Sunday, December 4, 2011

QUEST at Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds

30 September 2011.    Mary Beth Adams (USFS) gave a presentation on the QUEST research effort at the fourth annual Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds in Fairbanks, AK. Her presentation discussed the effort to quantify uncertainty in USFS watersheds throughout the US. You can view the presentation here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

QUEST Website Updates

There have been some exciting changes to the QUEST website in the last few weeks!

Relevant papers and Powerpoint presentations are now cataloged by topic area under the page called "Related Papers and Presentations on Uncertainty."

Additionally, we have added a section where you can find a catalog of QUEST articles, presentations, proposals, and workshop abstracts, as well as a section detailing QUEST papers that are currently in preparation. Check these out here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

QUEST meeting announcement in EOS

On June 28, 2011, EOS published an announcement of the first QUEST meeting, which was held in Boston on March 14-15, 2011. The meeting announcement describes the scope of current QUEST work and describes the goals of the QUEST research network. We're very excited about the interest that this article has generated among EOS readers! 

You can find a PDF of the meeting announcement here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

QUEST at ESA 2011

The QUEST group will be having dinner in Austin, TX on the evening of Monday, August 8, 2011.  We will post details of the time and location closer to the event. Please RSVP to quantifyinguncertainty (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like to join us!

Also, remember to check out our workshop, "Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecological Studies", (WK 18) on Sunday, August 7, from 1pm - 5pm, in room 12A of the Austin Convention Center. Participants in this workshop will gain hands-on experience exploring uncertainty analysis using Monte Carlo techniques.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

QUEST at the North American Forest Ecology Workshop

On June 20, Dr. Mary Beth Adams (USDA FS, Fernow Experimental Forest) presented a QUEST poster at the North American Forest Ecology Workshop. The workshop, hosted this year by Virginia Tech. in Roanoke, VA, brought together researchers from the US, Mexico, and Canada for five days to discuss the topic "Forest Ecology in a Managed Landscape." The attendees at the conference include researchers, academicians, and managers.

The poster that Dr. Adams presented was titled "QUEST: Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies." The poster discussed sites included in the QUEST research network, an introduction to ecosystem uncertainty, and preliminary results of current work estimating uncertainty in hydrologic fluxes. Mary Beth had many visitors to the poster who showed lots of interest in the topic.

You can view the QUEST poster as an Powerpoint file here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Uncertainty in predicting precipitation volume at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: A model comparison

Quantifying the influx of water and elements to ecosystems via atmospheric deposition is uncertain mainly because of spatial variability; interpolation between precipitation stations is a major source of uncertainty at the ecosystem scale. Various methods of interpolation are used in precipitation and atmospheric deposition studies, but the uncertainty in the interpolation is rarely reported. Temporal dynamics generally contribute less uncertainty to estimates of deposition, because precipitation amounts are measured at short intervals (15 minute steps or shorter) or are cumulative, giving good estimates of rainfall amounts at a point. 
Dr. John Campbell (USDA Forest Service) used five models of precipitation volume in ARCGIS to demonstrate the difference in predictions of annual precipitation volume for five watersheds at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. The models used were Thiessen polygons, Spline, Inverse Distance Weighting, Kriging, and regression using longitude and elevation as predictor variables. He found that model differences varied by watershed. The coefficient of variation between models was small, ranging from 0.24 - 0.83% of average annual precipitation.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meeting on Statistical Issues in Forest Management held on 2-4 May, 2011

A meeting was held a few weeks ago in Qu├ębec City on statistics and forest management, with uncertainty as a central theme in most of the 20 or so invited talks. Tim Gregoire presented a fascinating opening talk about the unresolved issue of propagating jointly model uncertainty and sampling design uncertainty. Ron McRoberts presented a talk about variance estimation within a k-NN imputation exercise. The meeting ended on presentations by Bruce Borders and Annika Kangas on the opportunity costs associated with uncertainties in forest inventories. The presentation pdfs are on the meeting web site:

- Courtesy of Pierre Bernier
Canadian Forest Service
Laurentian Forestry Centre
Quebec, Canada

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

QUEST Goes to Japan

The first international QUEST workshop will take place in Japan from June 9 – July 3, 2011.
Ruth Yanai will collaborate with Japanese researchers from Kyoto University, Kyushu University, and Tokyo University, sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Yanai and American colleagues will be working with Naoko Tokuchi and Massaki Chiwa in a collaboration using data from the Wakayama Forest Research Station, which is a long-term study site monitored by the Field Science Education and Research Center of Kyoto University. The project will compare the sources of uncertainty in hydrologic outputs of water and solutes  at Wakayama, Hubbard Brook, and Coweeta.  The sources of uncertainty to be considered include the measurement of discharge rates and solute chemistry, the selection of models to estimate annual solute export, the measurement of catchment area, and spatial variation in replicated headwater catchments.

Workshop meetings will take place at 11 a.m. local time, 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time, and will address topics defined by the sources of uncertainty listed above. 

June 13            Compare sites (without uncertainty)
June 14            Discharge uncertainty
June 15            Model selection (define variables to include in predictive model)
June 16            Analytical uncertainty
June 20            Watershed delineation
June 23            Results: Analytical uncertainty
June 24            Results: Discharge uncertainty
June 27            Results: Watershed delineation
June 28            Results: Model selection
June 29            Results: Weekly vs. Monthly sampling
June 30            Final Results and plan for the future (just in case we didn't write the whole paper in 3 weeks)

Please join us on Skype, or join us in Japan!  (Kyoto or Tokyo, depending on the date)
Scheduling is subject to change without notice, please check with Ruth Yanai if you have any questions.

Friday, March 25, 2011

QUEST workshop a success!

On March 14-15 2011, fifteen researchers met in Boston MA to make a plan for quantifying uncertainty in hydrological input/output budgets in several long-term research sites around the country.

We made a lot of progress on developing plans for analyses to inform future papers, presentations, and posters at a variety of meetings in the coming year.

For meeting notes, please visit the Google Docs catalog (password protected) .

Monday, March 7, 2011