M.S. or Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship: Fire History and Dendroecology of Alaskan Boreal Forests
Overview: A 2-4 year research assistantship is available to join a team of scientists focused on understanding the impacts of climate change on boreal forest ecosystems, including tree growth and fire regimes. The assistantship is part of the NSF-funded PalEON project, a PaleoEcological Observatory Network to Assess Terrestrial Ecosystem Models (www.paleonproject.org). Recent climate warming has resulted in profound environmental changes in boreal ecosystems, including forest expansion and shifting fire regimes. Knowledge of forest responses to climate change is essential for projecting ecosystem dynamics, yet this knowledge is limited by short observational records. The current project utilizes paleoecology, dendrochronology, and varying modeling approaches to (1) quantify the pattern and causes of boreal fire regime variability over the past 2000 years, (2) quantify the impacts of climate variability on tree growth over the past several centuries, and (3) assimilate these data into ecosystem models to project ecosystem response to future climate change. View full announcement | For more information, email Philip Higuera.