Seeing the forest and the trees: new paper argues “two scales are better than one”

The Manitou Forest region in which the study took place.

A new paper explores how remotely sensed data and field level information to shed light upon a changing northern forest.

In a paper titled “Two scales are better than one: Monitoring multiple-use northern temperate forests,” lead author Mark Wright of the Nature Conservancy writes that using multiple scales of data brought out trends in the northern Minnesota forest that would not have been seen if researchers stayed at a single scale.

“Combining remotely sensed and field data provided a more robust evidence base for decision-making than either approach could have provided alone. For example, examining remote-sensing data alone indicates that the rate of severe disturbance (timber harvest) peaked during the 20-year analysis period, and has declined in recent years. As disturbance rates declined, patch size and the proportion of forest in later successional stages all increased from year 2000 levels. These indicators of landscape structure showed positive shifts towards conservation objectives, but only tell part of the whole story. Field data elucidate a number of negative trends, including poor regeneration of key species…”

The paper was published in the January 2017 issue of the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Northwest Boreal LCC partners have conducted work to explore a coordinated monitoring program across the boreal forest, leveraging existing field-level collection program and remotely sensed data.

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Collaborative Planning on the Kenai Peninsula

Skilak Glacier, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Matthew Strausser, USFWS.

Thousands of residents, a long list of public agencies, Alaska Native Tribes, and one of the biggest engines of Alaska tourism all call the Kenai Peninsula home, in addition to the world-class king salmon and moose that help make it a special place.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Supervisory Fish & Wildlife Biologist John Morton recently wrote in the Peninsula Clarion. about a workshop that brought together more than 80 people to find ways to work together in new ways. Morton emphasized that there is a shared interested in having the smartest, most collaborative minds together.

“But there are some landscape-scale issues that simply know no boundaries, and this is the role that interagency and citizen-driven partnerships fill. The All Lands – All Hands partnership strategically places fuel breaks around communities to help stop wildfires that might not otherwise stop when they burn to the boundaries of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership works to protect, maintain, restore and enhance fish habitat wherever it may occur, helped by the Partners for Fish &Wildlife Program and the National Fish Passage Program. Interagency partners in the Kenai Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area work as a team to eradicate and contain invasive plant species.”

Read more from Morton here.

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Job Opportunities Connected with ABoVE Projects

ABoVE_Logo_large_blue

NASA’s ABoVE has posted several job opportunities online.

The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign conducted in Alaska and Western Canada, has posted several job opportunities related to ABoVE projects.

ABoVE is a large-scale study of environmental change and its implications for social-ecological systems. ABoVE’s science objectives are broadly focused on (1) gaining a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of Arctic and boreal ecosystems to environmental change in western North America, and (2) providing the scientific basis for informed decision-making to guide societal responses at local to international levels. Research for ABoVE will link field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, providing a foundation for improving the analysis, and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses and societal implications.

Information from NASA.gov.

If you have a position to post, or if the position shown here is no longer open, you can email ABoVE Website Support support@cce.nasa.gov

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Conservation Coaches Network Open Standards Training Scheduled

Conservation Coaches Network has scheduled training for May 2017.

Conservation Coaches Network has scheduled training for May 2017.

A Conservation Coaches Network Training is scheduled from May 21 to May 26 in Ashland, Oregon at Buckhorn Springs Retreat Center.

The next CCNet coach training in North America after this one will be in late January 2018, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.

This training is intended to train conservation coaches who are already familiar with the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. This is a not basic Open Standards course.

Cost
The cost for the Oregon coach training is approximately $850 per person, double occupancy. This price covers the cost of the meeting rooms, your lodging & food during the training, and covers the expenses (but not salaries) of the organizer and three coach trainers.

Travel
You would be responsible for your own travel costs to and from the venue.The most convenient airport for the Oregon training is Medford, OR.

Registration
If you are interested in registering for one of the trainings, please review the following instructions.

Please email Theresa Jensen (tjensen@mediate.com), copying John Morrison (john.morrison@wwfus.org), and please put “CCNet Training” in the subject line for a registration form.

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2017 Polar Geospatial Center Boot Camp Accepting Applications

A digital elevation model rendering of the Kuparuk River Watershed in Alaska’s Arctic. Image via Polar Geospatial Center.

The 2017 Polar Geospatial Center Boot Camp, an intensive, four-day geospatial workshop is accepting applications. This year’s event will take place from August 7th – 10th on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota.

The workshop focuses on applications of commercial satellite imagery for polar science. Instructor-led short courses include Discovering Geospatial Data at the Poles, DEM Extraction from Stereoscopic Imagery, Georeferencing Maps and Aerial Imagery, and more. The PGC Boot Camp also hosts visiting expert speakers and offers dedicated project work time for one-on-one support from PGC staff.

Visit the Polar Boot Camp website for details. Application closes June 14th, 2017!

Prerequisites
Proficiency with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a prerequisite for admission to the workshop.

Course Fees
The non-refundable participation fee for this course is $150.

Accommodation
We have reserved a block of single-occupancy rooms in an on-campus dormitory at a rate of $48.65/night.

Timeline

Application deadline: June 14, 2017

Notification of acceptance: June 21, 2017

Course fee due: July 21, 2017

Workshop begins: August 7, 2017

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Job opening: Program Vegetation Ecologist – University of Alaska Anchorage

Alaska Center for Conservation Science is hiring a Plant Ecologist to manage the Vegetation Ecology Program and to serve as PI on several extramurally-funded projects related to assessing and monitoring vegetation in arctic and boreal Alaska.

Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) is a center for research, education, and scholarship at UAA that is committed to providing the public, industry, and agency partners with information to facilitate effective biological conservation and management of the state’s natural resources. Our faculty and staff conduct basic and applied research, serve a wide range of data to the public, offer professional services, and provide educational opportunities. http://accs.uaa.alaska.edu/

At ACCS this position will manage the Vegetation Ecology Program and serve as PI on several extramurally­funded projects. The Vegetation Ecology Program assesses the distribution, status, and trend of vegetation types across Alaska. This includes writing ecological description, classification, mapping, and evaluation of vegetation types ranging from community-scale plant associations to landscape-scale biophysical settings. Some of the ongoing projects include identifying ecosystems and plant associations of conservation concern, delineating plant associations/assemblages, landcover mapping, arctic and boreal vegetation monitoring, and vegetation classification (specifically the crafting of the mid- and lower-level vegetation units of the National Vegetation Classification as they apply to arctic and boreal Alaska).

More information.

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National Invasive Species Week – Alaska Resources

Invasive species pose a risk to places like Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska’s interior. Photo by USFWS.

National Invasive Species Week runs from February 27 to March 3, 2017. There are several resources in Alaska to learn more about invasive species and ways to prevent their introduction and spread.

1. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Invasive Species website for reporting vertebrates.

2. Alaska Department of Natural Resources Invasive Species website for reporting plants.

3. UAA’s Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC) – includes a database and mapping application that provide geospatial information for non-native plant species.

4. USFWS’s website for Ecological Risk Screening Summaries of invasive species – includes species background and habitat suitability modeling results for aquatic invasive species in the lower 48.

Thanks to Aaron Martin at USFWS Fisheries and Ecological Services for links to online resources.

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Alaska Wildfire Costs Projected to Grow this Century

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

The costs to fight fires in Alaska are expected to grow in the coming decades, according to new research.

Wildfires in Alaska and Canada cost millions of dollars to homeowners, businesses, and local and national governments. Those costs are expected to rise with a warming northern climate, according to new research that utilizes the ALFRESCO model. In an article that appears in the journal Climate Change, researchers leveraged federal fire fighting cost data with multiple greenhouse gas and fire scenarios.

“Total mean annual response costs reported here suggest that Alaska will face a continued and increasing financial burden from wildfires. A similar trend was reported recently for Canada, where a rise in projected area burned resulted in higher suppression costs under RCP8.5 relative to RCP2.6, a lower emission scenario than RCP4.5 (Hope et al. 2016). An increase in wildfire response costs have also been observed in Canada since the 1970s and are expected to continue to grow as a result of climate change and societal factors (Stocks and Martell 2016).”

You can read the full article here.

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Arctic Data Center Call for Proposals for Synthesis Working Group

The Arctic Data Center is announcing a call for Synthesis Working Group Proposals.

To promote the analysis and synthesis of Arctic data and to inform ongoing development of the data repository, the Arctic Data Center is soliciting requests for proposals for a Synthesis Working Group, with research to begin by August 2017. Funding is available for one Working Group to host two meetings at the Arctic Data Center in Santa Barbara, California, of approximately 15 participants each, over an anticipated 1-1.5 year period.

Proposals must focus on Arctic-related research issues, and primarily (but not necessarily exclusively) involve the analysis and synthesis of data contained within the Arctic Data Center Repository. Proposals will be reviewed by the Arctic Data Center’s Science Advisory Board for intellectual merit and broader impacts, and consideration will also be made as to the availability and sources of data needed by the project, as well as how the project will serve to evaluate and inform future directions for the Arctic Data Center’s services.

Timeline
February 16, 2017 – Call for proposals opens
April 26, 2017 – Call for proposals closes
June 2017 – Accepted proposal announced
August 2017 – Working Group research begins

Submitting a Proposal
Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact proposals@arcticdata.io to briefly discuss ideas before submitting proposals
Review important documents about submission and budgeting on the Arctic Data Center proposals page

Proposals can be up to a maximum of 2000 words
Submit proposals to proposals@arcticdata.io by April 26, 2017

The NSF-funded Arctic Data Center, founded in March 2016, is operated and led by NCEAS in partnership with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and DataONE. The long-term Arctic Data Center repository allows for the preservation and sharing of data spanning many disciplines from the Arctic, now and into the future.

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Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program Funding Opportunity

The Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) funds Extension programs on American Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions that address the unique needs and problems of American Indian Tribal Nations.

The USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program is announcing a funding opportunity. The Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) funds Extension programs on American Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions that address the unique needs and problems of American Indian Tribal Nations. FRTEP is the link to building Indian community capacity through 4-H and tribal youth development, agriculture and natural resource management, and entrepreneurship and business development. This competitive grant program seeks to provide education and research-based knowledge to those who might not otherwise receive it.

General Information

FRTEP is a non-formal, knowledge-based educational program steeped in the philosophy established in the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. Outreach is conducted by Extension Educators of 1862 and 1890 Land Grant Institutions who live and work in Indian communities alongside tribal government officials and often with 1994 Land Grant Extension personnel.

Funding priorities

FRTEP programs are developed through local needs and objectives, reaching an underserved audience often overlooked by broader Extension efforts. FRTEP is often the key to leveraging additional development resources to reach those communities and individuals in most need.

The priority areas of the FRTEP Program:

Tribal Youth and 4-H
Indian farmer and rancher productivity and management
Indian Community development around economic and workforce enhancement
Indigenous food systems for food security, food safety and obesity reduction
Natural resource conservation and bio-energy development
Adaptation to climate change
American Indian cultural and linguistic preservation
Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions.

The awards process

FRTEP is a competitive, four-year continuation grant opportunity. Awards will be made through a competitive, peer-reviewed process administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Award amounts will vary and are contingent upon annual Congressional Appropriations.

The RFA will be posted online as soon as it’s available. All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through www.Grants.gov (link is external).

Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations and the farming community will provide peer assessment as well as recommend applications for funding.

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