On September 5, 2013, University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources student, Carson Baughman defended his Masters of Science thesis, entitled, "Soil Surface Organic Layers in the Arctic Foothills: Distribution, Development, and Microclimatic Feedbacks."
Accumulated organic matter at the ground surface plays an important role in arctic ecosystems. These soil surface organic layers (SSOLs) influence temperature, moisture, and chemistry in the underlying mineral soil and, on a global basis, comprise enormous stores of labile carbon. Understanding the dynamics of SSOLs is prerequisite to modeling the responses of arctic ecosystem processes to climate changes.
The presentation covers new insights in SSOL form and function including:
1) Environmental factors that control SSOL spatial distribution
2) How long SSOLs take to form
3) The relationship between SSOL thickness and mineral soil temperature through the growing season
Carson's work was supported by the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Natural Resources, the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP), the USGS Alaska Climate Science Center, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
In "Conversations about Environmental Change in Southeast Alaska" residents of Yakutat, Angoon, and four communities on Prince of Wales Island share the changes they are experiencing, how they are adapting, and how they think their communities will be in the future.
This video was produced by Jim Powell as part of a research project on perceptions of environmental change. The project was a collaboration between the US Forest Service, the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and other organizations involving over ninety local residents.