Research Updates from Wind River

We recently heard from Research Scientist Ken Bible, site manager of the Wind River Field Station, with updates from several of their ongoing research projects:

  1. The region’s first carbonyl sulfide (OCS) laser system to operate in a forest ecosystem is scheduled to be deployed at Wind River this June. Wind River has been at the leading edge of trace gas analysis for many years, and the addition of OCS measurements will help keep that edge sharp. OCS is an analogue of carbon dioxide (OCO), but assimilation into the ecosystem may be only one way—taken up during photosynthesis but not respired. If that assumption holds true, OCS may prove to be a more accurate measure of carbon sequestration. The project is led by Chris Still from Oregon State University.
  2. U.S. Forest Service Climate Tower Network data are now freely accessible via the web. The site is still a bit rudimentary, but it’s a step toward a portal for broader access. Use the drop-down “Site” finder for Wind River’s carbon stable isotope and high accuracy precipitation and air temp data. We’re expecting this effort to be folded in with the USDA climate hub initiative.
  3. Thanks to Wind River’s connection with the World Forestry Center, we’ve started a collaborative effort with the folks at Data Basin, beginning with a GIS overlay of the 4-ha forest plot data surrounding the climate tower. We hope to link more public datasets (climate, carbon, etc.) to this site in a coherent way so that instructors can interpret them accurately.
  4. Also, as you’ll see from the screen grab below, you can tune in anytime and view the old growth forest at Wind River through a live Phenocam feed. The Phenocam project deploys webcams at many sites across the country to provide continuous, real-time monitoring of vegetation phenology over a range of ecosystems and climate zones to address how plants may regulate spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem function (e.g., photosynthesis, respiration, net carbon sequestration and transpiration). The PI for this project is Andrew Richardson from Harvard University.

For more information about the Wind River Field Station, including current research projects or to submit a proposal, contact Ken Bible!

Wind River Field Station

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