Imagine a world where a computer program could pinpoint the next infectious disease outbreak, guiding response efforts and saving lives. Cary Institute disease ecologist Dr. Barbara Han is bringing this vision closer to reality.
This summer, the Cary Institute offered a special two-week camp exploring the interface between ecology and art. Cary educators teamed with George Kaye of Ecographs and Laurie Seeman of Strawtown Studio to add a new dimension to stream studies.
This spring, Cary Institute educators hosted two Data Jams, one in New York’s Hudson Valley and the other in Baltimore, Maryland. Both competitions, now in their second year, challenge middle and high school students to interpret ecological data and creatively communicate their findings to general audiences.
The Grand Canyon reach of the Colorado River meanders through one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States. It would be easy to assume steep canyon walls and uninhabited shores resulted in pristine waters. But research by Cary Institute’s Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall and colleagues has found that this isolated part of the Colorado harbors toxic levels of mercury and selenium.
In 1997, Cary Institute Distinguished Senior Scientist Steward T. A. Pickett formed the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of only two National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research sites in an urban setting. Under his direction, BES has grown into an interdisciplinary team of more than 150 researchers and collaborators advancing an understanding of how to achieve sustainable, resilient cities.
Alan Berkowitz will lead education activities for the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN), a consortium of 14 institutions recently awarded $12 million dollars by the National Science Foundation to address threats to urban water systems. Led by Colorado State, partners include the Cary Institute, Princeton University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, Arizona State, and Oregon State.
Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a source most students rely on. But, according to a recent paper by Dr. Gene E. Likens, Cary Institute President Emeritus, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial science can be unreliable.
In April 2014, just after world health officials identified a series of suspicious deaths in Guinea as an outbreak of Ebola, 10 ecologists, 4 veterinarians, and an anthropologist traveled to a Guinean village named Meliandou. Theirs was a detective mission to determine how this outbreak began. How had "patient zero," a 2-year-old boy named Emile, contracted the Ebola virus?
Dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted to humans by two species of mosquitos, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. There are no vaccines for these viral diseases and while not often fatal, they can disable victims with painful symptoms for weeks or months.
In the U.S. alone, some 15 million tons of salt is applied to our roadways each year. While its use has real benefits, in terms of safety and navigation, there have been cumulative costs to the environment.
In September, I arrived in Millbrook as the new president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. During the past two months, I’ve met with staff to better learn what we do and where we do it. The meetings have been spectacular.
While our trails and grounds are closed for the season, our education staff is gearing up for a busy spring. Field trips and enrichment activities are being scheduled with a focus on data literacy through long-term monitoring.
This past summer Cary's Steward Pickett was a Visiting International Professor at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences in Beijing. The center is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and home to the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology.
For more than thirty years, our researchers have been studying the Hudson River and its watershed, analyzing everything from water chemistry to invasive species. That vast data set was the inspiration for a new offering by our Education Program.