During this project, we will continue our training and education program in a variety of activities. Given the brief 2-year period for LBA Phase-III activities, our keystone education effort will involve one Brazilian and one American post-doctoral trainee. The post-docs will receive in-depth training in biogeochemical modeling, and they will work together to develop a detailed synthesis on the biogeochemistry of selectively logged areas in Amazonia and the pan-tropics. By the end of the project, the two post-docs will have functional abilities in modeling, and can go forward to teach in their respective careers. Our post-doctoral candidates (Gabriela Nardoto and Ashley Balantyne) have sufficient scientific experience in biogeochemistry and computing to meet the challenge of learning and using a variety of ecosystem models. A short-term (e.g., 1-2 month) exchange by the two post-docs between UnB and Carnegie will provide additional technical training on the use of computational modeling for land-use and biogeochemical research. The post-docs will learn the “hands-on” techniques used for model development and analysis using satellite data and field-based inputs. The rationale behind this effort is that basic laboratory-level experience is the best way to learn the modeling methods.
The project will hold two seminars to be taught at the University of Brasilia. The rationale behind the seminars is to provide the most information to the largest possible audience of students in a manageable amount of time. An ecosystem modeling seminar will be presented by the post-docs, Asner and Bustamante, working as a team. The seminar will be taught for one week and will involve both classroom and hands-on computer training. The topics covered will include: remote sensing inputs, model types and algorithms, and analysis of modeling results. A second seminar on biogeochemical processes will be developed by the two post-docs and taught at UnB. This seminar will run for one week and will cover topics such as rock-derived nutrient stocks and fluxes in forest ecosystems, field and laboratory measurements, and techniques for constructing a nutrient budget at the ecosystem level.