Archive for August, 2011

Geoengineering, ctd.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

From an article in The Atlantic on using technological solutions to reduce hurricane intensity: ...researchers would dump their particles out of large cargo planes, some of which can carry 125 tons or more. In Hoffman and Alamaro’s scenario, the planes would disgorge the soot above the hurricane’s eye and the storm ...

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Salix pulchra time lapse

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Time lapse video by Ed Metzger showing leaf out in a common arctic tundra species, Salix pulchra.

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Nice splom() wrapper for more informative scatterplot matrices

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Thanks to this post, I just discovered a great wrapper for splom() called chart.Correlation (package: PerformanceAnalytics), which juices up scatterplot matrices with some nice loess curves, r2 values, and density plots for each variable: pretty much the exact additions I want for every scatterplot matrix I make. The only thing I don't ...

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Fall in the arctic tundra, ctd.

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Got a much better picture yesterday afternoon, this time a panorama of Toolik Lake. The picture is a little big for the blog, so follow the link.

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Fall in the arctic tundra

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

We're getting some beautiful fall color as the plants wind down for the season.  

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More cool Brooks Range photos

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Fellow Toolik researcher Pat Tobin has a bunch of great Brooks Range hiking photos in his Picasaweb. This is me on a hike known as "not Dalton" that is near Dalton Peak, which rises above Atigun Pass.

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Fun Scrabble study

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

As a fan of both scrabble and statistics, I enjoyed this fun article about a study of Scrabble scoring. Among the findings: The blank is worth about 30 points to a good player, mainly by making 50-point "bingo" plays possible. Each S is worth about 10 points to the player who draws it. The Q ...

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Future directions in environmental science, ctd

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Geoengineering is the emerging field that is evaluating possible global-scale technological solutions to climate change. There could be a lot of potential for research into the effects and side effects of geoengineering. From an NSF press release: Bitz, working with University of Washington researchers Kelly McCusker and David Battisti, analyzed the ...

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Interpreting standard errors as confidence intervals

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

A lot of people don't realize that standard errors can be interpreted as confidence intervals that vary in the confidence level depending on sample size. And what better way to get the word out than on my widely read blog? Knowing that these two concepts are closely related can help ...

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Plant-soil-microbial systems

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Nice writeup by Richard Bardgett on plant-soil-microbial systems: In fact, some work suggests that as plant growth increases because of elevated CO2, more carbon not only flows into the plants themselves, but also exits their roots to impact the growth and activity of soil microbes. This causes a net increase in ...

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Future directions in environmental science

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Interesting NYT magazine article about investor Jeremy Grantham. Climate change is a huge current research topic in the environmental sciences, but it won't remain so forever. Articles like this suggest that human resource limitation could be an up and coming research area. People are naturally much more responsive to finite resources ...


Toolik blogging, ctd

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Another Toolik blog, this time by field tech Verity Salmon. I'd say these are some of the best Toolik photos on the web! Those are some mosses on the mountain known as Flat top. I did that hike a few weeks ago and saw the same mosses but my picture isn't ...

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NEON to break ground

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Looks like NEON is about to be up and running: "If these guys are successful, they will have the goods on some really big ecological questions," Wofsy says. "Scientists who are interested in addressing those problems will have to make the effort to learn how to use those data."

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Gates of Kiev

Monday, August 8th, 2011

One of the cooler hikes near Toolik is Gates of Kiev, the tallest peak visible from camp (7,775 ft). A couple folks from our research crew and I hiked this yesterday and had a great time. Above is a picture of the glacier beneath the summit. The mountain has two ...

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More on climate change in the arctic tundra

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

In addition to the phenomenon of thermokarsts, the other really obvious and interesting thing going on up here is the increase in tundra fires. There was a massive tundra fire in 2007 along the Anaktuvuk River that burned 1000 km2. Here's a satellite image (MODIS) of it: Some leading researchers here ...

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Toolik blogging

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Journalist Jennifer Smith just spent a couple weeks up here at Toolik and did some excellent reporting on the various projects that folks have been working on here at Toolik. This is a great snapshot of the variety of projects that people are working on up here this summer: A cool picture ...


Annual review review

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I just went through the tables of contents for the last few years of Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics and poked around a few of the papers. Here are some cool things I read: From a review by Yiqi Luo: The coupled carbon-climate models reported in the literature all demonstrate ...

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Landscape-level nitrogen import and export in an ecosystem with complex terrain, Colorado Front Range

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Another paper from my dissertation just came out in Biogeochemistry. This was a fun collaborative project that I worked on with a couple members of my committee and a group in France that did some great isotopic work on our stream samples from Niwot Ridge. I used some of the spatial ...

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July 31: snow day

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The best side benefit of arctic field work is meeting fun people; next best is the hiking. We got snowed on yesterday on our hike near Atigun pass. These Brooks Range hikes are really incredible due to the vast treeless terrain. There are no trails and it is rare to see ...

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