NE CSC Fellows Retreat

Friday, October 17, 2014

NE CSC Fellows visit the Sinkin Experimental Forest

The University of Missouri hosted the Second Annual NE CSC Fellows Retreat, October 8-10, 2014, at Reis Biological Station near Steelville, MO. Twenty-two graduate student and postdoctoral fellows from six NE CSC partner institutions gathered to share their research, meet with natural resource managers, develop interdisciplinary connections and collaborations, and learn about climate impacts to the Central Hardwoods forest ecosystem.

There were a variety of field trips and activities.  Fellows worked with Craig Paukert from the USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit and the University of Missouri to brainstorm about different adaptation options in the context of managing conservation areas for biodiversity and hydrological function.  Leslie Brandt of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) presented forest adaptation concepts through the NIACS adaptation workbook.  District Ranger Becky Ewing and the interdisciplinary team of the Floyd Natural Community Project Area demonstrated the tools they are using, such as prescribed burning, to adapt a savannah woodland to climate change and other management challenges on the Mark Twain National Forest - in the pouring rain!  Fellows also visited with U.S. Forest Service scientist Steve Shifely at the Sinkin Experimental Forest, where they discussed traditional forest management and climate adaptation techniques.

A primary focus of the Retreat was to train Fellows how to work with stakeholders to develop successful climate adaptation tools and products from their research.  Fellows presented tools that are in development and shared ideas for improvements and collaborations. 

Fellows also shared a Missouri-style float trip down the Huzzah Creek!

"This year's NECSC fellows retreat was an interesting and wet introduction to the forests of the Ozarks. As a University of Minnesota postdoc working remotely from Philadelphia, it was especially valuable for me to meet with potential collaborators face to face where we could discuss our ideas and recent work. Getting out into the woods on fieldtrips to hear from land and wildlife managers at the National Forest was also incredibly eye opening. Talking with them reminded us that climate change is one of many concerns that they deal with on a daily basis. Plus I got to experience flipping a canoe in Huzzah Creek with my new friend Marie. All in all a great experience!"   -Jane Foster, NE CSC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota

"I feel truly humbled, inspired, crazy fortunate and mentally exhausted to have spent the last three days among the other Northeast Climate Science Center Fellows. Master’s candidates, doctoral candidates, post docs - rest assured an insanely talented group of minds are tirelessly at work to address the most daunting, complex, and important issue facing our natural world and all of humanity. I don't feel qualified to yet be called an equal, but be well assured that in the years to come I will prove myself to be."     -Tim Duclos, NE CSC Graduate Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst