Newsroom

Warmer world means spring birds return sooner

Ecologists study phenology, which is the orderly progression of seasonal events in nature, such as the springtime arrival of migrating birds, the first chorus of spring peepers in vernal pools, and the development of tree colors each autumn

Groundwater is essential

Despite the fact 60 percent of us in Dutchess County drink groundwater every day, and all of us eat food irrigated by ground water, very few people know where it comes from, where it goes, or that groundwater is full of life

Research energy, protect forests, and tax carbon to fight warming

Thankfully, the argument about the reality of global climate change seems finished. The majority of the public now joins the consensus of climate scientists, who have furnished compelling proof that the planet is warming and that humans are at least partly to blame.

No Child Left Inside

What if our children could recognize the birds, plants and insects in their backyards as well as they know the brands of shoes on their feet or the secret weapons they need to get to the next level in a video game? 

Rising human demand for fresh water on course to put other species at risk

If you ever saw "Star Wars," you'll remember the trash compactor scene: Trying to escape from the Imperials, Luke and his friends duck into what turns out to be a trash compactor, where things go from bad to worse.

Endangered Species Act changes must be reversed

In the face of our rising human population, a lack of protected areas for native species and for pristine ecosystems would result in the loss of many North American plants and animals. 

Tough times for polar bears

Polar bears are the largest terrestrial predators on Earth, outweighing lions, tigers, and all other bears. They have to be big to catch their major prey - seals and small whales

Proposed shipping rules target invasive species

New York state is taking an essential step to deal with invasive species, one of the most damaging and difficult environmental problems of our time, by proposing to limit the importation of ballast water into the state.

Economic downturn could hurt your health

Dengue (pronounced DEN-ghee) fever is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes. It was formerly called "break-bone fever" because it causes excruciating pain to the muscles and joints of its human victims.

Keeping balance in the environment

We tend to think of nature as having reliable patterns; the leaves turn color each autumn, seasonal birds come and go. But there are also examples of sudden, unexpected changes in the environment around us.

Gauging growing season

Farmers and biologists typically consider the growing season in our region to run from March to September, although this may change as temperatures increase with climate change.

Local scientists aided Nobel-winning panel

Last year, we received certificates that featured attractive artwork, Alfred Nobel's name, and the King of Norway's signature. No, we didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize. But in 2007, our scientific contributions did help Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change win theirs.

Policymakers urged to adopt biofuel standards

Cellulose-based biofuels hold promise, but we need to proceed cautiously. 

Summer institute for teachers

Teacher training can infuse classrooms with current scientific thinking. When teachers are confident and engaged in new concepts, students benefit.

Institute helps teachers deepen their knowledge of ecosystems

Teacher training can help infuse classrooms with current scientific thinking. When teachers are confident and engaged in new concepts, students benefit

Tiny organisms critical to life processes

What do cheese production, sewage treatment, and insect-resistant corn have in common? Without microbes, none of these things would be possible

Fungi assist in decomposition, team with plants to boost absorption

In late summer, after a couple of rainy afternoons, I happened to see several huge mushrooms under a pine tree at the Cary Institute. Mushrooms can be a little deceptive because they appear so suddenly, often seemingly overnight

Why you should care about ozone warnings

From Beijing to Beacon, air pollution alerts are rampant this summer. One of the primary causes for these alerts is high levels of "bad" ozone.

Airborne pollutants harm diverse habitats

If you are living in the eastern United States, the environment around you is being harmed by air pollution.

Observation network to help study Hudson River estuary

A collaborative monitoring project called the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System has been implemented to provide continuous real-time data about estuary conditions in the Hudson River such as temperature, salinity, and pollutant loads.

The Army Corps of Engineers vs. muskrat engineers: Nature declared winner

Muskrats have caused levee collapses in the past and will likely do so in the future.

Let lawn go - and reap the benefits

Today's obsession with perfect, park-like lawns is not only a waste of time and money; it's bad for the environment. Embrace a natural yard, as our household has done on about half of our property.

Puffins' habits change habitat

In 1890, there were about 250,000 pairs of Atlantic puffins breeding on Grassholm, a 22-acre island a few miles off the southwest coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. By 1940, there were only 25 breeding pairs

The mussel in the rainforest

This past summer, we unexpectedly found a very rare freshwater mussel in one of the small tributaries of the Housatonic River basin – a species that hadn’t been seen in the region since 1843.

Is spring coming sooner?

This year, our maples and oaks put out new leaves, and our fruit trees started blooming about two weeks earlier than usual. Is this a symptom of climate change?

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