Diana F. Tomback

At the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, August 5-10, Portland, Ore., Diana F. Tomback, professor in integrative biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, presented an invited paper “Forest health challenges in the Rocky Mountain West” in the symposium, Rocky Mountain Futures: Preserving, utilizing, and sustaining Rocky Mountain Ecosystems.”

This symposium was a ten-year follow-up to the volume Rocky Mountain Futures, edited by Jill Baron of the U. S. Geological Survey, with chapters authored by most of the participants in the symposium.

The book documented many of the changes across Rocky Mountain ecosystems, including urbanization land-use patterns, the effects of fires suppression, etc. In the book, the authors made predictions about what the future would hold; in the symposium they discussed what they got right and what they did not predict correctly, as well as new changes on the horizon.

At the same meeting, Tomback’s graduate students presented posters in the Ecosystem Function section: Jill Pyatt presented ”The role of Pinus albicaulis as a tree island initiator in the alpine-treeline ecotone: Comparing microclimates among microsites.” Sarah Blakeslee’s poster was on Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) vigor and functional roles within the alpine treeline ecotone.” Both poster papers were also co-authored by Tomback, Elizabeth Pansing; as well as collaborator Lynn Resler, PhD, Virginia Tech.

Tombeck, volunteer director of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and volunteer director of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and James Balog, noted nature photographer and author, were the featured speakers in June at a special reception and program by invitation aimed at government researchers, managers, and administrators; NGOs; congressional delegates and staffers, “Exploring western Forests and climate change” at the National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. The program was jointly sponsored by the Washington, D. C. offices of American Forests and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The purpose of the program was to raise awareness of the rapid impact of climate change and other threats on western forests and the rapid melting of glaciers.

You can read more about Dianna Tomback’s research in her own words here.

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