This afternoon I was corresponding electronically with linkurl:Joshua 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; 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...

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