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Edmund E Grote

Ed is a Biologist with the Southwest Biological Science Center based out of the Canyonlands Research Station in Moab, Utah. He spends his days setting up and tinkering with large micrometeorological and soil sensor arrays throughout the Colorado Plateau and points beyond.

Ed received his BA in Plant Biology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. While an undergrad he worked in the Ehleringer Lab, mostly with stable isotope mass spectrometers at SIRFER and it was there that he was introduced to the world of plant ecophysiology and all of its fun, electronic gadgets. Ed then spent two years working in a chemistry lab at Native Plants Inc. doing HPLC and GC methods-development, creating assays for various natural product extracts from neem seeds and pyrethrum daisies. From there he went on to pursue an MA in Plant Ecophysiology from the University of Colorado in Boulder running gas exchange and nitrogen fixation experiments on alpine clovers from Niwot Ridge. He worked for several years at Cornell University in the Dawson Lab doing physiology experiments while climbing around in the tops of sugar maple trees, as well as methods-development for the newly formed Cornell University Stable Isotope Lab. In the middle of his years back in lush, green, rainy, upstate New York, he took a hiatus and spent a year working with high alpine and Atacama Desert plants at the Universidad de La Serena in Chile in the Squeo Lab. Longing to return to the desert southwest, he found his niche within the US Geological Survey in Moab, UT. Who knew the USGS had biologists and ecologists, not just geologists and mappers? And they are doing amazing scientific research on all kinds of stuff. He was initially hired to create a gas exchange system to concurrently measure carbon dioxide exchange and nitrogen fixation on biological soil crust organisms. It turns out that these biocrust organisms can do many of the same things (and more) that plants can do. However, unlike most plants, biocrusts can completely dry out and, later, when it rains or snows, come back to life and do it all over again. Over the years Ed has set up several automated gas exchange systems which measure soil crust CO2 fluxes. He set up an Eddy Flux tower to measure CO2 flux at a landscape scale in a desert ecosystem. He has also helped design, set up and maintain long-term climate change experiments, some with dozens of temperature-controlled plots simulating warmer future climate conditions and others simulating a potentially drier future climate. All of these experimental setups require constant monitoring and maintenance of thousands of sensors measuring soil moisture, temperature, wind, light, pressure, precipitation, and the associated telemetry systems used to collect their data. As a plant ecophysiologist, Ed finds this type of work not only to be engaging and exciting, but also a lot of fun. On his time off he also enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or whitewater rafting among many other outdoor activities.