CORVALLIS - Beverly Law, a research assistant professor in the Department of Forest Science at Oregon State University, has been appointed director of a major initiative to gather and manage data that will be used in studies of global climate change and other issues.

Law will direct the AmeriFlux network of 45 research sites in North and Central America. The program, supported by several federal agencies, creates an infrastructure to guide, collect, synthesize and disseminate long-term measurements of carbon dioxide, water and energy exchange from a variety of terrestrial ecosystems. Research sites range from artic tundra to grasslands and tropical forests.

The goal of this program is to help define the current global "budget" of carbon dioxide, improve predictions of future levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and enhance the scientific understanding of other aspects of the global carbon cycle. Information such as this provides the scientific foundation for policy and mitigation actions related to carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, officials say.

In this position, Law may also become involved with international training and scientific exchange programs related to climate change research.

Law has been on the OSU faculty since 1995.

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Steve Hobbs, 541-737-8477