His research takes Dr. Peter R. Nelson from the Canadian barren lands east of Alaska to the volcanoes of South America as he enjoys the adventures as a premier expert in a special class of symbiotic organisms known as lichens. The University of Maine at Fort Kent Environmental Studies Speaker Series will host a presentation by Dr. Peter R. Nelson, UMFK assistant professor of biological science and environmental studies, on Friday, October 23 at 11 a.m. in Nadeau Hall conference room.
Dr. Nelson will speak on “Lichens from Space! Mapping Small and Colorful Vegetation Using Satellite Imagery.” The presentation is free and open to the public.
He will discuss what researchers know about mapping lichens, why scientists should be mapping the organisms in the first place, and his current and future research which NASA and the National Park Service support.
His current research with lichens includes remote sensing of lichens and other vegetation in Arctic, alpine and boreal ecosystems of Alaska and Canada; comparative disturbance ecology of lichen community responses to volcanic eruptions in Chile and the Pacific Northwest; community ecological studies in Denali and Gates of the Arctic National Parks and Preserves, Alaska; climate change experiments at the SPRUCE experiment in northern Minnesota; and lichen floristics in National Parks in Alaska and the Valdivian temperate rainforest of Chile.
Dr. Nelson incorporates research experiences and skills, such as data manipulation, scientific writing and field and laboratory methods in the classroom. He supports active learning through engaging in-class experiences, as well as to provide career-oriented skill-based outcomes.
Dr. Nelson earned a Ph.D. in ecology at Oregon State University in 2013 and a bachelor's degree in resource conservation at the University of Montana in 2004.
The Environmental Studies Speaker Series at UMFK regularly brings speakers to campus. These presentations are open to the public and cover such topics as water quality, waste management, wind power, endangered species, forestry and marine science. The program is offered in collaboration with the UMFK Environmental Studies degree program. Speakers are only scheduled during the academic year.
For more information on the Environmental Studies Speaker Series, contact Dave Hobbins at (207) 834-7614.