Investigating Ecosystem Responses to Manipulated Climate Conditions at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Katya Cherukumilli : Environmental Sciences, Global Poverty and Practice (minor), Energy and Resources (minor)

Mentor: Professor John Harte

Since the early 20th century, global surface temperatures have risen 1.4Ā°F, with the majority of the warming occurring in the past three decades due to anthropogenic activities. Significant changes in sea level, ecosystems, and ice cover are predicted to occur as a result of increasing temperatures. Katya aims to understand ecological responses to simulated and natural climate change in a subalpine meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. She will maintain a database for the longest-running climate manipulation experiment in the world and gather additional information about the species abundance distribution and changes in albedo over the course of the summer. Larger implications of her project are greater insight into microclimate-ecosystem dynamics and the effects of warming on landscapes, which may be useful information for agricultural and water-management industries.