Welcome to QUEST
Ecosystem studies often report values for pools and fluxes without any indication of uncertainty. This omission arises from the complexity of the calculations and multiple sources of uncertainty involved (e.g., natural variability, measurement error, model structure, model parameters) and from the difficulty of making replicate observations at the relevant scales. Estimates of uncertainty are critical for determining the significance of observed differences, for analyzing trends over time, and for guiding future research investments.
QUEST is a Research Coordination Network dedicated to advancing uncertainty analysis in ecosystem studies. Efforts focus on outreach and research on quantifying uncertainty in five topic areas: soils, biomass, atmospheric deposition, stream water export, and ecosystem budgets.
This website includes sample code, links to papers, and news announcements. We seek input on developing discussion boards, wikis, and tutorials, and we support new collaborations and open-access publication.
QUEST NEWS ITEMS:
20 March 2013 As of March 2013, QUEST is supported by the National Science Foundation as a Research Coordination Network. The five-year grant will allow the QUEST network to better support activities that advance the application of uncertainty analysis in ecosystem studies. Efforts will focus on outreach and research on quantifying uncertainty in five topic areas important to ecosystem studies: atmospheric deposition, stream water export, biomass, soils, and ecosystem budgets. Read more here.
12 December 2012 Graduate Student Opportunities with QUEST! Ruth Yanai's lab at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is recruiting graduate students for Fall 2013 or Spring 2014. Read more here.
25 October 2012 QUEST Authors Ruth Yanai, Carrie Rose Levine, Mark Green, and John Campbell have published a review article in this month’s Journal of Forestry titled “Quantifying uncertainty in forest nutrient budgets” Click here to view the abstract and download the pdf.
11 September 2012 Members of QUEST held a workshop at the 2012 LTER All Scientists Meeting in Estes Park. Click here for a summary and meeting notes.
30 May 2012 QUEST goes to Oregon! The LTER synthesis working group on quantifying uncertainty in wet atmospheric deposition convened last week in Oregon. Participants met May 21-23 at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest to share current research and coordinate future efforts. Read more here.
22 April 2012 Workshop at ESA 2012: Estimating Uncertainty and Trend Detection in Ecological Data Sets Collected by the National Ecological Observatory Network.
This workshop will focus on the statistical basis and application of uncertainty quantification and trend detection/attribution in ecological datasets while providing the opportunity for members of the community to contribute to the design and approach to these techniques that will be used at NEON. Click here for more information.
23 March 2012 One week left to register for summer course: Assimilating Long-term Data into Ecosystem Models. The course is offered by the PaleoEcological Observatory Network (PalEON), and will take place August 12-18, 2012 at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, Land O'Lakes, WI. Click here to find out more. Applications due March 30!
13 March 2012 Carrie Rose Levine gave a presentation on QUEST and sources of uncertainty in soils at the annual meeting of the Northeast Soil Monitoring Cooperative. Read more here.
22 February 2012 LTER Working Group Funded: Quantifying Uncertainty in Wet Atmospheric Deposition. The Synthesis Working Group proposal was headed by Ruth Yanai (SUNY-ESF), Kathleen Weathers (Cary IES), and John Campbell (USFS). Read more here.
12 January 2012 NSF EAGER Funded: Uncertainty in Precipitation Inputs in Ecosystem Studies. The purpose of this EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Resarch is to develop an initial analysis of uncertainty in precipitation fluxes of water and nutrients at the scale of a small-watershed ecosystem. This grant was funded in response to our proposal last year for a Research Coordination Network. The NSF also funded two retreats to follow up on efforts to quantify uncertainty in stream export of nutrients. Read more here.
10 January 2012 Graduate Student Opportunities with QUEST! Ruth Yanai's lab at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is recruiting graduate students for Fall 2012 or Spring 2013. Read more here.
30 September 2011 Mary Beth Adams (USFS) gave a presentation on the QUEST effort at the Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds in Fairbanks, AK. Read more here.
30 August 2011 There have been some exciting changes to the QUEST website in the last few weeks! Read more here.
19 July 2011 QUEST at ESA: The QUEST group will be having dinner in Austin, Texas on the evening of Monday, August 8, 2011. We will post details of the time and location closer to the event. Please RSVP to quantifyinguncertainty (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like to join us!
Also, remember to check out our workshop, ", on Sunday, August 7, from 1pm - 5pm, in room 12A of the Austin Convention Center. Read more here.
13 July 2011 On June 23, Dr. Mary Beth Adams (USDA-FS, Fernow) presented a QUEST poster at the North American Forest Ecology Workshop. You can read more about the meeting and download the QUEST poster here.
5 July 2011 On June 28, 2011, EOS published an announcement of the first QUEST meeting, which was held in Boston on March 14-15, 2011. The meeting announcement describes the scope of current QUEST work and describes the goals of the QUEST research network. We're very excited about the interest that this article has generated among EOS readers! You can read the article by downloading the PDF here.
16 June 2011 Quantifying the influx of water and elements to ecosystems via atmospheric deposition is uncertain mainly because of spatial variability. Various methods of interpolation are used in precipitation and atmospheric deposition studies, but the uncertainty in the interpolation is rarely reported. Dr. John Campbell compared results from five models of annual precipitation volume in ARCGIS and found that the variation of the predicted annual precipitation between models was small. Read more and see his maps here.
2 June 2011 A meeting on statistical issues in forest management was held in Quebec, Canada on 2-4 May, 2011. Dr. Pierre Bernier writes about the meeting in our News section, where you can also find links to the presentations from the meeting. Read more here.
29 May 2011 QUEST goes to Japan!
The first international QUEST workshop will take place in Japan from June 9 – July 3, 2011. Ruth Yanai will collaborate with Japanese researchers from Kyoto University, Kyushu University, and Tokyo University, sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Read more here.
25 March 2011 . Read more about the first QUEST meeting here.