October 2010

Field & Berry Groups

Oct. 4: Adam Wolf presented opportunities for doing global change research using embedded sensors communicating with Zigbee wireless technology, emphasizing inexpensive, open-source products that you can assemble yourself. See ftp://dge.carnegiescience.edu/pub/adamwolf/FLAB/FLAB_Zigbee_Oct2010.pdf
Oct. 7: Adam Wolf organized his own Farewell Party as follows:









Starting about 5 PM, lamb was cut into pieces and placed alternately on sticks with pepper slices, tomatoes and onions. The Department's gas BBQ was pushed over onto Roble Field where Joe Berry cooked the shish kabob while others played kick/base ball. Great way to spend an evening. Our very best wishes to Adam as he leaves this weekend for a Post Doc position at Princeton.

Oct. 11: Part of the Group who visited Carnegie's Mountain Experimental Stations at Camp Mather & Timberline on Oct. 2-3 met to discuss the trip and types of research that could be done there now. Thirteen people made the trip with Chris Field leading. They stopped off at the Hetch Hetchy Dam at noon and then proceeded to Mather Camp where it started to rain for the rest of the weekend. Sunday morning they drove on to the Timberline Station off the Tioga Pass Rd at about 10,000 feet elevation. Chris took a fine group of photos of the trip which you may view at: http://picasaweb.google.com/cbfield/MatherTimberline2010?authkey=Gv1sRgCMzcsPKt6s-J0AE&feat=email#> Two of them are shown below:





Oct. 29: Matt Colgan organized the traditional Carnegie Hog Roast whereby a 150 lb pig was cooked in a fire pit, luau style. This intermittently, annual event began in 1975 to celebrate the completion of construction and major renovation on our campus. (Winslow Briggs also replaced Stacy French as Director of Plant Biology that year.) The head contractor suggested cooking a pig by turning it on a spit over a fire in a pit. The fire was started Friday evening, and staff members volunteered 2-hour watches during the night in order for the pig to be done by noon on Saturday. Since then the cooking method has varied between burying the pig luau style and turning it over a fire. In Sept. 2008, Adam Wolf used our covered barbecue to turn the pig.
Here is Matt's description: The pig roast went smashingly well considering none of the cooks had ever used the underground method. Ted Raab and I picked up the organically raised pig from Long Ranch in Manteca on Thurs. We dug the pit behind DGE near the cornfield that evening, and Friday morning we kept a fire going for several hours to sufficiently heat the rocks. Then we covered the rocks with 25 heads of iceberg lettuce in lieu of luau banana leaves, placed the pig on top, and covered with another 20 heads of lettuce, a burlap bag, and a tarp to trap the steam.
The moment of truth was when the pig was exhumed at 7 pm, and the measured meat temp at the thickest part of the pig (with a lab thermocouple) was146 F, which is between medium and medium-well for pork. Success! The pig was lifted out of the pit into a wheelbarrow and taken out to the picnic tables in front of DGE. Naupaka, Manuel, and I cut and served pieces on large platters to accompany the pumpkin, quinoa, berry cobbler, brownies, and other dishes people had brought. We estimated about 80 people attended.

Jan Brown, Editor, Email: jbrown1@stanford.edu
Click on photos to enlarge.













Jan Brown, Editor, Email: jbrown1@stanford.edu
Click on photos to enlarge.









Oct. 15: Prof. Rob Jackson, Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change, Dept. Biology, Duke Univ. Center on Global Change spoke about Land-use change and ecosystem water and carbon services.

Caldeira Group

Oct. 18: Ken Caldeira spoke to Stanford’s CEES Computational Geoscience Seminar about: Applying Geophysical Models to do Policy-Relevant Science: Geoengineering, Ocean Acidification and Related Issues.

Asner Group

Oct. 12: Robin Martin introduced Christopher James whom she met in Ecuador and is affiliated with Finding Species, an NGO with offices in both Maryland and Ecuador. Chris spoke about this NGO's work spearheading collaborative efforts in conservation for many years.  It's beautiful and scientifically accurate photos of Ecuador's biodiversity are known throughout the country and abroad.  Now Finding Species is coordinating the activities of a "Conservation Network", an informal association of long-term research projects, sustainable development efforts run by communities, and private reserves dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Ecuador's native ecosystems.  This talk was an overview of Ecuador's outstanding biodiversity and the Conservation Network's combined actions to insure its long-term survival.

Oct. 18: Matt Colgan, PhD Student in Asner's Group, described his research project on the Pompey Biomass Harvest at the Field Group's weekly meeting. The Pompey silica mine is located adjacent to Krueger National Park in Africa. With a hired local crew, Matt harvested trees at the Plot Scale within an Airborne LIDAR data set to develop new methods of Carbon Stock estimation at regional scales. His photos and video of the mine site, complete with giraffes and other wildlife, showed vivid examples of the work in progress. Now he is developing algorithms to analyze the new data.
Tasting: Matt brought a bottle of Amarula, a liqueur made from fruit of the African Marula Tree that figured large on his plots. We compared this favorably with Irish Cream that has a similar chocolate flavor and alcohol content (17%).