Dear Friends of the Cary Institute:
Last month, non-essential parts of the Federal government shut down. Support for scientific research, already curtailed by the budget sequestration earlier this year, came to an unfortunate stall. Across a wide range of fields, from engineering to medicine to environment, research has been the driver of innovation that has made this country second to none. In an increasingly globalized world, we can’t afford to turn off our research engine.
The shutdown was of enormous significance to the Cary Institute. Half of our annual budget is derived from grants that our scientists obtain from Federal agencies.These are selected from a huge pool of applicants. Competition is intense, but our success rate of 30% during the past few years is well above the average for all of the National Science Foundation (8%).
Cary Institute research has proven critical to recognizing and solving diverse environmental impacts, ranging from acid rain to an increasing risk of tick-borne infectious diseases. While the shutdown was brief, how our elected officials navigate future budget impasses will chart our nation’s trajectory for an improved environment.
Activities at the Cary Institute persist at a high level. This summer we completed an artificial stream facility, which will support Emma Rosi-Marshall’s ground-breaking studies on pharmaceutical pollution. Stuart Findlay debuted a data display on the Walkway Over the Hudson that features real-time monitoring data on environmental conditions in the river. Gary Lovett received critical funds to translate his work on pests and pathogens in Northeastern forests into a white paper for policy makers. Our education and outreach teams had a packed schedule of summer activities. And our radio show, Earth Wise, can now be accessed on iTunes.
Much of our continued activity has been supported by gifts and grants from private sources. In these troubled times, I can’t thank all our friends enough for recognizing and supporting the important work we do here.