Biomass and C Measures in Developing Countries -- Prime Solutions for REDD Offsets Carbon Offset Mechanisms Through REDD -- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degredation in Developing Countries

Carbon & Climate Change

For 15 years, Chris has worked throughout Latin America and the Pacific Islands to quantify biomass, carbon and nutrient pools in a range of ecosystems. He has developed models to quantify the change in C and nutrient pools over time, particularly related to land uses. His current focus is in developing early model REDD projects with multinational groups with a focus to implement C sequestration projects that provide a diverse range of ecosystem services (REDD = Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degredation in Developing Countries).

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Climate Change/ Carbon Assessment -- Pacific Islands. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry - USDA Forest Service / NASA-Ames Earth Sciences / Federated States of Micronesia, Yap State. Project duration: 4/2008 to 6/2010 (ongoing). Chris worked as a charter member of a small "advance team" to quantify impacts of sea level rise and ridge-to-reef sediment distribution on mangrove systems. As a supplement, provided assistance to NASA to develop early logistic support to conduct an experimental flight of an unmanned SIERRA aerial vehicle for use in collecting remotely sensed data (laser altimetry, scanning aperture radar and hyperspectral imagery) for Yap and outer islands. Results of the overall project are designed to provide empirical data necessary to predict the current and potential losses of total ecosystem carbon pools as well as losses of taro agricultural lands due to disturbances and changes in sea level. Outcomes are designed to provide Yap with management solutions to better identify key land resources for sustainability amid pressures of rising sea levels and immigration from outer island communities. Island-scale carbon measures were used in intergovernmental discussions for potential REDD offsets, with focus on upland reforestation of native & multi-use agroforest.

Climate Change Effects on Wetland Function. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry - USDA Forest Service / Republic of Palau, Micronesia. Project Duration: 3/2007 - 5/2009 (ongoing). Chris worked with a team to quantify the impacts of sea level rise on mangrove forests in the tropical Pacific. Work involved quantifying the total ecosystem carbon and nutrient pools along a micro-elevational gradient from the upland-mangrove transition to the mud flats/sea grass communities important for the local fishery. Outcomes include modeling sea level rise effects on the ecosystem services provided by mangrove buffer areas (hurricanes/ typhoons, carbon storage, food webs/ fisheries, sediment, etc). Presented findings to government, NGO and international agencies in Palau, greater Micronesia, and the United States. Publication is in preparation. View poster here.

Ecosystem Impacts of Land Use on Climate Change. Multiple Partners: United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brasil. Project Duration: 3/1996 - 9/2008. Chris participated in a highly detailed and large-scale assessment of the total ecosystem carbon and nutrient pools (soils, roots, above ground) to quantify the atmospheric and terrestrial impacts of land-use conversion in the Neotropics. Work specifically involved the measurement, mapping, and scaling of many different forest types through the cycle of conversion to agriculture and fallow through deforestation and fire events. Outcomes included the fate and transport of terrestrial carbon pools to the atmosphere, the assessment of land-use viability following combustion and conversion, and the minimum considerations/ sensitivities associated with measuring C pools and creating high-value CDM/ REDD projects. Work has been presented to international panels, governments, and the scientific community. Peer-reviewed publication is in press to Ecological Applications (est. print date 12/08 - 3/09).

Carbon Pool and Biodiversity Assessment - Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Preserve. US-EPA, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, Estación Biológica de Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, México. Project Duration: 3/1996 - 5/1999. Chris designed and implemented a region-wide assessment (~1 million ha) of the species composition and carbon/ biomass storage along an elevational and soils gradient for primary tropical wet and tropical cloud forests in SE Mexico. Work involved sample design, field sampling, logistics, and assessment of the total ecosystem C pools for the region, and an assessment of the shifts in the over 450 plant species along the gradient to maximize biosphere conservation goals. Presented information in English and Spanish to international government agencies, the scientific community and the media. MS thesis was completed as part of this project.