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Global Drylands Center news

Global Drylands Center news

Global Drylands Center news

Forecasting dryland vulnerability for the Department of Defense

ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Drylands News

November 9, 2017

A multi-disciplinary team from Arizona State University, U.S. Geological Survey, New Mexico State University, University of Arizona and Utah State University will carry out research to inform the management of Department of Defense drylands in the western U.S. The newly-funded proposal will investigate the interactive effects of climate change and disturbance on vegetation communities and ecosystem processes across three large deserts of the western U.S.

Researchers will assess the vulnerability of vegetation and ecosystem processes to drought and disturbance with a set of factorial field experiments aimed at isolating key drivers of change under drought conditions predicted by climate models. They will combine experimental results with existing long-term climate and vegetation data collected in actively-managed and paired-protected areas to quantitatively model and scale vegetation sensitivity to different climate drivers in relation to disturbance history. Importantly, this allows for frameworks of understanding and planning at spatiotemporal scales not possible with on-the-ground or site-specific measurements alone.

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Deep percolation in arid piedmont watersheds and its sensitivity to ecosystem change

Global Drylands News

October 26, 2017

Doctor of Philosophy Defense Announcement for Adam Schreiner-McGraw

Date: November 2, 2017

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: ISTB4, Room 240

Advisor: Enrique Vivoni

Committee Members: Kelin Whipple, Osvaldo Sala, Heather Throop and Giuseppe Mascaro

Population growth within drylands is occurring faster than growth in any other ecologic zone, which puts pressure on already stressed water resources. Because the availability of surface water supplies in drylands tends to be highly variable, many of these populations rely on groundwater, and are rapidly depleting these available resources. It is therefore important to quantify how much water is recharging aquifers in order to promote sustainable use.

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Ecohydrological role of biological soil crusts in drylands

Global Drylands News

October 19, 2017

An interdisciplinary team of field ecologists and ecohydrology modelers led by Kristen Whitney studied the importance of biological soil crusts to soil water balance in drylands in their new paper published in Ecohydrology.

Scientists from ASU and USGS combined long-term field experiments and simulation modeling to show that biocrusts play a very important role in water cycling in arid ecosystems. Biocrusts can cover up to 70% of the soil surface in drylands. However, their competing effects on soil hydrologic conditions are rarely accounted for in models. This very interesting work shows how biocrusts of different levels of development exert significant and strong effects on most water cycle pathways. Highly developed biocrusts act as a stronger buffer to subsoil water losses via evapotranspiration.

This work not only contributes to the understanding of the water cycle in drylands but also shows the importance of interdisciplinary research through the use of complementary tools.

Read the full article. 

Water Consumption and Sustainability in Arizona: A Tale of Two Desert Cities

Global Drylands News

September 28, 2017

In a very interesting and thoughtful article, ASU Professor Paul Hirt and collaborators tackle the issue of a sustainable water supply for central Arizona.

After a holistic analysis of governmental, research and historic perspectives, they conclude that the long-term solution is on the demand side of the problem. A significant reduction in per capita water consumption and total water demand is needed to put Arizona‘s urban areas on the path to sustainability. Such reductions require psychological, behavioral and cultural changes that take a long time.

Hirt explains, “The task facing Arizona over the next century is to work just as concertedly and collaboratively and successfully on managing water demand—managing ourselves—to close the water demand-supply gap steadily and intentionally in a way that averts crises, protects environmental resources and advances justice, equity and sustainability.”

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Call for proposals - BGU and ASU faculty

Global Drylands News

September 12, 2017

The Global Drylands Center at ASU invites scientists at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to submit proposals for collaboration with Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

Download full request for proposal.

Rationale:

Arizona State University (ASU) and Ben-Gurion University (BGU) share remarkable similarities, the key of which is the physical environment in which both institutions reside. The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) promotes scientific relations between the U.S. and Israel by supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields through existing internal and NSF proposals.

Opportunity:

The purpose of this call is to generate international research proposals in Environmental Sciences between BGU and ASU faculty. The expectation is that proposals will present new cutting edge, collaborative research to be submitted to the NSF-BSF or other external funding programs.

  • Anticipated program budget is US$80,000.
  • Up to two awards will be made under this program.
  • The budget must include a detailed justification.
  • The proposal must explicitly address how its outcomes will enhance competitiveness in eventual extramural funding.

Deadline:

November 15, 2017, 5 pm local time

Download full request for proposal.

ASU announces new center for global drylands stewardship

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Drylands News

August 7, 2017

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences announce the launch of the Global Drylands Center at Arizona State University. Led by Julie A. Wrigley Professor Osvaldo Sala, GDC will engage key actors of dryland stewardship in developing use-inspired research, training and solutions for arid ecosystems around the world.

While working with multiple global partners – from Ben-Gurion University to the University of New South Wales and King’s College London – GDC endeavors to establish ASU as a leader in crosscutting research and education pertaining to drylands. The center will focus on a broad array of issues, including the impacts of climate and land-use change, the ecology of desertification, and the societal dimensions of productive ecosystems and healthy lives in drylands.

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