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Chambers, Kueppers Lead NGEE-Tropics

Source:  Lara Kueppers, Jeff Chambers, Dan Krotz and Dan Hawkes

Photo credit: Hugo Glendinning

A new DOE Office of Science, 10-year, $100 million multi-lab effort, called the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments–Tropics (NGEE-Tropics), will develop a better understanding of how tropical forests are responding to a changing atmosphere and a warming climate. The project will couple field research with development of a model representing how tropical forests interact with Earth’s climate in much greater ecological detail than ever before—including how forests react to rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, increasing greenhouse gases, and other natural and human-induced changes. The DOE approved NGEE-Tropics in early March 2015, and work on the first phase of the project is scheduled to begin in April 2015.

Chambers_keuppersEarth Sciences Division (ESD) ecologist Jeff Chambers will be the Principal Investigator and Project Director for NGEE-Tropics, with ESD’s Lara Kueppers serving as Deputy Project Director. The project will bring together scientists from Brookhaven, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest national laboratories—and will also include researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA, and several institutions from other nations, including Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research.

Within Berkeley Lab, Chambers and Kueppers will draw on the expertise of more than a dozen other scientists from ESD (as part of the Lab’s new Earth and Environmental Sciences Area) and the Computational Research Division. These scientists will play key roles in developing a new trait-enabled modeling framework, integrative studies of vegetation dynamics including model development and new field activities, and ecological and environmental data synthesis and management systems. Earth and Environmental Sciences Area participants will include Charlie Koven (Model Framework Lead); Sandy Chin (Project Manager); key personnel Gautam Bisht, Nick Bouskill, Eoin Brodie, Baptiste Dafflon, Kolby Jardine, Robinson Negron-Juarez, Bill Riley, Charu Varadharajan; and postdocs Jennifer Holm and Ryan Knox. The Lab’s Computational Research Division will be in charge of data synthesis and management for the project (led by Deb Agarwal, with contributions from others, including Gilberto Pastorello).

As noted in an article published in Nature last week (March 24, 2015) on the launching of the project, NGEE-Tropics is a tropical counterpart to the NGEE-Arctic project, both of which pair modelers with field scientists to advance understanding of globally important ecosystem responses to climate warming.

To read the Berkeley Lab (TABL) news release on the project here»

To visit the NGEE–Tropics website, go here»

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