RALEIGH, NC (August 6, 2009)--As global climate change impacts forest ecosystems and, consequently, water quality and quantity, the need for science-based guidance for forest managers and policy makers has come to the fore. To address this need, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Global Change Program (SGCP) will host the 2nd International Conference on Forests and Water in a Changing Environment to be held in Raleigh, NC, September 14-16, 2009. The conference is being sponsored by a variety of stakeholders in academia, government, and business. To date, over 120 scientists and students from more than 12 countries have registered to attend.
Keynote speakers from around the world with expertise in the fields of ecohydrology, restoration ecology, forest ecology, watershed management, and global change sciences will convene to discuss a number of topics, including--the interactions among climate, land use, and population changes and how these affect aquifers and forested watersheds; the latest advances in technological applications for monitoring hydrologic processes in forest ecosystems; and the implications of climate change mitigation and adaptation approaches (such as the use of forest products for biofuel development) for water supplies. Additionally, two field trips to key hydrologic research sites in the mountains and coastal plain of North Carolina will be offered to conference participants. A detailed agenda, registration information, and much more can be found on the SGCP website at http://www.sgcp.ncsu.edu.
"Climate change is likely to alter the way we manage forests and how we do forest hydrologic research in the future," says Ge Sun, SGCP research hydrologist and conference co-chair. "The goal of this symposium is to provide a forum to share knowledge and research experiences, and to develop long-term international collaborations on forest watershed research to inform management decisions that maintain, restore, and enhance our water resources."
The 1st International Conference on Forests and Water in a Changing Environment was held in 2006 at the Chinese Academy of Forestry in Beijing, China, and was attended by more than 90 scientists from 25 countries. Following the conference, 11 scientific papers focusing on China's forest hydrology research were published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association in an October 2008 special issue. In an effort to continually address ongoing and emerging forest and water issues in the face of global changes, the 3rd International Conference will take place in 2012 in Japan.
SGCP, located on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, is a research unit within the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center. The Center actively develops new technology and tools to anticipate and respond to emerging forest threats. Headquartered with the Southern Research Station in Asheville, NC, the Center also has an office in Research Triangle Park, NC.