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Chris Earle
Works at ICF Jones & Stokes
Attended University of Washington
Lives in Olympia
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Chris Earle

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More busy on the website, writing about King Billy pine (http://conifers.org/cu/Athrotaxis_selaginoides.php). I was there in Tasmania, checking out this species (and its 10 other endemic conifers), exactly one year ago. Lots of nice photos, but more, I really went down a wormhole as far as discovering literature on this species is concerned; lots of interesting ecology and human history, ranging from Tasmanian colonists' use of fire to the role of the Protestant Ascendancy in sending political prisoners to Australia. Great fun.
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Chris Earle

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Got  busy on the website this weekend. Made a concordance of my Taxonomy and Farjon's, and identified the points of inconsistency, and classified them as to whether they were OK (i.e. I knew why they were different) or not (i.e. I didn't know). The last group was only about 25 taxa, which isn't bad out of 700. Then I got going on cleaning it up, starting with the Chinese species of Tsuga. Just finished that. It was an interesting revision, with significant publications in both morphology and molecular work since I had last looked at it, and it actually seems to make some sense now. Nice when that happens. See the completed pages at http://conifers.org/pi/Tsuga.php
Description of Tsuga (hemlock).
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Chris Earle

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Endangered Species Act: With 40 years of critical habitat designations in place, you would hope that areas within designated critical habitat are at least a bit less likely to be developed than areas not within critical habitat. You would be mistaken.

http://community.bowdoin.edu/news/2015/08/bowdoin-economist-assesses-impact-of-the-endangered-species-act/
Environmental economist Erik Nelson recently studied the impact of U.S. Endangered Species Act regulations on habitats considered most vital to the persistence of endangered and threatened species. With his research collaborators, Nelson found that the regulations have had no discernible effect ...
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Chris Earle

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Landscape genomics! Climate change is forcing trees (and other organisms) out of their "traditional" ranges at a rate that in many cases exceeds their capacity to disperse by traditional means. Preservation of these species and their genetic diversity, and maintaining them in environments to which they are adapted to sundry environmental stresses, is likely to require active ecological management. A toolbox to achieve these goals is emerging: see http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.367.3047&rep=rep1&type=pdf#page=14 for details. The article cited there, concerning how these ideas are being used in reference to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), can be seen at http://www.genetics.org/content/185/3/969.full.pdf+html

Exciting stuff, this world where we may be able to fix-where we have tools to try it, anyway-what we have broken. 
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Chris Earle

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Interesting new article in American Journal of Botany looks at pine seed crops over time and finds that genetic diversity expressed in the seeds varies from year to year, and also in association with maternal/paternal effects. This is another way that plants differ from animals, which produce about the same eggs and sperm from one year to the next.

http://www.amjbot.org/content/100/9/1896.abstract?etoc 
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Chris Earle

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One of the best things about running Conifers.org is the people I meet, and the info they send me, from cyberspace. The latest is a memorable collection of links about nearly everybody's favorite tree, Sequoiadendron, sent to me by Brett Cole. They include

A contemporary piece on the discovery of these trees in the early 1850's:
http://archive.org/stream/gleasonspictoria0506glea#page/n221/mode/2up

A nice historical/political history piece:
http://66.147.244.135/~enviror4/about/events/mother-of-the-forest/

And most notably, this piece - filled with great links - on how these trees were important in the development of the American conservation movement:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jun/27/giant-tree-death-conservation-movement

I'll be adding these to my Sequoiadendron page at
http://www.conifers.org/cu/Sequoiadendron.php
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Chris Earle

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Aljos Farjon's latest project is, he has finally gone ONLINE! Check out the website at http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/conifers  It includes a download of the complete BRAHMS database, over 30,000 globally distributed conifer records, used to support the "Handbook of the World's Conifers." There is also a pending publication of an atlas of all the database records, but that won't be online.
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Most excellent. Your site is still stunning though. 
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Chris Earle

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More busy on the website. Only a year after getting back from Tasmania, I've revised the Athrotaxis and A. cupressoides pages (next up is A. selaginoides). Lots of photos (here's one of seed and pollen cones) and lots of ecological and historical info. Most of what's known, in fact; not much has been written on this high-subalpine species.
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Chris Earle

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Pines are often invasive species. Pinus radiata, Pinus patula and Pinus maritima, among others, were introduced to Maui through various past agroforestry ventures and experiments, and are now a serious problem in Haleakala National Park, where much of the terrain renders conventional control efforts dangerous or at least difficult. So the National Park Service is now proposing to spray these trees with the herbicide glyphosate (commonly called Roundup) from a helicopter: http://mauinow.com/2015/08/28/haleakala-national-park-to-begin-pine-control-project/
Haleakalā National Park will begin a pine control project scheduled for September through October of this year, targeting over 3,000 trees in the crater.
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Two interesting articles bearing on climate change and western US forests. This one finds that there is NOT a relationship between increases in stand mortality and increases in area burned in the western US: http://wildfiretoday.com/documents/Hart_burned_area.pdf

And this one finds that the much-hyped phenomenon of "elevation dependent warming" in the mountains of the western US is actually an artifact of data collection, and that the high country is not warming any more or any faster than the low elevations: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062803/full
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Chris Earle

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Well, it's that time of year again. Comb thru all the photos I took this year and find some decent ones... at http://www.conifers.org/moto/2013-photos/index_3.html
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Southern Utah has that effect on people. It's not unusual to visit a national park in that area and find that American visitors are a minority. If you go, be sure to take time to head out into the backcountry.
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The latest issue of the American Journal of Botany contains a wide and engaging array of articles on the theme of plant responses to climate change. Naturally, a number of the articles focus on CONIFERS. Read all about it at http://www.amjbot.org/content/100/7.toc?etoc#content-block
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Story
Introduction
Conifers. BMW rider. BDCP. Olympia. Fish. Planning Commission.
Education
  • University of Washington
    Forest Ecology
  • University of Arizona
    Dendrochronology
  • Whitman College
    Biology/Geology
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Dr. Science
Work
Occupation
Ecologist
Employment
  • ICF Jones & Stokes
    1999 - present
  • Beak
    1993 - 1999
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Olympia
Bought my first FF bag in 1986 and I'm still using it (mostly as a winter comforter - the zipper finally died). The 1991 bag is also still in use; both have way more than 1,000 nights of backcountry use on them. The 2010 bag has about 150 nights now and still has like-new loft. They use the best down available, is why. Also, this is the only sleeping bag company I've ever found that has honest temperature ratings on their bags. If FF says a bag is good to zero degrees, they mean you can sleep naked in it at zero degrees. North Face, REI, or Big Agnes, for instance, expects you to wear every warm garment you have to be warm at the rated temperature. I also have their vest - 16 years old now and just starting to lose a little of its loft. Still super-warm.
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Been to this place quite a few times over the years. Understand, this is Olympia, this wouldn't be a 5-star place in Seattle or Portland... but it's the best in town. The decor is traditional, they use the best ingredients, and the quality control is top-notch. The array of sushi is wide and there are many pleasing and imaginative options, or if you prefer, the traditionals are also available and very good. My personal favorites are the top two bento boxes and the Alaska roll. They also have an exceptionally wide selection of high-end sake (and the usual hot schwag, Ozeki I think). The wait staff are generally long-timers, very good, and they know their sushi. It's popular, usually there's a line on Thursday to Saturday evenings. Dinner for two about $50 unless you like fancy sake.
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Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
First impression was a big, very generic, trendy-price brewpub. Everything in it looks like it was designed to cater to a target demographic that is more concerned with style than with substance. The substance is mediocre. The beers are light on body and on flavor, the food forgettable. Neither is actually bad, but neither is it any more memorable than what you get at any other faceless forgettable brewpub chain, like Ram or Rock Bottom. I would go here again if I were staying in a nearby hotel, eating on an expense account, and in a hurry. I can't see ever again going out of my way to find this place. In that connection... their place at the airport is about the same, which is good compared to the alternatives at the airport. So yes, I would eat at the airport pub again.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Ate there in April 2015. Small quantities of food acquired in exchange for large amounts of money. My $30 scallop plate, for instance, came with 3 scallops, and could have hidden under a coaster. Even that might have been OK if it had been extraordinarily delicious... but it wasn't. It was rather ordinary, really, nothing outside the realm of home cookery. There was also a selection of mediocre wines for extraordinary prices. Service, also, was OK, but nothing remarkable. I doubt I'll be going back. There must be something better in Manzanita.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
28 reviews
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Price-wise, it's a high-end place by Olympia standards. However the miso was lukewarm, the salmon was getting quite old (fishy taste and smell), the bento box was plastic, and the roll I ordered was fat, full of rice and avocado, with slender slivers of unremarkable sashimi on top. All in all it seemed like sushi made by someone not particularly interested in buying high quality ingredients and assembling them in a pleasing way. In terms of food quality and preparation, Aya Sushi is a distant third compared to two nearby alternatives, Sushi House and Koibito, and deserves to be classed with the conveyor belt sushi places (Olympia has one of those too). Oh, and the wait service was nothing special, either. Not bad service, but our server didn't know much about either sushi or waitressing, which isn't what you expect at a place in this cost range (dinner for 2 about $50).
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Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
It's a standard anonymous multiplex, but I've been going here about 6 years now and they've never screwed anything up. The technical aspects work right, the sound is good, the staff is reasonably able and they do a decent job of crowd management on the rare occasions when it's needed. The prices are normal. Occasionally they do cool 4K stuff, like live broadcasts of the Met, but mostly it's mainstream Hollywood fare. Naturally you sometimes encounter a patron who acts like a jerk, but that will happen anywhere. If you complain, the management will respond.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Visited twice in Dec-2013. Food is quite good (outstanding compared to most pub grub) and reasonably priced for what you get; dinner for 2 can be kept under $40. I'd avoid the sandwiches but salads and meat loaf were memorable. Probably the best meat loaf I've ever eaten. Service is very good; the people are great but they are pressed hard when things get busy. Ambiance is OK if you like really large, really new places that try to look like converted warehouses, which seems to be the fashion in PNW brewpubs. Beers are OK, maybe great if you're new to Deschutes, but regardless - they run several taps of stuff you won't ever see at Safeway, and it's definitely worth a taste.
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Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago