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Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

In north-central Chile, in the middle of a desert, there is a mountain forest dense with trees, ferns, and mosses. Its lush greenery is fed by fog blowing off the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Unlike rain, fog can move horizontally through the landscape, delivering water and essential plant nutrients. But fog can also be a source of pollution, from undesirable microbes to acidic chemicals.

In an effort to better understand the role that fog plays in ecosystems, Cary Institute biogeochemist Kathleen Weathers will be leading the first-ever gathering of scientists who study fog. The event has been made possible by a $157,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The workshop will be held this June at the Moore Foundation’s headquarters on the northern coast of California. More than 30 scientists from diverse fields will attend, including oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, botanists, and philosophers. Together they will explore what we know, don’t know, and need to know about how fog shapes the environment.
Findings will be communicated in a paper that addresses knowledge gaps, such as how fog delivers chemicals, microbes, and water to the land. An equally important outcome of the workshop will be new collaborations forged among researchers.

New Publications

Two books by Cary Institute scientists were released this winter. Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science (Academic Press, December 2012), edited by Kathleen Weathers, David Strayer, and Gene Likens, offers a comprehensive introduction to the field. William Schlesinger and Emily Bernhardt of Duke University produced a thoroughly revised and updated third edition of the textbook, Biochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change (Academic Press, January 2013).

Katherine Larsen

Writer in Residence Katherine Larsen

This May, poet and author Katherine Larson will join the Cary Institute community as the newest writer-in-residence. In addition to having won a number of awards and fellowships for her writing, Larson, who lives in Arizona, is also a research scientist in molecular biology. Her poems connect the empirical world to the imaginative, exploring creative and destructive moments in micro- and macro-environments.

Staff Distinctions

Gary Lovett has been elected as Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of his seminal work in dry deposition to forest canopies and his studies of the impacts of acid deposition, excess nitrogen, pests, and pathogens on forests.

Alan Berkowitz and William Schlesinger have been elected as Fellows to the Ecological Society of America in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the advancement and application of ecological knowledge.

Emma Rosi-Marshall will be the next Director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research project, a role that is targeted to begin in 2016.

William Schlesinger has been tapped as Chair-Elect of the Section on Geology and Geography for the American Association of the Advancement of Science. The three-year commitment includes successive years as Chair and Retiring Chair.

Charles Canham has been elected to a second three-year term as secretary and member of the governing board of the Ecological Society of America.

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