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DGE Newsletter, February 2007
Field & Berry Labs
First External Review of Global Ecology
Feb. 7: Jennifer Junk, a post doc in Vitusek's lab, described her recent work with isoprene emission from plants as influenced by nitrogen fertilization and stress. Then she went on to discuss a proposal with Asner to study the mechanisms of how some plants may invade the habitats of natives in Hawaii. Questions to investigate may be resource efficiency, phenotypic plasticity and herbivory pressures.
Jennifer's Tasting was of four kinds of frozen desserts: ice cream, gelato, yogurt and soy. All were vanilla flavored, and naturally, the high fat, regular ice cream tasted the best although the yogurt with somewhat less fat was fine also.
Feb. 14: Our Seminar speaker, Diane Pataki fielded far-reaching questions from her background to current research activities. She had worked with former Carnegie Fellow, Jim Ehleringer at the Univ. Utah, and Salt Lake City is now one of her research study sites.
Tasting: Chris Field provided seven bags of jelly beans supposedly of different flavors. Except for coffee and peppermint, it was hard to distinguish the others except for their color.
Feb. 21: Katie Amatangelo sought feedback about writing up her work in Hawaii with Peter Vitousek on Interacting controls of nutrient availability and plant phylogeny on foliar nutrient content. She has been measuring N, P, & cations in groups of ferns compared to angiosperms in the same habitat.
Tasting: Katie brought 3 bags of caramel candies and 3 jars of caramel toppings. To compare them, the toppings were spread on rice wafers. The group decided that pure caramel was better than creme caramel, and 'hot caramel' was the best, by far, of the three toppings.
Feb. 28: Seminar speaker, Jim Kirchner joined us for a far ranging discussion of ecosystems. The UC Reserves which he manages encompass thousands of acres and many different types of landscapes and climates. We also discussed the NEON project — National Ecological Observatory Network, and how the work Ecology has different meanings to different scientists.
Tasting: Chris brought nine different kinds of pepper (Piper nigrum) to try with cream cheese on crackers. It's amazing that one may sample this great variety from Whole Foods Market.
Feb 22: Maya Sofia Estrada was born to Yuka & Paul Estrada. Maya weighed in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. (3879 g) with a length of 20-1/2 in. (52 cm). Congratulations to the Estradas.
Six distinguished scientists and two Carnegie Trustees visited the Department on Feb. 19-20 to carry out this 5-yr scheduled evaluation. They were scientists: Dr. William H Schleisinger, Duke Univ.; Mr. John Botts, Botts & Co. Ltd, London; Dr. Michael Brin, Univ. Maryland; Dr. Inez Fung, Univ. Calif. Berkeley; Dr. Pamela Matson, Stanford Univ. & Dr. Barry Osmond, Australian Nat'l Univ. and Trustees: Dr. Richard A. Meserve and Mr. Michael Gellert.
Feb. 19: The Visiting Committee mingled with the students, post docs, & faculty over a buffet lunch.
Seminars
Feb. 14: Dr. Diane Pataki, Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. Calif., Irvine spoke on "Improving fossil fuel emissions scenarios with studies of coupled human-environment systems."
Feb. 28: Dr. Jim Kirchner, Dept. Earth & Planetary Science, Univ. Calif. Berkeley spoke on Exploring forest ecosystems by studying their streams. Jim is in charge of six of the areas in the UC Natural Reserves System (five in the Sierra Nevada).
Asner Lab

Dr. Damon Matthews recently began a faculty position in the Dept. of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia Univ., Montreal, Canada. He had been working here with Ken Caldeira for about six months as a post doc. You may contact him at <dmatthew@alcor.concordia.ca>

Most of the Asner crew are working in Hawaii to test the the new Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) program, which brings together new remote sensing technologies on an airplane to study ecosystems at the regional level.  (See November 06 Archive)
Ty Kennedy-Bowdoin has been added to the technical staff for operations, processing, & planning the CAO program.

Outreach
Feb 7: Tea Time returned to DGE. We hope it will continue on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM as a time to get better acquainted and share news on an informal basis. All are welcome.

Chris Field and Joe Berry, with Adam Wolf assisting, are teaching a Stanford Graduate Course titled Biosphere/Atmosphere Interactions during the current Winter Quarter.

Archives and PDF Archives of past Newsletters,
Click on photos for enlargement.
Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown1@stanford.edu