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DGE Newsletter, February 2006
OutReach
Seminars
It's not news that Climate Modelers spend most of their time in front of computer monitors. But, occasionally, they may travel to some exotic place to gather new data, and that is news. Ken Caldeira, traveled to Heron Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef early in February. There, working with Rob Dunbar of Stanford and others, he helped conduct an experiment designed to measure fluxes of calcium carbonate and organic carbon into and out of a coral reef, requiring him to swim among tropical fish in mask, snorkel and flippers. The data and methodology developed in this experiment will help provide the basis for a model that could predict how coral reefs might respond to increased carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures.
While on Heron Island, Ken taught a class in the Stanford in Australia program, alongside Adina Paytan and Kevin Arrigo of Stanford.
He also worked with Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland to help design mesocosm experiments that could produce data that would be most useful to developing predictive models. It appears that Ken may need to become more intimately involved with these experiments, and this might require additional journeys into this underwater environment. Several of us, including Ken's wife and myself, hope that we may tag along to assist him with these future endeavors.
Feb. 28: Dave Kroodsma has biked 3311 miles through Mexico City to Oaxaca and had some great adventures. Be sure to visit his Website at www.rideforeclimate.com.
Feb. 22: Dr. Erle Ellis from the Univ. Maryland in Baltimore spoke on Long-term ecological changes in China's densely populated rural landscapes, circa 1945 to 2002, based on intensive field research at five sites located in environmentally
distinct regions across China. He showed some amazing graphics from archival photos of old villages and used Google Earth to zoom from Stanford to a Chinese village.
Feb. 15: Nir Krakauer, California Institute of Technology spoke on Where is air-sea gas exchange happening? Carbon isotope evidence. His principal research activities are the distribution of
gas (primarily CO2) molecules and isotopes that results from mixing in the atmosphere and ocean, and the effect of climate change on forests and ocean circulation. See his work at http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~niryk/
Joshua Schimel - Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara visited DGE and participated in the water tasting on Feb. 9 prior to his seminar at Stanford's Environmental Forum later in the afternoon titled
Field & Berry Groups
Feb. 2: John Juarez gave an update on the research he is doing for his Master's Degree. He is fractionating soil samples collected from the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment over several years to determine whether the allocation of carbon in the soil differs under varying conditions.
Tasting: John provided nine varieties of root vegetable (potato) chips of varying composition with a salsa dip. The flavors varied from salty to sweet.

Feb. 9: Chris Field led the discussion on the use of Biomass for fuel. He suggested that this subject could be broken down into Biofuels potential, Land trade-offs, and Engineering issues. We considered the first two issues; including land resources, energy efficiency, biodiversity, energy technology, and subsidy driven (not necessarily in any order of importance). Hal Mooney was the other faculty member present.
Tasting: Chris brought 10 brands of bottled water to compare. Also he had incubated Calistoga water in five different kinds of plastic bottles for four hours at room temp. Among the brands were distilled, ozonated, Evian (+diluted with distilled). The Sigg container seemed to be the best.

Feb. 16: Adam Wolf suggested how Data-model integration may not be magic. He showed us, by comparison with the GPS locating system, how new data may be teased out of climate models by inversion.
Tasting: Adam brought nine brands of butter with varying contents of fat (80.72 to 85.96%), water & milk solids. The sour dough baguette was delicious.

Feb. 23: Jason Funk described the work he did in New Zealand last June through December to collect information to forecast the land-use impacts of a carbon sequestration policy and to encourage reforestation of private land. Working with economists and ecologists, he developed a cash flow model that could forecast what it would be worth for landowners to reforest. He is currently working on applying that model to the land blocks in his study area, looking to identify those that have the most to gain. He also interviewed landowners to get a sense of the different factors that go into their decisions. Ultimately, these interviews will be used to construct a decision-making model for the study area, which will simulate land-use changes as a result of the sequestration policy. 
The tasting was a comparison of different sweet potatoes and yams. The sweet potato is a staple of Maori culture in New Zealand. Jason baked six different varieties and served them hot, with butter. Chris reported that, even though sweet potatoes and yams look similar, in fact they belong to entirely different genera.
The FLAB presentation schedule for the remainder of the quarter is: March 2 Ulli, March 9 Kim, March 16 Noel.

Feedbacks among climate, vegetation, and soils in the Arctic: Implications for future climate and land use.
Berry Group
Larry Giles checked in from Hombori in the African country of Mali in mid February.  He is installing a precision CO2 monitoring station located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. Another identical station was established last spring in Kruger Natl. Park in South Africa.  These stations will form part of the global CO2 network that monitors the CO2 balance of the atmosphere and assesses the net carbon balance of large regions. They will provide the first information about the atmosphere over tropical Africa.
Feb. 10: The volunteer crew gathered again to complete planting grasses around the building. Our lemon tree is doing well also. Click on photos for enlargement.
Asner Group

This month Asner, Martin, Knapp, Carlson, Boelman, & Huang are on site studying the impacts of climate variability and invasive species on carbon and hydrological dynamics in Hawaiian rain forests.  They are also working on ways to combine the next aircraft and satellite remote sensing data with field measurements for biodiversity assessments.
In addition, the Brazil group (Asner, Knapp, Broadbent, & Oliveira) are working on a new analysis of forest damage caused by selective logging throughout the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon forests.

Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown@globalecology.stanford.edu
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