2013

December

  • Brett has been offered a faculty position at Bates College and will be starting in August 2014. Congratulations, Brett!
  • Just before the Christmas Holiday, we had the annual PhenoCam project meeting. Joining the regulars from Harvard and BU, collaborators Robert Pless visited from WUSTL, and Tom Milliman and Steve Frolking came down from UNH.
  • Steve’s final project for CS109, a phenology forecasting webpage (leaftime.net), was was nominated for and won one of three "best in show" awards at the final project showcase. Congratulations!
  • Former postdoc Trevor Keenan visited the lab, en route from the AGU meeting to spending the Christmas holidays with his family in Ireland.
  • Andrew went to Denmark for a short visit to the IT University, Copenhagen. He served as external examiner on the successful PhD defense by Joel Granados (dissertation title: “Computer aided analysis and collection of phonological image series”), and gave a seminar on the PhenoCam project to the lab group of Joel’s advisor, Philippe Bonnet. He also caught up with former lab visitor Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen.
  • While in San Francisco, Andrew gave a seminar at Planet Labs, Inc., a private company that is in the process of building the world’s largest fleet (28) of Earth imaging satellites to continuously image the planet’s surface at high spatial resolution.
  • Andrew, Julie, Steve and Dmitri traveled to San Francisco for the annual AGU meeting. Andrew gave an invited talk on modeling the seasonality of photosynthesis using PhenoCam data, while Julie spoke on her methane work at Howland, Steve presented a poster on his UAV phenology surveys at Harvard Forest, and Dmitri presented a poster on his senior thesis work with the AMOS archive. Lynda also attended the meeting. Andrew and Julie ran in the Wednesday morning 5K “Fun Run”. The photo shows Andrew with colleagues Paul Stoy, Dario Papale and Denis Loustau at the starting line. Overall the meeting was a great opportunity to catch up with friends from across the country and around the world (former postdocs Trevor, Oliver, and Youngryel were all at the meeting), and return to favorite local spots like Blue Bottle Coffee, the Tunnel Top bar, and the El Norteno taco truck.
  • Trevor’s paper, “Tracking forest phenology and seasonal physiology using digital repeat photography: a critical assessment,” which has 2011 Harvard Forest REU interns Bridget Darby and Libby Felts as coauthors, was accepted for publication in Ecological Applications. This paper offers the first published explanation for the mysterious “green spike” observed in late spring in time series of deciduous forest canopy greenness. Trevor’s analysis shows that the spike is driven by changes in leaf area in conjunction with simultaneous changes in the color of individual leaves.
  • Brett gave a seminar at Bates College.
  • Andrew visited Rutgers University, Newark and gave a seminar on the PhenoCam project.

November

  • We had the annual Lab Retreat at the Forest Service’s Bartlett Experimental Forest Field Station. We toured the research site on Friday morning and spent Friday afternoon doing a workshop with Lynda on “Scientists as communicators: How and why to do this better.” The weather on Saturday was gorgeous and we went for a hike up Mt. Stanton in the morning. The Bomblies Lab arrived at lunchtime for the First Annual Inter-Lab Capture the Flag Smackdown. Everyone had a great time, and there were no serious injuries. Special thanks to Don for his brilliant planning and logistics.
  • Steve passed his qualifying exam. Congratulations, Steve!
  • Julie spoke in the Biogoesciences seminar series at BU.
  • Min Lee submitted his OEB senior thesis, “Impact of diffuse radiation measurements on modeling carbon budgets: A model-data fusion experiment at Bartlett Experimental Forest.” Congratulations, Min!
  • The review paper, “Nonstructural carbon in woody plants”, which was led by Mike Dietze at BU and featured contributions from Andrew and Mariah, was published online and will appear in the 2014 Annual Review of Plant Biology.
  • A visit by Andrew and Mariah to Durham, NH, coincided with the Forest Service’s annual Thanksgiving Potluck. They helped Dave Hollinger make liquid nitrogen ice cream, which was a huge hit all around.
  • Construction on the new NEON tower at the Bartlett Experimental Forest wrapped up.
  • Andrew returned to Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he completed his PhD in 2003, and gave a seminar describing some of the ongoing projects in the lab.
  • Margaret Kosmala, who will join the lab as a new postdoc in January, visited to learn more about the PhenoCam project.
  • Koen presented his work on “Central Congo Basin Diameter-Height relationships and canopy structure, a regional assessment” in the HUH seminar.

October

  • Koen came back from Belgium and re-joined the lab as a Research Associate.
  • Marcus Reichstein, Mirco Migliavacca and Nuno Carvalhais visited from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. Markus gave the HUH seminar (“Terrestrial climate-carbon cycle extremes: quantification, association with climate, and implications”) before Andrew took the visitors up to Bartlett for a three-day mini-workshop. In addition to visiting the Bartlett tower, the group enjoyed a hike to the top of Mt. Willard, in Crawford Notch, and some fine Maine lobster.
  • Andrew spent a week in Japan as the guest of Nobuko Saigusa (National Institute of Environmental Studies, Tsukuba). Andrew gave a seminar at the Institute, and spoke at the workshop celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Takayama research site. There were also visits to the Mase rice paddy flux tower, the Fuji Hokuroku larch plantation flux tower, thermal springs, and the famous Matsumoto castle.
  • Andrew, Steve, Don and Andreas attended the NEON/PhenoCam workshop in Boulder, which Andrew helped to co-organize. Andrew presented an overview of the PhenoCam network (“Lessons learned, challenges and opportunities”), while Don spoke about new opportunities in near-surface remote sensing (thermal and hyperspectral imaging), while Steve presented his work on evaluating MODIS satellite products with PhenoCam data, and collecting phenological information from a UAV. Former lab members Oliver Sonnentag and Mirco Migliavacca were also in attendance, as were collaborators Sandra Henderson, Dave Moore, and Xi Yang.
  • Andreas Westergaard is visiting the lab from Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is a PhD student working on phenology and climate change in Greenland.
  • Erle Ellis and Jonathan Dandois, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, visited the lab. Jonathan gave a presentation in lab meeting on his thesis work, which uses imagery from an unmanned aerial vehicle to characterize canopy structure in three dimensions.

September

  • Don traveled to the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station in Gainesville, FL for NEON’s annual members' meeting.
  • Don went to Howland Forest to help Mariah with isotopic CO2 sampling. En route they stopped for a visit with Smokey the Bear.
  • Margaret Kosmala will be joining the lab in January as a postdoc on the PhenoCam crowdsourcing project, which is in collaboration with NEON/Project Budburst. Margaret is finishing up her PhD at the University of Minnesota and has previously worked on the Snapshot Serengeti project.
  • Koen Hufkens will be joining the lab as a Research Associate in November. Koen will be working on the PhenoCam project, specifically with regard to modeling and analysis of phenology in different ecosystem types. Koen was previously a postdoc with Mark Friedl at BU.
  • Brett went to California to visit collaborators Xiaomei Xu and Claudia Czimczik at UC Irvine. Brett learned the UCI protocols for extracting nonstructural carbohydrates for radiocarbon analysis, and also learned about converting samples to graphite so that they can be run on the AMS.
  • Brett and Morgan collected samples from a hemlock woolly adelgid experiment in Rhode Island to investigate how adelgid infestation affects sapling carbon balance and carbohydrate reserves.
  • Don spent a couple of days in Durham, NH, for tower-climbing training with Bob Evans at the USDA Forest Service.
  • Alex Cunha is writing a senior thesis on the role of salmon in forest nitrogen cycling; he conducted fieldwork in the Klamath River watershed this past summer. Building on two summers as an REU at Harvard Forest, Dmitri Ilushin is writing a senior thesis on extracting phenological information from the 20,000 cameras in the AMOS archive.
  • Ailene Ettinger, a recent PhD graduate from the University of Washington, visited the lab and gave the weekly HUH seminar. She spoke about her dissertation work on species ranges and climate change.
  • Min Lee is spending his last semester as a Harvard College senior in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Julie is teaching a class in geochemistry at Boston University this semester.
  • In a webinar presented to Harvard Forest LTER “Schoolyard” program participants, RET intern Kate Bennett showed how data from PhenoCam could be integrated into K-12 lesson plans on phenology and climate change.
  • Another academic year began at Harvard!

August

  • Michael attended the ESA meeting in Minneapolis and presented a poster, “Integrating Phenocam and USA National Phenology Network continental-scale approaches into NEON phenology data products”
  • The Harvard Forest Research Experience for Undergraduates program came to a close. The students had a productive summer, conducting research on innovative phenology monitoring methods. Dmitri Ilushin will be returning in the fall to Harvard to complete his senior year, and will write a thesis based on his REU work. Arturo Martinez will be returning to Carnegie Mellon University to begin his junior year of college
  • Brett and Morgan have the new wet lab set up and are now processing samples for nonstructural carbohydrate analysis!
  • Andrew and Mariah spent a week at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado. They also visited the giant petrified redwood stumps at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
  • Michael has accepted a new job with the Foreign Agricultural Service and will be leaving the lab in September.
  • Andrew was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor.

July

  • Michael, Andrew, and former postdoc Oliver Sonnentag contributed to the Phenology Monitoring Protocol published by the National Parks Service in collaboration with the Northeast Temperate Network and the USA-National Phenology Network. The report, which includes protocols for camera-based phenological monitoring, is available online through the NPS
  • Following in the footsteps of Mariah, Steve, and Michael, Don attended the Niwot Ridge “Flux Course”, run by Dave Moore and Russ Monson (Arizona), and Paul Stoy (Montana State)
  • Michael attended the workshop on Sensor Needs for Terrestrial Biochemistry Measurements" which was convened at Argonne National Laboratories. The meeting assembled a diverse group of ecologists, remote sensing scientists, modelers, sensor designers and IT professionals to brainstorm on the future of sensor networks.
  • Mariah’s paper on the Milton Fund project, “Age, allocation, and availability of nonstructural carbon in mature red maple trees”, was accepted for publication in New Phytologist. Trevor and Andrew are coauthors.
  • The paper, “Increase in forest water-use efficiency as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise”, by Trevor (lead author), Andrew, and NOAA project collaborators, was published by Nature on July 18. A “News and Views” commentary piece by Belinda Medlyn and Martin De Kauwe was published simultaneously. Media coverage was extensive, including the New York Times and Time magazine.
  • The proposal led by Dave Moore (Arizona), “Estimating carbon flux and storage: Constraint of the Community Land Model using observations at different temporal scales” was recommended for funding. Andrew is a Co-investigator on the project, which will involve the use of PhenoCam and tree ring data, in addition to tower fluxes, in a multiple-constraints model-data fusion exercise.

June

  • Chris Still (OSU), Mike Goulden (UCI Irvine) and Brent Helliker (Penn) visited for a week of field work at Harvard Forest with Andrew, Don, Michael and Dmitri. We installed a second thermal camera and a sonic anemometer on the barn tower, measured leaf temperatures with fine-wire thermocouples, and went on several epic hikes through the woods. The photo shows, from L to R, Brent, Don, Michael (Toomey), Mike (Goulden), Chris and Dmitri.
  • Dmitri, Don, Michael and Andrew spent an afternoon learning how to pilot Bucky, the canopy access lift at Harvard Forest. The photo, from one of the barn tower webcams, shows Michael and Bucky wizard Lucas Griffin.
  • Andrew, Michael and Josh Gray attended the NSF Macrosystems Biology PI meeting in Arlington, VA.
  • Andrew’s supplement proposal to NSF, which involves collaboration with NEON’s citizen science and outreach arm to crowd-source analysis of PhenoCam imagery, was recommended for funding.
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May

  • We had an end-of-semester pizza party to say goodbye to Trevor (moving on to a research position in Australia), Anika (teaching in Ukraine and China), and Bridget (starting a PhD at Cornell), and to welcome new postdocs Min, Don and Brett. Shown in the photo: Anika, Mariah, Bridget, Trevor, Don, Min Chen, Steve, Eli, Min Lee, Mike, Josh.
  • Andrew, Trevor, Julie and Mariah met up with the rest of the Howland (PI Dave Hollinger) team for an annual project meeting in Durham.
  • The 2013 Summer Program in Ecology kicked off at the Harvard Forest. Dmitri Ilushin (Harvard College ’14) will be working with Michael and Arturo Martinez (Carnegie Mellon University). The photo shows Arturo, Steve, Dmitri and Michael on the front steps of Shaler Hall.
  • Steve was awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science fellowship for his proposal, “Improving Predictions of Terrestrial Carbon, Water, and Energy Cycling Using Novel Plant Phenology Observation and Modeling”. Congratulations, Steve!
  • PhenoCam collaborator Robert Pless (Washington University) was in town and participated in our biweekly PhenoClub meeting.
  • Andrew collected spring imagery from collaborator Motomu Toda’s time-lapse hemispherical camera, which was installed at Bartlett in March. The pictures show the canopy on April 22, May 7, and May 19.
  • Julie attended the DOE Terrestrial Ecosystem Science PI meeting in Potomac, MD, and presented some of her work on CH4 fluxes at Howland Forest. Also in attendance were collaborators Dave Hollinger (USDA FS, and PI of the Howland project) and Kathleen Savage (WHRC).
  • NOAA-funded work led by Trevor has been accepted for publication in Nature. More details will be posted when the press embargo is lifted!
  • Andrew took his SLS 25 class on a tour of the Harvard Forest—it was a beautiful spring day and the leaves were just starting to come out. The photo shows students Kyle Randall and Julie Chang on top of the Hemlock tower with Andrew.
  • Andrew was nominated for the Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising, and received a certificate at a reception hosted by Harvard’s Advising Programs Office.

April

  • Anika finished her senior thesis on extracting "camera NDVI" from PhenoCam imagery, and submitted it to SEAS. Congratulations, Anika!
  • Collaborator Paul Schaberg (USDA FS, Burlington, VT) visited and presented his work on acid deposition, soil nutrients, and forest health in the HUH Seminar. Shown in the photo with John Harvard are, L to R: Myroslava Khomik (visiting from Clark U for the day), Trevor, Paul, Mariah and Julie.
  • OEB faculty member Kirsten Bomblies and Levi Yant visited the Bartlett Experimental Forest with Andrew and Mariah.
  • Trevor visited Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and presented some of his recent work on trends in carbon uptake at AmeriFlux sites in the northeastern US.
  • Don Aubrecht, a PhD student in SEAS with David Weitz, will join the lab as a postdoc in July to work on the canopy thermal imaging project. Welcome, Don!
  • Andrew is coauthor on the commentary by Scott Ollinger, "Nitrogen cycling, forest canopy reflectance and emergent properties of ecosystems," accepted for publication in PNAS.
  • Steve had a successful UAV flight at Harvard Forest. The photo shows the area around the EMS tower, with the boardwalk and instrument sheds being clearly visible.
  • Andrew and Mariah did some field work at Bartlett, installing automated band dendrometers as well as a 4-channel LED-based canopy reflectance sensor supplied by former postdoc Youngryel Ryu.
  • Brett Huggett, a PhD student in OEB with Missy Holbrook, and Andrew's TF for SLS 25, will be joining the lab as a postdoc in June to work on nonstructural carbohydrates in forest trees. Welcome, Brett!
  • Trevor, Mariah and Andrew attended the workshop, "Climate Extremes and Biogeochemical Cycles", in Seefeld, Austria. The meeting was followed by a weekend exploring high-altitude ecosystems, organized by Markus Reichstein's group from MPI Jena (shown, left to right: HaPe Schmid, KIT; Markus, Trevor, and Mariah). Trevor then went on to a workshop hosted by his new colleagues in Australia, while Mariah and Andrew went to the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, where they presented posters on some of the lab's recent work on nonstructural carbohydrates in forest trees. A Thursday-night get-together at their apartment in Stephansplatz was well-attended by North American and European scientists.
  • Brett Raczka's (Penn State) NACP paper, "Evaluation of continental carbon cycle simulations with North American flux tower observations", on which Trevor and Andrew are coauthors, has been accepted for publication in Ecological Monographs.
  • Morgan Furze, who completed her BA at Bucknell, has been admitted to the OEB PhD program and will be joining the lab this summer. Welcome, Morgan!

 

 

March

  • The lab's paper "Climate change, phenology, and phenological control of vegetation feedbacks to the climate system" (Richardson et al., AFM 169:156-173; Download the paper) was ranked at the top of the "Hottest Articles" in the journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology for the period October-December 2012.
  • Andrew, Michael and Don installed some new instruments on the Barn Tower at the Harvard Forest, including a Surface Optics hyperspectral imaging camera and a FLIR thermal infrared camera. Both instruments will capture images every half-hour, and we are particularly interested in comparing thermal and hyperspectral measures of plant stress as the growing season progresses. The first image obtained in the field from the FLIR camera is shown below; you can see the warm tree trunks and cooler evergreen foliage against the cold, snow-covered ground. Andrew is the bright white humanoid seen just left of center towards the bottom of the picture. The thermal IR work is funded by a grant from NSF's Macrosystems Biology program (PI: Chris Still, OSU).
  • Trevor visited Clark University, hosted by the Williams Lab., and gave a seminar on carbon and water cycling in the terrestrial biosphere.
  • Trevor, Michael, Mariah and Andrew attended the 24th Annual Harvard Forest Ecology Symposium. Michael gave a talk on some of his work tracking individual-tree phenology at the Barn Tower using PhenoCam and TetraCam data.
  • Fiona finished her senior thesis, "The Importance of Age, Competition and Succession in Acer rubrum Decline in a Northeastern Mixed Deciduous Forest" and submitted it to the OEB department. Congratulations, Fiona!
  • Dave Hollinger (USDA Forest Service, Durham NH) visited the lab and gave the HUH seminar. Dave presented his recent work on isotopic CO2 measurements at the Howland Forest, Maine, with a specific focus on using 13CO2 to understand physiological processes related to photosynthesis, respiration, and water use efficiency. Shown on the way to lunch: Rick Wehr, Michael, Scott Saleska (Arizona), Kathleen Savage (WHRC), Mariah, Mark Friedl (BU), Trevor, John Harvard, Dave, Bill Munger, and Julie.
  • Mike, Eli, Steve and Josh presented the concept behind PhenoCam at the Harvard Museum outreach series "Stories Through Time". It involved a number of different labs from around Harvard talking about primarily biological research in formats accessible to children of all ages. They compiled videos from Boston Common, Harvard Forest and the famous beancam for display on a large TV as well as setting up a Stardot camera attached to a monitor.
  • Trevor visited BU and gave a seminar on 'Merging models and data to improve our understanding of terrestrial carbon cycling' in the Earth and Environment Seminar Series
  • Julie has progressed from Postdoc to Research Associate status. Congratulations Julie!
  • Neil Pederson, from the Tree Ring Lab at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, visited the lab and delivered the weekly HUH seminar. Neil presented work on tree rings and climate, and showed some results from New England (including "zombie maples" at Harvard Forest), Mongolia, and the Southeastern U.S. After the seminar, a large group went out for the usual Indian buffet lunch (shown left to right are Julie, Michael, Mariah, Trevor, Neil, John Harvard, and Zan Stine of EPS). Neil, Trevor, Mariah and Andrew then discussed opportunities for bringing some tree ring analyses into the lab's work on nonstructural carbohydrates and carbon allocation.

February

  • Andrew's footage from the Harvard BeanCam took the World Wide Web by storm… images have been assembled into the GIF video shown at right.
  • Min Chen (Purdue) visited the lab and presented a short overview of some of his recent PhD work. Min will be joining the lab as a postdoc in June.
  • Trevor attended the NACP All-Investigators Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

January

  • The Bartlett AmeriFlux tower is 9 years old! Who ever would have guessed we'd still be making measurements in 2013?!
  • Trevor accepted a position at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and will be moving there in June.
  • New papers! Several papers on which Andrew is coauthor were recently accepted for publication. Marco Archetti's paper on climate change impacts on autumn leaf coloring will be coming out soon in PLOS ONE (John O'Keefe is also a coauthor). Three other papers are now out in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology: Eli Melaas's paper on modeling spring onset using data derived from the FLUXNET La Thuile database, Alan Barr's NACP paper on a change-point detection scheme for u* filtering of nocturnal flux data, and the paper by Jan Pisek and Oliver Sonnentag on leaf inclination angle distribution. Congratulations to the lead authors!
  • The Harvard Crimson announced its picks for the "Gen Ed Course Trailer Academy Awards". The short for SLS 25 ("Trees, Forests and Global Change", which Andrew co-teaches with Don Pfister), won the award for "Best Scenic Design". The trailer (here) was produced by Mike Oliveri.