ESSM News & Events 2013 Graduate student activities Matt Berg invited to present at Geological Society of America meeting Ph.D. candidate Matt Berg was invited to give a talk at the recent interdisciplinary Hydrogeology session at the Geological Society of America meeting in Denver, Colorado. He was the only student presenter at the session; the other invited speakers were university faculty and scientists with federal agencies. Matt’s expertise and broad range of research, with its connection to multiple aspects of landscape change and effects on ecosystem function, led to this invitation. Matt’s talk was "Landscape Response to Cropland Abandonment and Woody Plant Encroachment in Dynamic Rangelands." He shared that rangelands are incredibly dynamic in terms of both land cover and land use, and many of our perceptions of these areas might not be correct. Human impact has been very high for likely more than the last 100 years. The characteristics of these landscapes have changed significantly, but trajectories are determined by past conditions. Matt is nearing completion of his doctoral degree in Ecosystem Science and Management, working with Dr. Wilcox and Dr. Popescu. Shruthi Srinivasan presents at conference in San Antonio In late October, M.S. student Shruthi Srinivasan delivered an oral presentation at the CaGIS/ASPRS 2013 Specialty Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In her talk, Shruthi presented algorithms developed using terrestrial Lidar data to retrieve tree level forest structural parameters such as tree height, diameter at breast height (DBH), crown width and estimate above ground biomass for trees in East Texas. Wasantha Kulawardhana busy with presentations and publications Wasantha Kulawardhana, doctoral candidate with Dr. Feagin and Dr. Popescu, has been working hard in 2013 to not only complete and defend her doctoral dissertation, but also to submit articles for peer review and to give oral and poster presentations at national and international conferences.