Scott Stark, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor of Forest Ecology,
Michigan State University
Wednesday, December 11, 2019,
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
******Special Added Lecture******
Often called the “lungs” of the earth because of its production of oxygen through its vast photosynthesis, the Amazon rainforest is the largest contiguous tropical forest in the world, and home to a quarter of all terrestrial plants and animals. It is critical for biodiversity and the Earth’s climate system, not just by sequestering carbon and producing oxygen, but by “pumping” water into the air—like a heart—to produce rain and cool the Earth. However, growing deforestation for agriculture–promoted by the current government of Brazil–and wildfires have garnered global concern and catalyzed action. Join Scott Stark to explore this wondrous forest in the context of his current research, and to discuss the needs and prospects for its preservation. Along the way, Scott will share experiences like climbing into 160-foot tall trees for research.
Growing up with an interest in nature and tropical forests, Scott Stark attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a B.S. in Biology with Honors. A highlight of his undergraduate years was a semester abroad with the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. After two years as a biology field research technician in Pennsylvania, Scott entered the graduate program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. Scott’s thesis research centered on using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to investigate the Amazon forest canopy structure. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2012 Scott continued his tropical forest studies as a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University, where in 2016 he was appointed Assistant Professor. He has continued studies with his students and postdocs on tropical forest ecology with a special emphasis on the Amazon.
Written by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer