A networking resource devoted to biological soil crusts and the researchers who study them. We will provide a means for international scientists to communicate, share their research, share important news and announcements, ask questions and find collaborators. We will also provide a space for informal writing on research, opinion, and ideas (now seeking posters!).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Position researching biocrusts

A PhD-level position is available at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

30 janvier 2014

Biological Soil Crusts: The Role of Trampling, Climate Change and Nitrogen Deposition in Affecting Community Species Composition
A PhD-level position is available at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to study the species dynamics of biological soil crusts communities. The successful candidate will work on a collaborative project that will examine the natural dynamics in undisturbed communities, as well as how trampling (from both cattle and people), climate change (experimentally manipulations with heating lamps and watering treatments), drought (using rainout shelters), fire, and nitrogen deposition is or has affected the composition of biological soil crusts communities. These studies will occur on both the Colorado Plateau and in the Mojave Deserts. This position will: 1) sample current and past experiments to assess treatment effects and recovery from those treatments; 2) synthesize 15 years of data on the natural dynamics of biological soil crust communities in undisturbed areas of both the Colorado Plateau and the Mojave Deserts; 3) effectively use statistical analyses to assess effects, and 4) communicate results in presentations and peer-reviewed publications. This project offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine how species composition of biological soil crusts changes through time, as we have the longest existing data set in the world. This position will also revisit some sites and examine how treatments have affected biocrust cover and physiology, using a portable fluorometer. A background in laboratory and field methods in ecology, physiology, and/or biogeochemistry is preferred. This position will be working with Drs. Henry Sun (Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, NV) and Jayne Belnap (USGS, Canyonlands Research Station in Moab, UT). Salary is $1800/month. Start date will be fall 2014 or spring 2015, depending on the application date. Position is expected to last 4 years. Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and three references to Dr.
Henry Sun (henry.sun@dri.edu).

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I aim to rebuild the living skin of the Earth

Living on Earth: Using Bacteria to Heal the Desert

Follow the link to a recent radio interview I did. It's about erosion and dust issues in the western US, and the practice of biocrust restoration. I think the finished product came out good….many thanks to Living on Earth intern Clairissa Baker, for initiating the interview.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Attack of the clones!

Our Syntrichia culture collection is establishing (photo: Kyle Doherty). The older field collected Syntrichia ruralis stem is growing new green shoots, after only a couple weeks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nice video explaining straw checkerboard dune stabilization

If you want to see the footprint of the massive dune stabilization work associated with this railroad, go to 37°29'22.94"N 105° 1'42.60"E in Google Earth. Zoom out enough so you can see the stabilized area near the rails and the unstabilized sand. Cool isn't it?

By the way, straw checkerboards lead to biocrust growth.