February 23, 2010

CTFS-SIGEO Database Workshop in Peoria, Illinois

Members of the North America and Africa Programs of the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) - Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory (SIGEO) met at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, this past week, 15-18 February, 2010, for a workshop on database management.

The workshop was hosted by Dr. Steven Dolins, Professor of Computer Science at Bradley. In partnership with Rick and Suzanne, Steven and his students have taken a lead role in developing the CTFS-SIGEO database system. Rick Condit and Suzanne Lao (STRI) designed and led the training activities. They were ably assisted by Mark Overholt, a computer science graduate from Bradley who has recently joined CTFS-SIGEO to help develop the database programs for the network.

This workshop was the 5th in a series of CTFS-SIGEO database workshops designed to train network members in the use of a global standardized database for all 3.5 million trees, 11 million records, and 8,000 species in the 34 plots of the network. By the end of the week, all participants were feeling very "normalized."

Back Row (L-R): Rick Condit, Steven Dolins, Jim Lutz (Yosemite, Wind River) Middle: Duncan Thomas (Korup), Sean McMahon (Maryland), Sean Thomas (Ontario), Daniel Johnson (Indiana), Mark Overholt Front: David Kenfack (Korup), Stuart Davies, Juniper Sundance (Wisconsin), Norm Bourg (Virginia), Suzanne Lao.

February 16, 2010

Coordinator of Africa Program Appointed: Dr. David Kenfack

We are pleased to announce that Dr. David Kenfack has recently joined the Center for Tropical Forest Science-Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory (CTFS-SIGEO) to coordinate research and training activities for the Africa program.

David is no stranger to CTFS. In 1996, he led the establishment of the Korup 50-hectare plot in Cameroon. He then went on to PhD studies at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he worked on the systematics and ecology of Carapa (Meliaceae), describing a series of species new to science. Following the completion of his PhD in 2008, he spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

In addition to taxonomic expertise on the flora of Central and West Africa, David has extensive experience in tropical forest ecology and data management. During his career, he has assembled botanical collections and carried out forest inventories in more than 10 tropical countries.

David will be based at the CTFS office at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.