Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Wetlands Restoration: A Give and Take Proposition

Wetlands giveth and wetlands taketh away. On one hand, wetlands are a sink, locking up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. On the other, wetlands release methane, another greenhouse gas. Jaclyn Hatala Matthes studies this duality, its causes, effects, and potential solutions.

“We are trying to measure the tradeoffs between CO2 (carbon dioxide) uptake and methane release when you are restoring wetlands,” says Matthes, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program.

Matthes, who joined Dartmouth on July 1, came to Hanover after a year as a postdoc at Boston University following her PhD work at the University of California, Berkeley. Her enthusiasm for Dartmouth is scarcely contained. “This is my dream job—a fantastic institution, well supported, and the students are motivated and interested in environmental issues.

Faculty Spotlight: Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes is a new assistant professor in the Department of Geography and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

Professor Matthes works at the intersection of ecosystem ecology and atmospheric science to investigate physical and biological feedbacks between global climate change, land-use change, and ecosystem processes. She is particularly interested in understanding how ecosystems control greenhouse gas fluxes between the biosphere and atmosphere, and the role that ecosystem management plays in the global carbon cycle. Her research also explores the impacts of disturbance processes, such as insect and pathogen outbreaks, floods, land-use changes, and fires, on the carbon cycle of ecosystems.

In Winter 2015, Professor Matthes will teach a new course, GEOG 8: Life in the Anthropocene, which will investigate the physical and ecological consequences of our current era of unprecedented human impacts on the Earth and its ecosystems. Because her research is interdisciplinary, Professor Matthes looks forward to collaborating with a broad range of students with diverse interests.

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes published a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. This research, conducted in collaboration with the Biometeorology Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, investigated the spatial drivers of methane emissions from a restored wetland in California. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is emitted from flooded soils, and this research helped to better understand how temperature, wind, and the spatial configuration of plants on the landscape all contribute to the production and emission of methane from wetlands. This paper also developed novel methods for analyzing the spatial patterns of methane flux from ecosystems by fusing remote sensing data from the WorldView-2 satellite with eddy flux tower and micrometeorological measurements.