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FSML: Enabling Forest Canopy Access and Analytical Capacity at the University of Michigan Biological Station

This award supports acquisition of research equipment by the University of Michigan Biological station (UMBS). The equipment will improve integrated research and education efforts in analysis of critical and understudied habitats (forest canopies and rooting zones), and will expand capacities for study of organisms, biotic communities, and biogeochemical processes in these habitats. This request builds upon a strong foundation of existing research and education programs. The requested items will improve research capabilities of faculty-student research teams based at UMBS, including undergraduates participating in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU- Sites) program in Biosphere-Atmosphere Studies in a Changing Global Environment. Equipment will also be used by graduate student researchers who are fellows in the BART (Biosphere-Atmosphere Research and Training NSF IGERT program), the UMBS Carbon Flux Project, and various other student-faculty research teams. The equipment includes a Zero Emission Canopy Access Vehicle (ZECAV), which will provide faculty and student researchers access to a wider range of tree crown and forest canopy environments than can be investigated with existing fixed towers, pruning poles and climbing gear. A Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer will be used for measurement of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in forest soil solutions. Together, these two items will serve a diverse set of student, faculty, and visiting researchers studying biogeochemical, eco-physiological, organismal, atmospheric, and community processes in the changing forests of the northern Great Lakes region. These items will dramatically increase access to understudied forest canopy and forest-root environments, and will provide critical information about organisms, biotic communities, and ecological processes to our student and faculty researchers. They will also enhance student field class experiences and increase the breadth and depth of UMBS research and education activities. The UMBS, located on Douglas Lake in Northern Michigan, has operated continuously since 1909 with important contributions to fundamental studies of plant and animal ecology, animal behavior, limnology, parasitology, systematics, biogeochemistry<br/>and atmospheric science. Since its beginning, the station has trained over 8000 students; over the last 20 years it has hosted a average of nearly 30 senior researchers annually. The UMBS actively recruits individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from under-represented minority groups, for its programs of field-based environmental research and education.Because of the presence of diverse, protected habitats within its boundaries, the UMBS Station is designated a Biosphere Reserve by the U.N. Man and the Biosphere Program.

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