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Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park

Research Park Notes
Issue 19, August 21, 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.

PARK RESEARCH AND USERS

Reservation Data for Carbon Sequestration and Energy Crop Production - Holly Gibbs (Postmasters Research Associate in the Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL) and Robin Graham (Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL) are creating a geographic information system to allow identification of the land-use potential for carbon sequestration and energy crop production on the Reservation. Holly is pulling together spatial data sets created by Environmental Sciences Division scientists over the past 10 years and attaching information that may increase their utility. Data layers include soil types and erosion status, elevation, forest inventory, wetlands, geology, and bark beetle damage, as well as recent remotely-sensed images. The data will ultimately be housed in the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) and will be incorporated into the Mercury search system. Stay tuned for updates on data availability!

Long-term Performance of Permeable Reactive Barriers - Libby West, Gerry Moline, Liyuan Liang, Wiwat Kamalpornwijit, Annett Sullivan, Baohua Gu, and Marion Fox (Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL) are doing work at the Y-12 reactive barrier site near the S-3 Disposal Ponds. The project is part of a larger scale evaluation of iron-reactive barriers in order to determine guidance for ongoing performance evaluation. There is an ongoing column study at the site, using site groundwater for controlled experiments, as well as evaluation of the barrier itself--coupled hydrologic and geochemical performance. The funding sponsor is DOE Subsurface Contamination Focus Area, EM-50. There’s no Web site yet but word is they hope to get that set up next year.

NATURAL RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT

Native Grasses Meeting by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Jim Evans and Dick Conley, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, along with a representative of Sharp Brothers Seed, will be holding an information session on native grasses to address questions related to the establishment and maintenance of native grasses on the Oak Ridge Reservation. The meeting will be at the TDEC Office, Emory Valley Road, Oak Ridge, on Friday, September 14, from 9-11 a.m. If you or colleagues are interested in attending, contact the TDEC office at: 865-481-0995.

MEETINGS

SAMAB - The Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) Cooperative Executive Committee and representatives of the SAMAB Foundation met August 14 to visit one of their Biosphere Reserve Units (Grandfather Mountain), discuss agency activities, and review and plan projects. Hugh Morton, owner of Grandfather Mountain (the only Biosphere Reserve in private ownership), presented a slide show about Grandfather, including some of the threats facing it. Don Duerr of the Forest Service Health Protection Unit in Asheville made a special presentation on damage caused by the southern pine beetle. Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, Mount Mitchell State Park, Grandfather Mountain, and Tennessee River Gorge Trust are each Biosphere Reserves and part of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve.

Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council - The Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council Board, which includes Kris Johnson (Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Pat Parr (ORNL), Nancy Fraley (TVA), and other state agency and university members, met in Crossville on August 10. An updated Invasive Exotic Pest Plant List has been completed and is available at the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Web site (click on Tennessee) at http://www.se-eppc.org/.

The 2002 Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday, April 3, through Friday, April 5, 2002, at the Renaissance Hotel. Objectives of this interdisciplinary conference include: 1) exchange information and technology leading to cost-efficient management of invasive exotic species in natural areas; 2) provide a forum for participants to develop networks of mutual assistance; and 3) facilitate interdisciplinary dialog between policy makers, land managers, and researchers. A call for papers will be coming very soon.

PRESENTATIONS

Virginia Dale, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL, gave a presentation on the Oak Ridge Reservation at a workshop on Community-based Stewardship of Natural Lands held at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. Most natural land in most regions of the world is owned by private individuals or local communities. Even where large tracts are protected in parks, populations of native species and ecological processes inevitably cross the boundaries between governmental and communal or private lands. Conservation of natural systems requires that private landowners and local communities act as stewards on their own natural and semi-natural lands. However, community-based stewardship does not always work. After two decades of intensive promotion of community-based conservation programs in Africa, Asia, and throughout the world, it is clear that some programs have benefited both people and environment, whereas others have not. Experiences of persons who have participated in or observed community-based stewardship in any of its multitudinous forms was discussed and included input from managers who have worked with community stewardship projects from a wide variety of habitats and countries.

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST

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 5, 2001 - SAMAB Cooperative Executive Committee meeting, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

November 6-8, 2001 - SAMAB Annual Fall Conference “From Issues to Action: Opportunities for Stewardship in the Southern Appalachians,” Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For more information, visit http://samab.org or call 865-974-4583.

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

March 15-17, 2002 - Appalachian Studies Association 25th Annual Conference, Unicoi State Park, Georgia. Proposals due September 28 by snail mail only. Patricia Beaver, beaverp@appstate.edu, http://www.appalachianstudies.org.

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/.


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