Terrestrial Ecosystems Collaboration Team

Developing a landscape-scale understanding of the drivers and impacts of terrestrial ecosystem change.

Scope of activities

The Terrestrial Ecosystems Community of Practice was created under the Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 to develop a landscape-scale understanding of the drivers and impacts of terrestrial ecosystem change. It continues to meet and contribute to the goals and objectives of the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026.

Team leaders

Jeremy Littell
Alaska Climate Science Center

Elizabeth Hoy
NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office, Global Science and Technology, Inc.

Elizabeth Powers
United States Geological Survey

Performance elements from the Arctic research plan


Under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, the Terrestrial Ecosystems Community of Practice:

  • Supported efforts to improve understanding of important ecosystem processes and feedbacks, including NASA ABoVE, USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems, and USGS Integrated Ecosystem Model for Alaska and Western Canada.
  • Supported progress by USGS, NASA, and NSF-funded research on nature, detection, and climate attribution of agents of landscape change.
  • Brought together experts to discuss using remotely sensed datasets to monitor ecosystem properties.
  • Supported improvement and development of advanced models for integrating climate, disturbance, above- and below-ground dynamics, and interactions and feedbacks to characterize and predict Arctic landscape and ecosystem change.
  • Coordinated the development of maps from remotely-sensed data and synthesize available data to document changing plant, fish, and terrestrial animal populations and their habitats.
  • Supported and shared efforts to track population dynamics and species movements.
  • Shared information and case studies of incorporating scientific observations and the perspectives of Indigenous Knowledge holders into assessments of how changing Arctic ecosystems, flora, and fauna are affecting important subsistence activities, lifestyles, and well-being of northern residents.
  • Supported agency and agency-funded efforts to evaluate how changing fire regimes have and are likely to impact northern communities.
  • Coordinated research on wildfires, including statistics, mapping, and modeling efforts to estimate emissions from fires.

For a full summary of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Community of Practice’s accomplishments under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, see the 2021 Performance Element Summary Statements.