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  1. Environmental & Climate Sciences Department Seminar

    "Does understanding ecological diversity improve forecasts of the Earth system?"

    Presented by Kyla Dahlin, Michigan State University

    Thursday, January 23, 2020, 11 am
    Large Conference Room, Bldg. 490

    Hosted by: Shawn Serbin

    The terrestrial biosphere is the largest source of uncertainty in the global carbon budget. We know that Earth system models (ESMs) over simplify patterns and processes, yet often we lack global scale information that could constrain these models. This situation is, however, rapidly changing with the development of new remote sensing tools (from space, air, or ground), new ESMs, and new approaches to data analysis. To help constrain and inform ESMs, my group is working to understand ecological diversity at multiple spatial and temporal scales. We are quantifying plant functional traits in four-dimensions (x-y-z and through time) using data collected with the NEON Airborne Observation Platform and NASA's G-LiHT. We are using Landsat to map phenological diversity ('phenoregions') and woody cover in savanna vegetation across eastern Africa. And we are developing new tools to understand the drivers of ecological diversity (bio- and geo- ) across different resolutions and extents. These projects all target the same fundamental question: How can we better quantify ecological diversity to improve forecasts of the Earth system?

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