Worcester State University Associate Professor of Earth, Environment, and Physics Allison Dunn

Dunn Publishes Article on Atmospheric Variations in ‘Land’

October 4, 2013
By: Worcester State University News

Allison Dunn (Physical and Earth Sciences) recently had her article “Variations in Atmospheric CO2 Mixing Ratios across a Boston, MA Urban to Rural Gradient” published in the journal Land.  This paper presents atmospheric CO2 data from the roof of the Ghosh Science and Technology Center, and compares it with a more rural location (Harvard Forest in Petersham) and an urban location (Boston).

Additionally, Dunn conducted extensive fieldwork with Worcester State University students over the summer. She spent six weeks in the field with geography seniors Nikki Volk and Ron Salmonson.  They visited 31 study areas across central and eastern Massachusetts that were identified by Landsat as having undergone land-use change since 1970. At each of these locations, they made measurements to quantify the carbon stored in live and dead trees as well as the soils.

This work is part of a NASA grant to understand the how human and natural processes influence the carbon cycle along an urban-rural gradient. As a helpful takeaway skill, they all became experts at identifying poison ivy.

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