News & Eventscategory
NAU researchers join Department of Energy project to study the soil microbiome and its effect on carbon persistence
"NAU Regents’ Professor Bruce Hungate, director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), recently joined a new initiative lead by LLNL to study how the soil microbiome controls the mechanisms that regulate the stabilization of the organic matter in soil. “How do different kinds of microorganisms in the soil grow? How do they die and how quickly do they die? What role do viruses, starvation and environmental shocks play in this cycle? Finding the answers to these questions is important because we know that microbes are the main players in how much carbon is stored in the soil,” Hungate said. “The more carbon that’s stored in the soil, the less carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.” Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research for $2.5 million per...
The purpose of the ECOSS Travel Awards Program is to advance the applicant’s professional development by enabling activities such as attending a scientific meeting, visiting a lab for specialized training, collaborating on proposal development, or traveling to a research site. The program is open to ECOSS graduate students, postdocs, staff, and research faculty. This program is intended to support, enrich or extend travel that would not happen otherwise. Applications should include the following information: Proposed travel: when, where, and duration; Motivation: how will travel serve the applicant’s professional development and what are the expected products of the travel; Budget: an itemized estimated budget including transportation, lodging, food costs (per diem), and, if applicable, registration and costs associated with presentations (e.g. post printing); Support: what other sources of support have been sought or secured for this travel. The deadlines for applications...
Ecoss professor Ted Schuur is part of a select group of scientists charged with producing a landmark report examining the effects of climate change on oceans and the frozen world and what steps people must take to reduce those effects. In July, Schuur found out that he would be one of 101 scientists worldwide on the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), one of a three-part series of special reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC releases a report every five to six years discussing the state of the environment in plain language, with the purpose of informing politicians as they make policy related to the environment. The goals of the Paris climate accords are based on the most recent IPCC report. Read the full NAU article here
In a new paper published in Nature, research assistant professor Christopher Schwalm of Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) shares the results of a study investigating the impact of more frequent droughts on ecosystem resiliency and how this phenomenon could endanger the land carbon sink. Read the full NAU article here. Illustration by Victor Leshyk
Nitrogen isotopes in tree rings record the history of the nitrogen cycle—the critical nutrient that limits growth in many US forests. ECOSS faculty member Michelle Mack, along with colleagues from seven other institutions, recently published a paper that shows nitrogen availability in US forests declining over the past century, with cool, wet forests demonstrating the greatest declines. The paper is open access and can be accessed here: www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08170-z. NAU Biology major Norma Rivera takes a core from an aspen tree in Alaska. Photo credit: Samantha Miller.
A brand new staff member at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Leshyk’s charge is to use the power of art to help interpret and communicate science produced by the center's researchers as well as others at the university. It’s a unique opportunity to highlight fascinating science that may otherwise get lost in the fray as well as a challenge to not lose sight of the core facts, Leshyk said. Read the full article by AZ Daily Sun here.
Tonight at 6:30 PM, please join us at The Green Room for "Accurate Passion: Metaphor and Meaning in Scientific Art" with Victor Leshyk and Dr. Bruce Hungate. In this image-heavy presentation which shares a multiyear portfolio of his artwork, Scientific Illustrator Victor Leshyk discusses the challenges and goals of modern science communication.
On a 10-meter-square plot of frozen soil in central Alaska, Ted Schuur is creating a window to the future. Schuur, an ecologist at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, is intentionally warming this patch of permafrost to see how much of its carbon— now locked in frozen plant matter buried for centuries or more—will thaw, decompose, and escape to the atmosphere, where it will make an infinitesimal contribution to global warming. Read full article here.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are widespread and are increasingly associated with human infections. Inappropriate antibiotic use – both in people and in animals raised for food – drives the evolution of multi-drug-resistant pathogens and threatens a post-antibiotic era – one in which minor infections can kill. The majority of antibiotics are actually sold for use in food animals, rather than in people, and as a result, farms are major sources of many new types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.“We clearly need to use antibiotics more responsibly,” says Ecoss researcher Ben Koch. “However, limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance also requires knowing the extent to which antibiotic-resistant microbes move among farms, the environment, and people.” Koch, along with Ecoss colleagues Bruce Hungate and Lance Price, published a study in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment that examined the potential for merging ecology and genomics to better understand those microbial movements. They found that combining ecological principles with newly available genomic data on antibiotic-resistant bacteria...
Dr. Michelle Mack will be discussing the future vulnerabilities to Alaskan ecosystems and tools for permafrost assessment during the next resource conservation and resiliency webinar that will be hosted on Thursday, June 29! The webinar is part of the SERDP and ESTCP webinar series, which was launched to promote the transfer of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions developed through projects funded in five program areas. The webinar series targets Department of Defense and Department of Energy practitioners, the regulatory community and environmental researchers with the goal of providing cutting edge and practical information that is easily accessible at no cost. Learn more about the webinar and register on this website: https://serdp-estcp.org/Tools-and…/Webinar-Series/06-29-2017