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Cary Institute's hands-on science teaches thinking

A class of second-graders at St. Joseph School, Millbrook, gathers around a study plot in the grass of their schoolyard, marked by four pink flags in the shape of a square. 

It's time to remember to protect fish population

Losses of our local fish have been so severe that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has completely closed commercial and recreational fishing for American shad in the Hudson River.

Volcanoes may help to cool the Earth

A volcano erupts in Iceland, and cinders and sulfur dioxide are spewed into the atmosphere. 

Ice-out records track climate change

We identify the seasons through changes in biological and physical phenomena such as flowering, breeding or animal migration that mark an expected break in the pace of nature.

Even for city folks, ecology begins at home

When I was 13 years old, and supportive adults asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would enthusiastically blurt out, "I want to be an ecologist!"

Cows can help with upkeep of ski trails

Some French colleagues of mine recently discovered if you take cows up to the alpine pastures along the ski trails during or just after rain, they, not surprisingly, leave hoof prints.

Biodiversity and human health: Why more species mean fewer cases of Lyme disease

The United Nations has proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. 

Our river on drugs

Modern life is filled with an amazing assortment of chemicals. 

Manage pathways to block invasive species

Willie Nelson once sang that he only missed his ex-lover on three days: yesterday, today and tomorrow. This simple division of time works as well for invasive species as it does for heartbreak.

Thinking about climate change during the winter

When people think about climate change, the first thing that usually comes to mind is blazing hot summer days, severe droughts, or super-size hurricanes. But climate change is actually more significant in winter than in summer.

Breathing lessons: Living without oxygen

Most of us learned in school that plants produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide, while animals (like us) consume organic matter (such as carrots and burritos) and oxygen and produce carbon dioxide.

Global warming is real - despite email hoax

The recent hacking of e-mails at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia Center — one of the world's foremost institutions for the study of climate change — offers a disconcerting view of how modern science is done. 

Fish out of their own water

Last month's news that the invasive silver carp had crossed the electric barrier in a canal in Chicago ― and were only a short day's swim from invading Lake Michigan ― caused outcries from the outdoor community and tourist industry across the Great Lakes region.

Carbon dioxide: Where does it go?

Few of us think about the state of the atmosphere until it fails to provide us with a hospitable environment. More often than not, human activities are behind atmospheric ills.

Salt makes roads safe but can pollute water

Each year about a million tons of road salt are applied to roads in New York state. What happens to all that salt?

In the Hudson River, some fish are made of maple leaves

The lion's share (more than 90 percent) of the organic matter in the Hudson River comes from the landscape surrounding the river, rather than from plants and algae that live in the river. 

Study the source to sift sound science from bias

All too frequently, articles based on sound science are countered with misinformation posited as fact. Climate change is one example.

Biogeochemistry: Crucial to solving environmental problems

The Gulf of Mexico is home to a dead zone roughly the size of New Jersey. Inhospitable waters are caused by excess nitrogen that originates from distant Mid- western agribusinesses.  

Nurturing ecological understandIng

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. 

At Cary Institute workshop, teachers are the learners


Imagine hiking through a forest on the Cary Institute's 2,000-acre property and wondering why the hemlock trees grow just in certain areas or whether the annual influx of tent caterpillars causes long-lasting damage.

Curbing mercury emissions is crucial

The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" plays an important role in the history of occupational health and safety.

Hemlocks on the decline again: Weak trade regulations leave forests vulnerable to invasive pests

Accidentally imported from Asia into the eastern U.S. in the 1950s, the adelgid spread through the mid-Atlantic States and reached our area several years ago.  

Mountaintop coal digging has dire consequences

If you were to pick up the Appalachian Trail in New York State, and hike 600 miles south, after passing through some of the nation's most scenic vistas, you'd reach some very disturbing topography. Treeless hills rising to a flat top—much like the arid mesas of the desert Southwest—are separated by valleys filled with broken rock and barren streams. Welcome to mountaintop removal coal mining.

The river of Islands

“Would Henry Hudson even recognize the Hudson River if he sailed up it today?” In this four-part series, Dave Strayer describes how much the river has been transformed over time.

Managing watersheds is complex, but critical

In July, Dutchess County celebrated Watershed Awareness Month. Throughout the region, educational activities highlighted the role that watersheds play in protecting the health of freshwater resources

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