University of Vermont

  • environmental leaders

    "I learned a lot while I was in Alaska—everything from identifying tundra vegetation to what to do if a bear attacks." — Genna Waldvogel

    Genna WaldvogelEnvironmental sciences major, intern at Alaska field station, conductor of research project on seasons and streams. More about Genna >>

  • environmental leaders

    "I felt a strong sense of community in RSENR." — Kelsey Head

    Kelsey Head Environmental studies major, student educator with the UVM Watershed Alliance, creator of environmental curriculum for young people, intern, volunteer coordinator. More about Kelsey >>

  • environmental leaders

    "I directly contributed to the outcome of the project." — Joshua Carrera

    Joshua Carrera Natural resources major, social activist, co-creator of online course, participant in travel study to Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador and beyond, delegate. More about Joshua >>

  • environmental leaders

    " I was looking to learn and broaden my experience in the wildlife biology and education fields." — Flavio Sutti, Ph.D. student

    Flavio SuttiPh.D. candidate in natural resources, Consultant biologist in Italy, master in wildlife biology, researching landscape context as a framework for agricultural systems. More about Flavio >>

  • environmental leaders

    "It wasn't until my sophomore year that I learned about GIS. I thought to myself, 'Here is a cool new technology for me to jump into that combines geography, natural resources, and information technology!'" — Maya Thomas

    Maya ThomasEnvironmental sciences major, GIS minor, research internships, GIS specialist with consulting firm. More about Maya >>

The Rubenstein School offers exciting, hands-on environmental programs that integrate natural sciences and social perspectives. Our small, close-knit community challenges students to discover knowledge, skills, and values to become innovative, environmentally-responsible leaders. More about our School...

Academic Programs

 Undergraduate Majors
 Undergraduate Minors
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forestry
  • Geospatial Technologies
  • Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  • Wildlife Biology
 Graduate Degrees, Concentrations & Certificates



Monday November 24, 2014
Dr. Gaius Shaver of the Marine Biological Laboratory will discuss his reasearch on plant adaptation to climate change in the Arctic. The seminar is sponsored by the EPSCoR/RACC program and will be held at 23 Mansfield Avenue in Burlington.

Gus Shaver is a plant ecologist with over 40 years of experience working in Alaska and in arctic tundra ecosystems. Early work focused on adaptations of tundra plants to the arctic environment; gradually this focus has expanded to encompass the broad role of plants in arctic carbon and nutrient cycles and especially the interactions between carbon and other elements in plants as limiting factors to productivity and organic matter accumulation. Current interests include the growing role of climate change-related disturbances such as wildfire and thermokarst in a warmer Arctic.

Shaver currently leads the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research Project, based at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Since 1979 he has worked at The Ecosystems Center in Woods Hole, MA, where he is now a Senior Scientist. Early training was at Stanford (BS, MA, 1972) and at Duke University (PhD, 1976).

Title: Climate Change, Local Adaptation, and Arctic Plant Communities

Arctic plant species are clearly well-adapted to the extremes of the arctic environment, and often show significant within-species or ecotypic differences in relation to local or regional variation in topography and microenvironment. Arctic vegetation is also highly variable and can be dominated by tall or creeping deciduous or evergreen shrubs, grasses or sedges, mosses or lichens, or a wide range of mixed “functional type” communities. Does all of this variation in vegetation composition make any difference to how arctic ecosystems function in terms of their productivity, biogeochemistry, or responses to climate change? This talk will review some of the evidence for variation in functional responses of arctic ecosystems and relationships between vegetation composition and ecosystem function. The talk will end with a discussion of how different kinds of arctic vegetation, and individual species, might respond differently to climate change.
Thursday November 27, 2014
Friday November 28, 2014

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