Jorge Barrera Wins OSBS Jumpstart Award

The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS) is a unique resource for ecosystem and ecological research, boasting more than 9,500 acres with 15 distinct vegetation communities. OSBS also has newly renovated or newly constructed infrastructure in the form of buildings, equipment, roads and lodging. One demonstration of the UF/IFAS commitment to research excellence in natural resources is the OSBS Jumpstart Award program, administered by the UF/IFAS Dean for Research. Among the awardees is CLCE faculty member Dr. Jorge Barrera, assistant professor of utility analytics in the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Along with Young Gu Her of the Tropical REC and Jiangxiao Qiu of the Ft. Lauderdale REC, Dr. Barrera was award for their project, "Quantifying Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Service Dynamics in Hydrologically Connected Forest Wetland and Lake Systems." Dr. Barrera is also part of the Environmentally Resilient, Resource-Efficient Land Use Cohort.

More About the Project

Forests provide a range of goods and functions from which people can benefit, referred as ecosystem services. Weather events and water movements control forest ecosystems and play an essential role in forest health. The frequency and intensity of extreme events such as heavy storms, flooding, hurricanes, and drought are of special concerns, because they can lead to significant changes in ecosystems, and they are expected to increase under projected climate. Climate change impacts on ecosystems, agriculture, and natural resources are already major concerns in Florida. The overarching goal of the study is to develop an ecohydrological simulation tool capable of providing an integrated view of spatiotemporal variations in hydrological Forest ecosystem service dynamics and climate change impacts on the dynamics. The unique hydrological features of the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS) will provide an ideal setting to develop and test a hydrological simulation model. The newly developed tool will be able to depict how projected changes in the characteristics of extreme weather events affect hydrological Forest ecosystem services.