Fires threaten experiments in California

This afternoon I was corresponding electronically with linkurl:Joshua Schimel,;http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/eemb/faculty/schimel/ a professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, about a story on climate change. He mentioned that last night part of a reserve managed by the university was burned by one of the numerous wildfires whipping up California's southwestern flank. Schimel wrote, "

By | October 22, 2007

This afternoon I was corresponding electronically with linkurl:Joshua Schimel,;http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/eemb/faculty/schimel/ a professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, about a story on climate change. He mentioned that last night part of a reserve managed by the university was burned by one of the numerous wildfires whipping up California's southwestern flank. Schimel wrote, "it sounds like it burned our experimental area, we're going to need to go check out the situation as soon as they let us on the reserve." The linkurl:Sedgwick Reserve;http://nrs.ucop.edu/Sedgwick.htm sits 35 miles north of Santa Barbara and hosts a number of monitoring and experimental projects. Schimel says the fire might actually offer an opportunity for study. "The project is about summertime processes in dryland soils, and fire is one of those processes. So there may be as much opportunity as destruction." Other research stations in southern California are well within the wildfires' reaches. In San Diego county, where multiple fires have forced evacuations from some towns, two fires are within about 10 miles of linkurl:San Diego State University's;http://www.sdsu.edu/ two main research sites off campus. According to Jack Beresford, a spokesperson for SDSU, none of the fires have affected SDSU's field stations as of Monday morning. The linkurl:University of California, San Diego;http://www.ucsd.edu/ closed campus today due to poor air quality. No one could be reached by phone in the press office regarding whether any fires have affected research stations at the university. If you have any news regarding the fires and whether they've affected research at your institution, please post updates to this blog.

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