Update April 12, 2011
Conference Presentation - Sam Schramski
In March, Sam Schramski presented a paper at the Resilience 2011 conference hosted by Arizona State University and the Resilience Alliance in Tempe, AZ. His talk concerned the use of focus groups to address socio-ecological adaptation and resilience in the Eastern Cape of Southern Africa. Sam received some excellent feedback from attendees in his session, and he hopes to incorporate some of the fruits of the ensuing discussion in his dissertation research. The conference featured a wide variety of prominent researchers, and some practitioners, in the social and biophysical sciences, including Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom, C.S. "Buzz" Holling, Marten Scheffer and others. Sam reports that while few, if any, conclusions were reached as to how best to establish resilience science research and praxis programs, the wide assortment of disciplines and perspectives on display during the plenaries, invited papers, and panel sessions indicated that interesting work is already being done--and more is yet to emerge--under the aegis of socio-ecological systems research.
Fellowship Award & Speaking Event - Lisa Gardner Chambers
Lisa Gardner Chambers was recently awarded a fellowship by the Everglades Foundation to study the biogeochemical effects of saltwater intrusion on Everglades peat soils. As part of the fellowship, Lisa will spend the summer residing at the Key Largo Ranger's Station in Key Largo, FL. The study will involve a mesocosm experiment that investigates the biotic and abiotic effects of saltwater on peat soils, including how changes in salinity, water quality, and water quantity effect various biogeochemical processes. The fellowship will include collaboration with the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) long-term ecological research team and Florida International University.
On April 2nd, Lisa was an invited speaker at the "Wonders of the Salt Marsh" event, sponsored by the Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, located between Cedar Key and Crystal River, FL. Lisa presented an hour long talk on salt marsh soils and sea level rise, as well as lead a nature walk for the general public.
Conference - Lisa Gardner
In July, Lisa will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, to attend the Society of Wetland Scientists annual meeting. At the meeting, she will present a talk on, "Sea level rise and coastal wetlands: the effects of salinity on carbon cycling." As the student representative to the SWS Board of Directors, Lisa will also attend the annual board meeting and serve as a mentor to a minority undergraduate student who is interested in a career in wetland science.
Conference and Papers - Bill Kanapaux
Bill took part in a roundtable discussion on "Avoiding Maladaptation of the Coast" at the NCSE 11th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment in Washington, DC, January 19-21. The group discussed priorities for developing responses to sea level rise at local, regional and national scales. The session was part of a growing initiative involving federal and state officials, university researchers and NGO representatives. Bill will follow up on that meeting with a February visit to the NOAA Coastal Services Center, in Charleston, SC.
Oryx: The International Journal of Conservation is currently copy-editing Bill's paper "Livelihood Activities in a Namibian wildlife conservancy: a case study of variation within a CBNRM programme" (co-author Brian Child). It should appear in print in the first half of this year.
In November, Bill's poster won third place in the student competition at the 4th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration in Galveston, TX. The poster, "Use of Simulation Modeling to Develop Local Adaptive Management Programs for Visitor Impact on Coastal Habitats," described his dissertation research.
Conference Presentations and United Nations Environment Program GEO-5 Meeting Participation - Narcisa Pricope
Narcisa will be presenting a poster entitled "A Spatio-Temporal Fire Recurrence Index for Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystems in Southern Africa Using Moderate Resolution Satellite Imagery" at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held this year in Washington DC between February 17th and 21st. The AAAS is the world's largest scientific societies and this year's meeting theme is "Science Without Borders". Later this year, in April, Narcisa will be presenting a paper at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA based on her latest research results. The paper is entitled: "More fires and less water: to what extent do changes in fire and flooding regimes contribute to vegetation conversions in a southern African savanna?"
As a result of her participation in writing the Drylands, Grasslands and Savannas and Wetlands sections of the Land Chapter of the UNEP GEO-5 publication being prepared for the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Narcisa has been invited to participate in a five-day meeting at the University of Toronto, Canada, aimed at creating a first working draft of this document.
Conference presentation - Gregory Parent
Greg will attend the Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference and present Using video as a medium to disseminate research results to a broader audience.
Scientific research, in general, restricts findings to the printed medium in the form of journal articles and white papers. While output in this format plays an important role in furthering research and informing policy, there remains a discernible gap that has not been adequately addressed, namely the dissemination of research to general public. This is especially relevant for coupled human-environment questions that demand response across not only the scientific community but also a broader, non-scientific audience to tackle these complex issues. In this paper we address the process and potential of translating complex science into a media format (e.g., video) that reaches a broader audience, both in terms of integrating multiple disciplines and reaching the public. The use of narrated imagery allows scientists and non-scientists alike to see data and understand its context. We discuss the process and product of this effort, show short version of the video, and discuss the potential for this type of medium to reach a broader audience across scientific and non-scientific groups with a message focused on living with uncertainty in the face of climate variability and climate change in southern Africa.
Adaptive Management: Wise Use of Water, Wetlands & Watersheds
is an NSF-funded IGERT program at the University of Florida