SFWS Seminar Series: Army Corps of Engineers
Oct 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

**Continuing Forestry Education Credits Available

Title: Evolution of the Army Corps of Engineers as a Natural Resource Management Agency, and the Need for Rapid Science-Based Approaches to the Quantification of Forested Wetland Biogeochemical Functions 


Abstract: Beginning with the Revolutionary War, the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has supported both military and civil works initiatives. This historically included the systematic drainage of wetlands on a massive scale (e.g., Everglades, Mississippi River Valley). As the scientific understanding of wetland and watershed sciences increased, federal laws including the Clean Water Act (CWA) shaped the Corps current role as a natural resource management agency responsible for regulating activities impacting wetland resources. The CWA and Corps policies require the quantification of wetland functions; including biogeochemical functions. As a result of monetary and time constraints, recent approaches to wetland resource management focus on the development of rapid ecological assessment methods (RAMs). We synthesize data from two studies examining: 1) the validation of RAM scores using soil biogeochemical measures in restored bottomland hardwood (BHW) wetlands, and 2) the application of RAM data to headwater areas impacted by mountaintop mining. Results demonstrate that RAM assessments of BHW biogeochemical functions (e.g., nutrient cycling, export of organic C) display significant relationships with soil C, microbial biomass C, total organic C, and wetland hydrology (p<0.002). Further, RAM approaches prove a useful proxy measures for biogeochemical functions occurring in headwater areas impacted by mountaintop mining, including measures of nutrient inputs (p=0.002–0.016), processing (p=0.002-0.048), and export (p=0.01-0.024). Study results indicate that the RAMs examined provide useful tools for evaluating wetland biogeochemical properties and functions. The application of science-based approaches to wetland management enhances the Corps ability to effectively regulate, maintain, and enhance the nations’ natural resources.


Bio of Speaker: Dr. Jacob Berkowitz is research soil scientist at the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg Mississippi. His research focuses on the wetland biogeochemistry, hydric soil processes and morphology, wetland delineation, and ecological assessment. He is the director if the Wetlands Research and Technology Center and leader of the Corps Wetland Research Team. Over the course of his career, he has worked in wetlands in every region of the country including research completed in over 35 states. Dr. Berkowitz conducts basic and applied wetland research projects, oversees the regionalization of the Corps of Engineers wetland delineation manual, manages several wetland training programs, and provides technical assistance to federal agencies addressing problematic wetlands and enforcement actions. His research has resulted in the publication of a variety of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, technical reports, and conference presentations. Dr. Berkowitz has a B.S. in environmental science from the University of North Carolina Asheville, a M.S. in soil and water sciences from the University of California Riverside, and a Ph.D. in wetland biogeochemistry from Louisiana State University


Presented by: The United States Army Corps of Engineers

SFWS Seminar Series: Models in Applied Ecological Research
Nov 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

**Continuing Forestry Education Credits Available

Title: Spatial Occupancy Models and Capture-Recapture Models in Applied Ecological Research

Abstract: Two of the most widely used classes of models for studying and monitoring wildlife populations are occupancy models and capture-recapture models. Until recently, however, these methods were not spatially explicit, limiting their utility for studying ecological processes such as dispersal and connectivity – processes that can strongly influence spatial variation in density and population viability. I will present an overview of new developments in spatial modeling and demonstrate their utility using examples from ongoing research projects on desert-breeding amphibians in the Sonoran desert and carnivores in the southeastern US.
Bio of Speaker: Dr. Chandler is an Assistant Professor of wildlife ecology and management at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He received his BS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont. He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Massachusetts during which time he studied the effects of forest management and coffee production methods on migratory birds. He spent three years as a post-doc at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center developing statistical models and R packages for inference about population dynamics. Recently, he co-authored a book on spatially explicit capture-recapture methods. His ongoing research projects include studies of desert
breeding amphibian metapopulations in Arizona, species range shifts in the southern Appalachian Mountains, biodiversity and coffee production methods in Central America, and deer-panther dynamics in southern Florida.


Presented by: the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

SFWS Seminar Series: Potential Climate Change Impact
Nov 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

**Continuing Forestry Education Credits Available

Title: A Quantitative Assessment Framework for Potential Climate Change Impacts on National Hydropower Generation

Abstract: Hydropower generation is mainly influenced by stream flow availability, which may be directly affected by climate change and variability. Using a series of hydro-climatic models and statistical techniques, including General Circulation Models (GCMs), Regional Climate Models (RCMs), bias correction techniques, Hydrological Models (HMs), historic runoff-generation relationships and a newly-organized national hydropower dataset, a regional assessment framework is being developed to quantify the potential climate change impacts on hydropower generation to support decisions on future hydropower marketing and contracting activities. Efforts are undertaken to refine the spatial resolution, enhance the model calibration, and investigate new regional water balance approaches that incorporates water storage and competing water uses to provide better understanding of future conditions and improve mitigation strategies.


Bio of Speaker: Dr. Shih-Chieh Kao is a statistical hydrologist in the Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from National Taiwan University, Taiwan, in 1999 and 2001, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in civil engineering from Purdue University, USA, in 2008. His PhD dissertation, “Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Indiana Hydrologic Data”, was awarded as the Purdue Civil Engineering Best Dissertation in the year of 2008. His areas of research expertise include hydrologic extremes, multivariate statistical analysis, supercomputing, climate change impact assessment, and hydropower resource evaluation. Dr. Kao joined ORNL in 2009 as a post-doctoral research associate and was promoted to research scientist in 2010. He is currently the principal investigator for several U.S. Department of Energy funded research projects focusing on national hydropower resource assessment, climate change impact on hydropower, and regional-scale hydro-climate simulation. Dr. Kao is a frequent reviewer for a number of science journals, and was awarded as an Outstanding Reviewer for the Journal Hydrologic Engineering, ASCE, at 2009. He recently received the ICSH-STAHY 2013 Best Paper Award jointly with Dr. Rao S. Govindaraju from Purdue University for their drought analysis paper published in Journal of Hydrology in 2010.

Presented by: the Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

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