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Mellon awards Carnegie Grant for Ecological Monitoring in South Africa

Stanford, CA-- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $750,000 grant to the Carnegie Institutions Department of Global Ecology for an intensive pilot study of ecosystem diversity in South Africas Kruger National Park. This research will contribute to the parks adaptive management program, which uses science to improve the chances that the parks ecosystems, including their complex vegetative and animal populations, are sustained into the future.

Using remote sensing, Dr. Gregory Asner will lead a one-year effort to better understand how fire and soil conditions affect the composition, structure, and nutrient content of vegetation over large areas in the park. He and his team of scientists and technicians will use a newly developed remote-sensing instrument, the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, to measure the structure and chemical composition of the parks diverse ecosystems. The observatory combines a laser-based 3-D mapping system and a hyperspectral imager. This pilot project will help park managers develop the capacity and skills to undertake remote monitoring of the parks ecosystems on their own.

Dr. Gregory Asner was recently cited by Popular Science as one of this years Brilliant 10. In 2005, he published a breakthrough paper in Science about selective logging in the Brazilian rainforest that revealed significantly higher levels of forest loss than previously understood. He has been a Research Staff Scientist at Carnegies Department of Global Ecology since 2001.


Contact: Greg Asner
Carnegie Institution

Page: 1

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