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Reservoir at Jasper Ridge

Laser and Optical GHG Sensing at Ecosystem Scales

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Many measurements must be taken across time and space to fully characterize ecosystem-level emissions. As a result, heterogeneous ecosystems, such as wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems, are undersampled and understudied, constituting one of the largest uncertainties in global methane emissions. To address this, we are leveraging advances in optical and molecular physics to develop instruments that can measure GHG emissions at scales from hundreds to thousands of meters.

Our interdisciplinary work is enabled by laser and optical engineering with Prof. Leo Hollberg and his group in the Stanford Physics Department. Our aim is to deploy these instruments to monitor GHG emissions from wetlands at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. We also hope to deploy these laser-based instruments for other sensing applications, such as cost-effective monitoring of rice paddy, landfill, and other high-methane emitting ecosystems, to understand and verify best practices for carbon emissions mitigation.