Assistant Professor Christoph Nolte has published “Voluntary, permanent land protection reduces forest loss and development in a rural‐urban landscape” in the journal Conservation Letters. “Voluntary, permanent land protection is a key conservation process in many countries,” write Nolte and his colleagues, who “find that land acquisitions and conservation restrictions implemented by state, local, and nongovernmental actors reduced forest loss and conversion to developed uses without increasing either type of land‐cover change on adjacent parcels.”
Ian Smith, a Visiting Fellow and incoming PhD student, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF GRF Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
Ian’s research focuses on the impacts of landscape fragmentation and urbanization on the carbon cycle. Specifically, he is interested in characterizing the forest edge microenvironment, quantifying how forest edge effects influence forest structure, productivity, and respiration, and considering how interactions between forest fragmentation and climate change might affect the carbon dynamics of the world’s remaining forests.
Ian will continue to work with Dr. Lucy Hutrya.
Assistant Professor Dan Li has published “Urban heat island: Aerodynamics or imperviousness?” in Science Advances. Professor Li and his colleagues note that more than half of the world’s population now live in cities, which are known to be heat islands. While daytime urban heat islands (UHIs) are traditionally thought to be the consequence of less evaporative cooling in cities, a recent study published on Nature sparks new debate, showing that geographic variations of daytime UHI intensity were largely explained by variations in the efficiency with which urban and rural areas convect heat from the land surface to the lower atmosphere. In this paper, Dr. Li and coauthors reconcile this debate by demonstrating that the difference between the recent work and the traditional paradigm can be explained by the difference in the attribution methods. Using a new attribution method, they find that spatial variations of daytime UHI intensity are more controlled by variations in the capacity of urban and rural areas to evaporate water. This study suggests that strategies enhancing the evaporation capability such as green infrastructure are effective ways to mitigate urban heat.
PhD candidate Emily Chua has just published “Sailing the Seven Seas with Argo” in a blog for oceanbites. “Argo is a fleet of nearly 4,000 robotic floats which prowl the upper (<1 kilometer depth) ocean, collecting information on the physical state of the ocean,” Chua notes, adding that much of the world’s oceans remain unsampled until recently. The instruments “measure temperature, salinity, and current velocities and transmit these data to satellites in near real-time. The Argo program is an international effort, with floats populating every ocean basin.” Chua is advised by Wally Fulweiler.
Professor Cutler Cleveland, the principal investigator for Carbon Free Boston, will deliver findings by the initiative, commissioned by the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. The report will identify for the first time specific strategies for the City of Boston to meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The report was undertaken at the request of Mayor Walsh in order to provide an analytic foundation for carbon mitigation actions in the City. With Professor Cleveland, BU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy led the report’s research and analysis. The team’s work was recently noted in the New York Times.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM EDT
Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering
Colloquium Room 101
610 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Attendees may register here.