News & Eventscategory
PhenoCam network harnesses ‘big data’ to predict impact of warmer climate on ecosystem productivity and carbon cycling
A new paper by Northern Arizona University professor Andrew Richardson published in the journal Scientific Data describes a vast network of digital cameras designed to capture millions of images documenting seasonal changes of vegetation across North America. The network, dubbed PhenoCam, is the result of a 10-year collaboration between Richardson, who led the effort, and scientists from the University of New Hampshire and Boston University to develop a reliable continental-scale observatory of phenological phenomena. Vegetation phenology is what determines the seasonal events in the life cycle of plants, such as dormancy, budding, leafing and flowering. Highly sensitive to climate change, phenology is an important indicator for understanding how ecosystem processes are affected by longer growing seasons brought about by warmer climates. Read the full NAU press release here and a blog post in Springer Nature here.
The Center for Ecosystem Science and Society has a job opening for a creative bridge builder, writer, and organizer. This individual will program and coordinate events, translate science, interact and collaborate with our large network on- and off-campus, engage in outreach, and advance the work of the center that expresses the “society” in our name. The successful applicant will be interested in the environment, the arts, culture, and our Colorado Plateau community; will be a skilled organizer; will be an excellent writer; and will be comfortable seeking integration across disciplines for powerful expression. This is an opportunity to join a vibrant group dedicated to communicating discovery to motivate understanding and change. Apply through NAU’s HR system, position number 603662.
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has elected Northern Arizona University biological sciences professor Yiqi Luo as a 2018 fellow. Fellows are members of the ESA who have influenced a variety of fields, including advancement or application of ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations and the broader society. Luo was recognized for his fundamental contributions in understanding ecosystem dynamics in response to global change and theory development in terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycles, as well as his pioneering approaches and applications of data assimilation techniques in ecological research. Since elected, Luo will be a fellow for life. The ESA is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists dedicated to furthering our understanding of life on Earth.
Ecooss is looking for a new postdoc. The postdoctoral research associate will conduct research at the interface between quantitative ecology and microbial genomics. The postdoc will use tools in bioinformatics, statistics, ecological modeling, as well as laboratory and field experiments, to develop new quantitative models describing how microorganisms grow and interact in the environment. The postdoc will also use existing tools developed within Ecoss to analyze existing datasets and prepare manuscripts for publication. Work will address topics in the microbiome of soils, aquatic ecosystems, and the human microbiome. The scope of work will depend on the successful applicant’s interests and skills. We seek to recruit a creative thinker, analyst, and writer who will work at the cutting edge of microbial ecology to quantitatively integrate genomic and experimental data. The postdoc will collaborate with a large and interactive team working in...
A team of scientists from Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently announced a major achievement in ecosystem science. Their research, published as “Estimating taxon-specific population dynamics in diverse microbial communities” in the journal Ecosphere, illustrates a powerful new technique to simultaneously measure the growth rates of hundreds of individual bacterial taxa in any given soil sample. “Measuring the rate at which each microbe grows within an environmental sample is fundamental to understanding which organisms play the most important roles in natural and engineered environments that matter most to people, such as natural and agricultural soils, freshwaters and the human microbiome,” said lead author Ben Koch, senior research associate with Ecoss. Read the full NAU press release here
Julia Stuart, Ecoss PhD student in the Mack Lab, won an Outstanding Student Poster Award in Biogeosciences at the 2017 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, New Orleans, LA. Her poster was titled “Plant, microbiome, and biogeochemistry: Quantifying moss-associated N2 fixation in Alaska”
Professor Scott Goetz of NAU’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) is the lead principal investigator on the project, and professor Michelle Mack of NAU’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) is a co-principal investigator along with researchers from the Woods Hole Research Center and a private environmental research firm based in Fairbanks. The project, which represents one of the first collaborations between SICCS and Ecoss, will build on work the researchers have been doing for many years throughout the Arctic. The project is funded by nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to assess the resiliency and vulnerability of the boreal forest on DoD lands across central Alaska. Read the NAU News article here
Bruce Hungate, Ecoss Director, Regents' Professor, and McAllister Chair in Community, Culture, and Environment is presenting in Science on Tap on 'Climate Change and Culture on the Colorado Plateau'. How will climate change affect our region? How can we respond? Explore the science of climate change, its relationship to society in the past and present, how it has and will shape the people and environment with a focus on regional solutions. Where: The Green Room, Flagstaff, AZ When: Thursday, January 18 at 6.30 pm
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...