UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

UCSB Scientist to Explain California's Grassland Ecosystems

April 17, 2003

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – While most people understand the importance of soil to healthy plant life, very few appreciate the intricate relationship between ecosystems and the microbes that exist in the soil.

To explain this delicate connection, Joshua Schimel, a professor of ecosystem ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will present "Understanding California's Grassland Ecosystems," at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 30. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will held in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.

The lecture is sponsored by the UCSB Environmental Studies Associates and is the second in the 2002-2003 series. For more information, contact the UCSB Office of Community Relations at (805) 893-4388

Schimel received his Ph.D. in soil science from UC Berkeley in 1987. His research focuses mostly on the interface of ecosystem and microbial biology. Schimel is particularly interested in the linkages between plant and soil processes, and how changes in the microbial community structures affect ecosystem-scale dynamics. His current work focuses on three systems in particular: the Artic tundra in Alaska and Greenland, high elevation systems in the Sierra Nevada, and the California annual grassland-oak savanna.

In addition to his research at UCSB, Schimel is involved in various aspects of professional service. Most notably, Schimel is a member of the National Science Foundation's Committee on Environmental Research and Education, and is on the advisory committee for the Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.

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