Welcome to Research Park Notes! Look for tidbits of information on National Environmental Research Park activities, observations, and users every couple of weeks. To provide newsletter input, request additional information, make comments, or add/delete mailing list names, contact the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Area Manager, Pat Parr.
Bioremediation of Soils or Forbidden Attraction: How to get Bacteria Close to Contaminants - Phil Jardine and Scott Brooks, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL
There is a fundamental physical limitation to the rate and ultimate success of bioremediation of soils and groundwater: a large portion of the contaminants reside in openings that are too small for bacteria to enter. The physical separation of the contaminant and the decontaminating agent means that bacteria only encounter the contaminants as they slowly diffuse out into larger spaces where the bacteria reside. Using intact soil cores that are representative of contaminated sites at the Oak Ridge Reservation, Environmental Sciences Division scientists are investigating the relationship between the size of soil pores and biodegradation. Our approach involves the use of (1) a variably saturated dynamic flow technique to quantify the biodegradation of Co(II)-NTA as a function of pore class size in structured media, (2) multiscale experiments that are designed to control the hydrologic conditions and enhance the microbially induced immobilization of Co-NTA, and (3) a high performance hydrobiogeochemical model that couples microbial and hydrogeochemical processes to conduct multiscale process and parameter upscaling studies. Results to date have demonstrated that the interaction of Co(II)-NTA with common soil minerals results in the production of multiple forms of the highly stable oxidized product Co(III)-NTA. This oxidation reaction has far reaching implications for the transport of Co-NTA in soils and groundwater: Co(III)-NTA moves more readily through soils and is less susceptible to bacterial degradation. These observations illustrate some of the complex biogeochemistry that influences the fate and transport of chelated metals and radionuclides. Research is sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. See web site at http://www.esd.ornl.gov/research/jardine2_highlight.html.
Birds - Dev Joslin (Tennessee Ornithological Society), Jim Evans (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency), and Jason Mitchell (Tennessee Valley Authority)
A field trip on April 21, 2001, to Freels Bend, on the Three Bend Scenic and Wildlife Refuge in the Research Park, brought out 39 birders in two separate groups. Between the two groups, two owl species were seen up close and a third species was heard. A Great Horned Owl was cooperatively (if strangely and sleepily) perched on a short hedge out in an open field at 9 a.m. for the second group, while both groups saw a Barn Owl sally forth from a silo on site. The first group also heard a Barred Owl early in the morning. Altogether 10 raptor species (counting vultures) were identified by the two groups, including a pair of Oprey on a nest and a female Northern Harrier. Other species of note were D-C Cormorant, Black-crowned Night-heron, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Brown Creeper, Northern Parula, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler (good long looks in the scope), Palm Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Yellow-Breasted Chat, Scarlet Tanager, Grasshopper Sparrow, numerous Field Sparrows, and Orchard Oriole. Altogether, the two groups saw 72 species. A complete list of species seen by the two groups is available on the Research Park web site (http://www.esd.ornl.gov/facilities/nerp/issue12_birds.html).
More opportunities are available to see parts of the reservation not normally open to the public. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the American Museum of Science and Energy at 865-576-3218.
Saturday, May 5, 7-10 a.m. - Bird Walk at Freels Bend of the Three Bend Scenic and Wildlife Refuge managed by TWRA. Leader: Jim Evans, TWRA. Meet at 7 a.m. at parking lot on the south side of ORAU's Scarboro Operations Site on the east (left) side of Scarboro/Pumphouse Road, and just south of the Scarboro Road/Bethel Valley Road intersection. 25-participant limit. 3 hrs.
Saturday, May 12, 7-10 a.m. - Bird Walk at Freels Bend of the Three Bend Scenic and Wildlife Refuge managed by TWRA. Leader: Jim Evans, TWRA. Meet at 7 a.m. at parking lot on the south side of ORAU's Scarboro Operations Site on the east (left) side of Scarboro/Pumphouse Road, and just south of the Scarboro Road/Bethel Valley Road intersection. 25-participant limit. 3 hrs.
Sunday, May 13, 2:30-4:30 p.m. - Mother's Day Wildflower Walk at Walker Branch. Leader: Mac Post, ORNL. Flower field book or guide, sturdy shoes, hat, water bottle recommended. Meet at 2:30 p.m. at the lobby of the American Museum of Science and Energy. Participants will caravan in their own vehicles to the site. 20-participant limit.
Saturday, May 19, 7-10 a.m. - Bird Walk at Freels Bend of the Three Bend Scenic and Wildlife Refuge managed by TWRA. Leader: Jim Evans, TWRA. Meet at 7 a.m. at parking lot on the south side of ORAU's Scarboro Operations Site on the east (left) side of Scarboro/Pumphouse Road, and just south of the Scarboro Road/Bethel Valley Road intersection. 25-participant limit. 3 hrs.
Sunday, May 20, 2-4:30 p.m. - Wildflower Ramble at Walker Branch. Leader: Mark Peterson, ORNL. Flower field book or guide, sturdy shoes, hat, water bottle recommended. Meet at 2 p.m. at the lobby of the American Museum of Science and Energy. Participants will caravan in their own vehicles to the site. 20-participant limit.
Pat Parr gave the luncheon banquet address for the 75th anniversary meeting of the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs on April 24. Her topic was “Sparkling Richness in the East Tennessee Landscape: The Oak Ridge Reservation.”
There are some new and updated Web sites highlighting research on the Research Park. Take a look:
Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP)
Free-air CO2 exposure facility (FACE)
NABIR Field Research Center
Hanson, P. J., and J. F. Weltzin. 2000. Drought disturbance from climate change response of United States forests. Science Total Environ. 262:205-220.
Hanson, P. J., D. E. Todd, and J. S. Amthor. 2001. A six year study of sapling and large-tree growth and mortality responses to natural and induced variability in precipitation and throughfall. Tree Physiology 21:345-358.
Joslin, J. D., M. H. Wolfe, and P. J. Hanson. 2001. Factors controlling the timing of root elongation intensity in a mature upland oak-hickory stand. Plant and Soil 228:201-212.
Norby, Cotrufo, Ineson, O'Neill, and Canadell. 2001. Elevated CO2, litter chemistry, and decomposition--A synthesis. Oecologia 127:153-165.
Wilson, K. B., P. J. Hanson, P. J. Mulholland, D. D. Baldocchi, and S. D. Wullschleger. 2001. A comparison of methods for determining forest evapotranspiration and its components across scales, sap-flow, soil water budget, eddy covariance, and catchment water balance. Agric. For. Meteor. 106:153-168.
Wullschleger, S. D., P. J. Hanson, and D. E. Todd. 2001. Transpiration from a multi-species deciduous forest as estimated by xylem sap flow techniques. For. Ecol. Manag. 143:205-213.
May 2-3, 2001 SAMAB Spring Planning Meeting, The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, North Carolina. More info: http://samab.org.
May 29 - June 2, 2001 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in Boston. Abstracts are due March 8. In addition to its strength in subsurface science and geochemistry, AGU is continuing to expand its focus on biogeoscience and watershed hydrology. More info: http://www.agu.org/.
May 31 - June 1, 2001 The 3rd Annual Governors Summit on Mountain Air Quality, Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
June 27-29, 2001 "Decision Support Systems for Water Resources Management," AWRA/UCOWR Summer Specialty Conference, Snowbird Resort, Snowbird, Utah. More info: Contact AWRA Headquarters [(540) 687-8390] or http://firstname.lastname@example.org/meetings/Utah2001/.
August 5-8, 2001 "Globalization and Water Management--The Changing Value of Water," AWRA/University of Dundee International Specialty Conference, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland. More info: Contact AWRA Headquarters [(540) 687-8390] or http://email@example.com/meetings/Dundee2001/.
August 5-10, 2001 The 86th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin. More info: http://esa.sdsc.edu/madison/.
October 3-6, 2001 Natural Areas Association Annual Conference at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on “Searching for a Natural Balance.” More info: http://natareas.org/frame.htm.
November 12-15, 2001 Annual Water Resources Conference, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico. More info: Contact AWRA Headquarters [(540) 687-8390] or http://firstname.lastname@example.org/meetings/NewMexico2001/.
November 26-28, 2001 Southern Forest Science Conference, Contributions of Forest Research to Sustainable Forestry, Atlanta, Georgia. More info: http://www.southernforestscience.net or call (828) 257-4302.
Participate in On-Line Conference "The Risks of Exotic Forest Pests and Their Impact on Trade" - Visit http://exoticpests.apsnet.org for presentations and discussion on hazards, economic impacts, ecological effects, prevention, control, and proposed guidelines, standards, and regulations.
Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change - The Wiley Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change promotional web site can now be viewed at http://www.wiley.co.uk/egec. The site provides full information on contents and contributors and presents a number of free articles.
The Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park was designated by the Department of Energy in 1980 and is one of a network of seven National Environmental Research Parks. It is an Oak Ridge National Laboratory User Facility. The Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1989. It is also a unit member of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve and part of the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) Cooperative. More information on the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park can be found on the website at: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/facilities/nerp/.