Earth & Environment Research Assistant Professor Alyssa Novak and Professor Duncan FitzGerald have been involved in a long-term study of how marshes are responding to climate change and their future sustainability as sediment supplies diminish and the rate of sea-level rise accelerates. One aspect of this research is determining how the rate of marsh edge retreat relates to various parameters including the type of vegetation. This work, which is being funded by Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Fund through the Department of Interior and other stakeholder agencies, including the National Fish and Wildlife Federation and Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, is depicted in the accompanying photographs taken earlier this week in Great Marsh of Northern New England. New creek edge monitoring sites are being established in Phragmite stands to investigate how an invasive species of grass, although severely limiting diversity and impacting marsh natural marsh habitats, may be beneficially retarding marsh edge erosion. This research will continue for the next several years.
Earth & Environment Research Associate Professor Rachel Abercrombie was in California this week to participate in the 2015 Southern California Earthquake Center Annual Meeting.
At the meeting Abercrombie presented a poster on the topic of “Earthquake stress drop measurements – variability and resolution.” The abstract for her poster can be found here.
Assistant Professor Rachael Garrett recently attended a workshop at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center on Teaching Socio-Enivornmental Syntheses with Case Studies.
The workshop focused on the use of socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis in the classroom. The workshop’s website describes Socio-environmetal synthesis as a “problem-solving approach that considers the integrated nature of the environment and human society and combines insights, methods, and data from the natural and social sciences to produce knowledge and inform solutions.”
To learn more about the workshop and its goals, check out the workshop’s website.
To learn more Assistant Professor Garrett, check out her profile page.
Earth & Environment Professor Duncan FitzGerald and a team of researchers recently undertook a week-long field campaign 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana to the Chandeluer Islands to study the barrier island chain’s response to sea-level rise and hurricane impacts.
Since 2004, numerous Category 3 and higher magnitude hurricanes have severely eroded the islands, segmenting them, and transforming them into a landward migrating barrier arc. Because of this transformation, these islands provide scientists like FitzGerald a natural laboratory to study a possible future scenario of how other barrier coasts of the world, like the East Coast of the United States, might react as they succumb to accelerating sea-level rise.
FitzGerald, who co-led the expedition, and the team gathered sedimentologic and hydrodynamic data to study how the island chain has responded to sea-level rise and to the multiple hurricane impacts. Several more trips are planned to the Chandeleur Islands this year.
This and future expeditions to the Islands are supported by the State of Louisiana and the US Geological Survey. To learn more about FitzGerarld’s work, check out his profile page, or see his recent news and publications.
Earth & Environment Professor Curtis Woodcock was in China this past week to give presentations at two institutions. On June 3rd, Professor Woodcock gave a presentation titled “Continuous Classification and Change Detection” at Beijing Normal University.
Five Boston University Department of Geography and Environment (now Earth & Environment) alumni were present at Professor Woodcock’s presentation.
During his visit to Beijing Normal University, Professor Woodcock also visited Key State Lab for Remote Sensing Science.
Later that same day Professor Woodcock was at the Chinese Academy of Science Institute for Geography and Natural Resources Research to give a presentation titled “Time Series Analysis with Landsat.”
Prof. Hutyra’s seminar will be held this Thursday and is titled “Quantifying and modeling the urban carbon cycle — An examination of land use change, vegetation responses, and emissions.”
Fagherazzi’s lecture, “Marsh collapse does not require sea-level rise,” will be held Monday afternoon as part of the Dept. of Marine and Coastal Sciences’s IMCS Seminar Series.
Professor Duncan FitzGerald and his former student Chris Hein (faculty at Virginia Institute of Marine Science [VIMS]) gave invited lectures at UNIVALI in Itajai, Santa Catarina, Brazil on April 16th, 2015.
These lectures are part of an ongoing research collaboration (12 years) between UNIVALI and Boston University (and now VIMS). During the past week, FitzGerald and Hein along with UNIVALI professors and students have been collecting geophysical, sedimentologic, and stratigraphic data looking at the Holocene 6 ka highstand, Pleistocene 120 ka highstand, and perhaps the Pliocene (~ 4 million yrs BP) shoreline.
FitzGerald’s talk was titled “Can Barrier Islands Survive Marsh Deterioration in a Regime of Accelerating Sea Level Rise?”, and Hein’s talk was titled “Barrier-Inlet Processes and the Formation of Plum Island Barrier Island, Massachusetts, USA.”
Assistant Professor Lucy Hutyra will be in Utah this week to give a seminar at the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the University of Utah.
Earth & Environment PhD candidate Jared Woollacott gave a talk this past Friday, February 13th, at Appalachian State University’s Department of Economics in Boone, NC.
Jared is a PhD candidate in Geography; he is advised by Associate Professor Ian Sue Wing.