Food-Energy-Water Nexus Casebook for the Virtual Conservation College: A Project with the World Wildlife Fund
Awarded $50,062 for the period 7/1/14 to 7/31/15
Source: World Wildlife Fund
Dr. Fogel will write three case studies for a casebook and as teaching materials for sustainability programs that prepare conservation leaders around the world. The three cases are based on the concept of natural capital valuation. Case 1 is about Belize government efforts to address climate change. Case 2 is about a North Carolina company’s use of natural capital valuation to make better decisions. Case 3 is about Peru’s efforts to control the environmental effects of gold mining. All cases will be tested in US classrooms and at schools in Belize and Peru.
Miles R. Silman, BIOLOGY
- FESD Type 1: The dynamics of mountains, landscape, and climate in the distribution and generation of biodiversity in the Amazon/Andean forest
Awarded $55,595 for the period 8/1/15 to 8/31/16
Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Duke University
Dr. Silman and a graduate student will model species distribution and environmental niches based on data derived from paleo-environmental modeling at Duke University and taxon and functional trait data from modern databases and the Andes Biodiversity Research Group.
- Biochar production for tropical agriculture and carbon sequestration
Awarded $47,500 for the period 6/1/15 to 12/31/15
Source: Blue Moon Foundation
- Reynolda Gardens Piedmont Prairie Restoration
Awarded $9,600 for the period 7/1/12 to 8/1/16
Source: US Fish and WildlifeService, Partners Program
The project restores a 16.1-acre Carolina Piedmont prairie in a high-visibility area in Winston-Salem for recreation and education ranging from kindergarten through university classes through adult education. It is a particular hotspot for bird and butterfly watching. Eight faculty in the Biology Department are incorporating the project into core and upper-level classes, undergraduate research mentoring, and research projects, and four courses are developing the baseline geographic, soil, ecosystem function, and biodiversity measures. The center partners in the work and, with the Environmental Studies Program, uses the site as a case study in sustainability practice and education.
- Ecosystem effects and carbon content of Amazonian bamboo-dominated forests
Awarded $30,000 for the period 9/1/12 to 8/31/13
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Bamboo-dominated forests in southwestern Amazonia encompass 180,000 km2 of nearly contiguous, primary tropical lowland forest, an area roughly equivalent to all primary and secondary forests in Central America combined and ~0.5% of the Earth’s total forests. Two methods of remote sensing classification are used to estimate their area, density, and biomass in Madre de Dios, Peru: (1) the extensive temporal archive of LandSat ETM and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) imagery; and (2) spectral mixture analysis (SMA), which unmixes each pixel’s spectral components. Input into traditional classification algorithms, the data will be scaled from the stand level to generate estimates of the structure, composition, and carbon content of the entire region and validate a novel technique for mapping the remaining bamboo-dominated forests of SW Amazonia. Funds support the graduate student researcher for two years.