newsletter
DGE Newsletter, January 2009
Jan. 14: Tea Time (Wednesday Morning Coffee), Joe Berry had ordered a fancy new coffee maker that Chris demonstrated this morning. One inserts a biodegradable capsule chosen from a variety of coffee flavors and types (all Fair-Trade), places a cup under the out spout, and presses a button for either espresso or regular coffee. Almost immediately the desired brew comes out of the spout. Amazing!
Field & Berry Lab Groups

Jan. 16: Claire Lunch led a discussion of several research papers from 30 years ago on desert plants, particularly those in Death Valley, Calif. She had visited the area recently and made photosynthetic measurements on some of the same species studied earlier with similar results. Joe Berry recalled the time when Carnegie launched a large study of the plants in the Valley under the leadership of Olle Bjorkman. This included a mobile laboratory that allowed many measurement in situ as well as a controlled garden close to the Ranger Station. This garden and the mobile lab no longer exist.
Jan. 23: Bill Anderegg presented "the lay of the land" of different species distribution models. These models have been used to explore (1) the link between geography an evolutionary relationships among taxa, such as the distribution of frogs in Amazonia; (2) prediction of species invasion; (3) species shifts under changing climate; (4) identifying suitable locations for reserves of endangered plant communities; and (5) predict extinction possibilities under changing climate or land use.
Tasting: Three types of salsa (Santa Barbara brand with roasted garlic; Casa Sanchez mild Salsa Roja; and Rojo's Pico di Gallo) and two types of chips (Casa Sanchez and Tostitos). Consensus was both the Casa Sanchez products were best, but the salsa could be improved by adding the roasted garlic used to great effect in the Santa Barbara salsa. As reported by Adam Wolf
Jan. 26:
Congratulations fo Joe Berry on his selection as a 2009 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. This is an honor for cumulative scientific contributions bestowed on fewer than 1 in 1000 AGU members.
Jan. 30: Matt Colgan continued the discussion about Biogeography Models. He showed us results from trying test cases of BIOCLIM that is a Envelope Model type, and we considered what happens when one or more of the input parameters are changed or omitted.

Asner Group
Jan 6: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded Gregory Asner a $5.2-million grant to advance rain forest monitoring using High-fidelity Imaging Spectroscopy (HiFIS). It determines chemical and structural properties and species diversity of rain forest vegetation in unprecedented detail. It is part of the Carnegie Spectranomics Project, which uses the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, a unique airborne mapping system that can probe some 40,000 acres of rain forest per day.
Jan. 12: Greg Asner spoke on the LOSS AND RECOVERY OF THE WORLD'S HUMID TROPICAL FORESTS  at a Symposium sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution in D.C. titled: Will the Rainforests Survive? New Threats and Realities in the Tropical Extinction Crisis.
Alumni
David Lobell was featured in the Jan. 7 Issue of the Stanford Report for his research on how Climate Change may affect key California crops such as grapes, and fruit & nut orchards. Cherry yields are expected to decrease 20% by the year 2050. Obtaining this knowledge now can help us make adaptations to mitigate some of the losses. Lobell is a senior research scholar at the Program on Food Security and the Environment, and this research was supported by the California Energy Commission.
Jan. 25: Choy Huang introduced his future Pac-10 defense player of the year — 19.75 in, 6lb 5oz Ian Jason Huang. He also included a photo of his little linebacker.
Archives & PDF Archives of past Newsletters
Click on photos for enlargement.
Editor Jan Brown, e-mail: jbrown1@stanford.edu