Dr. Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, Dean
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Building
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36849-3418
The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will present the 2019 Graduate Research Symposium immediately following a talk by Dr. R. Quinn Thomas of Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Thomas will give a talk titled, “Ecological Forecasting: Anticipating the Future of Forests and Freshwaters,” that will discuss the novel use of integrative data and models to make explicit predictive forecasts that will allow scientists to better anticipate and respond to major environmental changes impacting ecosystem services.
The free seminar, which is open to the public and all members of the campus community, will be held at 11 a.m. in the conference hall, room 1101, located on the first floor of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building at 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, Alabama.
The Graduate Research Symposium and Reception will immediately follow the lecture at 12 p.m. in the conference hall. The presentation will highlight the diversity of the school’s research program and provide graduate students the opportunity to present their research to stakeholders and members of the academic community.
This is a complimentary event for faculty, staff, and students. Light refreshments and free parking are offered for attendees. Parking will be available on the third and fourth levels of the South Quad Parking Deck. Advanced registration and parking passes are not required.
The 21st century has been and will continue to be characterized by major environmental changes to the ecosystem services upon which society depends. Anticipating and responding to these changes requires the development of novel approaches that integrate data and models to make explicit predictive forecasts in real-time. Furthermore, forecasting involves generating quantitative hypotheses about the state of ecological systems before observations are collected, thus representing one of the strongest tests of our foundational understanding of ecological dynamics. As a result, the cycle of creating forecasts, evaluating them using observations, and revising ecological hypotheses and models based on that feedback has the potential to accelerate our learning across many disciplines within ecology. The seminar will explore the emerging field of ecological forecasting using two examples: forecasts of loblolly pine productivity across the Southeastern U.S. based on a model constrained by decades of forestry research and forecasts of water quality in a drinking water reservoir based on real-time integration with sensor networks.
Biography: Dr. R. Thomas Quinn Thomas is an associate professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, he was a post-doctoral scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Dr. Thomas’ Ph.D. is from Cornell University, M.S. from the University of New Hampshire, and A.B. from Dartmouth College. He has been awarded the Ecological Forecasting Prize by the Ecological Society of America and is the principal investigator on the NSF-sponsored Ecological Forecasting Initiative Research Coordination Network. His research focuses on developing a predictive understanding of ecosystems, including forest and freshwaters, using a range of computational methods and ecosystem observations.