Volume 7, Issue 3 - May/June 2014
Eastern Threat Center Adds Value to National Scientific Efforts
Message from the Director
Greetings! It's been an unusually newsworthy spring. First, there was the launch of the USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub (covered in the last news update). Then in April, the final report of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy was delivered to Congress and released to the public. Finally, the National Climate Assessment was released by the White House in early May.
These overarching efforts have three principal attributes in common. First, each addresses many of today's most prominent and far-ranging environmental threats. Second, they involve a wide spectrum of partners and stakeholders. Finally, all are built on a strong and rigorous scientific foundation. Also common to all is the significant and continuing role of the Eastern Threat Center. For example, Threat Center staff help lead the national science team that supported development of the Cohesive Strategy. Similarly, several of our scientists were lead authors on reports focused on water, forests, and regional issues that form the basis of the National Climate Assessment.
I'm very proud of the outstanding work of our unit and the significant national value of our efforts.
- Danny C. Lee
Center Researchers Contribute to National Sustainability Check
Alaska’s unique ecological and cultural landscape—and the changes occurring in a shifting climate—provided a fitting backdrop for the 29th annual meeting of the US Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE) in May. Eastern Threat Center researchers Kurt Riitters, Bill Hargrove, and Steve Norman; North Carolina State University cooperating scientist Kevin Potter; and other Center partners were among the approximately 300 scientists, land managers, and policy experts who shared knowledge at the meeting in Anchorage, themed “Cumulative Impacts and Landscape Initiatives: A Sustainability Check During Climate Change.”
“The US-IALE meeting is ideally suited for presentation of Center research because of the variety of audiences, the depth of the research expertise, and the large number of students attending,” says Riitters, who served as US-IALE president from 2012-2014. In addition to several research presentations, Center science and the ForWarn forest monitoring tool were prominently featured in a special symposium focused on integrating measurements and models of phenology in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. US-IALE celebrated Hargrove and partners from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with the “Outstanding Paper in Landscape Ecology” award, and honored Riitters with a certificate of appreciation for his service.
Right: View from an urban park in Anchorage. Photo by Kurt Riitters, Eastern Threat Center. (Click to enlarge.)
Above: US-IALE president Janet Franklin (right) presents the "Outstanding Paper in Landscape Ecology" award to (l to r) Jitendra Kumar (ORNL), Hargrove, and Forrest Hoffman (ORNL). (Click to enlarge.)