Projects/Papers in Prep:
Peach country no more? How warming winters may impact the Southeast’s iconic crop
Recent warm winters and low rates of chill accumulation have resulted in damage to the culturally iconic peach crop in the southeastern United States. Quantifying the role that climate change plays on regional chill accumulation can provide value in adapting orchard management and cultivar selection for perennial crops under nonstationary conditions. The influence of ongoing and projected anthropogenic climate change on winter chill accumulation was quantified over the SEUS through the mid-21st century, with a focus on principal peach growing regions in Georgia and South Carolina and commonly grown peach cultivars with low, moderate, and high-chill requirements. Projected winter warming will reduce the suitability for cultivation of peach cultivars with high chill requirements over current Georgia and South Carolina peach regions. Results suggest that adaptive measures will be necessary and that growers in warmer locations should consider a shift toward low-chill cultivars in order to maintain peach production in the coming decades.
Projecting the geographic range of Mexican wolf under future climate: Implications for recovery and management
While recovery of extripated species may involve reintroduction into suitable habitat within the species’ probable historical range, understanding how climate change may alter the abiotic suitability of habitat in the future may inform management and recovery plans. Using empirical modeling methodologies, this paper aims to establish potential future habitat suitability for the Mexican wolf at early- mid- and late- 21st century periods under a ‘business-as-usual’ climate change scenario. Further, we assess the potential shift in habitat suitability for Coues’ white-tailed deer, the primary prey of Mexican wolf, and analyze potential mismatch in habitat suitability for this predator-prey pair. Delineating potential suitable habitat for both the wolf and its principle food source under climate change, and identifying locations and relative timing of habitat mismatch, can provide information that may be useful in efficiently allocating resources and developing long-term wildlife management plans.
Using scientific conferences to engage the public on climate change
An in-reach and out-reach component to the Northwest Climate Conference was designed and implemented in order to engage the Coeur d’Alene community with climate change. Public involvement with the conference included a public plenary session with a local and respected conservation and climate change activist, public presentations given to local civic groups by scholars in attendance at the conference, and interaction with city school groups. In addition, the conference welcomed more than 20 high school students to conference activities. The in-reach and out-reach efforts directly reached an estimated 1500 members of the community and engaged many more through the subsequent media coverage. While scientific conferences are valuable to scientist and agency attendees, public communication and engagement on topics of immediate importance (e.g. climate change) are a key means to increasing public knowledge and encouraging public action. See our short communication in BAMS.
October 2013 blizzard in western South Dakota
Although highly anomalous, the early fall blizzard in western South Dakota – responsible for >$38 million in losses – cannot be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. See the full report on page S23 of the BAMS Special Supplement Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 From a Climate Perspective.
Scroll down and see page 2 for masters thesis info