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UC Riverside lecture: Climate change, bark beetles, environmental markets and sustainability

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Ecosystem ecologist Ann Bartuska will give a free public lecture at the University of California, Riverside on what natural resources managers are doing to respond to climate change and to ensure sustainable forests and grasslands for the future.

Her lecture, titled "Climate Change, Bark Beetles, Environmental Markets and Sustainability: The Changing Face of Forestry and Natural Resources," will take place at 4:10 p.m., April 5, in Bourns Hall, Room A125.

"Forest managers are being faced with disturbance events from wildfires and insect damage that have never been experienced in recent history, largely due to the impacts of climate change and climatic variability," said Bartuska, the deputy chief for research and development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. "Because of this, land managers need to make decisions that consider a highly uncertain future but lead to forests and grasslands that are resilient in the face of climate change."

Bartuska explained that there is at the same time a desire to keep forests as forests, that is, to reduce the amount of land converted to non-forest uses.

"Fifty-three percent of the surface-derived drinking water in the United States comes from our forests, so management that ensures this resource is available is increasingly valued, just as ensuring a supply of wood has been valued," she said. "To do that, private landowners must have options that enable them to practice sustainable land management and to make the economics work out. One of those options may lie in the environmental marketplace, where landowners accrue financial benefit from having healthy, resilient forests that produce clean water and sequester carbon."

Bartuska recently served as acting USDA deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment from January 2009 to October 2009. She also was the executive director of the invasive species initiative in the Nature Conservancy. Prior to this, she was the director of the forest and rangelands staff in the USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC.

Bartuska has degrees from Wilkes College (B.S.), Ohio University (M.S.) and West Virginia University (Ph.D.). Her past research has focused on ecosystems processes in landscapes disturbed by coal mining. She currently co-chairs the ecological systems subcommittee of the committee on environment and natural resources of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Active in the Ecological Society of America, she served as vice president for public affairs from 1996-1999 and as president from 2003-2004. She served in 2004 on the board of the Council of Science Society Presidents, and is a member of the Society of American Foresters.


Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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