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PASI Field Course 2011


APPLICATION INFORMATION: Eligibility: Advanced graduate and post-doctoral scholars with earth system science background (ecology, meteorology, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, soil science, geosciences) from the U.S. and South American countries (with a focus on Brazil and Peru). TO APPLY for the PASI (June 28-July 15, 2011), please fill out the online application form and submit by March 1, 2011 March 20, 2011. The online form requires the following: (1) A brief description of an idea or proposal for a group research project that might be feasible to do within the limitations of a 2-week field PASI. This can be any topic you like, given your background and interests, that falls broadly within the theme of the course (using tropical elevational gradients to address global change questions), and which could be done by a small group (~3-6 people). Assume that whatever instrumentation you need that might feasibly be brought to the field is in fact available (a list of methods is listed on the main course page. Please limit this to no more than 1 or 1.5 pages of single-spaced text, not including any figures, tables or references. For guidance, see the references below, or see the "student presentations" from previous years' courses. (2) One letter of recommendation, (to be submitted via email by the referee to amazonpire@arizona.edu); (3) A transcript or list of all courses taken, including grades received, for your most recent academic degree; (4) A current CV; (5) A statement of financial need (optional for those seeking stipend support for travel, including an amount of stipend sough for airfare to Peru (up to full airfare)). Costs of lodging and board at field sites will be covered, and limited travel support is available for those who have financial need (roundtrip airfare for those coming for the U.S. may be in the range of U.S. $1,500 to $2,000). Students will be expected to cover costs of their own meals for the days not in the field (e.g. travel days to and from Peru, and the free day in Cusco). Applicants for travel support will be judged on their record of academic excellence, on the relevance of their research interests to the scientific goals of PASI-PIRE, and ability to contribute to the broader international educational goals of PASI-PIRE. REFERENCES: Malhi Y, Silman M, Salinas N, et al. 2010. Elevation gradients in the tropics: laboratories for ecosystem ecology and global change research. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Volume: 16 Issue: 12 Pages: 3171-3175. Saleska, S.S., Wofsy, and D. Metcalfe. 2010. Ecosytem Transitions from Andean Cloud Forest tot he Lowland Amazon: a Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute on

Tropical Ecology, Biogeochemistry, and Climate in Peru (Proposal submitted to U.S. NSF);

PASI Field Course 2011


A Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) in Peru
Tropical Ecology and Biogeochemistry, from Andean Cloud Forests to the Lowland Amazon June 28 July 15, 2011
Application Deadline: March 1, 2011 March 20, 2011 (apply here)

Amazon-PIRE offers a Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI), an intensive field engagement with problems in Tropical Ecology, Biogeochemistry, and Climate. The course combines lectures by all participants (including an international group of faculty instructors), field-based instruction, and small group projects to provide theoretical and practical tools to tackle global change problems in a setting designed to foster effective international collaboration. ThePASI will take place along an elevational gradient, from the Andean Cloud Forest to the Lowland Amazon of Peru, in fully equipped field sites. PASI enrollment is limited to 25-30 students, half from the U.S. and half from South American countries (with a focus on Brazil and Peru), and is intended to provide postdocs and advanced graduate students with an introduction to advanced topics in field methods which they can use as a springboard for their own related research questions. The Amazon Basin contains the largest extant tropical forests on earth, with unparalleled biological diversity, and a vast store of organic carbon. It is a potent engine in the global water and energy cycles. Large changes in Amazonian biodiversity, together with those in biogeochemical cycling of carbon and water, expected to occur with climate change or deforestation, could have global as well as

local impact. It is critically important to understand the ecological and biogeochemical mechanisms that drive forest-climate interactions in Amaznia. The theme of PASI field projects will be: "What is the future of Amazon forests under climate change?" We will use ecosystem transitions along the Peruvian elevational gradient as a model for addressing this question.

Methods and Topics include:

Carbon, water, and vegetation dynamics using eddy covariance methods in conjunction with plot-based forest inventories and measurements of water isotopes in vapor and liquid Ecophysiology of canopy leaves and whole-forest canopies via gas exchange methods Taxonomy and phylogeny of tropical vegetation communities Soil properties, soil microbial communities, and trace gas biogeochemistry Remote sensing, from ground measurements to satellite, of leaf characteristics (via spectroradiometry) and forest structure (via ground-based LIDAR) Dynamic vegetation modeling of forest ecosystems Data analysis techniques using the R software package.

Course organization includes:


Morning: field exercises and independent projects Afternoon and early evening: class lectures and discussion Late afternoon and night: project presentations Spanish instruction and a boat trip Hands-on experience with a variety of instruments Access to long-term dataset of data gathered at all scales