2013 LCB potluck/Pétanque clash

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Just had our annual LCB cookout/potluck at Casa Albright.  And, following tradition, sharp elbows came out for the pétanque action.


Comings and goings at LCB


The new semester is underway and it is time to introduce a great batch of folks:

From left: Matthew Bromley, Nicole Shaw, & Andrew Vitale

From left: Matthew Bromley, Nicole Shaw, & Andrew Vitale

Matt Bromley joins the lab as Master’s student.  A Reno native, UNR alum, and decorated Army veteran, Matt is also a research assistant at DRI working on remote sensing and evapotranspiration.

Nicole Shaw is a new Master’s student working on a Great Basin conservation and landscape ecology project in conjunction with Conservation Science Partners.  Nicole enjoys family time outdoors and resides in the Lake Tahoe area.

Although he started in summer 2012, Andrew Vitale’s arrival was never trumpeted.  Yet, worthy of trumpeting it is.  Andrew comes to us with an environmental sciences degree from the University at Albany.  His Master’s research involves topoclimates and remote sensing data fusion.

We also welcome our intrepid pika-microclimate field team.  Team lead, David Fisher, comes with a freshly minted Master’s in geography from Oregon.  Alex Taylor, a recent UNR natural resources graduate, hails from the Central Sierra.

And we bid fond farewell to our undergraduate technician, Sarah Hardage.  Sarah completed her Bachelor’s in electrical engineering and now works for the department of defense at an undisclosed location.


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Profile in 2013 Tahoe Summit Report

Earlier this summer, in preparation for the recent 2013 Tahoe Summit, I was among a handful of UNR faculty to be interviewed about our research and teaching as they relate to the Tahoe Basin.  It was fun to get to talk a bit about birds, citizen science, topography and climate interactions, and our conservation motivations — even if Tahoe itself is only a small fraction of the pixels we look at.

The 2013 Tahoe Summit Report has come out and a link to the feature is below.    (Wonder if keynote speaker V.P. Al Gore read the report?)



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Project HEAT kicks off amid record setting heat wave

Project HEAT logo

Design: Giancarlo Sadoti, Tom Albright/UNR

Today we welcomed 21 students participating in the Dean’s Future Scholars (DFS) program for a 2-week workshop we organized with the Raggio Research Center (RRC).

Dubbed Project HEAT (hot environments, animals, and temperature), the workshop will provide students hands-on scientific experiences organized around the theme of temperature: How temperatures vary in space in time, why temperature matters for animals and humans, how they cope with extreme temperatures, and the various ways scientists measure and analyze temperature data.  Fittingly, the workshop began as Reno (and much of the Western US) experienced record-setting heat.  We were mostly inside today.  However, the students did get to experience the heat later in the afternoon as they practiced GPS navigation, which we’ll need later in the workshop when students carry out their own mini research projects involving micro temperature sensors.

Slated to run for the next three summers, the workshop is the centerpiece of the educational component of our NASA-funded Desert Birds New Investigator project that began earlier this year.  Its all hands on deck at LCB for this workshop and it is great to also be working with DFS as well as with Jacque Ewing-Taylor and our outstanding graduate research assistant Kerry Howard.


Project HEAT participants celebrate finding a geocache as they learn about GPS navigation. Photo: Tom Albright/UNR.
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LCB is now on Twitter

Follow us @AlbrightLCB https://twitter.com/AlbrightLCB

Not on Twitter yet?  Probably a good idea to join: http://twitter.com

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Summer field techs

We are seeking up to two 2-month summer field technicians (with funding beginning mid-June 2013) to assist in research related to American pikas, alpine ecosystems, and landscape climatology.  The technicians will work in a team to travel to remote locations in Nevada and Oregon to retrieve, replace, and re-deploy microclimatic sensors and record observations of field conditions.   Applications preferred by Friday 31 May but if you missed that, send it in anyway!

For more detailed info, see below:

Field research/technician opportunity

We are seeking up to two 2-month summer field technicians (with funding beginning mid-June 2013) to assist in research related to American pikas, alpine ecosystems, and landscape climatology.  The technicians will work in a team to travel to remote locations in Nevada and Oregon to retrieve, replace, and re-deploy microclimatic sensors and record observations of field conditions.  Although breathtakingly scenic, accessing these locations is physically demanding, often requiring sustained hiking in remote, rocky, high-elevation locations.  Work will involve driving in a 4WD vehicle for up to tens of miles on unmarked dirt roads per day and then day-hiking or backpacking (often without a marked trail) to locations 1-12 miles from the vehicle, and arriving at exact sensor locations, which can be up to 900 m in elevation above the vehicle.  Equipment and instruction in field techniques and safety practices will be provided.  The technicians will be based in the Laboratory for Conservation Biogeography at the University of Nevada, Reno, and work with Erik Beever (U.S. Geological Survey) and other collaborators. There may be opportunities to continue involvement with this and related research.


Please see qualifications below and, if interested, provide 1) a resume, 2) a cover letter addressing these qualifications and your ‘fit’ to the position, and 3) contact information for three or more individuals who can verify your qualifications.  Please send the materials (subject: “UNR field tech”) or any questions to Thomas Albright ( talbright [at] unr.edu; 775-784-6673).  Materials will be continuously accepted, but responses are encouraged by 31 May 2013.



-       Ability to hike on rockslides with a medium to moderately heavy backpack in rugged, high-elevation areas.

-       Familiar with navigation by maps, compass, and GPS

-       Comfortable working and camping in remote backcountry locations; solid decision-making in these contexts

-       Critical-thinking skills, attention to detail, and positive attitude

-       Valid U.S. driver’s license with good driving record.


Desirable qualifications:

-       Experience in collection of field data and identification of Great Basin plant species

-       Interest in ecology, wildlife, climate, physical geography, and scientific research

-       GIS, remote sensing, and statistics for applicants interested in research



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Giancarlo awarded NASA Space Grant Fellowship!

GiancarloEggsCroppedCongratulations to Geography/LCB Ph.D. student, Giancarlo Sadoti for being awarded a Spring 2013 research fellowship from the Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium.  Giancarlo’s proposal focused on the complementary application of data from ground-based weather stations and thermal remote sensing to modeling the responses of breeding birds to temperatures encountered during and prior to egg-laying. Giancarlo proposed the use of a diverse set of historic and modern bird datasets collected by naturalists, biologists, and citizen scientists in these models.  Giancarlo hopes his research can help managers and conservationists better prepare for the ways birds will response to the increased frequency and severity of anomalous temperatures expected under climate change.

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