_fa12-On The Ground: A sampling of CNR research in California’s National and State Parks

On The Ground

A sampling of CNR research in California’s National and State Parks

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    • Studies on climate change in relation to forest ecology, genetics, and conservation strategies are being conducted in California’s redwood parks by John Battles, Joe McBride, and Richard Dodd, all professors of environmental science, policy, and management (ESPM), and Todd Dawson, an ESPM and integrative biology professor.

      Kevin O’Hara’s research takes him to state and national parks in the redwood region. In Del Norte Redwoods State Park, the silviculture professor has been studying the restoration of old forest characteristics in young plantation forests. In Big Basin and Humboldt Redwoods State Parks, Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve, and Redwood National Park, he and his graduate students are looking at redwood clonal patterns in old forests. Another project involves studying tree responses to fire at Montgomery Woods and other locations along the North Coast.

      PHOTO: iStockphoto

    • Matteo Garbelotto, adjunct professor of forest pathology, studies and tracks the sudden oak death pathogen. Projects include a tanoak treatment study in Tomales Bay State Park, a study in China Camp State Park that compares the pathogen’s behavior in different hosts (bay and oak trees), and a study of its survival in Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

      Sudden oak death lesions on a bay laurel leaf. PHOTO: courtesy of Matteo Garbelotto Lab, UC Berkeley
    • Reginald Barrett, a wildlife biology and management professor, has worked on a variety of wildlife management issues in state and regional parks throughout California. He studies the ecology of economically or politically important wildlife, including fishers, coyotes, pumas, wolverines, deer, elk, wild pigs, and wild turkeys.

      Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore. PHOTO: Pat Ulrich, Ph.D. Civil Engineering '97
    • Scientists are studying the role of bark and ambrosia beetles in the deaths of coast live oaks in China Camp State Park that have been infected with the sudden oak death pathogen. The team includes David Wood, professor emeritus of organisms and the environment; Brice McPherson, associate specialist; Maggi Kelly, GIS science professor; and Greg Biging, professor of forest biometrics and remote sensing. Since 1992 Wood has also had plots in several state parks on the central California coast, where he and colleagues from other universities study the pitch canker pathogen that is killing Monterey pines. Neither of these destructive tree pathogens is native to California.

      A coast live oak infected with Phytophthora ramorum. The tree’s sudden death was associated with extensive tunneling by ambrosia beetles. PHOTO: Brice McPherson
    • Carolyn Finney, assistant professor of geography, explores issues of difference, identity, and representation in relation to the environment. Projects include chairing a committee of the National Parks Advisory Board that engages culturally diverse groups of people from across the country to advance the relevance of the parks system for everyone; and working with graduate student Sharon Fuller, who is collecting African American oral histories for the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif.

      PHOTO: Courtesy of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park
    • Scott Stephens studies the ecological role of fire in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks, particularly the role of patchy, high-severity fire in those forests. The fire science associate professor led a study, published this summer, that found that controlled burns and tree thinning should be stepped up to head off catastrophic wildfires.

      PHOTO: iStockphoto