Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Newcomb VIC to Host Climate Change Lecture

According to a media release we received last week, the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry’s (ESF) Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Newcomb will feature a presentation on climate change during the Huntington Lecture Series at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 10th at the Newcomb VIC.

Colin Beier (that’s him at left) is a research associate at the AEC. He will present a program titled “Changing Climate, Changing Forests: from Alaska to the Adirondacks.”

Beier will demonstrate that the impacts of climate change in the far north are much more than disappearing sea ice; the boreal forests are changing dramatically, due to increased fire, insect outbreaks and tree diebacks. These are all are linked to climatic changes in the last century.

“As the magnitude and rate of change increases, we can expect that future forests, especially in unique places like the Adirondacks, may be quite different,” Beier said. “But in what ways? What will these changes mean for the Adirondack wilderness and the people who live and visit here?”

Beier is a forest ecologist who studies the connections between economies, cultures and the natural landscapes upon which society depends. He completed his master’s research at Virginia Tech in forest ecology, and his doctoral research at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has recently published several articles from his Alaska studies, including one of the first studies of the impacts of climate change in the coastal temperate rainforests of southeastern Alaska. Beier’s research interests in his new home – the Adirondack Park – follow along many of these themes: climate change, conservation, forest management, community resilience, and sustainability.

The Huntington Lecture Series is sponsored by the Adirondack Ecological Center, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, based in Newcomb. The programs are free and open to the public.

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