News & Eventscategory
When it comes to how climate change is impacting ecosystems, there’s no shortage of data out there. But finding enough people who know both ecology and how to interpret that data can be a different story. Ecoss affiliated professor Kiona Ogle leads the multi million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation together with co-PIs Jay Barber, Andrew Richardson, Benjamin Ruddel, and Temuulen Sankey. This collaboration among Ecoss and the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) is a unique grant that will train graduate students in tackling big ecological questions through informatics, collaboration and better communication. Read the full NAU news article here
Ecoss ecologist Ted Schuur, who’s received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a carbon observatory at Eight Mile Lake near Denali National Park in Alaska, calls the permafrost’s massive release of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere a “wild card,” and potentially a tipping point, for the global climate. The five-year NSF grant is part of the NSF’s Navigating the New Arctic initiative, the grant is offered through the Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) program, which supports researchers who have already collected six years of continuous data. Using these parameters, LTREB grants are designed to support important scientific questions that require a longer timeline—often decades—to answer. Read the full NAU article here
Ecoss ecologist Yiqi Luo and collaborators in a multi-site research team have been awarded a 6-year, $6.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study dryland ecosystems at the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research site in New Mexico. Luo and his team will be studying how the changing climate transforms drylands using observational, experimental and modeling techniques. They hope to predict how whole ecosystems will respond to the hotter, drier conditions being recorded in drylands across the planet. Read the NAU news article here
New Ecoss publication shows that warmer temperatures lengthen growing season and increase plants’ vulnerability to frost
New findings published in the journal Nature by Ecoss researcher Andrew Richardson offer some of the first experiment-based evidence that a warmer world will significantly shift ecosystem-wide growing seasons, putting plants at higher risk during extreme temperature swings. Experimental enclosure at the SPRUCE site Image of PhenoCam at the Spruce site Richardson and a team of collaborators conducted a unique experiment in boreal forests showing that warmer temperatures triggered earlier springs and delayed the onset of fall—lengthening the growing season by three weeks or more. Surprisingly, the longer growing season increased the vegetation’s vulnerability to frost events. Read the full NAU News article here and a behind the scene blog post written by Andrew Richardson. Read the publication here
Ecoss member, Karen Haubensak together with the main Principal Investigator Kevin Grady from Forestry and Clare Aslan from Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, launched an ambitious project, which is designed to identify the foundation species best suited for seed production for crisis events as well as for large-scale restoration. The cross-disciplinary team of NAU ecologists recently received a five-year, $935,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study which plants are most fit for restoring damaged lands and capable of supporting diverse pollinator communities. The scientists will test nearly 50,000 plants of 12 species—the largest trial of its kind in the western region. Based on the outcome of the test, they will conduct a trial of 105,000 plants at established small farms to identify growing conditions that optimize seed production. “We want to know which plants support diverse pollinators,...
Eight Ecoss students, faculty, and staff traveled to Detroit, MI in May 2018 to present their research at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science. Undergraduate researcher Zasha Welsh presented a poster, as did graduate students Courtney Roush, Meghan Schrik, Jack Torresdal, and Adam Siders. Ben Koch, Victor Leshyk, and Jane Marks also delivered oral presentations. Victor and Ben also designed the slick new logo of the Society of Freshwater Science. Check it out here!
A mini-symposium and short training course on 'New Advances in Land Carbon Cycle Modeling' was held May 20-26, 2018 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, USA. The mini-symposium and short training course were organized by ECOSS professor Yiqi Luo and Research Associate Lifen Jiang and focused on new theory on land carbon storage dynamics; matrix representations of land carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles; a unified diagnostic system for full understanding of uncertainty sources; carbon cycle data assimilation system for both flux- and pool-based data; and semi-analytic spin-up for computational efficiency. The mini-symposium attracted 80 participants from all over the world. The trainees not only learned simplicity in coding, diagnostic capability, and computational efficiency for carbon cycle models, but also enjoyed one-day hiking in the Grand Canyon and networking among the attendees.
The boreal forest is home to one-third of the Earth’s forest cover and stores 40 percent of the planet’s terrestrial carbon. North America’s boreal forest alone, which spans the northern portion of the continent from Alaska all the way to Newfoundland, covers an astounding 1.5 billion acres—more than 2.3 million square miles. A recent study completed by a team of Northern Arizona University scientists and published in Global Change Biology was designed to help solve this problem. The first author of the paper was post-doctoral researcher Xanthe Walker of NAU’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss). The research study included the paper’s senior author, Michelle Mack from Ecoss, and co-authors Ted Schuur from Ecoss and Scott Goetz from NAU’s School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems (SICCS), along with collaborators from the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and...
After the rapid-fire madness of 15 back-to-back two-minute presentations, the audience flocked to Victor Leshyk's screen. The topic was science-art integration, and in two minutes Victor had explained his vision about the role for the didactic in the intersection of art and passion. In the discussion session he presented his works showing a range of visual metaphor. This is not elitist art - all are welcome. It's art for learning, art for science literacy, and art for science and society.
NAU’s Permafrost Carbon Network study links climate policy to reduced effects of emissions from thawing soil
Findings of a new study organized by the Permafrost Carbon Network suggest that putting more effective greenhouse gas controls in place for the rest of this century could help mitigate the effects of climate change on the release of carbon from thawing soils of the northern permafrost region. Brooks Range, Alaska (photo credit Christina Schaedel) Ecoss' Research professors Ted Schuur and Christina Schädel are leading the Permafrost Carbon Network and are co-authors of a new publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the publication here Read the NAU news article here