Danielle Svehla Christianson
ERG PhD candidate
University of California Berkeley
DATE: Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
TIME: 4:00 – 5:30pm
LOCATION: 126 Barrows Hall
TITLE: Mountain Complexities: Environmental Heterogeneity, Seedling Survival, and Digital Representations
ABSTRACT: Climate change impacts on mountain regions threaten important natural resources like water and timber. To counter these threats, projections of change in mountain landscapes are needed. However, mountains and their forested ecosystems are complex landscapes that trouble our tools for projecting future climates and future geographical ranges of tree species. In this talk, I explore fine-scale environmental heterogeneity, which is thought to be quite high in mountain terrain. It is also thought to be an important influence of where plants occur on current and will occur on future landscapes. I look specifically at the effects of the fine-scale environment on tree seedlings, a vulnerable life history stage of tree species. Additionally, I consider how the use of new technologies that represent the forest digitally may influence the study of complex systems, noting both the advantages and potential risks.
BIOGRAPHY: Danielle Svehla Christianson will receive her Ph.D. in May 2016 from the Energy and Resources Group and Berkeley Center for New Media. In her research, she focuses on understanding interactions between the environment and vegetation across spatial and temporal scales. In addition, she studies and practices science communication through visual representation of natural systems and the observations collected in them. Danielle holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Texas A&M University) and a M.S. in Energy and Resources (UC Berkeley).