Update December 22, 2010
During her participation in the Global Land Project annual open meeting in Phoenix, AZ in October 2010, Narcisa Pricope was invited by colleagues from University of California, Santa Barbara and Carleton University, Canada to participate in the writing process of the Working Group for the Land chapter of the United Nations Global Environment Outlook 5 (GEO-5) publication for the 2012 Earth Summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro. The Land chapter will form part of the section of GEO-5 that reports on the state and trends of the global environment, with the main task of providing an indicator-based update on drivers, pressures, impacts and responses within the thematic area of land in relation to internationally agreed goals. The chapter will consider human demands on land resources and highlight key challenges and emerging issues and issues related to vulnerability in relation to human well-being will also feature in this chapter. Narcisa has been asked to lead the chapter on state and trends for the world's drylands, grasslands and savannas in collaboration with colleagues from Spain, Mexico, and South Africa. Her future contribution to this publication has been made possible by her initial exposure to these ecosystems during the IGERT program at University of Florida and her subsequent PhD dissertation research work in Southern Africa.
Conference presentation -Marie Kurz
Marie Kurz will be attending the annual meeting of the American Geophyiscal Union in San Francisco from December 13 to 17. This is the largest meeting in the geosciences with over 15,000 participants. Marie will be presenting results from her study at Ichetucknee Springs investigating the impact of diffuse groundwater discharge and hyporheic exchange on riverine chemistry. This work is part of a larger project to describe and quantify the processes effecting carbonate dynamics and nutrient cycling in spring-fed rivers.
Conference presentation -Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner attended the annual Society of Wetland Scientists meeting in Salt Lake City, UT in June, 2010 where she assumed the position of student representative to the Board of Directors. Lisa also presented a poster entitled Stress or Stimulant? How Salinity Affects Carbon Cycling in a Freshwater Wetland Soil, for which she received and Honorable Mention for Best Poster Presentation.
Lisa was also recently awarded two scholarships. The 2010-2011 Doris Lowe and Earl and Verna Lowe Scholarship was awarded to Lisa by the University of Florida College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Lisa also received the 2010-2011 Sam Polston Graduate Fellowship from the Soil and Water Science Department at UF.
Grant awarded - Sarah McKune
Sarah McKune, along with a research team from the University of Florida, has received an $80,000 grant from the USAID funded Global Livestock and Climate Change CRSP. The research will be performed in Niger and Tanzania. Arid and semi-arid regions of the world are projected to be among those most affected by global climate change, which poses new challenges to the historic adaptability and resilience of pastoral groups. This project will investigate how populations of varying degrees of pastoralism in Niger and Tanzania are interpreting and responding to perceived risk of climate change, and how those reactions are affecting their vulnerability/resilience. In Niger, the project will replicate household interviews conducted in 2005, following the 2004/5 food crisis. The current food crisis will serve as a second environmental shock around which discussions of climate change and perceived risks will be assessed. Data points from 2005 and 2010 will facilitate analysis of adaptations and coping mechanisms and the impact of those actions on vulnerability/resilience over time. The project will include key informant interviews, focus groups, household interviews, and child growth and health measures. After data collection in Niger is complete, a small-scale version of the project will be implemented in Tanzania, to test the appropriateness and usefulness of indicators of pastoral resilience/vulnerability across multiple contexts. The University of Florida (UF) team will work closely with institutional partners in Niger and Tanzania on all aspects of the project, including data collection, analysis, dissemination, and publication. A workshop will be held in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi to discuss findings from the project as well as methodologies for risk assessment and vulnerability analysis.
Florida learning tour host - Jillian Jensen
Jillian Jensen hosted Samson Sithole, Agricultural Manager from the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise(SWADE), Swaziland, on a 12 day learning tour of Florida. There were two primary objectives: 1. To gather information and best practices on issues related to sub-tropical agricultural value chains and watershed management, and 2. To identify main lessons learned about the above and how they can be integrated into SWADE's project activities to address on-going challenges and strengthen impacts. The tour consisted of interviews and field visits with agricultural producers and cooperatives, agricultural researchers and extensionists with the University of Florida, representatives of private sector organizations and advocacy groups supporting Florida's agricultural sector, representatives of three of Florida's water management districts, and state representatives in the marketing division of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Information gathered from this tour is to be shared with the Swaziland government ministries, international financial institutions supporting the project, and the project's implementing partners. Jillian Jensen will return to Swaziland in Fall 2010 to help disseminate these findings and integrate them in the planning and implementation of SWADE's rural development projects.
Summer school and seminars - Jillian Jensen
Jillian Jensen attended the European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR) two-week summer school on environmental politics and policy at Keele University, England, July 12-23, 2010. The summer school was organized around a program of seminars led by international academics and presentations of international student projects and five component teaching themes: green political theory, international relations of the environment, environment and global political economy, green movements and parties, and public policy and the environment. While in attendance, Jillian presented a paper titled, Integrated Water Resources Management: A Case Study on Liberal Environmentalism.
Fellowship award - Julie Padowski
Julie Padowski is the recipient of the 2010-2011 Ronald B. Linsky Graduate Fellowship for Outstanding Water Research from the National Water Research Institute. Part of the fellowship funding will be used specifically to help Julie investigate how urban water utilities respond to increasing demands for water across the U.S.
Conference presentation - Dina Liebowitz
Dina Liebowitz received IGERT funding to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the joint meeting of the North American Benthological Society (NABS) and the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) from June 6-11, 2010. The conference was titled Aquatic Sciences: Global Changes from the Center to the Edge, with a broad focus on the role of aquatic sciences in a changing world. Dina's talk was titled Top-Down Control of Algal Proliferation in Florida's Springs, and her co-authors were Matthew Cohen, James Heffernan, Thomas Frazer, and Lawrence Korhnak.
Funding award - Dina Liebowitz
Dina Liebowitz received funding from the Three Rivers Fnpc, Inc. to survey gastropod populations in the Ichetucknee River and research their role in controlling algal proliferation in the river, in order to explore the use of managing invertebrate populations for overall river health.
AMW:3 IGERT video project screening at ESA
The case study, "Living with thirst: People and wildlife in southern Africa's variable climate," was selected to be screened at the 95th Annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting this past August. The video project was created by the collective effort of AMW:3 IGERT students crossing a range of disciplines which include Geography, School of Natural Resources and Environment, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and Agriculture and Biological Engineering. The video was originally created for a workshop entitled "Drought, Water-Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Justice: Case Studies and Research Needs in a Changing World," at the ESA Millennium Conference in November 2009. The focus of the recent screening was to make aware to a larger audience the insights garnered from the Millennium workshop and also highlight the importance of videography as a medium to share and communicate science and its application to real-world problems. The final product provides a powerful tool to disseminate combined research across biophysical and social dimensions of a big picture question. Support for the video was provided by SANParks (South African National Parks), Chief Mutele, and the AM:W3 IGERT program. Support for the invited presentation at the ESA was provided by the National Science Foundation (grant DEB-0939500). Andrea Gaughan traveled to Pennsylvania to present the video and it was well received.
Stakeholder workshop and field research - Hollie Hall
Hollie Hall has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund on a project in the Greater Virunga's Landscape of Uganda: Capturing the Benefits of Ecosystem Services to guide Decision-making in the Greater Virunga's Landscape of the Albertine Rift Region. The Albertine Rift Conservation Society has invited Hollie to participate in a September 13 – 16 regional stakeholder workshop on the "Valuation, Quantification and Mapping of Ecosystem Services in the Greater Virunga's Landscape", to be held in Kampala, Uganda. After the workshop, Hollie will spend one week in the field. Her research aims to assess how amounts and values of services will change under future climate change and development scenarios, and to inform and engage decision-makers and other stakeholders on values of ecosystem services to create incentives for conservation. Her goal is to use soil, land use, geological and meteorological information to produce maps of the spatial arrangement of ecosystem services across watersheds in the Greater Virunga's landscape. Currently, she is developing a water yield map of landscapes that are under management for the protection of the endangered wild mountain gorillas.
Science Outside the Lab Program - Hollie Hall and Estelle Robichaux
Over the summer, IGERT Fellow Hollie Hall and Associate Estelle Robichaux participated in Arizona State University's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) Science Outside the Lab Program. Participants in the program explore the relationships among science, policy, and societal outcomes in a place where many important decisions about these things are made – Washington, D.C. During the two-week workshop, Hollie and Estelle met and interacted with the people who fund, regulate, shape, critique, publicize and study science, including Timothy Persons, Ana Ivelissa Avilés and Jenny Chanley of the Government Accountability Office; Andrew Ozment, Director for Cybersecurity at the White House; Cliff Duke and Nadine Lymn of the Ecological Society of America; as well as several AAAS Policy Fellows. Through program participation, Hollie and Estelle learned more about how the intersections between science, politics and society impact national policy.
Research in South Africa - Sam Schramski
Sam Schramski just returned from conducting research on water access and community resilience in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He hopes to develop a participatory index that recognizes possible sources of adaptation to climate change, including the evolving nature micro- and meso-level governance structures. He will draw upon a variety of social research methods, including network analysis, as well as some smaller scale ecological techniques
Conference presentation - Deb Wojcik
Deb Wojcik presented at the International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS) Annual Conference in Leipzig, Germany this summer. She presented at the IAPS Young Researcher Workshop (YRW) on June 28, 2010, which allowed her to receive extensive feedback from peers and expert mentors on her work entitled Communication, Natural Resource Management & Adaptive Capacity in a Changing Context: Water and Wildlife in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The YRW experience allowed her to network and learn from other Ph.D. student researchers, while the overall conference was extremely valuable in gaining international perspectives on the interdisciplinary conference theme Vulnerability, Risk and Complexity: Impacts of Global Change on Human Habitats.
Grant awarded - Susanna Blair and Robin Globus
Susanna Blair and Robin Globus were awarded a grant from the Bob Graham Center for Public Service to write up a case study on Newnans Lake in Gainesville, Florida. The case study will examine the ways in which stakeholders have conceptualized and begun to deal with the problem of phosphorus pollution in the lake. As a geologist, Susanna's piece is to examine the lake's sediment to complement existing studies about the source of the phosphorus. Robin will interview stakeholders in order to elicit their understanding of how the ecosystem functions, what they think the source of the problem is, and how they think it should be solved. The center will make this case study available through the Center's library for classrooms around the country.
Funding to develop a case study - Becky Blanchard
Becky Blanchard received funding through the University of Florida's Bob Graham Center for Public Service to develop a case study of water management and negotiations in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin. She is working with Dr. Greg Kiker (Agricultural & Biological Engineering, UF), Steve Leitman (FSU), and Daniel Tankersley (Digital Media Art, UF) to write the case study and create educational materials that may be used in high school and college classroom learning activities. The case study will be housed in the Graham Center library and on a publicly available website.
Adaptive Management: Wise Use of Water, Wetlands & Watersheds
is an NSF-funded IGERT program at the University of Florida