Northern Research Station Seminar Series 2009/10

Various dates from October 2009 to May 2010.

What are the seminars?

Series of free talks covering a variety of forestry and related research topics.

Who were the seminars suitable for?

Scientists, practioners, students, policy makers and representatives from industry, academic and forestry organisations.

Where did the seminars take place?

Seminars took place in the library at:

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Seminar programme

Climate change and wilderness: a Scottish perspective

23 October 2009 by Martin Baker (Lorretto School, Edinburgh).

The talk explores the historical evidence for past climate change, current impacts of current climate change levels both world-wide and in Scotland, the use of computer models to provide climate change forecasts, and the likely implications of climate change over the next 50 years, again with specific discussion of Scotland. It also looks at a range of possible mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Optimisation of the wood supply chain

13 November 2009 by Dr. John Moore and Prof. Emma Hart (Napier University).

The presentation will discuss the concept of a tailor-made wood supply chain and will provide examples of the application of operations research techniques to decision making at various points in the supply chain. These decisions include which stands to harvest and when, optimal cross cutting of trees and the optimisation of timber transport. They also include the matching of end-user demand to the characteristics of the available forest resource. We will also demonstrate new biologically-inspired computer algorithms that could be to assist the analysis of complex systems such as the wood supply chain.

Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership: seeing the bigger picture

11 December 2009 by Max Hislop (Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership).

This presentation will provide an overview of the work of the Partnership and show examples of the strategic projects that are being developed to promote the concept, gain political support, embed in planning systems and deliver good practice.

Utilising active and passive remote sensing for the quantification of structure and physiology of forests

22 January 2010 by Dr. Caroline Nichol (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh).

This seminar will focus on the utility of both passive and active remote sensing for inferring forest canopy stress and structure.

The first half of the talk will focus on the utility of MODIS data and how index level information relates to carbon uptake in Scots pine in southern Finland. We demonstrate that such methods should enhance our monitoring of ecosystem carbon uptake.

The second half of the talk will focus on a new development at the UoE in LiDAR and how multiple frequency information could allow us to probe forest structure and biomass in greater detail . The data presented will include measurements of trees and modelled simulations from an airborne multiple frequency LiDAR.

Native Woodland Survey of Scotland (NWSS): 2006 to 2013

29 January 2010 by Derek Nelson, Yvonne Grieve and Patrick Robertson (Forestry Commission Scotland).

This is the first field based survey to identify the area, location, type and condition of all native woodlands in Scotland.  The Forestry Commission and other public bodies will use the information to inform the development of policies and incentives for owners to help manage these woodlands in the future. The presentation will detail the work required to deliver the desired results, specifically the fieldwork, data capture, quality assurance procedures as well as highighting the reporting format, schedule and routes to access the available data.

Combating climate change: a role for UK Forests

5 February 2010 by Prof Peter Freer-Smith (Chief Scientist, Forestry Commission).

An assessment of the potential of the UK’s trees and woodlands to mitigate and adopt to climate change.

In November the Forestry Commission (FC) launched the published report of the first national assessment of forestry and climate change. The FC commissioned Professor Sir David Read FRS and a group of the UK’s leading scientists – including a number from Forest Research – to pull together the current state of knowledge on the role of forestry in helping to mitigate climate change and to adapt to the likely impacts. The assessment covered the climate context and related fundamental forest science, climate change impacts, the potential for mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development. It is comprehensive and authoritative, coming to some firm views on both research requirements and the priority for different actions by the UK forestry sector. Peter Freer-Smith led the FC project team responsible for the assessment and in this seminar will describe its key findings and their implications.

An overview of Scottish Government policy regarding onshore renewables

26 February 2010 by Sue Kearns, (Head of Renewables Strategy & Onshore Renewables, Scottish Government).

This presentation will provide a greater understanding of the Scottish Government's policy towards onshore renewables with the primary focus on wind and hydro energy sources. Woody biomass will also be addressed within the wider context of renewable heat, given how significant this is to the overall policy context.

Climate change and tree distributions: past, present and future

19 March 2010 by Prof. Richard Bradshaw (University of Liverpool, Department of Geography).

"I use tree remains (pollen, seeds and charcoal) to reconstruct changing tree distributions in Europe since the last ice age. Data-model comparisons have proved useful in understanding the drivers of past tree distribution dynamics and models generate possible future scenarios."

Forest policy for a low carbon economy: re-examining reasoning and the fog of war

16 April 2010 by Chris Nixon (Policy Advisor, Carbon Management & Business Sustainability, Forestry Commission Scotland).

An outline of how forestry policy priorities are changing as a result of the need to tackle climate change and facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.

Participation and governance in environmental policy: what do participatory methods contribute?

14 May 2010 by Prof. Steve Yearley (Professor of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and Director of the ESRC Genomics Forum, University of Edinburgh).

In the last decade participatory approaches to environmental policy and management have become widespread, almost habitual. Using two UK case studies (one from recent RELU work on collaborative deer management) this talk examines what such participation is supposed to offer and what in fact it does offer. Professor Yearley will provide a categorisation of participatory approaches to governance that takes into account both the rationales for stakeholder engagement and the participatory methods available.