Patrick Sorensen wins NSF DDIG

05/17/2014

Graduate student Patrick Sorensen of the Dr. Pam Templer lab has won an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant to study forests' reduction in the depth and duration of snow cover as the climate changes.

Because snow insulates soils from below-freezing air temperatures, loss of snow cover increases the frequency of freeze - thaw events in winter. Past studies show that soil freezing increases movement of nitrogen from forest soils to nearby waterways and the atmosphere, but the causes of these patterns are not well understood, especially the role of soil microbes. The goal of this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the response of soil microbes to these changes, and the consequences for nitrogen loss downstream.