During the summer months, the Cary Institute’s campus bustles with educational activity. From campers getting their first introduction to climate change while exploring our property, to undergraduates conducting research projects under the mentorship of Cary Institute scientists—our staff is committed to nurturing ecological understanding in learners of all ages.
In early spring, shortly after the snow melts, vernal pools dot the landscape. Isolated from larger water bodies, these small wetlands are usually only wet for a few months out of the year. If you are not paying attention, you just might miss them. And that would be a shame, because these oft-overlooked wetlands are valuable and interesting ecosystems.
Cary Institute ecologist Dr. Shannon L. LaDeau is working to understand how environmental conditions influence the spread of undesirable pests and pathogens such as West Nile virus and the hemlock wooly adelgid. This work includes understanding the dynamics of pest communities and taking into account things like land use, climate change, and combined stressors.
How is the fish on your dinner plate tied to agricultural fertilizer? Let’s use the ecosystem approach to think about the big picture. On land, nitrogen-rich fertilizer is applied to crops to stimulate production.
Change is underway at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. For over two decades, the Cary Institute has been at the forefront of ecological research. Now, in an effort to maximize the organization’s influence on environmental policy, it’s embracing solution-driven science and enhanced outreach.
As the Director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a Long Term Ecological Research project, I work with colleagues to reveal how watersheds can be used to understand interactions among social, biophysical, and built environments.