ESPM GradFest finishing talk by Kyle Hemes

As a final requirement towards a PhD degree, I joined fellow Environmental Science, Policy, and Management graduates in giving finishing talks at our annual Graduate Festival at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley last month.

It was incredible to see the breadth and depth of our department, with talks ranging from post-colonialist implications of Columbia River valley conservation to rare frog biology to mycorrhizal fungi-root interactions, and everything in between.

It was certainly a challenge to sum up 4+ years of work into 15 minute presentation, for a broad audience, but it forced me to consolidate and organize what I have been working on. I used the framework of biogeochemical and biophysical impacts of land use change to group my work.

March for Science by Kyle Hemes

Incredible to witness so many folks on the streets of San Francisco, this past weekend, marching in the name of science for the public good: bands, bicycle-powered dj booth floats, dinosaur costumes, lots of young kids, and witty signs galore. Federally funded science must continue to inform the public good - helping us to take a rational approach to complex, nuanced challenges, like climate change, public health, and human welfare.

Biophysical Drivers of Temperature Differences... Poster at American Geophysical Union, 2016 by Kyle Hemes

Land use change and land use management impact climate by altering both the biogeochemical and biophysical interactions between the land and atmosphere. Whereas much of the literature focuses exclusively on the biogeochemical impact of land use change, few have explored the biophysical impacts of land use changes such as wetland restoration. With nascent policy mechanisms set to incentivize low emission land use practices like wetland restoration, it is essential that methodologies take into consideration how the biophysical impacts of land use change could drive regional scale climatic perturbations, enhancing or attenuating the biogeochemical impacts of restoration. 

This study takes an energy balance and aerodynamic approach to diagnose measured temperature differences over various restored wetland and agricultural land uses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Monday afternoon, B13E-0661. 

New Delta eddy covariance site set up on Bouldin Island by Kyle Hemes

As part of a large, multi-year study of how wetland restoration affects climate and carbon sequestration, the Berkeley Biomet lab set up their seventh active eddy covariance tower in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, allowing for continuous, long-term studies of how drained and re-wetted California peatlands affect the atmosphere.



Biomet at the California Higher Ed Sustainability Conference by Kyle Hemes

Kyle presented a poster on the work of the Berkeley Biomet Lab at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in Fullerton, CA. The University of California has committed to an ambitious carbon neutrality goal by 2025, and as a fellow, Kyle has been thinking about how land use emission and sequestration could play a role in systemwide carbon neutrality.