New Resource: Fall 2020 Webinar Recordings

Sunday, December 13, 2020
A member of Hilary Dugan's research team analyzes a water sample from a Wisconsin lake.

Hilary Dugan presented an update on her research investigating the impact of declining ice cover on Wisconsin lakes during the Fall 2020 NE CASC Webinar Series. Above, a member of her research group conducts a test on a water sample taken from one of Dugan's study lakes.

NE CASC recently concluded a highly successful Fall Webinar Series, which witnessed a record number of participants log on to hear four outstanding presentations from Hilary Dugan, Jordan Read, Beth Larry, and Peter McIntyre & Rob Mooney. If you missed these talks the first time around, now is a great time to catch up! Check out the fall webinar information below.

Webinar 1: Phenological Whiplash in Lakes
Presenter: Hilary Dugan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Recording: Click here to view
Description: Climate change is leading to overall warming and increasing variability across many ecosystems. In northern lakes, extremely early or late lake ice melt has cascading effects throughout the food web. This webinar will discuss how the increasing unpredictability of seasonal environmental cues in lakes will lead to mistimed ecological interactions and evolutionary selection pressures that may reduce the response diversity of ecosystems. Managing for diversity will become paramount for developing resilient aquatic ecosystems. From genes to ecosystems, the impacts of climate change--and the accompanying abrupt changes to eco-evolutionary dynamics that may arise--should be viewed through the lens of climate variability as well as average long-term warming.

Webinar 2: Improving Lake Temperature Estimates for Midwestern Fisheries with Process-Guided Deep Learning
Presenter: Jordan Read, U.S. Geological Survey
Recording: Click here to view
Description: Improved estimates of lake water temperatures can benefit managers of midwestern fisheries. Water temperature controls growth and reproduction of fish, and water temperature measurements are commonly collected as part of aquatic monitoring campaigns to provide a measure of the ambient temperature environment. However, most lakes are unobserved or lacking consistent sampling during the multiple seasons and years necessary to understand change in fish communities. Our research team has developed new methods that combine the deep learning (the most advanced class of machine learning methods) with traditional process-based models in order to improve the accuracy and transferability of water temperature predictions. These new Process-Guided Deep Learning (PGDL) models have been shown to outperform existing models even when data are sparse or nonexistent. This webinar will provide background information on how these new techniques were developed, share use-cases for management decisions, and discuss future efforts to apply PGDL models in lakes and streams.

Webinar 3: Supporting Climate Action in the Northeast and Midwest: Forest Service Research Perspectives and Priorities
Presenter: Beth Larry, United States Forest Service--Northern Research Station
Recording: Click here to view
Description: The Northern Research Station (NRS) is one of seven research stations of the USDA Forest Service that provide scientific information and decision tools to help land managers and communities practice sustainable stewardship of their lands and waterways. Based in the twenty-state region of the Northeast and North Central U.S., NRS scientists and staff conduct multi-disciplinary research with diverse partners and practitioners to address the nation’s most pressing forest conservation challenges. Understanding and adapting to climate change is a major emphasis – NRS is a consortium member of the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, hosts two USDA Climate Hubs, and leads the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. This webinar will present the station’s climate science portfolio, current research priorities, and a number of promising efforts to help curb the impacts of climate change to water, land, and people.

Webinar 4: Managing Nutrient Loads to Large Waterbodies: Integrating Watershed and Coastal Perspectives
Presenters: Peter McIntyre, Cornell University, and Robert Mooney, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Recording: Click here to view
Description: Excessive nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading is one of the greatest threats to aquatic ecosystems in the Anthropocene, causing eutrophication of rivers, lakes, and marine coastlines worldwide. For large lakes and marine coastlines, eutrophication is driven largely by non-point nutrient sources transported by tributaries, and management efforts tend to focus on the largest watersheds. However, the contributions of smaller watersheds, and the role of the independent dynamics of the receiving waterbody in mediating ecological consequences, are poorly understood. This webinar will use Lake Michigan as a case study for integrating extensive analyses of spatial and temporal variation in nutrient loads across watersheds with modeling of in-lake processing of these inputs. We will demonstrate the importance of land cover and dams as regulators of inputs from watersheds, including seasonal variation in their influence. Lake mixing patterns are equally dynamic across seasons and years, and we will highlight their role in mediating impacts on coastal ecosystem services. Our analyses suggest that managing nutrient loads to large waterbodies requires accounting for the heterogeneity of both watershed and coastal processes, both of which are changing with climate.