Newsroom

Mycorrhizae

Most folks don't realize it, but the roots of plants are connected underground by a vast network of fungi that improve the function of plant roots. The fungi exist in what is known as a symbiosis—both the fungus and the plant benefit. The fungus gets its energy from the plant, and the plant gains access to soil nutrients by the action of the fungus.

The Ecology of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. In the Northeast, the blacklegged ticks that spread Lyme disease are increasing their range, putting more people in harm’s way. For more than two decades, the Cary Institute’s Dr. Richard Ostfeld has been investigating how wildlife, land use, acorns, and climate change set the stage for tick-borne disease transmission. 

Lyme Disease

Climate change and warming temperatures are broadening the range of suitable tick habitat. As ticks move north, they're bringing Lyme and other diseases with them. As ticks are beginning to emerge, it is time to heighten vigilance; check yourself, your children, and pets regularly.

Together we can get our freshwaters off drugs

Pharmaceuticals are found in surface waters around the world. These compounds evade wastewater treatment infrastructure, pollute drinking water, and impact aquatic ecosystems. Here are some steps you can take to help stem the tide of pharmaceutical pollution.

Long Lake, MI

Carbon and cannibalism: What happens to bass when you increase the amount of decomposing plant debris in an experimental lake

Lakes across the northern hemisphere are getting darker; causes include heavier rains, changes in land use patterns, and recovery from acid rain. Cary Institute ecologist Chris Solomon is working to advance understanding of how lake browning impacts fishery productivity. Recent work explores the role of phantom midges and bass cannibalism in this complex system.

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Phenology

The science of phenology is now advancing with the lengthening record of the Earth's greenness, snowcover and temperature from satellites and other sensors.

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Renewable futures

I had to chuckle over the recent Wall Street Journal report that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had rejected Trump's plans to subsidize the coal and nuclear power industries—to prop them up as a campaign promise. The agency is mainly composed of Trump's own appointees. So sad.

solar panels

An experiment with clean air

As we hear pressures to roll back some of the provisions that ensure clean air, largely in pursuit of unfettered economic activity, it is worth spending a little time reflecting on the benefits of clean air to human health. A long list of gases that exacerbate asthma, emphysema, and COP, such as ozone and nitric oxide, are known irritants and oxidizers of lung tissue. 

North America's Lakes are getting saltier

North America’s freshwater lakes are getting saltier. The culprits: development and road salt. So reports an extensive study of 371 lakes conducted by a team of researchers in the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) Graduate Student Fellowship Program, an initiative led by Cary Institute scientist Kathleen Weathers. 

Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Celebrating 30 years

The Cary Institute is home to one of the longest running Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs in the nation. Since 1987, more than 300 students have spent a summer conducting independent research with a Cary mentor. 

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Citizen science, range maps, and conservation

Effective conservation begins with a keen understanding of where species live and what environmental conditions they need to survive. Using new modeling techniques fueled by citizen science, Vijay Ramesh and colleagues have developed a data-driven method to accurately map where species live so that these areas, and the species within them, can be protected. 

rosi and berkowitz BES

Greening Charm City

The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) is a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network site directed by Cary’s Emma Rosi. 

Spotlights

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds work at the frontiers of science. Proposals selected for funding must pass a rigorous and objective merit-review system. We are thrilled to congratulate four Cary scientists on their recent receipt of NSF awards.

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From our President

It is an exciting time at the Cary Institute. Our strategic plan is in full implementation, and we are hiring staff and making plans to modernize our facilities. New scientists will strengthen our world-class research program, and investments in conference space, labs, and technology will enable us to continue advancing the science needed for environmental solutions. 

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Wildebeest feed the Mara River

Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is home to one of the largest overland animal migrations in the world. Each year, more than a million wildebeest journey between Tanzania and Kenya in search of food and water.

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Natural climate solutions

There are lots of ways that carbon dioxide (CO2) enters and leaves the Earth's atmosphere. Even though the natural movements of CO2 are enormous, all indications are that the total inputs and outputs to the atmosphere were well-balanced before the Industrial Revolution, because the CO2 concentration was not changing very much.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricanes: enlist nature's protection

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which hit in August and September, are estimated to be the most costly ever to make landfall in the United States. The damage they caused calls for a major investment in infrastructure that is resilient to such extreme events.

The Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN) engages undergraduate researchers to tackle key water management challenges

The Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN) links researchers across the United States who represent a range of academic disciplines and are intellectually connected by a common interest in solving urban water issues.

emerald ash borer

Stop importing forest pests

Recent news of the discovery of the emerald ash borer in Franklin County and the hemlock woolly adelgid near Lake George crystallizes the threat that imported forest pests pose to the Adirondacks. The emerald ash borer, a small green beetle from Asia, is poised to wipe out all of the ash trees in the region — and potentially North America.

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Climate change economics

In the politically-charged world of climate change, an important paper appeared in Science last month, written by Solomon Hsiang and 11 others, assessing the regional impacts of the projected changes in climate on the economic productivity within the U.S. 

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Long-term Study

We often forget that some of today's obvious and formidable environmental problems were not recognized without tedious long-term studies by dedicated scientists with a hunch.

The answer is blowing in the wind

Most people accept that coal is a dirty fuel: Dirty to mine, dirty to burn, and dirty to dispose of the ash. Already there is a shift away from coal-fired power plants, but they still account for 30% of our electric power nationwide. 

The Cary Institute teams with IBM Research to address Zika

When the Zika virus arrived in Brazil, it went largely unnoticed until infected infants were born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder marked by a small head caused by severe underdevelopment of brain tissue in utero. As the number of Zika-affected babies grew, the World Health Organization moved quickly to declare Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.

When science informed policy

At any moment, science gives us its best explanation of reality. It proceeds by rigorous tests of hypotheses through observation and experimentation.

Seven documented reasons why YOU should care about climate change

The New York Times reports that most Americans believe that our climate is changing, and a majority of them feel that the combustion of coal should be scaled back.  But, what lags in public opinion is the motivation to do very much else about climate change.  Most people don’t think climate change will matter to them.

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