Tuesday, April 30, 2013 — DGE's staff scientist Greg Asner has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries elected “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” The total number of active members now stands at 2,179.
Asner was hired in 2001 as the Department of Global Ecology’s first staff scientist. Since coming to Carnegie, Asner has pioneered new methods for investigating tropical deforestation, degradation, ecosystem diversity, invasive species, carbon emissions, climate change, and much more using satellite and airborne instrumentation. His innovations measure the chemistry, structure, biomass, and biodiversity of the Earth in unprecedented detail over massive areas not thought possible before. He has developed new technologies for conservation assessments, including tropical forest carbon emissions and stocks, hydrologic function and biodiversity. He leads the CLASLite forest change mapping project, spectranomics biodiversity project, and the one-of-a-kind Carnegie Airborne Observatory.
Monday, April 8, 2013 — DGE's former Ph.D. student Kyla Dahlin, and faculties Greg Asnerand Chris Field have found that the plant species making up an ecosystem are better predictors of ecosystem chemistry than environmental conditions such as terrain, geology, or altitude. This is the first study using a new, high-resolution airborne, chemical-detecting instrument to map multiple ecosystem chemicals. The result, published in the April 8, 2013, Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a key step toward understanding how species composition affects carbon, nitrogen and other nutrient cycling, and the effects of climate change, land use, and other ecosystem pressures. more »
Monday April 1, 2013 — A research team, led by DGE's Anna Michalak, has determined that the 2011 record-breaking algal bloom in Lake Erie was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake circulation and warm temperatures. The team also predicts that, unless agricultural policies change, the lake will continue to experience extreme blooms. The research is published in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of April 1, 2013. more »