What Are They Doing?

The green needles of larch trees turn brownish-orange and fall to the ground. Cherskiy, Russia.
The green needles of larch trees turn brownish-orange and fall to the ground. Cherskiy, Russia.
Climate change is impacting Arctic regions at twice the rate as the rest of the globe and as a result, ecosystems in these regions are seeing an increase in frequency, intensity and severity of fires in many boreal forests. The primary objective of this research is to delineate the causes of varying post-fire tree regrowth within larch forests of eastern Siberia and determine consequences for climate feedbacks through changes in Carbon storage and albedo (light radiation). The team will be using a combination of field-based measurements, dendrochronological analysis, remotely-sensed data, and statistical modelling. The research will increase the understanding of how larch forests in the Arctic of Siberia respond to a changing fire regime and particularly identify the mechanisms of response.

Where Are They?

Dr. Valentin Spektor of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, splits a permafrost core for bagging and later analyses. Cherskiy, Russia.
Dr. Valentin Spektor of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, splits a permafrost core for bagging and later analyses. Cherskiy, Russia.
Research will focus on larch forests in two regions of the Russian Far East: Cherskii and Yakutsk. While in Cherskii, they will primarily stay at the Northeastern Science Station where dorm-style rooms and meals are provided. They will also travel for one week down river on a barge.

Expedition Map

Cherskii and Yakutsk, Russia
Project Funded Title
Collaborative Research: Fire regime influences on carbon dynamics of Siberian boreal forests
Amanda Ruland - Educator
Saratoga Elementary School

Amanda Ruland attended college at Pennsylvania State University, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology. After studying abroad in Blackrock, Ireland she returned to the states and traveled westward. Amanda now teaches in the small mountainous town of Saratoga, Wyoming. 1,600 individuals call this wind-whipped, sage covered valley their home and it is here that Amanda teaches Kindergarteners at Saratoga Elementary School. Amanda teachers all subject areas, but particularly loves incorporating STEAM and Place Based Education into her interdisciplinary approach to teaching. Amanda also works with middle and high school students though a program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Through this program Amanda provides students with the tools for college success, including opportunities for scientific inquiry to build leadership skills.

Jennie DeMarco - Reseacher
Western Colorado University

Dr. DeMarco is a faculty member in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Western Colorado University where she teaches courses in the science of environmental management, climate change, and data management. Her research focuses on how climate change, land use change, and invasive species impact how carbon and nutrients are cycled in terrestrial ecosystems. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science at Northern Arizona University and her Ph.D in Ecosystem Ecology at the University of Florida. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoc at New Mexico State University and then was an adjunct professor at University of Florida before moving to Gunnison just a year ago to teach at Western. She has conducted research in a range of ecosystems including the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts and the arctic tundra. Last summer she journeyed to Siberia for the first time to begin research investigating recruitment of Larch trees following fire.

Jill Young - Researcher
Western Colorado University

Jill is a master in environmental management student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. Arctic research is critically important to her, especially with the increase in global climatic shifts. Her research focus is terrestrial ecosystem ecology, and she’ll be investigating soil nutrients and seed recruitment from post-wildfire disturbances in far northeastern Siberia. When Jill is not working, she is out climbing mountains, hammocking, white-water rafting, snowboarding and practicing yoga.

Latest Journals

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Fire and Carbon in Siberian Forests Resources