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Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

A one year effort is proposed to carry out a scoping study to define a field experiment aimed at “Vulnerability and Resiliency of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Landscapes (VuRSAL) - the Role of Interactions between Climate, Permafrost, Hydrology, and Disturbance in Driving Ecosystem Processes”. The proposed scoping study will focus on processes occurring at landscape, regional and global scales in a region experiencing significant climate change, particularly over the past half century, resulting in dramatic, and in some cases, rapid changes to landforms and ecosystems of the High Northern Latitudes. The goals of the scoping study are two-fold: (a) to identify the scientific issues and questions and underlying rationale related to how interactions between climate, permafrost, hydrology and disturbance control the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems found in arctic and sub-arctic landscapes; and (b) based on (a), develop an overall study design for a future field experiment that identifies the required observational (e.g., spaceborne, airborne, and/or supporting in situ observations) and analytical (e.g., models, data, and information system) infrastructure. The goals of the scoping study will be addressed through a workshop forum at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks that will be attended by leading researchers and regional land managers. The objectives of this workshop would be to: (1) Discuss the current state of the science in terms of vulnerability of arctic and sub-arctic ecosystems to climate change; (2) Identify the science issues and questions to be addressed; (3) Identify areas of research with potential for major, significant scientific advancement; (4) Identify the disciplinary skills needed to conduct studies needed to carry out the identified areas of research; (5) Define the central, critical role of NASA remote sensing with respect to addressing the scientific issues; and (6) Make recommendations for specific interagency, interdisciplinary field studies that would address key science issues and questions that would involve the use of NASA remote sensing assets. The outcome of this activity would be a report based on the findings of the workshop that would present a plan for a NASA led, inter-agency field campaign to advance understanding of the vulnerability and future response of northern ecosystems to climate change.

Project PI: Eric Kasischke/University of Maryland

LeFrak 2181F,Department of Geography, 2181 LeFrak Hall, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742

Phone: (301)405-2179

Fax: (301)314-9299

Email: ekasisch@mail.umd.edu

http://www.geog.umd.edu/people/Kasischke.html

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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