Wood pellets: Renewable, but not carbon neutral

A return to firewood is bad for forests and the climate. So reports William Schlesinger, President Emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in an Insights article published today in the journal Science.

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.



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

Long-term monitoring is essential to effective environmental policy

Environmental policy guided by science saves lives, money, and ecosystems. So reports a team of eleven senior researchers in Environmental Science & Policy. Using air pollution in the United States as a case study, they highlight the success of cleanup strategies backed by long-term environmental monitoring. 


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.

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance

In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs.

Fire hydrant covered in road salt. Image by Allison Cekala.

US rivers and streams are compromised by increasing salt loads

Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies.

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. 

Lake Mohonk and Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY

Understanding the world's lakes takes center stage at GLEON 19

More than 240 scientists and researchers from around the world recently descended on the Hudson Valley to strengthen an international partnership aimed at studying and understanding the world’s lakes.


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. 


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.

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. 


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. 


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.

Pharmaceutical pollution accumulates in watersheds

Low dose, constant drip: Pharmaceuticals & personal care products impact aquatic life

When it comes to common chemicals in streams, the dose doesn't always make the poison for aquatic life

$2M NSF grant harnesses big data & AI to advance disease prevention

Team to develop tools to map areas at risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks with new NSF grant

preventing lyme disease: the tick project

NYS Senator highlights recommendations in Lyme disease report


Two New York state senators released a report last week aimed at combating the spread of Lyme and tick-borne diseases. Disease ecologist Rick Ostfeld commends the report, but offers suggestions for improving it.

urban ecology: vacant lots

Greenlaurel: Solving Baltimore’s vacant lot problem, one wildflower meadow at a time

Baltimore City faces a vexing, decades-old question: How do you transform 14,000 vacant lots and properties into healthy neighborhoods? It may just start with a flower meadow.

Cyanobacterial bloom on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

Researchers take to tech to study toxic cyanobacteria with $1.47M NASA grant

With support from a $1.47 million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Dartmouth, and the University of New Hampshire are developing high-tech tools to monitor cyanobacteria in lakes, predict impending blooms, and identify factors that are degrading water quality.  


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.


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

Privacy Policy Copyright © 201