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News updated 7/20/11
Happenings and Events
BES Meeting Dates for 2011
BES News Migrating to Blogspot New
BES Grad Student Rep New
Plant Species in Baltimore Vacant Lots
National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER)-Baltimore-August 1-5
21st Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation CERF 2011 November 6-10, 2011
BES-US Forest Service and Dance Exchange to create Moving Field Guides
90 years of forest cover change in an urbanizing watershed: spatial and temporal dynamics.
Is everyone hot in the city? Spatial pattern of land surface temperatures, land cover and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics in Baltimore City, MD.
Does spatial configuration matter? Understanding the effects of land cover pattern on land surface temperature in urban landscapes. New
Happenings and Events
Quarterly Research Meetings:
Thursday, January 20 – Topic – Sustainability Science – Steward Pickett, Chris Boone, Elena Irwin, Alan Berkowitz
Tuesday, April 5 – Topic – Scientific Writing and Training Workshop – Steward Pickett, Chris Swan
Thursday, June 23 – Topic – Watershed 263 – Peter Groffman, Morgan Grove, Guy Hager
Community Awareness & Safety Training: June 6
Graduate Student Symposium: June 22
BES Steering Committee Meeting: Tuesday, October 18 1:00-5:00 pm
BES Annual Meeting: Wednesday and Thursday, October 19-20 at the Cylburn Arboretum – Theme: Sustainability and Adaptive Processes
Community Open House & Greening Celebration: Wednesday, October 19
Posted 11/18/10, Updated 1/31/11, 4/20/11, 7/20/11
Welcome Anna Johnson
Congratulations to Anna Johnson who was recently elected the BES Grad Student Rep. Anna is a student at UMBC. She is currently at the end of her second year. Her mentor is Chris Swan. Her area of study is meta communities – specifically, English Ivy. Anna is also an IGERT student. We look forward to working with Anna and the talents she brings to this leadership position.
Thanks Tammy Newcomer
We would also like to thank Tammy Newcomer who has been our BES grad student rep since December of 2009. Tammy’s leadership has been appreciated by both grad students and BES Co-PIs. Tammy started the BES Facebook page (check it out if you haven’t seen it). She also created our Café Press page with items carrying the BES logo (check that out too!). Tammy will continues as a grad student with BES working with the Education Team on the BPESL Project for her second year.
Watch for a notice soon that our BES News will move to blogspot.com. It has worked out so well for the BES Director's Corner we've decided to use it for the BES News.
In partnership with BES and the US Forest Service Northern Research Station (NRS), a multi-generational group of artists from the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, MD, will lead participating children in the creation of ‘moving field guides,’ a live, performative collection that animates local ecology in the Potomac watershed through a combination of movement, visuals and the act of outdoor walking. The project will be implemented in the spring and summer of 2011 through a series of sessions involving artists, scientists, and approximately 50 students ages 8-12, in conjunction with elementary schools or after-school programs.
NRS personnel from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Vermont are planning to participate in the project, as well as staff from several participating after-school programs. Partnering with scientists, the artists will elicit stories and experiences from the youth about the place where they live and will introduce stories unknown to them about the local ecology, natural history, and natural resources. The youth will also begin exploring dance-based methods for observing and capturing sensory input. Participants will draw on this experience, as well as images, descriptions, and scientific language to generate the material for their field guides. They will create visuals and movement phrases to articulate what they are learning. These creations will map their natural environment and the experience of naming and imagining it in new ways. To bring their guides to completion, they will lead community members on a nature walk incorporating their expanded awareness, new observation skills, and the artistic elements they have created.
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, photo by Sarah Levitt Cassie Meador, photo by Paul Horton
Photos courtesy Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.
The field guides will be documented by a videographer and made available in DVD and electronic file format to the participants for their reference. Video documentation of the project and the field guides created will also reside on the Virtual Commons, Dance Exchange’s new online platform to explore the intersection of dance and digital media. The Moving Field Guides project can then be used as a demonstration to inspire similar projects in other locations and inspire participants and observers to spend time in nature. Dr. Mark Twery of the US Forest Service is the BES leader of this effort.
Watch for more information on this important collaboration.
Check out this link: www.cafepress.com/baltimoreecosystemstudy
If you have not seen Café Press before, we upload the logos and arrange them on the items for sale. Individuals can order their preferences directly from Café Press.
There are currently three logo options:
We brought several items to the April Quarterly Meeting and will be bringing some to the June Grad Student Symposium and Quarterly Research Meeting as well. Maybe you would like to order your t-shirts or caps in advance and wear them to the picnic following the Research Meeting on June 23! Here are images of a few of the items:
Erica Tauzer conducted an inventory of the plant species in vacant lots in west Baltimore. She was an undergraduate at Albion College in Michigan at the time. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates program of the National Science Foundation supported her work. She surveyed the vegetation in a 9 x 9 block area of the Harlem Park neighborhood. Erica discovered 117 herbaceous species and 17 species of trees in this compact area of Baltimore City. Although this is not a complete survey of the vegetation of vacant lots in the city, it gives a good idea of the overall species richness and composition that can exist in volunteer vegetation in urban areas. A brochure summarizing some additional highlights of the work, and listing all the species found is available for download. http://beslter.org/products/brochures/Brochure-VacantLotsPlantSpeciesInventory.pdf Erica was mentored by Steward Pickett, and had excellent input and support from Dr. Mary Washington at the Parks & People Foundation. Dr. William Hilgartner helped with plant identification and Ms. Yvette Williams shared field work with Erica.
Mark your calendar for the to attend the 4th National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER) 2011. The Chesapeake Bay location spotlights ecosystem restoration challenges and successes of the region as well as building on the knowledge base provided by previous NCER’s.
The purpose of NCER is to provide an interactive forum for physical, biological and social scientists, engineers, resource managers, planners and policy makers to share their experiences and research results concerning large-scale ecosystem restoration on both national and international levels.
NCER is an interdisciplinary conference on large scale ecosystem restoration presenting state-of-the art science and engineering, planning and policy in a partnership environment.
Conference participants have the opportunity to learn about both large-scale and small local ecosystem restoration efforts and what their colleagues working at these levels have learned, what factors contributed to success, and how barriers and obstacles were overcome.
NCER explores the roles of policy, planning and science in establishing goals and performance expectations for achieving successful and sustainable ecosystem restoration. NCER also looks at the importance of considering ecosystem services in restoration cost:benefit discussions. Successful partnerships and means to leverage resources are important themes that run through this conference.
Previous NCERs established a forum for individuals engaged in all aspects of ecosystem restoration to exchange information and experiences. NCER brings together nearly 1,000 scientists, engineers, policy makers, planners, and partners from across the country actively involved in ecosystem restoration.
Initiated by the University of Florida, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, NCER typically entails five days of presentations in six program tracks, multiple workshops, poster sessions, field trips and coffee-house discussions dedicated to both small and large scale ecosystem restoration programs including but not limited to the Missouri and Mississippi River Basins, the Louisiana Coastal Area, Columbia River, the Everglades, the San Francisco Bay/Delta, the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes and Puget Sound, just to name a few.
For registration information:
Societies, Estuaries and Coasts: Adapting to Change
6-10 November 2011
Ocean Center • Daytona Beach, Florida
Early Registration Ends: 6 October 2011
This year's theme reflects a growing realization that human societies are an integral component of ecosystems and the dynamics of these societies and ecosystems are interactive - their futures are interdependent. Nowhere is this more evident than in the estuaries and coastal zones of the planet, where human populations are concentrated, typically dominating estuarine watersheds and affecting their linkage with the local, regional, and global dynamics of the coastal ocean. CERF as a professional scientific society has increasingly focused not only on understanding causes of ecosystem change but providing information necessary to manage anthropogenic changes that have impacted the biodiversity and sustainability of estuarine and coastal systems.
This conference will highlight new findings and perspectives of the interactive dynamics of diverse ecosystems and human societies, and in particular, explore how these dynamics can only be understood and managed when addressed at regional and global scales. To a greater extent than in previous CERF conferences this will include an effort to specifically address socioeconomic drivers and responses.
For additional information: http://www.sgmeet.com/cerf2011/default.asp
Posted 2/14/11, Updated 6/9/11
For questions or comments regarding the Education News, please contact Bess Caplan, email@example.com or call 410-448-5663 ext. 125
On April 30th, 2011, the 2010-2011 Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy (BPESL) Teachers participated in their final workshop of the program year. The topic was wetlands and guest lecturer, Dr. Vanessa Beauchamp of Towson University presented the participants with an interesting lecture on the connection between wetlands, chemistry, and soil. The participants were able to dig in wetlands at the new Towson University Field Station in Monkton, Maryland where they identified characteristics of wetland soils, wetland plants, and wetland hydrology. The day ended with heartfelt goodbyes to our second year teachers whose tenure with our program is coming to an end. We are happy that many of our first year teachers will be returning for a second year. We look forward to welcoming them back and to welcoming a new cohort of teachers set to join our program in June 2011.
The 2010-2011 BPESL project year began last June with an 8-day summer Institute and 6-week Research Experiences for Teachers program. These two groups of teachers were joined during the school year for five additional workshop days. The first workshop, held in October, was on vacant lots. The second, held in November, was on Schoolyard Greening. The third, held in January, used online simulations to demonstrate relationships within ecosystems. The fourth was held in March and focused on disease ecology. The fifth being the April 30th lecture on wetlands.
During the school year, the BPESL teachers have been busy implementing lessons and ideas shared with them during our workshops. We are thrilled with the level of engagement we’ve seen in students as project staff has visited classrooms throughout the school year. We look forward to lending our support to our project teachers next school year as well.
Beginning this summer the BPESL will be welcoming two new graduate students to the project.
Julie Baynard will be a first year grad student at Towson University. She received her undergraduate degree from Salisbury University in Biology. While at Towson she intends to focus her studies in ecology and conservation. Julie has a real love of outdoor education and hopes to make it a part of her career during and after college. She enjoys doing many different things with her spare time such as photography, playing volleyball, going kayaking and scuba diving. She has recently picked up quilting as well. Julie looks forward to working with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study.
Natalie Mollett is thrilled to be joining the Baltimore Ecosystem Study as a graduate student! Her background is in environmental science and ecology and she is working towards a Masters Degree in Teaching Special Education at Towson University. She also works at a local native plant nursery. In her leisure time you can find her gardening, cooking or in a forest somewhere. Natalie is excited to bring her appreciation for the natural world and her passion for sharing it with others to teachers and students in this project.
We are also happy to announce that current graduate student, Tammy Newcomer, will be continuing with the project for a second year. Welcome back Tammy!
Note: If you have an article or interesting nuggets please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the BES News.
These guides were created as part of the Biodiversity course at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) taught in fall 2010 by BES affiliate Olyssa Starry. The main focus of this assignment was the creation of scientifically useful field guides; the students exceeded these expectations by incorporating their own artistic strengths. Student groups partnered with local community groups during this process, and a number of the guides are being put to good use. One of the broader goals of the course was to investigate biodiversity in the context of the urban environment, so the group was happy to partner with Ecology Education Leader Bess Caplan and BES.
Design by Rae Farine and Jessica Marx
Note: Please send articles or notes of interest about BES-related people to email@example.com for inclusion in the BES News.
Note: Please send an abstract or brief description of your BES-related articles to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the BES News.
Postdoc Weiqi Zhou’s paper was recently published in Landscape Ecology. Dr. Zhou, postdoc Ganlin Huang, BES Project Director Steward T.A. Pickett and BES Co-PI Mary L. Cadenasso collaborated on this project.
This paper presents the spatial and temporal patterns of forest cover from 1914 to 2004 in the Gwynns Falls watershed in Baltimore, Maryland based on a database of forest patches from six times—1914, 1938, 1957, 1971, 1999, and 2004 that were derived from historic maps and aerial photographs. We found that forest cover changed, both temporally and spatially. While total forest area remained essentially constant, turnover in forest cover was very substantial. Less than 20% of initial forest cover remained unchanged. Forest cover became increasingly fragmented as the number, size, shape, and spatial distribution of forest patches within the watershed changed greatly. Over time, the location of high rates of forest cover change shifted from urban to suburban bands which coincides with the spatial shift of urbanization. Forest cover tended to be more stable in and near the urban center, whereas forest cover changed more in areas where urbanization was still in process. These results may have critical implications for the ecological functioning of forest patches and underscore the need to integrate multi-temporal data layers to investigate the spatial pattern of forest cover and the temporal variations of that spatial pattern.
Zhou, W., G. Huang, S.T.A. Pickett and M. L. Cadenasso. 2011. 90 years of forest cover change in an urbanizing watershed: spatial and temporal dynamics. Landscape Ecology. 26(645-659). doi: 10.1007/s10980-011-9589-z
Postdoc Ganlin Huang’s paper on surface temperatures has been recently published by the Journal of Environmental Management. Dr. Huang, along with BES Co-PI Mary L. Cadenasso and postdoc Weiqi Zhou, worked on this BES project from September 2008 through January of 2010.
The following paragraph describes this work:
Our study examined how temperature varied with the Gywnns Fall Watershed, Maryland and the social characteristics of the neighborhoods that experienced cool or warm temperatures. We found out the neighborhoods that are hot are also characterized by low income, high poverty, less education, more ethnic minorities, more elderly people and greater risk of crime. Such a combination makes it more challenging for people in those neighborhoods to survive during a heat wave. Finally, we proposed a mapping tool which helps to locate areas that would need extra attention in heat prevention and intervention practices.
Huang, G., W. Zhou and M. L. Cadenasso. 2011. Is everyone hot is the city? Spatial pattern of land surface temperatures, land cover and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics in Baltimore City, MD. Journal of Environmental Management. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.02.006
This paper investigates the effects of both the composition and configuration of land cover features on land surface temperature (LST) in Baltimore, MD, USA, using correlation analyses and multiple linear regressions. Landsat ETM+ image data were used to estimate LST. The composition and configuration of land cover features were measured by a series of landscape metrics, which were calculated based on a high-resolution land cover map. We found that the composition of land cover features is more important in determining LST than their configuration. The land cover feature that most significantly affects the magnitude of LST is the percent cover of buildings. In contrast, percent cover of woody vegetation is the most important factor mitigating UHI effects. However, the configuration of land cover features also matters. Holding composition constant, LST can be significantly increased or decreased by different spatial arrangements of land cover features. These results suggest that the impact of urbanization on UHI can be mitigated not only by balancing the relative amounts of various land cover features, but also by optimizing their spatial configuration. This research expands our scientific understanding of the effects of land cover pattern on UHI by explicitly quantifying the effects of configuration. In addition, it may provide important insights for urban planners and natural resources managers on mitigating the impact of urban development on UHI.
Zhou, W., G. Huang, and M. L. Cadenasso. 2011. Does spatial configuration matter? Understanding the effects of land cover pattern on land surface temperature in urban landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning. 102(54-63). doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.03.009.