Moderator: We're ready for our second speaker please. It's my pleasure to introduce our second speaker this morning, a colleague and a good friend of mine, Jeff Johansen. Jeff got all three of his degrees from Brigham Young University, finishing up his Ph.D in 1984. He has worked as a post doc both at Washington State University and at an institution called SERI, the Solar Energy Research Institute out in Golden, Colorado where he at one time was trying to produce alternative fuels to diesel from microbes. After his experience at SERI he went on to join the faculty at John Carroll University in Cleveland where he's been since 1988. He has published over 50 papers on microbes including the soil algae and his current research is in the areas of disturbance ecology, reclamation, floristics, and taxonomy of microbes. He's going to talk to us today about microbiotic crusts, a crucial component in desert ecosystems.
Johansen: I'm really excited to have the opportunity to come here today and talk to you about my research. I study microbiotic crusts. When I tell people that's what I study, they often ask, "Well, what are they?" Just as Lynn was saying, we often think of these microbes as being a very hidden and unseen group of organisms. I work in a group of organisms that, although they're easy to see, they have generally been ignored.