Greening Charm City

rosi and berkowitz BES
Alan Berkowitz receives the 2017 Director’s Award for his contributions to BES.

The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) is a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network site directed by Cary’s Emma Rosi. The study brings together ecologists, social scientists, planners, and educators working to understand metropolitan Baltimore as an ecological system. Their findings guide sustainable urban practices, with an eye towards improving environmental and public health.

This October, 122 BES collaborators convened in Baltimore for the BES Annual Meeting. Twenty-seven talks and 10 posters showcased the full spectrum of BES activity. Cary highlights included:

  • Disease ecologist Shannon LaDeau on urbanization, poverty, and mosquito-borne disease.
  • Head of Education Alan Berkowitz on a new NSF-funded initiative integrating BES science into high school chemistry classes throughout Baltimore City Public Schools. Berkowitz was honored with the 2017 Director’s Award for his contributions to BES.
  • Ecology Education Program Leader Bess Caplan on ‘Comp-Hydro Baltimore’, an innovative approach to teaching students about surface water systems in Baltimore.
  • Microbial ecologist Peter Groffman on the homogenization of urban landscapes throughout the US and Baltimore’s place within this trend.
  • Urban community ecologist Timon McPhearson on modeling future scenarios of heat in New York City and implications for vulnerable populations – work which will be applied to Baltimore.

In advance of the BES Annual Meeting, a press briefing was held in a residential west Baltimore neighborhood. A team of BES experts, including Cary’s Heather Goodman, spoke about their work on the ecological, social, and public health impacts of Baltimore’s vacant lots and abandoned housing stock. Following the meeting, BES partner, the Parks & People Foundation, hosted an open house focused on citizen science, where Shannon LaDeau showcased her mosquito traps and discussed Baltimore residents’ role in mosquito monitoring.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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