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Nation's largest organization of ecologists offers expert database

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation's largest organization of ecological scientists, unveiled its updated resource for policymakers and members of the media today: the Rapid Response Team (RRT) database, an ESA resource for several years that is now fully searchable. Users can find ecological scientists who specialize in a variety of fields, including climate change, invasive species, urban ecology, conservation and biofuels, or can locate an RRT member by name, affiliation or keyword.

Members of the RRT provide on-call ecological expertise in a variety of ways, such as serving as panelists in briefings for congressional staff, providing expert testimony to Congress, analyzing the likely ecological consequences of proposed changes to environmental regulations and providing scientific feedback for news stories.

For example, Rob Jackson from Duke University recently participated in a congressional hearing on geoengineering where he discussed the complexities of such biological, land-based strategies as large-scale tree planting with lawmakers on the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

"The same plantation that cools the Earth by removing carbon could warm it by reflecting less light," Jackson said at the hearing. "And your new plantation affects the Earth in other ways, too. Trees typically use more water than other plants, and this increased evaporation cools land locally, loads energy into the atmosphere and produces clouds that absorb or reflect sunlight and produce rain. Overall, these biophysical changes can affect climate more than carbon removal."


Contact: Katie Kline
202-833-8773 x211
Ecological Society of America

Page: 1

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