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Land-atmosphere research station helps Virginia Tech expand capacity to study forests

Oct. 21, 2015 – Virginia Tech has increased its capacity to study forests and how such landscapes influence climate by adding Thomas O’Halloran to the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation research faculty in the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

O’Halloran, formerly assistant professor of environmental science at Sweet Briar College, brings access to the land-atmosphere research station he founded at Sweet Briar. The move to Virginia Tech was facilitated by Quinn Thomas, assistant professor of forest dynamics and ecosystem modeling at Virginia Tech since 2013, who had begun collaborating with O’Halloran at the research site in February of this year.

“The facility offers a new perspective on forests, enabling them to be viewed from the atmosphere’s perspective,” Thomas said.

O’Halloran originally designed the site to quantify the role of forests in regulating climate, particularly trees’ production of aerosols, which contribute to haze and interact with clouds. “This new collaboration with Quinn Thomas and Virginia Tech has significantly increased the scope and impact of the processes we can study at the site,” O’Halloran said.  (continue reading.........)

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