Law and the GeoWeb

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Puneet Kishor, a member of the Carbon Model Team, is organizing a workshop titled "Law and the GeoWeb" focusing on intellectual property issues with geographic data in the Internet era. The workshop is co-sponsored by Creative Commons and USGS, with support from Microsoft Research. The workshop is co-located with the 2011 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Seatlle, Washington, and will be held on Monday, April 11, 2011 on the campus of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. There is no fee to attend the workshop. For more information, and to apply to attend the workshop, please visit
Puneet Kishor presented at AGU2010 in San Francisco, CA.

Abstract: Large-scale terrestrial ecosystem modeling is highly parameterized, and requires lots of historical data. Routine model runs can easily utlize hundreds of Gigabytes, even Terabytes of data on tens, perhaps hundreds of parameters. It is a given that no one modeler can or does collect all the required data. All modelers depend upon other scientists, and governmental and research agencies for their data needs. This is where data and interoperability become crucial for the success of the project. Having well-documented and quality data available in a timely fashion can greatly assist a project's progress, while the converse can bring the project to a standstill, leading to a large amount of wasted staff time and resources. Data accessibility is a complex issue -- at best, it is an unscientific composite of a variety of factors: technological, legal, cultural, semantic, and economic. In reality, it is a concept that most scientists only worry about when they need some data, and mostly never after their project is complete. The exigencies of the vetting, review and publishing processes overtake the long-term view of making one's own data available to others with the same ease and openness that was desired when seeking data from others. This presentation describes our experience with acquiring data for our carbon modeling efforts, dealing with federal, state and local agencies, variety of data formats, some published, some not so easy to find, and documentation that ranges from excellent to non-existent. A set of indicators are proposed to place and determine the accessibility of -- those we are seeking and those we are producing -- in order to bring some transparency and clarity that can make data acquisition and sharing easier. The paper concludes with a proposal to utilize a free, open and well-recognized data marks such as (CC-Zero), Dedication License, and CC-BY created by Creative Commons that would advertise the openness of scientific data to everyone.

Scott Peckham presented at AGU2010 in San Francisco, CA.

Abstract: The whole-system (biological+industrial) carbon (C) balance was estimated for the (CNNF), a temperate forest covering 600,000 ha in Northern Wisconsin, USA. The biological system was modeled using a spatially-explicit version of the ecosystem Biome-BGC. The industrial system was modeled using (LCI) models for wood and paper products. Biome-BGC was used to estimate , net ecosystem production (NEP), and timber harvest (H) over the entire CNNF. The industrial (Ci) was estimated by applying LCI models of CO2 emissions resulting from timber harvest and production of specific wood and paper products in the CNNF region. In 2009, simulated NEP of the CNNF averaged 3.0 tC/ha and H averaged 0.1 tC/ha. Despite model uncertainty, the CNNF region is likely a (NEP - Ci > 0), even when CO2 emissions from timber harvest and production of wood and paper products are included in the calculation of the entire forest system C budget.

Long term temperature manipulations in Black Spruce

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Tom Gower gave a presentation on the "Long term temperature manipulations in Black Spruce stands" at a workshop on "The importance of time and timing in manipulation experiments." The workshop was hosted by , and was  held in UmeĆ„, Sweden, 21-24 June, 2010.

Data Considerations in Science

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Puneet Kishor attended , to be held at the Department of Computer Science, , Salt Lake City. Puneet's presentation, titled "", focused on the questions that a scientist may want to ask with regards to data. Our work with very large amounts of data used in carbon modeling give us first hand experience on how ready data accessibility, or lack thereof, can slow down the process of science. The presentation focused on legal issues surrounding data accessibility.
Scott Peckham gave two presentations at the Region 9 Planning, Appeals & Litigation Meeting, May 19 in Minocqua, WI. PDFs of the presentation can be downloaded below -

Tom Gower and Puneet Kishor gave two separate presentations at the 2010 GLBRC Annual Retreat in South Bend, Indiana, on May 18, 2010. Tom's presentation focused on the issues surrounding woody biomass as a feedstock. Tom discussed the pros and cons of vs. natural , and ramifications of biofuels. Puneet's presentation gave an introduction to Biome-BGC, focused on data needs for the model, and the future direction that the Carbonmodel team is considering with regards to using multiple climate data scenarios and making the data easily accessible to the greater .

Both presentations can be downloaded here.
Natalie Hunt gave a presentation titled "Where does our energy come from? of Biofuels in the " at the conference in Chicago Mar 11-12, 2010.
Over the next 20 years, production will take on an increasingly significant role in meeting this 's energy needs. This will require greater production intensity on existing cropland, or introducing production onto marginal land currently set aside in conservation programs. Major uncertainties in biofuel production include determining how much biomass can be produced, the environmental impacts of growing and transporting biomass, and finally converting it to liquid transportation fuel. With large overarching national policy pushing toward incorporating biofuels into an energy independence strategy, weighing these complex issues at multiple scales is a great yet significant challenge.
Natalie is exploring these questions by using a series of process models to simulate the life cycle of biofuels. Natalie is applying a "field to wheels" approach, by looking at all the processes involved in moving the corn plant from the field to the , and accounting for all of the energy inputs/outputs and of feedstock production, fuel processing and fuel distribution. This production system requires energy to power these processes so we also must account for these as well. One of the challenging aspects of life cycle analysis is that there is not one "catchall" model that can accurately simulate all of these processes and interactions, so Natalie's  research team is working to construct a framework for threading together a series of to set up a protocol for life cycle assessment.
Natalie Hunt, Nelson Institute Ph.D. student and Carbon Model team member, and Prof. Tom Gower, Carbon Model team leader, presented posters on Biome-BGC at the GLBRC Thrust 4 retreat February 10-12, 2010 at the W.K. .
The Standards (RFS) set out in the 2007 call for an increase in the production of renewable transportation fuels to 36 billion gallons per year by the year 2022, 16 billion of which must include . The RFS will increase demand for grain and cellulosic ethanol, both of which will require additional biomass from such as corn cobs and . Such an increase in biomass demand will require greater production intensity on existing cropland, or introducing production onto marginal land currently set aside in conservation programs. Greater production intensity will include reducing the amount of crop residues typically left on the soil surface, which may decrease long term soil productivity.   
Major uncertainties in feedstock production include determining how much biomass can be produced, and how carbon and nutrient cycling in agricultural ecosystems will be impacted by increased residue removal.  The answers to these questions will determine if and how we can produce adequate biomass to meet our future energy demands. 


Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Workshop

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The Carbon Model Project sponsored a workshop at the (CNNF). The entire Carbon Model team (Tom Gower, Scott Peckham, Puneet Kishor and Sam Batzli) drove up to CNNF office in , where approximately 18 USFS employees were in attendance. Gower provided an overview of the two modeling efforts to track the system (biological + industrial ) carbon balance for (i) and (ii) wood and paper products). Scott discussed the ongoing modeling efforts using Biome-BGC; Tom discussed the ongoing modeling efforts, Puneet and Sam shared the vision for and the ongoing development and implementation of the web-based Carbon Management tool. Linda Parker, CNNF, updated the workshop participants on other carbon-related research efforts on the CNNF.