Do you know the difference between weather and climate?

Weather is what is happening outside your window right now and might happen in the next few days; climate is a description of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time.

Now for a somewhat harder question: What is the difference between ecology and ecophysiology?

Dr. Steve Grossnickle knows the answer - and beyond that, he knows what understanding that difference means to the forests of the Pacific Northwest and throughout the rest of North America.

Dr. Grossnickle will share his knowledge of trees and how climate change is affecting their prospects for long and productive lives at The Belfry on Tuesday, November 27, for the third lecture in the 2018-19 Frontiers in Science series, sponsored by the Sisters Science Club.

Temperatures, along with changes in the amount of water and nutrients available, drive tree survival and growth. Long-term changes in this ecosystem, Dr. Grossnickle explains, are creating severe ecophysiological stresses on trees and challenging traditional reforestation practices.

From a tree's perspective, survival in this new environment will require a major adjustment of its biological systems, that is, its own ecophysiology. From a scientist's perspective, nurturing seedlings that can grow into healthy trees is a daunting task.

In addition to the evening lecture, Dr. Grossnickle will speak in Sisters to four high school biology classes and a middle school group during the same week. Teachers Rima Givot and Michael Geisen will host the visits, where topics will include photosynthesis, forest ecology and natural


Dr. Grossnickle is an internationally known tree ecophysiologist and has worked on forest-restoration issues throughout his career in the United States and Canada. He holds a bachelor's degree in forest resource management from Southern Illinois University, with a master's degree in forest ecology and a doctorate from Colorado State University in plant physiological ecology. Widely published, Dr. Grossnickle consults with national and international universities, governments, and the nursery and forest industries.

Dr. Grossnickle's lecture, "Global Climate Change: A Tree's Perspective," starts at 7 p.m. at The Belfry, with an introduction by Sisters District Ranger Ian Reid.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with light fare, beer, and wine available. Admission is $5; teachers and students are admitted free. The Belfry is located at 302 E. Main Ave., Sisters.

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