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Wednesday, March 3, Climate Change: Landscapes in Transition

Presentation Descriptions

Spend a day focused on the short and long term effects of climate change on the complex ecosystems we design, manage, and maintain. 

9:00-10:00am EST

Engaging Landowners in Sustainable Stewardship
Lisa Hayden, New England Forestry Foundation

The decisions that private owners of woodlands and other natural areas make in the coming decade will play a large role in determining the sustainability of our New England landscape. How can we reach and motivate this audience to take specific actions that will benefit not only their own lands, but the larger landscape and community? This workshop will share experiences and lessons from a multi-year landowner outreach project in the MassConn Woods, a rural, largely forested region on the border of central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut, as well as region-wide efforts to unite rural and urban communities in implementing natural solutions to climate change. We’ll discuss tools and resources for promoting climate change resilience and developing communications to motivate stakeholders to action in order to care for the places they love.

10:15-11:15am EST

Implications of Climate Change for Invasive Species
Carrie Brown-Lima, Director of the NY Invasive Species Research Institute at Cornell University

Invasive species and climate change are two of the most prominent forms of anthropogenic global change identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Invasive species have pronounced negative impacts on ecosystems and economies, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate change. But for most invasive species and invaded ecosystems, the outcomes of this interaction remain unknown. This presentation will review the current state of knowledge about how climate change influences invasive species as well as describe the work of the Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change network that is bringing together researchers and practitioners to address this challenge. 

12:45-1:45pm EST

What’s Soil Got to Do with Climate Change?
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, University of California, Merced

The soil system stores twice as much carbon than the atmosphere and all of the world’s vegetation combined. Exchange of greenhouse gases between the soil and the atmosphere control composition of the earth’s climate. Over the last two centuries, human actions have increased the flux of greenhouse gases from soil to the atmosphere. Recent studies are highlighting the role of soil management to reverse the increasing concentrations of greenhouses in the atmosphere by implementation of climate smart land management practices. This presentation will include discussion of the fundamental mechanisms by which the soil system controls the earth’s climate, and the potential of different land management practices to bend the curve of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

2:00-3:00pm EST

Forest Ecosystems and the Winds of Change: Forests as a Cog in the Earth’s Climate System
Scott Ollinger, University of New Hampshire

That weather and climate have a major influence on forests is a familiar concept to most of us. But forests also influence climate in ways that aren’t always appreciated and are still being discovered. This applies to local as well as global processes and extends from the early evolution of trees to the current era of rapid, human-induced change. This presentation will explore the fascinating role of forests as a key part of the climate system, and how researchers are still unraveling their mysteries using tools ranging from state-of-the-art satellite sensors to old-fashioned walks in the woods.

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