Ellen Whitman identifying post-fire understory vegetation in Northern Alberta for her PhD at the University of Alberta.
Exciting to hear Ellen Whitman, MES 2013, on CBC Radio 1’s Quirks &Quarks this past weekend, talking with Bob McDonald about her summer field season on post-fire impacts in the north. She did a great job, and touched briefly on her work with Eric Rapaport and I on her Masters working on fire at the peri-urban fringe of Halifax. She is now working on her PhD in Mike Flannigan’s lab at the University of Alberta, looking at fire regimes and adaptation under short-interval fires, combining field observation and remote sensing. Exciting to hear about her progress, and rather awe-inspiring to hear her expertise, so eloquently and smoothly delivered during the 15-minute segment.
Ruoqian (Joy) Wang and Kate on the last day of Joy’s Globalink internship
Thanks and farewell to Joy Wang, who has been working in my lab for 12 weeks, funded by Mitacs Globalink. She is heading back to Sichuan University to finish up her undergraduate degree, including an honours project related to grazing and desertification in China. She was tasked with revisiting our Australian grazing landscape tree data after almost ten years to see if grazing practices resulted in different outcomes for trees. The best data was found on Google Earth Pro, now free, and with remarkably good imagery for rural Australia. Not only good resolution imagery was available, but the historical data option showed us multiple years of it. She digitized tree stems and areas, and revealed that tree decline is largely continuing. Moreover, tree outcomes were not correlated with rotation regime: the few sites where there appeared to be slight increases in tree cover were those using ‘slow rotation’ in 2007/2008. Joy developed an excellent method for land cover monitoring, combining ArcGIS and Google Earth Pro, which has inspired a few new research ideas for me. Good luck, Joy. Having been a Mitacs Globalink intern, she can access $10K for her first year of Masters study at a participating Canadian university, so perhaps we will see her back here next year.