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A red oak live tweets climate change

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first_imgIf a tree could talk, what might it say?Would it plead for rain in a drought? Fawn over a neighbor’s foliage? Crack jokes about how fast another tree loses its leaves in fall?It seems unlikely anyone will ever come across a loquacious linden. But for the arbor-curious, a red oak at the Harvard Forest in Petersham has been tweeting as @awitnesstree since July 17. Outfitted with sensors and cameras, and programmed with code that allows it to string together posts with prewritten bits of text, the Harvard Forest Witness Tree has been sharing on-the-ground insights into its own environmental life and that of its forest.Already renowned in certain circles as the subject of the popular climate-change book “Witness Tree” by Lynda Mapes, the century-old oak’s social-media debut was the brainchild of Harvard Forest postdoctoral fellow Tim Rademacher and is now a team effort with Clarisse Hart, who heads outreach and education for the forest. Its online presence is modeled after similar “twittering” trees that chronicle their life experiences as part of a tree-water and carbon-monitoring network based in Europe called TreeWatch.net.“We’ve done the work as a team to equip the tree with a voice, which we decided made the most sense in the first person, and even with a personality, in order to make it relatable to a larger audience,” said Rademacher. “But most importantly, our Witness Tree is an objectively data-driven account, which I expect will amplify messages of climate change. But we don’t decide what gets posted, the tree does.”In 2018, with support from the National Science Foundation, Rademacher installed equipment on and around the tree to help better understand the tree’s physiology and its place within the environment of the Harvard Forest, and the world beyond.Dendrometers measure the tree’s growth in real time, evaluating daily changes in the radius of its trunk and providing insights into its health, how it stores carbon, and how it helps remove carbon dioxide from the air. Sensors measure sap and water flow within the xylem, the tree’s transport system to move water and nutrients. This information will help the Harvard Forest team understand how climate, particularly extreme events such as heatwaves and drought, affects water use and nutrient transport within a tree.,Digital cameras called PhenoCams take time-lapse photos every 30 minutes to provide a picture of the environment around the Witness Tree as the seasons pass and the canopy turns from green to yellow to red and orange. The color changes provide clues about the absorption of carbon by photosynthesis and the ways forests are changing with the climate. Harvard Forest collaborators from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, periodically scan the tree (and its neighbors) with a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Point Cloud device, consisting of a laser, a scanner, and a GPS receiver, which creates 3D diagrams to quantify the volume and condition of leaves and wood.“I was struck by the amount of technology that goes into researching one red oak, and trees in general,” says Shawna Greyeyes, a summer intern in the 2019 Harvard Forest Research Program in Ecology who developed the Witness Tree website and is @awitnesstree’s ghostwriter. “There’s a great opportunity here to introduce people to this important science, in language they can hopefully understand, and also connect with.”,Perhaps most impressive, especially for a centenarian, is that the tree is also blessed with a reference of more than 50 years of existing data culled from resources such as the Harvard Forest’s Fisher Meteorological Station.“This is one of the things that sets it apart from existing twittering trees in Europe,” said Hart, “as our tree’s social media messages can also draw on the decades of data in Harvard Forest’s incredible data archive. Meaning, a sensor on a tree anywhere in the world could tell you that a summer temperature is hot, but our tree has the ability to report that it’s the hottest temperature it has seen in 50 years. Our tree is not just witnessing in real time; it’s got a memory.”Case in point: On July 21, when most of Massachusetts was engulfed in blazing heat, the Witness Tree provided some perspective. The last 2 days were extremely hot for July. When is this heatwave going to end?— A witness tree (@awitnesstree) July 22, 2019Trees are among the world’s most dominant life forms — there are about 600 adult canopy trees per each adult human being worldwide — so studying them will certainly bolster efforts to combat climate change, says Rademacher. Yet remarkably, even though they dominate our planet and are easily accessible to researchers, we still know comparatively very little about how they work.Rademacher’s own research, for example, focuses on how environmental changes affect wood growth. He studies trees at Harvard Forest and brings the samples back to the Richardson Lab at Northern Arizona University, where they analyze leaves, wood, and roots to trace the amount and movement of carbon within the tree and its effects on wood growth. And although rough estimates of carbon absorption on land do exist, global vegetation models estimating land carbon levels over time are imprecise, because scientists simply don’t know how much trees will grow under changing environmental conditions.Still, while the science on what role trees may play in climate change is not yet exact, it is clear that “every tree that is planted is better than a tree that is not planted,” said Rademacher.For this reason, the Harvard Forest team hopes to create a tool kit, complete with sensors, to share with faculty, K-12 educators, environmental organizations, and individuals to continue to inspire inquiry, and education, on trees and the role they can play in preserving Earth for generations to come. Rademacher envisions mini weather stations gathering data on trees in individual backyards across the world. “I dream of an internet of trees,” he said.To begin with, the team is hopeful that the Witness Tree will amass a sizable, engaged following on Twitter. Followers are encouraged to interact with the tree and to ask probing questions. So here’s one: Once and for all, if a tree falls in a forest and no one (read: human) is around to hear it, does it make a sound or not? Yesterday, it was very hot. With a daily average of 27 ℃ (80.5 ℉), it was the 24th hottest day I can remember.— A witness tree (@awitnesstree) July 22, 2019Hours later, the tree voiced what many sweltering residents across the commonwealth were probably also wondering: If I fell in the woods, YES, it would make a sound! (There are thousands of organisms around me that would sense the noisy vibration.) But as an oak tree in its prime, I’m not planning to fall any time soon!— A witness tree (@awitnesstree) July 29, 2019 The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

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Notre Dame students discuss stereotyping on campus

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first_imgMary Steurer | The Observer Several campus organizations sponsored a panel discussion Thursday evening titled “What Sport Do you Play?” Eric Love moderated the discussion between Khalid Kareem, Jalen Elliott and Trebor Goodall.Kareem said he had a similar experience when he was approached by a stranger in public.“This guy — I don’t believe it — he walks up to me and he says, ‘Me and my manager were trying to figure out what sport you play. Where are you at school?’” he said. “I was like, ‘I play football, I go to Notre Dame, but what made you think I play sports?’”Elliott said these judgements extend into the classroom, where his peers often underestimate student-athletes’ academic ability.“I definitely think that you do hear those — ‘Oh the curve’s going to be great, I heard the curve is good,’ and it’s kind of like, ‘Why is the curve going to be good?’” he said. “But I think it gives us a certain drive to kind of go and seek the help we have.”Elliott does not define himself as a football player, but rather as someone who strives for success in all areas of his life, he added.“Yes, it is because of football that I got here, but now that I’m here, I want to excel in everything I do,” he said. “And so, once I got here, it was important to me to work as hard as possible — not just in football, but academically as well.”Kareem called on the Notre Dame community to be more empathetic towards student-athletes and mindful of the pressures their work puts on them.“At times it feels like the student body kind of goes against you, but when we’re good, everybody’s crazy — just keep it consistent,” he said.A Gates Millennium scholar and a student manager for the Notre Dame athletics department, Goodall said he actively works to combat assumptions made about African-American students.“Just me constantly being involved on campus and letting them know that black men are more than just what we can contribute physically, I think I’ve been doing a great job at that,” he said.Elliott said that encouraging conversation between student-athletes and non-athletes will help combat these stereotypes.“I think the biggest thing on just on both sides is just being there to talk to one another,” Elliot said. “ … Just because you never know if someone really might want to get to know you as a person.”Being inclusive towards students-athletes is another way to bridge the divide, Goodall said.“One of the things that I’ve tried to stay consistent in doing these four years is not assuming that the athletes don’t have time to come to stuff,” he said. “… Don’t be afraid to invite them to things, don’t be afraid to talk to them.”“[There’s] more to us than just football,” Kareem echoed. “We have so much more to offer besides that if you take the time to get to know us.”Tags: Black Student Association, sports, Walk the Walk Week, What sport do you play Members of the Notre Dame community came together to discuss the stereotyping of African-American students in a panel discussion titled “What Sport Do You Play?” in Visitation Hall. A part of Walk the Walk Week, the event was sponsored by student government, the Alliance for Catholic Education and several other campus organizations.Panelists included senior Trebor Goodall, president of the Notre Dame Black Student Association and Notre Dame football players senior Khalid Kareem and junior Jalen Elliott.The panel was moderated by Eric Love, director of staff diversity and inclusion.Love began the discussion by asking the panelists to think of a moment when others have made assumptions about them.Goodall recalled the first time he met his freshman year roommate.“His parents asked me, ‘Just curious, are you on scholarship or are you a student athlete here?’ And I was like, ‘No, I just came here to do school,’” he said.last_img read more

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Monterea Ripley development magnet for first home buyers

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first_imgFirst home buyers are moving to new residentail estate Monterea Ripley in droves.The Monterea Ripley development has attracted first home buyers in droves, with Andrew Dixon and Ashleigh Greer the latest to realise their real estate dreams. First home buyers Andrew Dixon and Ashleigh Greer are looking forward to moving into their Monterea Ripley home next month. Mr Dixon, an earthmoving contractor, said a major appeal the estate for partner Ms Greer, a childcare worker, and himself was the amount of green space and the seclusion. FOCUS ON GREEN SPACE AT RIPLEY COMMUNITY RIPLEY’S GROWTH SET TO RAMP UP “We have found it to be a much more personal place than other developments in the area,” he said. “This is a great location which is so close to everything including the Ripley Town Centre and we have all the amenities we need and transport links.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago”We’re very excited about our first home. It will be two-storey, four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms with a media room and a drive through double garage.“I’ve always wanted my own home with plenty of room for a shed.” Streetscape of the Moterea Ripley residential community.He said they hoped it would be ready to move into in September.Monterea Ripley director of land marketing Jamie Martin, said the development had already welcomed over 20 new residents living in stage one and another 20 homes were under construction.“We have fast tracked the launch of stages two, three and four of Monterea Ripley with another 53 lots and we have already had strong interest from buyers attracted by the lifestyle blocks of up to 560sq m,” he said. >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON TWITTER<< “Most of our purchasers have been first time buyers and the majority of them work in Ipswich, while some commute to the Brisbane CBD and Logan City.”Mr Martin said the community would include dedicate more than 8ha to green open space.“A new five acre park called John Michels Reserve has opened and features a lush corridor of more than 30,000 new plantings, kick and play turfed areas, sheltered picnic areas and walkways to be enjoyed by residents,” he said.Ripley was the second fastest growing suburb in Queensland in 2016-17, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. An Urbis report predicted the Ripley region will experience average population growth of 27.6 per cent a year until 2026.Land prices start at $179,000, with house and land packages from $410,000.last_img read more

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