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2016 Fall | Global Change I: The Science of Physical and Biological Factors

FALL 2016 | Global Change I: The Science of Physical and Biological Factors 

  • Oct. 6.  Our Voracious Appetite for Fossil-Fuels Energy is Causing Climate Change.  David Roper, Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of Physics, VT
  • Oct. 13.  Climate Variability and Change.  Andrew Ellis, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Geography, VT
  • Oct. 27.  Climate Change Alters the Phenology and Magnitude of Biogeochemical CyclesZach Easton, Asst. Prof., Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering, VT
  • Nov. 3.  Global Change, Forests, and Water: A Critical Nexus for a Sustainable Future. Stephen Schoenholtz, Director, VA Water Resources Research Ctr; Prof., Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, VT
  • Nov. 10.  Invasive Species as a Driver of Global Change.  Jacob Barney, Asst. Prof., Dept. of Plant Physiology, Pathology and Weed Science, VT
  • Nov. 17.  The Status Quo of Water Supply System Infrastructure in the United States - A Case Study of Man-Made Flint, MI Water CrisisMin Tang, Doctoral Student (Graduate Advisor, Dr. Marc Edwards), Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, VT


Abstracts for sessions led by GCC Faculty Affiliates:

Climate Change Alters the Phenology and Magnitude of Biogeochemical Cycles

Led by Zach Easton

Climate change is about more than just increased temperatures and altered rainfall. It also a impacts ecosystem cycling and transport of critical nutrients and sediments, which can impact agricultural productivity, water quality, and air quality. These altered biogeochemical cycles can even increase global climate change via feedback loops. This discussion will focus on the principles of climate change as they relate to biogeochemical and sediment cycling at the land-air-water interface utilizing examples from the Chesapeake Bay watershed and estuary and the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia.


Terrestrial Systems and Water Dynamics

Led by Stephen Schoenholtz

Water demand is expected to increase by approximately 55% globally by 2050 and we could face a 40% global supply gap by 2030. Forest cover comprises 1/3 of landmass globally and forests play a crucial role by providing a range of ecosystem services including plentiful and clean water. However, declining forest cover is a well- documented component of global change. This presentation will describe vital relationships between forests and water and will illustrate global changes a ecting forests in relation to water resources, the human condition, and sustainability.


Invasive Species as a Driver of Global Change

Led by Jacob Barney

Invasive species are widely considered one of the top five global threats to biodiversity. They cost the U.S. economy billions annually. These introduced organisms crowd out natives, change re cycles, and threaten agriculture. New invaders may be introduced unintentionally as exotic bioenergy crops that possess potentially invasive traits. This presentation will cover the history, epidemiology, and consequences of exotic species, focusing on plants.