by Meghan Lepisto, UW-Madison Communications
Environmental historian and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor William Cronon has been presented with The Wilderness Society’s Robert Marshall Award — the organization’s highest civilian honor — for his contributions to the protection of America’s wild places.
The award, named for wilderness visionary Robert Marshall, is given to a private citizen who has made outstanding, long-term contributions to conservation and fostering an American land ethic. As the 29th award recipient, Cronon joins an elite group of conservation leaders and influential thinkers that includes Sigurd Olson, Margaret Murie, Wallace Stegner, David Brower, Terry Tempest Williams, and Charlie and Nina Leopold Bradley. (more…)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are partnering on a project to map the current land cover of Wisconsin. The resulting digital database will replace a statewide land cover map created by DNR using 1991-1993 data. The State Cartographer’s Office (SCO) is coordinating the overall effort. A Science Team from the UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, led by Dr. Mutlu Ozdogan, is managing the technical implementation. (more…)
by Terry Devitt, UW Communications
Soils that formed on the Earth’s surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet’s carbon cycle.
The finding, reported May 25, 2014 in the journal Nature Geoscience, is significant as it suggests that deep soils can contain long-buried stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human activities, contribute to global climate change.
An eroding bluff on the Great Plains reveals a buried, carbon-rich layer of fossil soil — which could contribute to climate change, according to new research. Photo: Joseph Mason
“There is a lot of carbon at depths where nobody is measuring,” says Erika Marín-Spiotta, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of geography and the lead author of the new study. “It was assumed that there was little carbon in deeper soils. Most studies are done in only the top 30 centimeters. Our study is showing that we are potentially grossly underestimating carbon in soils.” (more…)
by David Tenenbaum, UW Communications
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of pioneering ecologists who studied lakes, forests, wetlands and prairies, is playing a key role in the next wave of ecological research: large teams of scientists confronting the dilemma of a changing climate on a shrinking planet.
But where UW-Madison’s Edward Birge and Chancey Juday, considered the founders of freshwater science, once studied lakes one by one, UW-Madison scientists are now leading several large-scale ecological investigations. (more…)