Summer in Japan | Parks and People | Research on tree rings and spatial language

Sunrise in Japan

Land of the Rising Sun. Photo by Amanda Young


Amanda Young is settled in Japan to conduct fieldwork this summer. The image above is from her blog, U Betula, where you can follow her adventures and research examining the treeline ecotone.


Evan Gover, a summer intern at National Geographic Education, writes about his experiences as a student studying abroad with the Parks and People program: “That trip to South Africa ended up being one of the most experiential and introspective experiences of my life.”


NASA funds study of changing climate, land use on Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
Responding to the impact that a growing population and changing land use have had on the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays over the past 60 years is the focus of a research project led by Penn State and supported by a $1.4 million grant from NASA.

Recently Published
Tree-ring δ 13C tracks flux tower ecosystem productivity estimates in a NE temperate forest
By Soumaya Belmecheri, R Stockton Maxwell, Alan H Taylor, Kenneth J Davis, Katherine H Freeman, and William J Munger
In Environmental Research Letters, Volume 9, Number 7
We investigated relationships between tree-ring δ13C and growth, and flux tower estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP) at Harvard Forest from 1992 to 2010. Seasonal variations of derived photosynthetic isotope discrimination (Δ13C) and leaf intercellular CO2 concentration (c i ) showed significant increasing trends for the dominant deciduous and coniferous species. Δ13C was positively correlated to growing-season GPP and is primarily controlled by precipitation and soil moisture indicating that site conditions maintained high stomatal conductance under increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.

Exploring regional variation in spatial language using spatially-stratified web-sampled route direction documents
By Sen Xu, Alexander Klippel, Alan MacEachren and Prasenjit Mitra
In Spatial Cognition & Computation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Spatial language, such as route directions, can be analyzed to shed light on how humans communicate and conceptualize spatial knowledge. This article details a computational linguistic approach using route directions to study regional variations in spatial language. We developed a web-sourcing approach to collect human-generated route direction documents on a geographical scale.

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