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Summer Research Experience: Student Blog

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Improving Forest Change Modeling, One Parameter at a Time

August 2, 2016, by Patrick McKenzie
Alongside uncertainty about the stability of future climate conditions comes uncertainty about future landscapes: Where will our forests be in 200 years? Forest landscape models have been designed to address this. Forest landscape models take small-scale ecological phenomena and apply them across large spatial and/or temporal scales. LANDIS-II (“LANdscape DIsturbance and Succession”) is a forest landscape model that consists of a core program with several extensions that are downloaded separately and can be individually activated to simulate various ecological processes. Together with its...Read more >

Life on the Edge

August 1, 2016, by Ian Smith
Despite being conducted in rural Petersham, Massachusetts, the inspiration for my summer research project comes from patterns observed in urban environments. We live in a growing world in which cities are expanding, both in terms of population and geography. As cities sprawl outwards, forested regions, such as New England, are converted into fragmented landscapes where the forest is interrupted by human land use. Replacing forests with something else can have significant impacts on the carbon cycle as forests play a key role in removing and storing atmospheric carbon. However, the data that I...Read more >