Newsroom

A species’ worth depends on our resourcefulness

What good are clams? I work with a lot of obscure animals, such as bivalve mollusks (clams and their relatives), and one of the most common questions I get is, "What good are they?"

Lyme disease is spreading faster than ever and humans are partly to blame

Avril Lavigne is the latest celebrity to reveal being felled by Lyme disease. After months of withering fatigue, the Canadian singer-songwriter was finally diagnosed with the tick-borne illness.

Saving wildlife might be good for your health

Preserving habitats and encouraging biodiversity does wonders for plant and animal life, giving them room to thrive without human interference. In recent years some scientists have wondered if biodiversity might also help humans, protecting us from infectious diseases that spread from nonhuman animals to people

Q&A with Kathleen Weathers

Cary's Kathie Weathers is interviewed by the Environmental Monitor and answers questions about the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network.

GLEON: Ten years of linking lakes and people

In October 2005, five scientists were marooned on a mountain near Yuan Yang Lake in Taiwan. Dead-set on installing a new batch of water quality sensors, the group had ignored an incoming typhoon that washed out the only road behind them, knocking chunks of pavement the size of a garage down the cypress-covered slopes.

‘Messy’ woods serve critical purpose in forest management

Visitors to the Cary Institute's Millbrook campus will admire our diverse woodlands, but may wonder why there are so many standing and fallen dead trees left scattered, sometimes in prominent places. Some might even say that our forests are messy.

Use wild opossums to rid your property of ticks

Opossums are North America's only native marsupials. An opossum vaguely resembles a cross between a housecat and a giant rat, and while they're tolerated as a relative newcomer to Maine's wilderness — migrating into the state within the last half century or so — they're not especially cherished.

Hudson Data Jam Awards Showcase features creative work by regional students

The public is invited to attend the Hudson Data Jam Awards Showcase. Support regional students while learning about the Hudson River in this unique event that combines river science and data interpretation with creative communication.

Researchers unraveling secrets of Ebola talk at UGA

Ecologists shared ideas and research about the Ebola virus at a meeting in Athens, Georgia. Cary's Barbara Han talked about methods scientists are developing that would identify likely wildlife carriers of filoviruses, a kind of virus related to rabies virus which includes Ebola, Marburg virus and some other deadly species.

Hudson River scientist receives top honor for wetlands work

The Environmental Law Institute has announced that Dr. Stuart E.G. Findlay, received the 2015 National Wetlands Award for Science Research. Stuart and six other award recipients were honored at a ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 2015.

vole

Could a computer predict the next pandemic?

Using a computer to predict an infectious disease outbreak before it starts may sound like a bit of Philip K. Dick sci-fi, but scientists are coming close. In a new study, researchers have used machine learning—teaching computers to recognize patterns in large data sets—to make accurate forecasts about which animals might harbor dangerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi. 

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Of mice and mouse clicks

Between 1346 and 1353 the Black Death killed over a third of Europe's population. It took 150 years for the continent to recover. The disease was so devastating that it changed the social order, as a scarcity of labour led to higher wages for the survivors, hastening the demise of feudalism.

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Forecasting future infectious disease outbreaks

Machine learning can pinpoint rodent species that harbor diseases and geographic hotspots vulnerable to new parasites and pathogens. So reports a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by Barbara A. Han, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

It’s not glamorous, nor easy, being a toad

This spring, April showers made favorable conditions for amphibians to display their singing skills in the flooded lowland fields at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Eastern American toads (Anaxyrus americanus) were major contributors to the evening chorus, which was at times deafening.

ostfeld lab

Time to Move Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April?

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at Cary, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.

Findlay receives National Wetlands Award

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is pleased to announce that senior scientist Dr. Stuart E.G. Findlay has received the prestigious National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute (ELI).

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Harsh northeast winter no hindrance to hungry ticks

Think you're safe from ticks because the harsh winter froze them or because you haven't been trekking through the woods? Think again.

ticks in jar

Be careful; ticks could be arriving earlier this spring

Data Cary's Rick Ostfeld and his team have collected since the 1990s reveals a marked change in the behavior of black-legged ticks -- they are arriving on the scene earlier than ever in the spring. They're also showing up farther to the north, and at higher elevations, than they have in the past.

wappinger creek

New stream environments created by flooding

Ice out at last! The East Branch of the Wappinger Creek, which runs through the Cary Institute's property, remained blanketed under a thick layer of ice and snow most of winter. Not until mid-March did the frozen cover begin to melt away faster than it reformed.

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Give opossums a break

Serving as inadvertent innkeepers for opossums may turn out to be good for your health. Scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, have learned that opossums act like little vacuum cleaners when it comes to ticks, including those that can spread debilitating Lyme disease to humans and other animals.

Peeper keeper

For nearly 20 years, Gary Lovett has kept a journal with notes about a variety of natural events taking place in his backyard in southeastern New York, including the date that spring peepers begin peeping in his vernal pool each year.

Opossums: Where Lyme disease goes to die

Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust.

The Dark Side of Road Salt

When cities and states apply tons of it to roads like they did this winter, drinking water supplies can be easily contaminated.

snow storm

Cary Institute examines salt runoff

Salt, it makes roads safe in the winter, but is it safe for the environment? "In small quantities it would be safe, but not in large quantities," said Vicky Kelly, who manages environmental monitoring for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Coyotes likely to show up in your neighborhood

Breeding wolves were killed off in New York back in the 1890s. But hearing nighttime howling today should not be blamed on our imaginations. Another predator, the eastern coyote (Canis latrans), abounds in our area and provides a similar hair-raising effect when we hear it calling.

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