As Program Manager at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE CASC), I connect climate and land use science to relevant stakeholders by facilitating research on natural and cultural resources and communicating important findings so that partners can make climate-smart management and adaptation decisions. SE CASC is a federal-university partnership hosted at NC State, whose mission is to deliver science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate.
I also coordinate precipitation monitoring sites in North Carolina as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program National Trends Network.
I’ve worked on a broad range of research focused on issues related to atmosphere-biosphere interactions and environmental sustainability while at NCSU. I received an MS in Forest Ecology from Duke and BA in Biology from Cornell.
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF INTERESTS:
Natural and cultural resource management
- Distinct pathways to stakeholder use versus academic contribution in climate adaptation research , CONSERVATION LETTERS (2022)
- Nitrogen From the Atmosphere , NADP Brochure (2016)
- Downscaled climate projections for the southeast: Evaluation and use for ecological applications , Technical Report (2015)
- Forests as an alternative for poultry manure application , Technical Report (2011)
- Forests as an alternative for swine manure application , Technical Report (2011)
- Using animal manures in forest fertilization , Technical Report (2011)
- Preliminary findings: analysis of carbon storage in Fraser fir plantations , Limbs & Needles (2008)
- Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: Application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development , SCIENCE IN CHINA SERIES C-LIFE SCIENCES (2005)
- Optimizing nitrogen management in food and energy production and environmental protection: Summary statement from the Second International Nitrogen Conference , TheScientificWorld (2001)
- Comparison of scientific findings from major ozone field studies in North America and Europe , ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT (2000)
Hundreds of millions of dollars of public funding are invested annually in projects that aim to deliver research that can improve people's lives and safeguard the environment. To invest that money wisely, we need to know how to design projects so that they will successfully address the information needs of natural resource managers. By using systematic evaluation to assess the effectiveness of past projects, we can start to identify shared characteristics that make funded research more likely to provide accessible and useable information to resource managers both within and beyond the Department of the Interior. Applied science projects pose a particular evaluation challenge. These projects have two goals: they aim both to advance the frontier of scientific knowledge and to deliver results and products people will use to make management decisions. In this context, most existing evaluation studies use qualitative data and approaches that are hard to scale up, making it difficult to identify broadly applicable best practices. We will develop quantitative and scalable approaches to evaluate applied science projects based both on how they innovate and how well they address natural resource managers' information needs. We will focus on projects that aim to help federal and state natural resource managers, as well as resource users, adapt to changing environmental conditions. We will draw on existing information and new survey data to evaluate a set of science projects aimed at informing adaptation strategies of stakeholders such as the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service in the Southeast region. We will then identify project design characteristics associated with success both in innovating and informing natural resource management practice. These analyses will ensure that public funding for science is more effectively invested by improving future project designs to maximize the chance for project success.
Weekly cumulative wet-only precipitation samples collected according to sample collection protocols of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program National Trends Network (NADP NTN) will be analyzed at the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL) of the NADP NTN. Samples will be analyzed for free acidity (H+ as pH), conductance, calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+ ), sodium (Na+ ), potassium (K+ ), sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3- ), chloride (Cl- ), and ammonium (NH4+). The CAL also measures orthophosphate, but only for quality assurance as an indicator of sample contamination. The CAL delivers all data and information to the NADP Program Office, which applies a final set of checks and resolves remaining discrepancies. Data are then made available on the NADP Web site. Agreements for chemical analysis and for shipping of samples to the CAL will be maintained for four NADP NTN sites in North Carolina: NC03 (Lewiston), NC34 (Piedmont), NC35 (Clinton), and NC41 (Finley Farm). UNIVERSITY will facilitate weekly precipitation sample collection by site operators at these four sites and at NC29 (Hofmann Forest) and NC36 (Jordan Creek).
Weekly cumulative wet-only precipitation samples collected according to sample collection protocols of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program National Trends Network (NADP NTN) will be analyzed at the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL) of the NADP NTN. Samples will be analyzed for free acidity (H+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â as pH), conductance, calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ), sodium (Na+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ), potassium (K+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ), sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ), chloride (Cl-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ), and ammonium (NH4+). The CAL also measures orthophosphate, but only for quality assurance as an indicator of sample contamination. The CAL delivers all data and information to the NADP Program Office, which applies a final set of checks and resolves remaining discrepancies. Data are then made available on the NADP Web site. Agreements for chemical analysis and for shipping of samples to the CAL will be maintained for four NADP NTN sites in North Carolina: NC03 (Lewiston), NC34 (Piedmont), NC35 (Clinton), and NC41 (Finley Farm). UNIVERSITY will facilitate weekly precipitation sample collection by site operators at these four sites and at NC29 (Hofmann Forest) and NC36 (Jordan Creek).
The objective of this project is to support the development of a Climate Change Monitoring assessment for the Southeast US and a web-based portal for scientists and the public to access this information. This is a public service project that utilizes the results of other research and monitoring programs and serves as portal to information provided by these other programs.
The proposed research will develop a GIS database for feedstock production on marginal lands in the Coastal and Piedmont regions of North Carolina. The database will serve as a model for database development in eastern and southeastern states, ranging from Florida to Maryland. Currently, the barriers to biofuels development include, but are not limited to: adequate quantities of feedstocks, production and transportation costs. Furthermore, the use of agriculture lands for biofuels crop production has come under scrutiny for the potential impact on food production. Marginal lands have been suggested as potential areas for feedstock production to reduce competition with food production. However, the location, quantity, sustainability, and costs of production on marginal lands are unknown in most regions. The GIS database will provide a spatial assessment of: suitable feedstock production acreage, yield potential, production cost estimates and infrastructure to determine feasibility of marginal land utilization in feedstock production.
The proposed project will upgrade and maintain the operation of six sites dedicated to collecting weekly data to characterize atmospheric deposition of acids, nutrients, and base cations in North Carolina. The sites, which are part of the long-term (30+ year) -- National Atmospheric Deposition Program National Trends Network (NADP NTN) -- will provide enhanced current information on geographic patterns and temporal trends in our state. NADP NTN data on the pH and both cation and anion nutrient concentrations in rain and snow are being widely used to indicate changes in regional emissions as a result of changing agricultural and industrial emission sources, to detect geographic and temporal trends in air quality, to estimate total atmospheric inputs to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and as input to air quality and water quality models. NADP NTN data are widely used by scientists, educators, students, policymakers, and the public in North Carolina, the US, and abroad.
In accordance with the solicitation from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Center for Environmental Innovation for a "Partnership to Promote Sharing of Environmental Innovations," we propose to design and deliver two symposia to promote learning, knowledge transfer, and improved environmental performance through pollution prevention and innovation. These symposia will strengthen strategic partnerships for promoting innovation among EPA, States, tribes and other organizations. A steering committee including experts in environmental policy evaluation and technology innovation will identify and analyze current environmental innovations, and establish thematic panels to facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas and activities. The steering committee will identify and invite presenters and assign a program subcommittee to develop the concurrent sessions, plenaries, and breakout working groups as part of the symposia programmatic activities. The symposia will highlight best practices that result in innovation success while transferring knowledge that facilitates the adoption of environmental improvements by States, tribes, and other organizations. The symposia will be delivered under the direction of North Carolina State University's (NCSU) Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program, which has two decades of experience in organization and delivery of large-scale national and international conferences that allow for successful information exchange and education. Existing and emerging web technologies will be evaluated and used where appropriate in planning and delivering the symposia, as well as the post-symposia outputs.
The overall objective of this project is to advance the fundamental understanding of novel biomass conversion technologies leading to the production of biofuels and bioproducts, expanding the range of feed stocks that can be utilized and compounds produced from a biomass refinery. The outcomes of this project will be new analytical facilities for biofuels and bioproduct research for North Carolina, establishment of the capabilities of a cellulosic ethanol screening pilot facility to monitor and control processes, and publications in the open literature and presentation at public conferences regarding novel crops and technologies for cost effective biomass processing.
Since its inception in 1978, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) has been the primary source of scientifically reliable information on geographical gradients and temporal changes in the atmospheric deposition of chemical substances in the United States. Requested funds will provide for the operation and coordination of several NADP/NTN sites in North Carolina. Agreements for chemical analysis at the Central Analytical Laboratory of weekly precipitation samples from six NADP/NTN sites in North Carolina will be established and maintained. The six sites are located at: Lewiston, Salisbury, Clinton, Raleigh, Mount Mitchell, and Hofmann Forest. At four of those sites, excluding the Mount Mitchell site, whose site operation costs are borne directly by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Hofmann Forest site, whose shipping costs are paid by NC Forestry Foundation, arrangements will be made to provide for shipping of the precipitation samples on a weekly basis to the CAL for analysis. Site coordination activities are intended to facilitate adherence to established NADP/NTN site protocols and to ensure the quality and quantity of the data collected.
The proposed research to estimate the carbon in above- and belowground biomass of Fraser fir Christmas trees is relevant to two issues for the Christmas tree industry: 1) the environmental impact, or ?greenness? or the industry, and 2) potential for use of Christmas tree plantations as marketable carbon offsets. Understanding the role that management of Christmas tree plantations can play in offsetting increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will strengthen the long-term viability of the real Christmas tree industry. One of the greatest threats to this industry is the use of artificial trees. Public discussions about the environmental benefits of using real versus artificial trees on the internet and other media have grown during the last few Christmas holiday seasons. The proposed research addresses one important aspect of the ?greenness? of the Christmas tree industry by characterizing the accumulation of carbon in Christmas tree plantations through the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. In describing the environmental benefit of real trees, the net accumulation of carbon in these living systems can be compared to carbon dioxide-emitting processes used in industrial manufacturing of artificial trees. Scientifically reliable estimates of carbon storage will contribute to assessment of the total carbon balance of Christmas tree production and lend credibility to statements by the Christmas tree industry about carbon benefits. Reliable estimates of carbon accumulation rates that quantify the effect of commonly used Christmas tree cultural practices are necessary if carbon credit accounting for Christmas tree plantations is developed, and will be an important part of the business model of the industry in the future. In current carbon markets, a verifiable carbon offset project must show additionality, in which management of the land is changed from business as usual, for the purpose of storing carbon. Understanding the influence of different management regimes on carbon storage will be important in determining options for the industry. In this case, we will contribute to understanding the question of whether maintaining Christmas tree plantations in successive rotations increases belowground carbon storage.