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Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park

Research Park Notes
Issue 13, May 15, 2001

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.


Stream Nitrogen Research - Pat Mulholland, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL

A series of nitrogen-15 (N15) addition experiments have recently been performed in the East and West Forks of Walker Branch on the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park. In these experiments, tracer levels of N15 as nitrate were added to the stream over several hour periods to measure the rates of nitrate uptake at night and under different levels of light during the day.

These experiments are being performed as part of a multi-site project supported by the National Science Foundation aimed at identifying the rates and mechanisms of nitrate uptake and retention in stream ecosystems. They represent an extension of an earlier multi-site study of stream nitrogen dynamics using N15 addition experiments in 12 streams across the United States. The results of the earlier study were recently published in Science (April 6, 2001, edition). The N15 experiments performed in Walker Branch were the prototype for the earlier study and are an integral part of the current project. Participants in the current N15 project include Pat Mulholland, Annett Sullivan, Ramie Wilkerson (Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Jake Beaulieu (ORISE postgraduate student), Jack Webster, Maury Valett, Steve Thomas (Virginia Tech), and Cliff Dahm (University of New Mexico).

Information on the earlier inter-site N15 project (known by its acronym LINX) can be found at


Listening for Bats - Warren Webb, Oak Ridge Reservation Wildlife Coordinator

In early May, Warren Webb, ORNL Wildlife Management Coordinator, attended a bat workshop in Townsend, Tennessee. The focus of the workshop was using the ANABAT system of recording and analyzing bat ultrasonic echolocation calls to identify bat species. Days were spent becoming familiar with the hardware and software. Nights (until about 1 a.m.) were spent in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (GSMNP) capturing bats in caves or with nets and recording bat echolocation calls. Warren will be trying out the ANABAT system as a tool to improve our knowledge of bat species occurrence and activity on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Of 13 possible species on the ORR, recent records (last 5 years) exist for the following: little brown bat, big brown bat, eastern red bat, eastern pipistrelle, evening bat, northern long-eared bat, and silver-haired bat. Also, a dead gray bat of indeterminate age has been found at BWXT, and several putative gray bats were reported in a cave on the ORR.


Last Two Adventure Rambles - Gerry Eddlemon, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Saturday, May 19, 7-10 a.m. - Bird Walk at Freels Bend of the Three Bend Scenic and Wildlife Refuge managed by TWRA. Leaders:  Jim Evans (TWRA) and Dev Joslin (ORNL). 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.

The events are free, but participation is limited on some of the walks. Advance registration is required by calling 865/576-3218 at least 48 hours before the scheduled walk. Cancellation due to bad weather or other circumstances will be placed on the X-10 information line (574-9836 or 574-XTEN) at least an hour before the scheduled walk.

SAMAB Projects Move Forward -- Robb Turner, SAMAB Executive Director

Last week, the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) organization met for their annual spring planning meeting. SAMAB now has a new long-term strategic plan, and this year's planning meeting focused on developing a shorter-term plan of work, based on the plans of its many projects and committees. Projects are moving forward in several areas: sustainable communities; watersheds; native and invasive species; proposed, sensitive, threatened, and endangered species; monitoring along the Appalachian Trail corridor; and a new internet-based GIS technology project for the Southern Appalachian region. The Cultural and History Committee is becoming much more active as well. Some new ideas were proposed, including an invasive species workshop tentatively to be held in conjunction with the fall SAMAB conference (November 6-8), and a science conference focusing on research conducted in the Southern Appalachian Biosphere reserves, including the Smokies. Stay tuned for more information on these ideas. If you are interested in becoming involved in SAMAB initiatives, contact Robb Turner, SAMAB Executive Director. SAMAB's web site is


Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Marshall Adams was selected as a Fulbright US Distinguished American Scholar Keynote Speaker at a workshop on "Biomarkers and Bioindicators Integrated with Residue Analysis for Improved ERA," which will be held in Queenstown, New Zealand, in July 2001. In addition, he will give four seminars on his research at various universities and research institutes and will review the environmental program at the Center for Environmental Toxicology of Lincoln University.

Virginia Dale was a member of the Science Review of The Nature Conservancy, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California, February 2001. She also participated at a workshop on "Climate Change and Species Survival Implications for Conservation Strategies" at the headquarters of The World Conservation Union (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland, February 19-21, 2001.

Pat Mulholland recently participated as an invited expert in the National Park Service's Long-term Monitoring Program workshop held at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a suite of monitoring questions and measurements for aquatic and riparian ecosystems in national parks located in the central United States.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory was well represented at the recent 16th Annual Symposium of the United States chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecology in Tempe, Arizona, on April 25-29. Presentations were given by Yetta Jager, Robert Washington-Allen, Bill Hargrove, and Virginia Dale. As president of the organization, Virginia was busy attending several meetings of the Executive Committee, chairing the banquet, and giving the presidential address.


Dale, V. H., L. A. Joyce, S. McNulty, and R. P. Neilson. 2000. The interplay between climate change, forests, and disturbances. Sci. Total Environ. 26:2201-204.

Norby, R. J., K. Kobayashi, and B. A. Kimball. 2001. Rising CO2 - future ecosystems. New Phytol. 150:215-221.

Norby, R. J., D. E. Todd, J. Fults, and D. W. Johnson. 2001. Allometric determination of tree growth in a CO2-enriched sweetgum stand. New Phytol. 150:477-487.

Wullschleger, S. D., and R. J. Norby. 2001. Sap velocity and canopy transpiration for a 12-year-old sweetgum stand exposed to free-air CO2 enrichment. New Phytol. 150:489-498.


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:

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

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

August 5-10, 2001 – The 86th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Madison, Wisconsin. More info:

October 3-6, 2001 – Natural Areas Association Annual Conference at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on “Searching for a Natural Balance.” More info:

November 12-15, 2001 – Annual Water Resources Conference, Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico. More info: Contact AWRA Headquarters [(540) 687-8390] or

November 26-28, 2001 – Southern Forest Science Conference, Contributions of Forest Research to Sustainable Forestry, Atlanta, Georgia. More info: or call (828) 257-4302.

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:

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Last Modified: June 1, 2001
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