Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Workshop: “Error propagation for carbon estimation”

December 4-6, 2013, Camino Real Aeropuerto Hotel, Mexico City.  

One objective of the workshop is to show and discuss the methodologies for the estimation of uncertainty and error propagation in different components that influence the estimation of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in the forest sector. Also, it aims to share the experience of national and international experts on uncertainty and contextualize it within the importance that these methods have in creating national reports for the estimation of carbon stocks and their changes.

The workshop will be divided into five main sessions. The first will address errors in estimates of biomass inherent in allometric models. The second will highlight recent research concerning the estimation of uncertainties associated with Emission Factors (within a Tier 2 reporting framework). This second block will cover the calculation of uncertainties associated with measurement errors in forest inventories of important variables for the estimation of carbon. In addition, errors due to sample design and stratification schemes to minimize uncertainties from forest inventories will be reviewed.

The third session will explore issues related to the estimation of uncertainties for activity data. It will cover validation of land cover maps and land cover changes, estimation of uncertainties of the area estimates for activity data and methodologies for the estimation of uncertainties in carbon maps.

In the fourth session, participants will discuss error propagation of uncertainties for emission factors and activity data within a Tier 2 reporting framework. Finally, the fifth session will discuss how to estimate uncertainties in carbon dynamics models for a Tier 3 approach and discuss possible approaches for the estimation of uncertainties in an integrated Tier 2 and 3 approach.

Official website 

Sponsoring Organizations: Mexican National Forestry Commission, United Nations Development Programme, Government of Norway, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quantifying Uncertainty at IUFRO 2014

IUFRO's Congress Scientific Committee invites abstract submissions for the 2014 IUFRO World Congress: Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People, The Rose of Research, to be held October 5-11, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Please consider submitting abstracts to session #58 Quantifying Uncertainty in Forest Measurements and Models: Approaches and Applications, offered under the Congress Theme Forests and Climate Change, to share approaches to analyzing uncertainty in forest measurements and give examples of applications of uncertainty in above- and belowground estimates of forest biomass, carbon, and nutrient pools and fluxes, ans well as other ecosystem attributes. Oral and poster presentations will be selected from the submitted abstracts.

QUEST will also have a sub-plenary session, The Importance of Quantifying Uncertainty in Managing Forests. Invited presenters will describe sources of uncertainty in estimates of forest carbon and nutrient pools and fluxes, including natural spatial and temporal variation, measurement error, model uncertainty, and model selection, and address how these uncertainties can guide monitoring designs and affect management and policy decision.

The Sub-Plenary and the Technical Session are being organized by Ruth Yanai, SUNY-ESF, USA; George Gertner, University of Illinois, USA; David Paré, Canadian Forest Service; Peter Clinton, Scion, New Zealand; and Bogdan Strimbu, Louisiana Tech University, USA.

English language abstracts (http://iufro2014.com/scientific-program/abstract-submissions) are due before the site closes October 15; abstracts may also be submitted in Spanish or French, but should be submitted by 15 September, to allow sufficient time for translation prior to review by session coordinators and the Congress Scientific Committee. Also note that all presenting authors (oral or poster presentations) must register for the Congress by April 30, 2014 – failure to do so will result in the presentation’s deletion from both the program and the abstracts volume of The International Forestry Review.

Please join us in Salt Lake City in October 2014! For more information, visit http://iufro2014.com/

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

News Flash: QUEST presentation in France

Ruth Yanai presented a talk at the final meeting of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action FP0803: 14 May 2013,  Bordeaux,  France.  The subject of the COST Action was Belowground Carbon Turnover in European forests.  The talk gives an overview of Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies, with attention to precipitation inputs, streamwater outputs, biomass accumulation, and change in soil stores, with examples of applications of uncertainty analysis to evaluating monitoring intensity, filling gaps with minimal uncertainty, identifying the greatest sources of uncertainty, and determining detectable differences.

Slides are available here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Collaborators needed: data gaps in precipitation and streamflow

All long term datsets contain missing or unusable data (gaps).  While many of these gaps are inevitable, it is not possible to simply omit missing values when calculating solute fluxes from precipitation or streamflow.  The uncertainty associated with gap-filling estimates is not commonly reported or propagated into these  flux estimates.  We hope to characterize the causes of these gaps across sites for both volume and solute chemistry in long-term precipitation and streamflow datasets.  To quantify the uncertainty associate with different gap-filling methods, we will apply them to a series of "fake gaps," and compare the estimates with measured values.

 Weather events can cause gaps in long-term datasets.  (D. Buso)
To do this we need datasets!  We're interested in hearing form potential co-authors with streamflow and precipitation datasets to discuss the frequency and causes of gaps, and how they fill them.  We are especially in need of solute concentration datasets.  We're also interested in hearing from statistically minded individuals with new ideas on how to quantify the uncertainty associated with these gaps.

Please contact Craig See at crsee@syr.edu for more information.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

QUEST is now an NSF Research Coordination Network

As of March 2013, Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies (QUEST) is supported by the National Science Foundation as a Research Coordination Network.  The five-year grant will allow the QUEST network to better support activities that advance the application of uncertainty analysis in ecosystem studies.  Efforts will focus on outreach and research on quantifying uncertainty in five topic areas important to ecosystem studies: atmospheric deposition, stream water export, biomass, soils, and ecosystem budgets.

Outreach will target ecosystem scientists through workshops at professional meetings and periodic webinars, each addressing issues in uncertainty in one of the five topic areas listed above.  QUEST has a website at http://www.quantifyinguncertainty.org, which already includes sample code, links to papers, and news announcements.  We will be developing discussion boards, wikis, and tutorials.

QUEST will support efforts to clarify approaches to uncertainty analysis, illustrate its use in evaluating monitoring designs, and address issues of detecting change over time.  QUEST will help to identify problems to be addressed by focus groups in specific topic areas.   The focus groups will produce QUEST funded open-access publications to be made available on the website.  We are also assembling an advisory board of statisticians who will assist in education and collaborate on research projects.

Our goal in the first year is to get the word out and recruit participants.  Please feel free to pass on this announcement, and please send us ideas for other avenues for outreach.

The QUEST Steering Committee:

Ruth Yanai (Coordinator), John Campbell (Information Management), Mark Green (Statistical Coordinator), Chris Daly (Precipitation), Rick Hooper (Streamflow), Jim Clark (Vegetation), Dan Richter (Soils), and Mark Harmon (Ecosystem Budgets)

Email us at QUEST <quantifyinguncertainty@gmail.com> to join our mailing list.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Position as listed filled. Contact us about possible opening for Spring 2014.

Ruth Yanai at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) is recruiting students to start in Fall 2013 or Spring 2014.  We have made progress quantifying uncertainty in estimates of forest biomass and stream loads and are also working on wet deposition and changes in soil storage.  There are currently research opportunities associated with each of these areas. 

In addition to the primary research with QUEST, there are opportunities for involvement in other projects associated with MELNHE (Multi-Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems) in the White Mountains.  MELNHE sites are located at Bartlett Experimental Forest, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, and Jeffers Brook (USFS).  http://www.esf.edu/melnhe

A background in ecology, statistics, and programming would be valuable assets.  Funding will include tuition waiver, stipend, and health insurance, and consist of a combination of research and teaching assistantships.  Please contact Heather Engelman at forestecology@esf.edu if you are interested in applying.  Preference will be given to students available to start with the 2013 summer field season in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.