Participating Students - William Hockaday

William C. Hockaday
The Ohio State University
Enrollment Year: 2001
Email Address: wch2 at
Atmospheric Mentor: Ellen Mosley-Thompson, The Ohio State University
Biosphere Mentor: Peter Curtis, The Ohio State University

Research Topics
Partitioning Respiratory C02 Fluxes Within a Northern Hardwood Ecosystem

While some uncertainties remain, the overwhelming majority of atmospheric scientists believe that human-induced climate change is inevitable.  The evidence of anthropogenic influence is manifested in the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.  Primarily due to the combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation and agricultural practices, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased 30%, 100%, and 15% respectively from pre-industrial levels.  Current levels of greenhouse gases are higher than any time during the past 420,000 years for which we have reliable ice core data [Martinson et al. 1994].  While emissions reductions are essential to stabilizing atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, international mitigation efforts, specifically the Kyoto Protocol, issue Annex 1 countries emission reduction credits for increasing net carbon sequestration in terrestrial carbon sinks.  On a global basis, terrestrial carbon sequestration occurs primarily in forests.  In order to formulate effective and transparent policies and accounting systems, a more detailed understanding of the role of forest ecosystems in the global carbon cycle is essential [Steffen et al. 1998].

Current Work
Bill is currently conducting research as a Pos Doc at Rice University in the department of Earth Science. He current research looks at understanding the effects of fire and land-use change on the carbon cycle as well as the chemical and structural interrogation of natural organic matter. Bill is also interested in the biogeochemistry of biomass-based energy systems and naturally-occurring carbon stabilization (sequestration) mechanisms in soil and sediment.

Bill's Rice Website

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