2020 AmeriFlux Annual Meeting Breakout topics

We have 12 proposed breakout topics for this year’s AmeriFlux meeting. Breakouts are excellent opportunities for structured collaboration and discussion. Given the session themes this year, we especially encouraged breakouts that (1) foster data collection, synthesis and collaboration across the Americas, (2) connect research with stakeholders and decision makers, and (3) discuss DEI and early career scientists in the community.

Breakout discussions will be scheduled on each meeting day, with four discussions in parallel. Give us your top three topics in the registration form. If you register by Sept 18, we will try our best to take preferences into account when scheduling the breakout sessions.

Here are the breakout themes submitted by AmeriFlux community members:



Leads Abstract
Soil moisture and vegetation fluxes Gil Bohrer Soil moisture observations are not available at all flux sites and even when it does, it is far from regular – different depths, numbers of locations…. It is available from satellite, but poorly. However, it is a key control of transpiration, soil respiration, GPP and most other ecosystem fluxes. We could discuss the cutting edge in research topics ad approaches linking vegetation fluxes to soil moisture, identify needs, sites where observations are done to a satisfactory degree. Maybe start a move to treat soil moisture more seriously
Beyond the Year of Methane: New EC methane research directions and community activities Gavin McNicol Atmospheric methane concentrations continue to increase at unprecedented rates, but so too are the rates AmeriFlux methane data submissions. With the Year of Methane winding down, it may be a good time to look back and evaluate AmeriFlux’s first Action Theme year and solicit feedback on its activities and products. We can also identify which methane activities we want to consolidate, and which new directions we may want to take, over the next 3-5 years.
Whole-ecosystem scale experiments with eddy covariance: a historical and future perspective Adrian Rocha Experimental manipulations have been frequently used by ecologists to gain novel understanding of ecosystem function and to test hypothesis. The spatial scale of such manipulation tend to be small replicated plots, and as a result, such experiments may miss important emergent phenomena that occur at larger scales. Researchers are more frequently using environmental gradients or whole scale ecosystem manipulations with eddy covariance flux towers to address the limitations of previous smaller scale ecosystem manipulations. However, these studies often encounter criticism due to their low replication as a result of the high logistical cost of conducting such large scale studies. This session will cover the history and future of whole ecosystem scale experiments with eddy covariance towers. We will explore methods to integrate flux data with field, remote sensing, and modeling to minimize pseudo-replication issues often encountered with these experimental designs.
Eddy Covariance for Natural Climate Solutions Kyle Hemes, Ben Runkle Natural climate solutions, which are part of a suite of carbon dioxide removal technologies, harness the photosynthetic power of ecosystems to avoid emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere, sequestering it in biological carbon pools. A significant portion of the global potential for natural climate solutions could come from ecosystems for which traditional carbon inventory approaches are incomplete or impractical. Eddy covariance “flux towers” provide direct observation of the net ecosystem exchange of greenhouse gases between ecosystems and the atmosphere, but have thus far rarely intentionally applied to research the carbon storage associated with implementation of natural climate solutions.
New and existing atmospheric boundary layer observations across the AmeriFlux network Manuel Helbig Land-atmosphere feedbacks result from the close coupling of land surface, atmospheric boundary layer, and free troposphere. Eddy covariance flux measurements across the AmeriFlux network have improved our understanding of vegetation responses to meteorological drivers but have rarely been paired with atmospheric boundary layer observations. These observations have the potential to improve our understanding of how both land surface and free atmosphere influence surface fluxes and near-surface climate. In this breakout session, we will identify opportunities to make existing atmospheric observations at AmeriFlux sites available to the community and will discuss how new boundary layer observations can be best coordinated across the AmeriFlux network.
Eddy Covariance as a Service (ECaaS) Bruno D. V. Marino Discussion private sector involvement in providing low cost, high precision EC platforms across the US and internationally for the dual purpose of science and verified carbon trading
DEI in AmeriFlux Sébastien Biraud, Rachel Hollowgrass, Marguerite Mauritz Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in AmeriFlux and flux science. How are we doing? Discuss problems, opportunities, and future actions. Develop a process for the community, AmeriFlux Management Project, and meriFlux Science Steering Group, to work together on this topic, including forming a DEI committee or group.
Theme Year for Network Action Margaret S. Torn What should be the next theme year for AmeriFlux? This breakout session will delve into ideas that have been suggested by the community–like “remote sensing”, “water fluxes”, and “scaling from leaf to grid cell” — and build out the next theme year concept. As background, AmeriFlux is wrapping up the Year of Methane, which contributed to many good outcomes including new flux-sites registered; AMP acquired and loaned three methane-flux sensors; methane synthesis data sets hosted on the FLUXNET website, a Federal FOA funding a methane flux project, and collaborative action with other networks and projects.
Enhancing Representativeness and Collaboration Across the Americas Samuel Villareal The session will cover the representativeness of eddy-covariance instrumented sites across the Americas and identify collaborative opportunities within different P.I.’s and/or local monitoring networks. These topics are of a major relevance since could improve our knowledge on the impact of environmental change (i.e., climate change, land-use/land-cover-change, extreme climate events),support science-based environmental management decisions, and provide a better validation of remote-sensing products and for ecosystem models. The overreaching goal of this session is threefold:

1) Provide the current representativeness of AmeriFlux within the conterminous United States and the representativeness of eddy-covariance sites within Latin America.

2) Identify the challenge and opportunities for collaborative efforts within different research groups and/or national/regional networks, while advocating to enhance site affiliation to AmeriFlux.

3) Advocate for a continental synthesis of information to increase representativeness of the Americas that could help future analysis and reports that leads to a better comprehension of the dynamic of biophysical processes within the Americas.

In this session, we will focus on providing a quantitative based on the current representativeness of AmeriFlux within the Americas with a special emphasis in Latin America. Then we will provide an opportunity for different P.I.’s to present their work and/or study sites. Next, discuss about the benefits from enhancing site affiliation to AmeriFlux as a continental effort and its advantages. Lastly, we will discuss opportunities for potential collaborations between different research groups or local eddy-covariance based networks in order to increase our understanding of biophysical process within the Americas.

Session themes: representativeness, collaborative efforts, and site affiliation.

Intended Audience: The propose session will present current representativeness of AmeriFlux an eddy-covariance sites within Latin America and is intended to be of the interest of different research groups within the Americas, particularly to scientific groups interested in enhance collaborative efforts.

Reducing Uncertainties in Biogeochemical Interactions through Synthesis and Computation (RUBISCO)-AmeriFlux Working Group William J. Riley, Trevor Keenan The working group, a collaboration between DOE’s RUBISCO Scientific Focus Area and the AmeriFlux Management Project, brings together scientists at multiple levels across a broad range of fields. A novel aspect of the Working Group is an incubator for early career scientists with support for extended visits to Berkeley Lab to develop research projects and leverage facilities and expertise of the RUBISCO and AmeriFlux teams. Expected outcomes include long-term collaborations, follow-on focus groups, and publications.

The working group uses AmeriFlux data to improve process understanding and to develop, parameterize, and test models.

Data Team Breakout Data Team Breakout This breakout is an opportunity to discuss topics including BADM, standardization of data measurements, data QA/QC, data policy options, and ONEFlux processing. It is also an opportunity to discuss the AmeriFlux data and bring up needs and priorities that you would like to see for the data.
Career Panel hosted by FLUXNET Gabriela Shirkey, FLUXNET ECN Learn from leaders in the field on how career pathways twist and turn and what steps to take along the way. Our panel includes professionals with experience in meteorology, ecology, carbon cycling, plant and soil science.

Moderator: Gabriela Shirkey – ECN Organizer, PhD student, Michigan State University


Mentor Mixer Frederick Otu-Larbi, FLUXNET ECN The Mentor-Mixer is a social event for early career folks to meet and greet scientists from various career fields and stages. With zoom breakout rooms, we encourage early career folks to network with six mentors and build new relationships and collaborations.

Moderator: Frederick Otu-Larbi – ECN Organizer, PhD Student, Lancaster University