Workshop 4: January 13 – 16, 2020 | Temperate Rainforests as Carbon Sinks and Sources: The Role of Disturbance and Land Change

The 4th annual Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network workshop has passed. Stay tuned for more information.

Olympic Natural Resource Center, Forks, WA

Overview: This workshop is the fourth in the Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network (CRMRN) series and will focus on how terrestrial landscapes of the northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (NPCTR) of North American will change with altered climate and disturbance dynamics and the feedbacks these changes will have on biogeochemical cycling, nutrient fluxes, and exports to aquatic systems. Building on the preceding three workshops, we will expand on how hydrological, biogeochemical, and soil dynamics are influenced by forest change (growth and disturbances). The workshop will focus on identifying emerging forest change paradigms in these critical coastal margins, exploring the impacts on biogeochemical processes internal and external to the forest (e.g. aquatic flux), and outlining key geospatial and plot-level information needs (both new data and synthesis/fusion of existing data products) for future research on landscape-level materials flux. We are generally interested in addressing the following question: How do forest communities, distribution, and disturbance regimes drive current land-to-ocean biogeochemical fluxes across the PCTR, and how will climate-driven changes affect this flux? 

To Apply: Fill out the workshop application form by November 1st, 2019.

Workshop: We are seeking participants from the fields of forest, plant, disturbance, fire, and landscape ecology to share knowledge, information, and datasets on NPCTR ecosystem dynamics and disturbance response, define future paths for collaboration in NPCTR forest and landscape ecology, and work to integrate synthesized information, knowledge, and models with earth science, aquatic, and marine initiatives within CRMRN. Key questions to be addressed include:

1) What is the nature and magnitude of expected forest disturbance?

2) Which biogeochemical species will be most altered (e.g., DOC, Ca, N), and can certain chemical species be used as indicators for more difficult to monitor species?

3) What is the best way to monitor the relative influence of potentially increasing forest growth and increasing decomposition (faster cycling) at both local and regional scales?


  • Develop a conceptual model of relationships of forest composition and structure across spatial scales to nutrient dynamics within temperate rainforests (e.g., the role of nitrogen fixation in nitrogen export (terrestrial-to-aquatic fluxes), marine derived nutrients (ocean- to-terrestrial fluxes)).
  • Review existing literature, datasets, and models linking terrestrial and aquatic systems via ecosystem productivity, disturbance, and nutrient fluxes.
  • Synthesize available knowledge and data to help better understand how complex, carbon-rich forests will influence, and be influenced by, ongoing biogeochemical fluxes in the coastal environment Map likely biogeochemical consequences of such changes for these linked terrestrial and nearshore marine ecosystems (e.g. water, carbon storage, and nutrient flux).
  • Identify research needs within the NPCTR and beyond for testing new hypotheses related to terrestrial/marine fluxes and interactions due to the closely intertwined nature of biogeochemical exchange – from runoff into marine systems to marine-to-terrestrial nutrient subsidies from migrating salmon.
  • Establish collaboration across the CRMRN and the forest/fire/disturbance ecology community.

Location: Forks, Washington

Space is limited to 35 participants. Some travel assistance will be available.

For more information, please contact: Brian Buma, Sarah Bisbing, Allison Bidlack

Workshop 3: March 25 – 28, 2019 | Transformation and Transport of Elements and Compounds from Terrestrial to Aquatic Systems

Thanks to all who joined us in Juneau! Read about the outcomes of this workshop on our blog.

Juneau, Alaska

Overview: The coastal rainforest margin of the Northeast Pacific is a region of intense tectonic, volcanic, and glacial history. In this workshop, we will develop a framework to study how landscape evolution in the region has resulted in diverse soil and regolith patterns that control the production, transformation and transport of terrestrial-derived materials to the coastal ocean. This framework will provide models for measurement and prediction of how landscape evolution and subsequent soil formation controls the internal transformation and export of materials.

To Apply: Applications are now closed.


  • Coalesce participants around the state factors of soil formation (climate, organisms, parent material, time) and material transformation and transport, and detail the state of science across the NPCTR domain;
  • Share research directions that will help guide near and intermediate term research initiatives in earth science (geology, soil and biogeochemistry) across the NPCTR domain;
  • Establish a framework for collaboration across the CRMRN and broader efforts in the earth science community (Earthcube, Critical Zone, etc.).

Tasks: We will convene scientists across the realm of earth science along with the core CRMRN steering committee to focus on the following tasks:

  • Review existing models of soil formation and landform evolution and explore how to integrate evolving models across the NPCTR;
  • Compile geologic and soil information into a comprehensive data structure to enhance integrated modeling;
  • Explore mineralogical models of soil formation from varying parent materials and their relationship to pore waters;
  • Map relationships among landscape patterns and biogeochemical transformation and transport;
  • Use the soil formation state factors to develop problem analyses that delve into the research areas of opportunity to advance soil science in support of the overall CRMRN mission.

Workshop conveners:
Dave D’Amore, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Jason Fellman, University of Alaska Southeast, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center
Ian Giesbrecht, Hakai Institute
Allison Bidlack, University of Alaska Southeast, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center

Location: Juneau, Alaska

Space is limited to 35 participants. Some travel assistance will be available.

For more information please contact: David D’Amore, Allison Bidlack


Workshop 2: January 31 – February 2, 2018 | Marine-Terrestrial Interactions in the Coastal Temperate Rainforest Domain

Applications are now closed.

During this second workshop we will bring together a select group of oceanographers, biogeochemists, biologists, modellers and others interested in processes occurring at the land-sea interface in temperate regions. Although the workshop will focus heavily on the Pacific Coast, our findings are expected to have applications to temperate coastal rainforest domains globally.

Through this multi-disciplinary forum we aim to evaluate the current state of the knowledge of the terrestrial-marine system in the PCTR with respect to five key topics:

  1. Physics – freshwater controls of coastal hydrodynamics;
  2. Biochemistry – micro and macronutrient subsidies and their bioavailability to marine ecosystems; carbonate chemistry;
  3. Food webs – contributions and pathways of freshwater & terrestrial subsidies to marine food webs;
  4. Estuaries – the land-sea interface and role of estuarine ecosystems in modifying terrestrial outputs;
  5. Drivers of change – e.g., land use and climate.

Each topic will be introduced by key speakers, followed by discussion to define scope, discuss the current state of knowledge, distill and summarize data gaps, and identify future research directions. Our goal is to solidify a scientific community and build a research agenda on processes acting across temperate rainforest coastal margins. For more information about this workshop, please contact Brian Hunt ( AND Allison Bidlack (

Workshop organizers: Allison Bidlack (University of Alaska Southeast), Heida Diefenderfer (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Brian Hunt (University of British Columbia), Colleen Kellogg (Hakai Institute)

Workshop 1: February 8–10, 2017 | Aquatic Carbon Biogeochemistry of Coastal Temperate Rainforests


Thanks to all those who joined us in Seattle for the inaugural workshop of the  Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network!

This was the first of 5 annual workshops that will synthesize knowledge and address information gaps regarding the flux of water, carbon and nutrients from coastal watersheds to nearshore marine ecosystems.

A select group of hydrologists, aquatic biogeochemists, and others interested in processes occurring across the land-freshwater-ocean continuum discussed:  

  • the current state of knowledge of freshwater carbon biogeochemistry along the land-water continuum of the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest and;
  • solidified a scientific community to build a research agenda on processes acting across temperate rainforest coastal margins into the future.

View the agenda


Focal area of the workshop

Workshop organizers:

  • David Butman (University of Washington)
  • Bill Floyd (BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations; Vancouver Island University)
  • Eran Hood (University of Alaska Southeast)
  • Suzanne Tank (University of Alberta)


These workshops are funded by NSF award #1557186 RCN: Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network – understanding materials flux in linked terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the face of climate change.