Boreal and subarctic regions of the world are undergoing rapid warming and shifts in precipitation that are altering the structure and function of individual ecosystems and mobilizing massive stores of previously frozen, ancient terrestrial organic carbon into the hydrologic network. The implications that these effects have for the global carbon cycle, however, are poorly defined, since we do not know the quantity and fate of terrestrial carbon entering the aquatic network, nor how aquatic food webs respond to terrestrial carbon loading and other environmental changes. Our research program (working jointly with the U.S. Geological Survey and the broader NASA-ABoVE research program) aims to improve our understanding of the patterns and sensitivity of aquatic C cycling in these northern regions.
Project Description: The 1 undergraduate student selected to participate in this project will contribute by conducting laboratory-based research using a cutting edge, Picarro g2201-I isotopic analyzer to evaluate the greenhouse gas content and molecular composition of gasses extracted from an existing set of samples collected at a series of Alaskan lakes and streams. All work is to be conducted from March 27th – May 31st , 2017, at Bloedel Hall on the UW Seattle campus. Regular time commitments are required but can be coordinated around other obligations.
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