Ecosystem ecology and the impacts of fire and thermokarst in the Arctic
Mentor: Professor George Kling
Students will be closely integrated into an ongoing project to study how climate change is increasing fire and thermokarst failure in arctic tundra, and what impacts these disturbances have on aquatic ecosystems. Within this study there are several individual projects that could be developed, including: (1) experimentally testing the effects of burning on the character of soil waters drained from burned tundra (e.g., changes in biochemistry), (2) determining the quantity and impacts of nutrients that are flushed from thermokarst sediments into lakes, or (3) investigating how the sediment inputs from a thermokarst failure impact the benthic ecology of a lake, such as changes in the concentration and distribution of chlorophyll or nutrient release from lake sediments. This work will be done onsite at the Toolik Lake Field Station in Alaska, which is the premiere U.S. research facility in the Arctic and where students will be exposed to a world-class group of international scientists.