NSRC Update - March 2014
- By Robin Orr
Turning the clocks ahead to start daylight savings time means that spring is just around the corner, right? Although the recent weather has felt more winter-y than spring-y, the semi-annual ritual of adjusting our clocks is a reminder of the seasonal cycle that so influences our lives. It’s time for gardeners to start their seeds, road crews to tune up their graders, and researchers to get ready for the field season.
The Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC) has its own annual cycle of requesting research proposals, reviewing them, and making difficult decisions about which projects it will be able to support. This year’s application cycle came to a close last week as NSRC extended offers to fund 13 research projects (out of 48 full proposals submitted) with a combined award value of $1,150,996—signaling the start of a new NSRC research cycle.
One thing that isn’t seasonal is our ongoing effort to disseminate NSRC research findings to those who live and work in the Northern Forest and can put the information to use. Answering questions about forest ecosystem health, sustainable production of forest products, or how human recreational use affects biodiversity, is just the first step—getting that information into the hands of those who own, manage, and use the forests is critical to our goal of guiding the future of northern forest communities.
NSRC recently launched a series of brown-bag lunches where researchers present their findings at Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). Not only does this enable ANR employees to learn about research findings first-hand and pose questions directly to the scientist, it also provides a forum for them to let us know what questions they would like answered to help them in their work. The inaugural presentation, by Kimberly Wallin, took place on January 13 and Allan Strong will be making the next visit on April 7. We have a lengthy list of topics requested by ANR, so we anticipate many more brown-bag lunches to come.
We are also continuing the practice of hosting several webinars each year to provide opportunities for the broader forest community to interact directly with researchers. We have three coming up this spring, so save these dates:
- March 24, 3:00 p.m. – Josef Gorres will present Earthworms: Hidden Agents of Forest Change, discussing the astonishing impact that earthworms are having on the composition, structure, and habitat suitability of the northern forest.
- April 2, 1:00 p.m. – Cecilia Danks will present A Community-based Approach to Sustainable Wood Biomass Heating, exploring her most recent findings on how local heating fuel choices and the increased harvesting of wood for fuel might affect the Northern Forest.
- April 30, 12:00 noon – Jennifer Pontius will present Satellites, Trees, and Trends, demonstrating how satellite imagery can be used to examine forest changes over time on a landscape scale and how that information can help us plan for the future.
Keep an eye on your e-mail for invitations as the dates get closer.