Woods Hole Research Center

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dbhguru
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Woods Hole Research Center

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:34 pm

Ents,

Since February 2018, I've had the distinct privilege of working with Dr. William Moomaw, professor emeritus, Tufts University. Bill's credentials are beyond stellar. I won't cite them here except to say that in addition to his multiple roles with Tufts University, he is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Woods Hole Research Center. In February, Bill saw the value of our tree-measuring prowess and especially our ability to volume model with the conversion of volume to carbon weight. Applying our trade to measuring big trees tells a story that isn't told much in the East in the many papers written on carbon sequestration.

Courtesy of Bill's influence, we're now scheduled on Tuesday, to take 3 top scientists from Woods Hole to the Elders Grove in MTSF, and then to the Trees of Peace. One of the three scientists is Dr. Phil Duffy, the President and CEO of Woods Hole. Now that isn't just cool, it's cosmic cool. We may be able to use the Elders Grove as a research site for Woods Hole. But wait, there's more. Harvard Forest is interested in helping design a research project using the Elders Grove and our measurements to ground truth their terrestrial LIDAR.

Well gosh, it still doesn't end. On July 4th, it will be the Bill and Bob show at Bascom Lodge on the summit of Mt. Greylock where we'll make a joint presentation on big and old trees in the Bay State, their carbon story, and a summary on the state of climate science.

So, am I finished? Naw, there's more. On July 10th Ray Asselin's stellar old-growth video will be shown at Harvard Forest. There'll be a panel discussion afterward with an impressive lineup. Yep, Bill Moomaw will be part of the panel.

The key message here is that we may have a purpose for a tree measuring that gets attention from some pretty important players, and certainly our modelings. I'll report on what happens with these initiatives.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:57 pm

Congratulations Bob on the projects. Your hard work always pays off and man do you have some heavy weights involved. Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by dbhguru » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:59 pm

Larry,

Thanks. Tomorrow is the big day. I've prepared a 30-page booklet for the Woods Hole scientists. Hopefully, it will lead to us establishing a couple of sites in MTSF for ground-truthing. If they go for that, maybe they'll also go for other sites that different NTS members keep track of.

I'll give the Cadre a full accounting of events tomorrow and Wednesday on the Forum, and an abbreviated version here on the BBS.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:46 pm

Good luck, looking forward to hearing about it!

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dbhguru
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by dbhguru » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:22 pm

Ents,

All went well with the Woods Hole outing. They ste interested in ground-truthing sites. More to come.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Don
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by Don » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:32 pm

Well done Bob!!! You da man!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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dbhguru
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:37 am

Don,

On Tuesday, I found myself surrounded by intellectual heavyweights, wondering if lil' old me actually had anything to offer them. It turned out that I did - data on some really big trees that hold lots of carbon, and my promise of supplying them with much more information. Richard "Skee" Houghton and Wayne Walker were wooed by the straight trunks and lofty branches of the Elders Grove pines. They also showed genuine enthusiasm when taken to the Trees of Peace to meet the Chief - i.e. the Jake Swamp white pine. In particular, Dr. Walker showed respect, lying on his back to photograph the straight trunk of Jake. He saw the Elders Grove serving as a ground-truthing site for his evolving methodology for measuring carbon density at the landscape level.

Wayne and I hit it off when he learned I had measured trees in the Hartwick Pines State Park, MI . Wayne grew up only a few miles from Hartwick. Also, Wayne was familiar with the LTI TruPulse 200X. There's a difference between high level satellite-based analysis usually done in front of a computer (very cerebral) and measuring individual trees out in the field (more experience-based). Its two different skill sets, and the former may be able to benefit from the latter. The Woods Hole scientists are among the best in the world at the former, and dare I say, the members of the National Cadre are among the best of the latter as a volunteer force. We have something to offer, but a path to effective collaboration has to first be established. I think this past Tuesday may have been a step in that direction. BTW, in addition to his other achievements, Wayne has worked extensively in the Amazon with indigenous people in varying ecology-based capacities.

Since Woods Hole works on the international level, our European Ents may have data to offer. The challenge for us is to take field-based volume modeling to a new level of efficiency. We need to be able to quickly assess the volume and weight of biomass at our sites. I hope to be able to concentrate on this need over the next several months, hopefully with participation from many Ents.

Oh yes, and there still will be a meeting with Harvard Forest in August at the Elders Grove on ground-truthing for Terrestrial LIDAR.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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dbhguru
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:31 am

Ents,

The Woods Hole Research Center story continues. Monica and I have been invited to a gala dinner on Aug 11 that will bring together researchers to share their accomplishments. Monica and I will be special guests and Dr. William Moomaw will be introducing the group to the seat-of-the-pants carbon measuring that I've been doing in western Massachusetts. Me at Woods Hole as a special guest? How did that come about? I'm still trying to sort it out, but I think it goes something like the following.

Most of our carbon accounting in trees flows out of very complex statistical models that rely on data from many sources and are built on numerous assumptions that don't necessarily apply at the individual tree level. If the question is asked, how much carbon is being sequestered in that pine over there, the big picture models can't respond. They are not meant to be applied at that level. In addition, allometric growth equations developed by the USFS and used in trunk volume models were developed around relatively young plantation-dominant trees - not larger, older trees, such as those that interest us in NTS. Bottom line is that the existing methodology has led to underestimates of the carbon stocks in the larger trees, and that is being born out by some late scientific studies.

On a different track, scientists like Steve Sillett and Bob Van Pelt have modeled redwoods, Douglas firs, eucalypts, etc. to levels of detail and accuracy far exceeding anything previously done. But their outstanding work has apparently not made it into the inner circles of the carbon scientists who are busily working with satellite data, FIA data, and the like, and the results derived from satellite-level analysis, while absolutely critical, has limits to its application, and hasn't done justice to the big trees, often missing more by a mile than by inches.

So with this background, where do I fit in? My focus began on trunk modeling of largely three species, courtesy of Will Blozan's tree climbs. Those species are eastern hemlocks, eastern white pines, and to a lesser extent loblolly pines. The NTS archives detail a lot of that early modeling that we did. An important point is that we were gaining an early appreciation for what size and shape of trunk held 1,000 ft^3. And we began to get at least a dim appreciation of the what to expect volume-wise in young versus old trees. We weren't going to see 500 ft^3 in a young hemlock or pine. So, although we weren't focusing on growth rates, we were gaining valuable insights on how trunks and limbs changed shape from youthful to more senior forms.

The timber and wood products industry publicly pushes the idea that most of the growth comes early on in the life of a tree. Growth in the beginning years is certainly easier to ascertain visually. From a seed to a seedling, to a sapling, to a pole-sized tree occurring over 25 or 30 years can be witnessed. The percentage volume increases from year to year are dramatic, even though the absolute increases aren't. However, the distinction between percentage and absolute growth somehow gets lost (or ignored) in public discussions on carbon storage. Adding an annual ring of maybe a 20th of an inch at breast height along with a height increase of 4 or 5 inches on the top of 130 feet trunk-crown combination is not visually apparent. So, belief in the senescence of the bigger older trees is supported by what the eye ostensibly sees. Well, the eye misleads us in this case.

But now, we're in a time when the absolute amount of carbon added to the trunk and limbs of a tree in a year is critically important for climate concerns. The high growth rate percentages of young trees just doesn’t hack it. A thousand percent increase of practically nothing is still practically nothing. But how do we tell that story when our carbon models looks at vast acreages, and not individual trees? Hmmm, is that why NTS may now have a role in serious science far exceeding anything in the past? Who wants to come aboard?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 am

Bob- You know I'm onboard especially with the larger Live Oaks on the Coastal region. The large Loblolly Pine, Oaks, Cypress and other species in Central Ms. Mostly Noxubee NWF and Bienville NF. There are tens of thousands of large trees in Central Ms. alone. I'll concentrate on these areas for now but later expand to Delta NF and Homochitto NF both with extremely large trees. Exciting stuff and honored to participate! Look for my posts on Volume to begin this fall and throughout the winter. I'll start with some Live Oaks at Oak Alley. I'm due to go down and visit them in late September early October. Thanks Bob for keeping NTS at the Fore front. Larry

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Woods Hole Research Center

Post by Erik Danielsen » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:34 pm

Looking forward to digging in. Thanks for keeping up the good work- exciting times!

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