Restoring the Role of Fire to Ecosystems in Canadian National Parks

…from Canada News Centre

“Parks Canada is investing $90 million in a series of initiatives to help address pressing ecological concerns in national parks across Canada. These innovative, knowledge-based and partnership driven projects will protect and restore stressed ecosystems in Canada’s national parks while involving Canadians, positively enriching and changing lives.

Leadership on the Landscape: Restoring the role of fire to ecosystems in Pukaskwa National Park and other National Parks in Ontario

“$926,000 Action on the Ground funding

“Fires burn unevenly across a landscape, which over time, creates a range of different ages and tree types, thereby creating a variety of habitats that support many insect, mammal, and bird species. Modern fire prevention measures prevent this essential and natural process in the boreal forest.

“Parks Canada will use an active fire management program to promote biodiversity in order to maintain, restore, monitor and manage the full complement of vegetation successional stages and species that would be expected as a result of natural processes in Pukaskwa National Park.

“Following ecological goals in collaboration with provincial and university experts, Parks Canada will investigate geospatial and temporal distribution of disturbance regimes throughout the greater park ecosystem while protecting visitors, values at risk, and stakeholder interests. This information will provide a stronger ecological basis for how, where and when fires occur on the landscape.

“Pukaskwa’s fire program will play a leadership role for Parks Canada in the Ontario bioregion, including providing technical and scientific support to Point Pelee National Park, Bruce Peninsula National Park, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, and Georgian Bay Islands National Park in the development of their fire management plans and ecosystem restoration strategies.”

Call for Nominations for the 2010 Ebbe Nielsen Prize: Excellence in Combining Biodiversity Informatics and Biosystematics Research

…from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility…

“The Ebbe Nielsen Prize will be awarded for the ninth time in 2010 to a person or small team that is demonstrating excellence in combining biodiversity informatics and biosystematics research. The Science Committee of the GBIF Governing Board seeks nominations for the Prize, which are due by 1 March 2010.”

GIS Analysis of Landslides in India

Analisis GIS Terhadap Gerakan Tanah di Girimulyo, Kulonprogo, D.I. Yogyakarta, dan Kajian Faktor – Faktor Pengontrolnya

Abstract submitted to the 2010 International Geosciences Conference and Exposition

Yogi Saktyan Respati, Asnanto Multa Putranto, Azim Suwardi, Irien Akinina Fatkhiandari, and Salahuddin Husein

“There were several landslides had occurred at Girimulyo District, Kulonprogo Regency, Yogyakarta Special Province. These suggest that this area exhibits high potential of mass movement. This research is intended to map and analyze the mass movement potentail by using two methods, i.e. qualitative and quantitative, respectively. Direct observation is on site study for internal factors (e.g. lithologies and geologic structure) and external factors (e.g slope, vegetation, and landuses). Quantitative method utilizes Geographic Information System (GIS) spatial analysis on weighted parameters, i.e. slope, lithologies, geologic structures, and landuses. The research area is mainly composed of weathered lithologies of andesit breccia and breccia tuff covering steep slopes, whilst the rainfall rate reaches up to 2205 mm/y. Both factors are presumed to be the main trigger of mass movement. Result of this research is landslide susceptibility zonation which consist ot four levels which can be used as a basic information for hazard mitigation and regional planning. There were two types of mass movement exist at this area, fall movement were predominant in andesitic intrusion, whereas flow movement mainly took place in andesitic breccias, coralline limestones, and tuffaceous siltstones. This study suggests that more attention and awareness should be paid for areas with high and very high susceptibility levels such as Tanggulangin, Talunombo, and Giripurwo, particularly during high rainy sesason.”

Geostatistics and Multivariate Analysis as a Tool to Characterize Volcaniclastic Deposits: Application to Nevado de Toluca Volcano, Mexico

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Article in Press, Available online 25 January 2010

F. Bellotti, L. Capra, D. Sarocchi, and M. D’Antonio

“Grain size analysis of volcaniclastic deposits is mainly used to study flow transport and depositional processes, in most cases by comparing some statistical parameters and how they change with distance from the source.

“In this work the geospatial and multivariate analyses are presented as a strong adaptable geostatistical tool applied to volcaniclastic deposits in order to provide an effective and relatively simple methodology for texture description, deposit discrimination and interpretation of depositional processes.

“We choose the case of Nevado de Toluca volcano (Mexico) due to existing knowledge of its geological evolution, stratigraphic succession and spatial distribution of volcaniclastic units. Grain size analyses and frequency distribution curves have been carried out to characterize and compare the 28-ka block-and-ash flow deposit associated to a dome destruction episode, and the El Morral debris avalanche deposit originated from the collapse of the south-eastern sector of the volcano. The geostatistical interpolation of sedimentological data allows to realize bidimensional maps draped over the volcano topography, showing the granulometric distribution, sorting and fine material concentration into the whole deposit with respect to topographic changes. In this way, it is possible to analyze a continuous surface of the grain size distribution of volcaniclastic deposits and better understand flow transport processes.

“The application of multivariate statistic analysis (discriminant function) indicates that this methodology could be useful in discriminating deposits with different origin or different depositional lithofacies within the same deposit.

“The proposed methodology could be an interesting approach to sustain more classical analysis of volcaniclastic deposits, especially where a clear field classification appears problematic because of a homogeneous texture of the deposits or their scarce and discontinuous outcrops. Our study is an example of the strong versatility of geospatial analysis to provide an effective and relatively clear methodology for the characterization of volcaniclastic deposits.”

Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R

“Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R is divided into two basic parts, the first presenting R packages, functions, classes and methods for handling spatial data. This part is of interest to users who need to access and visualise spatial data. Data import and export for many file formats for spatial data are covered in detail, as is the interface between R and the open source GRASS GIS. The second part showcases more specialised kinds of spatial data analysis, including spatial point pattern analysis, interpolation and geostatistics, areal data analysis and disease mapping. The coverage of methods of spatial data analysis ranges from standard techniques to new developments, and the examples used are largely taken from the spatial statistics literature. All the examples can be run using R contributed packages available from the CRAN website, with code and additional data sets from the book’s own website.

“This book will be of interest to researchers who intend to use R to handle, visualise, and analyse spatial data. It will also be of interest to spatial data analysts who do not use R, but who are interested in practical aspects of implementing software for spatial data analysis. It is a suitable companion book for introductory spatial statistics courses and for applied methods courses in a wide range of subjects using spatial data, including human and physical geography, geographical information systems, the environmental sciences, ecology, public health and disease control, economics, public administration and political science.

“The book has a website where coloured figures, complete code examples, data sets, and other support material may be found:”

Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Salmonella Infection in Dairy Herds in England and Wales

Epidemiology and Infection, Vol. 137, No. 6 (Jun., 2009), pp. 847-857

S. E. Fenton, H. E. Clough, P. J. Diggle, S. J. Evans, H. C. Davison, W. D. Vink and N. P. French

“Using data from a cohort study conducted by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), evidence of spatial clustering at distances up to 30 km was found for S. Agama and S. Dublin (P values of 0·001) and borderline evidence was found for spatial clustering of S. Typhimurium (P = 0·077). The evolution of infection status of study farms over time was modelled using a Markov Chain model with transition probabilities describing changes in status at each of four visits, allowing for the effect of sampling visit. The degree of geographical clustering of infection, having allowed for temporal effects, was assessed by comparing the residual deviance from a model including a measure of recent neighbourhood infection levels with one excluding this variable. The number of cases arising within a defined distance and time period of an index case was higher than expected. This provides evidence for spatial and spatio-temporal clustering, which suggests either a contagious process (e.g. through direct or indirect farm-to-farm transmission) or geographically localized environmental and/or farm factors which increase the risk of infection. The results emphasize the different epidemiology of the three Salmonella serovars investigated.”

Enter the 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge

“Some of science’s most powerful statements are not made in words. From the diagrams of DaVinci to Rosalind Franklin’s x-rays, visualization of research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten.

“How many people would have heard of fractal geometry or the double helix or solar flares if they had been described solely in words? In a world where science literacy is dismayingly rare, illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. Indeed, they are now a necessity for public understanding of research developments.

“The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science created the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge to celebrate that grand tradition–and to encourage its continued growth. The spirit of the competition is for communicating science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes.

“Judges appointed by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science will select winners in each of five categories: photographs, illustrations, informational graphics, interactive media and non-interactive media. The winners will be published in a special section of the journal Science and Science Online and on the NSF Web site. One of the winning entries will be on the front cover of Science. In addition, each winner will receive a free, one-year print and on-line subscription to the journal Science and a certificate of appreciation.

“We urge you and your colleagues to contribute to the next competition. Find out more about guidelines for submissions including entry forms.

“View a video highlighting past winners of the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.”