our work in understanding how humans and elephants control savanna vegetation, and what it means for elephant culling.” 3421250.mp3. More CAO work is highlighted in a recent Ecological Society of America’s Bulletin that focuses on one of the several CAO projects deciphering the effects of fire frequency and intensity on savanna vegetation and biodiversity.
Also this month, Angelica Almeyda & Eben Broadbent are the first two authors on a paper published in the Int. J. Tourism Res. (2010) titled Ecotourism Impacts in the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. They performed an in depth study of the effects of the Punta Islita (PI) eco-lodge on the surrounding landscape and inhabitants, comparing them with ecotourism in other areas as well. It’s important to know how to manage the beneficial, environmental effects of nature-based tourism and avoid possible negative effects.














July 13: Govindasamy bala, Associate Professor, Center for Atmosphericand Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science is visiting DGE again for a few weeks and spoke to the Title: Albedo enhancement of marine clouds to counteract global warming: Impacts of the hydrological cycle. His most recent modeling study shows that selectively enhancing the albedo of clouds over ocean areas may not adversely impact the hydrology over land. This new study demonstrates that offsetting mean global warming by reducing marine cloud droplet size need not lead to a drying, on average, of the continents, in contrast to other proposals to increase planetary albedo. Nevertheless, he notes that a more thorough and broader assessment would be required for proposals of altering marine cloud properties on a large scale.

Field & Berry Groups

July 30: Kyla Dahlin gave us a practice/preview of the talk she plans to give next week at the Annual Meeting, 2010 of the Ecological Society of America in Pittsburgh, PA. The title of her Abstract is Quantifying the effects of topography, substrate, and land-use history on above-ground biomass in a California ecosystem. She used airborne remote sensing combined with measurements of plants on the ground at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve to provide the data.
Tasting: Kyla brought several loaves of bread baked with varying amounts of zucchini. The conclusion was that as "bread" no more than three cups works, but if you think of it more like pie or custard, five cups was better than four.
Aug. 6:
The Field Lab (led by Lena Perkins) met to discuss & choose a joint project for the coming months. They decided to pursue "astroturf vs. grass" with the aim to:
    - Develop model as needed to take into account rainfall amount and distribution, sports, requirements, weather pattern.
    - Do thorough literature search.
    - LCA of production and disposal of astroturf and turf.
    - Design an online tool that can be linked to by the Carnegie website, for a 'green' turf calculator, where schools can put in their weather statistics (or it can be a map of the US) and requirements, and relative importance of water, energy, carbon, comfort, price, and it will generate optimal astroturf or other turf decision, potentially with some metrics (Carbon, energy, waste diversion, water requirements).


Editor: Click on photos to enlarge them.
Jan Brown, jbrown1@stanford.ed