UAFNews-L Scientists to speak about arctic lakes, climate

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From: “uaf-distribution” <uaf-distribution>
Date: March 23, 2015 at 18:21:21 EDT
To: uafnews-l
Subject: [UAFNews-L] Scientists to speak about arctic lakes, climate
Reply-To: newsroom

Scientists to speak about arctic lakes, climate

Meghan Murphy, 907-474-7541, mmmurphy3

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting three programs about how arctic lakes are windows into the past and possibly the future of climate change.

Researchers from the University of Southampton in England will discuss how a warmer and wetter climate more than 7,500 years ago changed the vegetation in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, affecting the lake ecosystems. Each program will have a slightly different focus.

“It is well known that the Arctic is warming rapidly, with this warming contributing to an expansion of vegetation zones in a northerly direction,” said Maarten van Hardenbroek, one of the presenters. “What we don’t know very well is how lake ecosystems will respond to this. Our study looks at this interaction between lake and landscape in a period when there were large changes in the environment, similar to what is going on today.”

Van Hardenbroek is a postdoctoral researcher who studies the changing environmental conditions of lakes. The other presenter is graduate student Emma Hopla, who studies pollen grains as a way to look into past vegetation.

Following is a description of each program:

– Hopla will present a brown bag seminar titled “Catching 10,000 Years of Vegetation in Models and Sediments” at noon, Thursday, March 26, at the UA Museum of the North.

– Van Hardenbroek will discuss “Scientists, the Lake, and You” during a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, 101 Dunkel St. in downtown Fairbanks. Bring your personal experiences of climate change to the meeting. People also can submit stories and memories on the project’s website: This event is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UAF.

– Van Hardenbroek and Hopla will present “The Effect of Changing Climate and Landscape on Arctic Lake Ecosystems: A Holocene Perspective” during a Friday Seminar sponsored by the Department of Geosciences, Alaska Quaternary Center and the Water and Environmental Research Center, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, in 201 Reichardt Bldg., 900 Yukon Drive, on the Fairbanks campus.

Hopla and Van Hardenbroek worked with other researchers to sample sediments from the lake bottoms. They examined microscopic, fossilized remains to find out what plants were growing around the lakes and what plants and animals were in the lakes about 7,500 years ago. Around that time, Interior Alaska was experiencing a climate that was warmer and wetter than today.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Maarten van Hardenbroek, vanhardenbroek, 1-216-375-0355 (March 20-27 only)


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