I was a panelist at the Symposium: Indigenous Spaces, French Expectations: Exploring Exchanges Between Native and non-Native Peoples in Louisiana. While much recent attention has been paid to the 300-year anniversary of the founding of New Orleans, this symposium examined the Indigenous communities who inhabited this area long before European arrival. It brought together tribal members, anthropologists, historians, geologists, and ecologists to discuss their historical narrative and the current issues facing tribes in the area today – notably land loss, subsidence, and sea level rise.
My lab led a workshop this weekend for 5th and 6th grade girls from New Orleans, as part of the Girls in STEM at Tulane (GiST) event. Our workshop was titled “What’s the buzz?!” and taught girls about flowers and pollination. The students learned about flowers and then pretended they were bees and scouted for pollen and nectar sources in the quad. They then had to tell other “bees” where the flowers were by doing the waggle dance.
Postdoc Christina Birnbaum presented a poster at ESA last week – the first results from our lab’s coastal wetland work in SE Louisiana!
I was a SEEDS mentor again this year at the annual ESA meeting in Portland. My mentee was Kathryn Bloodworth, and she gave a great presentation about her undergrad research at Kellogg Biological Station on the effect of biofuels (switchgrass – shown below) on soil denitrification.
Two undergrads in the lab, Henry Adams and Elizabeth Holland, did an independent project this semester in collaboration with Barataria Preserve at Jean Lafitte National Park. They analyzed historical planting and monitoring data to assess where on the landscape bald cypress restoration was most successful. They presented their results to park personnel to increase future planting success and developed a protocol for monitoring future plantings. They also participated in a field day where they helped plant more trees.
I led a workshop this past weekend for 4th and 5th grade girls from New Orleans to get them interested in STEM. This was part of a day-long event called GiST (Girls in STEM at Tulane). Our workshop, “What’s your Master Plan”, allowed girls to assume the role of Marsh Ecologist, City Planner, Mississippi River Director, and Governor of Louisiana. They implemented a Coastal Master Plan to protect Louisiana from global change, then built a model of their plan, and we challenged it with spring floods, sea level rise, and a hurricane. Below is a picture of some of their models (bottle caps=cities, sponges=marshes).
The British Ecological Society (BES) came out with a Journal of Ecology Virtual Issue “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene” in honor of the theme of the 2016 Ecological Society of America meeting. One of my papers on global change in the alpine tundra is included in the Virtual Issue.
I was also interviewed by David Gibson from BES about my views on Novel Ecosystems, see the podcast on the Journal of Ecology blog here.