Newsroom

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt. A study of 371 lakes published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44% of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization.

Road salt is putting North America’s lakes at risk

In the 1940s, Americans found a new way to love salt. Not simply for sprinkling on food — we'd acquired a taste for the mineral long before that — but for spreading on roads and sidewalks. Salt became a go-to method to de-ice frozen pavement.

lyme map

Lyme disease is set to explode and we still don’t have a vaccine

A new prediction says 2017 and 2018 will see major Lyme disease outbreaks in new areas. This could lead to lifelong health consequences, so where's the vaccine?

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.

sea

SOS: Sucking oxygen out of the sea

Reports that the world’s oceans showed a two percent decline in oxygen content over the past 50 years gathered a lot of press attention a couple of weeks ago. This was not the first time that oceanographers have reported human impacts on the marine environment, and it is not likely to be the last.

It’s a fish eat tree world

Most of the planet’s freshwater stores are found in the northern hemisphere, a region that is changing rapidly in response to human activity and shifting climatic trends. An international team of scientists analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life.

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Will climate change affect forest ecology?

For many of us, winter in the Northeast means cold temperatures and piles of snow, drifting through forests and across fields. It’s hard to imagine that winter here could be different, but the prospect of climate change has scientists asking just what our winters might look like in the future – and how those changes might influence forest ecology.

black-legged tick

Climate change could be increasing the footprint of Lyme disease

One implication of the warm weather is that it attracts mice, which also harbor the ticks and bacteria that cause Lyme disease: 2017 is expected to be a very risky Lyme disease season.

ticks

Forbidding forecast for Lyme disease in the Northeast

Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing have been studying Lyme disease and ways to stop it for more than 20 years. The couple has come up with a way to predict how bad a Lyme season will be a full year in advance.

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Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education: Kathleen Weathers

The Odum Award recognizes outstanding efforts to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach, and mentoring.

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Zika may be spread by 35 mosquito species, says study

Zika virus could be transmitted by 35 mosquito species, including 26 previously unsuspected ones, according to a new predictive model created by scientists.

water warning

Trump to order water rule to be reconsidered

President Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to channel the wisdom of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in reconsidering an Obama administration rule that expanded Washington’s jurisdiction over state and local waterways under the Clean Water Act.

Regulation–a new dirty word

The White House has decreed that for every new regulation enacted, two existing regulations must be nullified. Regulatory overseers are now assigned to every Federal agency that might consider adding a new regulation. What a mindless way to ensure the health and safety of society.

Predicting disease: Tracking probabilities

Podcast

Two-thirds of the diseases which infect humans are thought to originate from animals. Is it possible to predict where new disease outbreaks may occur in the future?

Predicting disease: Making the leap

Podcast

Ebola, Zika, SARS they're all diseases that have been passed from animals to humans. But how does this occur?

freighter

NY's AG leads coalition against bill to strip state authority on ship discharges

Podcast

New York's Eric Schneiderman and 10 other attorneys general have sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders. The letter urges opposition to a bill that would eliminate states' authority to protect waterways from ships' polluted discharges, making it easier for non-native species to invade the Hudson River and Great Lakes.

science in progress

Why science matters

A statement by the Presidents, past and present, of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

rainforest

Why killer viruses are on the rise

The world is now in uncharted territory when it comes to infectious diseases. We're facing a whole new era. Over the past century, the number of new infectious diseases cropping up each year has nearly quadrupled. The number of outbreaks per year has more than tripled.

chemicals

Science is falling woefully behind in testing new chemicals

Recently, a PBS documentary about Rachel Carson's life made headlines. Her seminal work Silent Springwhich documented the detrimental effects of pesticides—still stands as a pillar of the modern environmental movement. But a new report suggests that science has been struggling to stay afloat in a rapidly growing sea of chemicals.

artificial stream

Drugs in our waters: Artificial streams

Podcast

Aquatic ecologist Emma Rosi talks about pharmaceuticals in waterways and research into the ways they may be affecting aquatic life.

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Study: Invasive bugs found in fallen trees years after storm

They may be down but they're not out: Damaging insects can emerge from fallen trees and logs for several years after a major storm, according to a U.S. Forest Service study that reinforces longstanding warnings against moving firewood from place to place.

Drugs in our waters: Solutions

Podcast

A wide range of drugs - everything from antibiotics to antihistamines, are showing in our rivers, streams and water supply and it is having an impact on our environment. What can we do about it? 

Keep our water safe from polluters

When Scott Pruitt takes the reins of the Environmental Protection Agency, we can expect him to dismantle federal environmental protections. Among the protections that he would like to roll back is the recent rule defining the "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act. Repealing this rule would cut the heart out of the Clean Water Act, effectively handing our waters back to big polluters. This should be resisted. 

Rosi testifies on pharmaceutical pollution

Video

A panel of experts, including Cary Institute aquatic ecologist Emma Rosi, discuss the issue of pharmaceutical pollution at a Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources Committee hearing.

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