July 19, 2011

CTFS-SIGEO/CForBio Analytical Workshop and Symposium in China Underway

Working group participants in Changbaishan Station.
by Tania Brenes 

Between the 13th and 29th of July, 2011 CTFS-SIGEO scientists are participating in an Analytical Workshop and Symposium in China. We are currently staying at the Changbaishan Field Station in the province of Jilin in Northeast China doing analytical work. There are over 60 participants from 16 different countries and regions. For two weeks, different work groups will be focused on analyzing CTFS-SIGEO data  to answer questions about long term changes in forest dynamics, phylogenetics and diversity, functional traits, spatial patterns, carbon and biomass and seedling recruitment. Our analytical work is complemented by informal talks and the exciting cultural diversity of the group.

The workshop will end with a two day symposium in Beijing on “Diversity and Forest Change”. This is the first of a series of five workshops funded by NSF-US and NSF-China, and was organized by CTFS-SIGEO and CforBio.
Participants walk to the field station.

July 6, 2011

Hong Kong Global Forest Observatory Plot Launches with Workshop and Ceremony

On June 25, the Kadoorie Institute of Hong Kong University celebrated the opening of a new forest dynamics plot in Hong Kong. HSBC’s Hong Kong Bank Foundation donated more than USD 700,000 over three years for the plot, which will enable scientific research on forest dynamics in relation to climate change while providing opportunities for public to engagement in citizen science.

CTFS Director Stuart Davies and Principal Investigator Billy Hau of Hong Kong University (HKU) led a one-day workshop on June 24, training twenty-five participants in plot establishment following the standard CTFS protocols. Participants came from the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and Hong Kong University’s School of Biological Sciences and Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre.

An official launch of the Global Forest Observatory was held on June 25 at the Kadoorie Institute Shek Kong Centre (KISK) where a 1-hectare training plot is also being established. The opening was presided over by Teresa Au (Head of Corporate Sustainability, Asia Pacific Region, HSBC), Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui (Vice Chancellor and President, Hong Kong University) and Joseph Sham Chun-hung (Assistant Director, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department). The event received attention in the local media, with several news broadcasts and write-ups expressing excitement about the significance of the new research site.

The 20-ha plot is located in a forest ecosystem that has been impacted by humans for over 4,000 years. The initiative will provide valuable insight into the ecology of a regenerating forest at the margin of the tropics, and will provide training opportunities for over 2,000 citizen scientists.