Dynamic, Metrics, Services and Scenarios for Tree-Grass Ecosystems

Dynamic, Metrics, Services and Scenarios for Tree-Grass Ecosystems

Tue, 18/06/2013 - 12:00

About the Presenter

Professor Michael Hill

Professor Michael Hill gained his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1985. After working for NSW Agriculture for 4 years, he spent 12 years in CSIRO Division of Animal Production and then 6 years in the Bureau of Rural Sciences (now ABARES) in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of the Australian Government where he carried out research in and contributed to the management of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting. In 2006, he became Professor of Earth System Science in the Department of Earth System Science and Policy at the University of North Dakota. He has a background in grassland agronomy, but has been working with spatial information and remote sensing of land systems for the past 25 years. He has published widely on agronomy, ecology, biogeography and production of grasslands, and radar, multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing of grasslands, and more recently has been involved in development of scenario analysis models for assessment of carbon dynamics in Australian rangeland and savanna systems. His current interests are in use of MODIS land product data in model-data assimilation, application of quantitative information from hyperspectral and multi-angle imaging to vegetation description, multi-criteria and decision frameworks for coupled human-environment systems, and methods and approaches to application of spatial data for land use management.




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Grasslands and savannas face continual pressure from agricultural conversion and livestock grazing since they occupy lands with high potential for food production. The prairies and savanna-forest transition zone on the Great Plains of North America have experienced these pressures for more than 100 years. In this respect they parallel the 20th century savanna/grassland conversion in Australia, the more recent conversions in the cerrado of Brazil, and the coming wave of conversions in Africa. In the northern plains of the USA, North Dakota (ND) and northern Minnesota (MN) represent this transition from prairies to forest, and contain examples of complete conversion and almost undisturbed wilderness. This seminar explores a range of projects focused on global savannas, North American grassland-savanna areas, and regional systems in ND and MN that examine the dynamics, metrics of change, the consequent effects on ecosystem services in these landscapes, and scenarios and futures for the grassland/savanna ecosystems.

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