Newsroom

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?

forest fire

Fire factor fading

A fire in Minnewaska State Park, which burned more than 3,000 acres, is a reminder of how difficult it can be to control wildfires.

Thorny shrub is a backyard bully

My backyard is being devoured by a silent but aggressive invader, multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora). This thorny perennial shrub is an Asian import with arching green stems called canes that can reach 10-15 feet long.

Subtle cues spur awakening

As spring settles in around us, there is a lot of evidence of how organisms and the ecosystems they are part of respond to the shifts in the seasons.

Notes from the field: Lessons from the city

As the Director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a Long Term Ecological Research project, I work with colleagues to reveal how watersheds can be used to understand interactions among social, biophysical, and built environments.

Is biofuel sustainable?

Simply defined, sustainability is ensuring that future generations have access to the resources that we enjoy today. It was the topic of a recent workshop at the Cary Institute, where over forty ecologists discussed the sustainability of biofuel, an emerging source of alternative energy.

Farms, fish, and nitrogen pollution

How is the fish on your dinner plate tied to agricultural fertilizer? Let’s use the ecosystem approach to think about the big picture. On land, nitrogen-rich fertilizer is applied to crops to stimulate production. 

Today's science, tomorrow's solution: embracing a new name and a strategic plan

Change is underway at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. For over two decades, the Cary Institute has been at the forefront of ecological research. Now, in an effort to maximize the organization’s influence on environmental policy, it’s embracing solution-driven science and enhanced outreach.

Chinese mitten crabs: Invasive species found in Hudson

Look for a new animal in the Hudson this summer. The Chinese mitten crab is at our doorstep.

Streams cleanse water as they move it

On their journey toward the ocean, small streams carry materials from adjacent terrestrial ecosystems. For decades this capacity to transport salts, soils and organisms was viewed as the primary ecological function of streams.

Biofuels no easy answer

We have passed a tipping point in the search for "carbon-neutral" energy sources, leading to an explosion of interest in the use of plant-derived ethanol and biodiesel as a replacement for fossil fuels.

Acid rain problem lingers

Cary Institute scientists have provided leadership in acid rain research, but acid rain is not limited to our area—it occurs widely across the eastern United States, Europe, China, and other industrialized areas around the world.

Plodding process lets invasive species take hold

A new invader is about to carve out a home in the Hudson River. Chinese mitten crabs, native to Eastern Asia, have been spotted in the Hudson and along our East Coast several times since last June.

Forest change offers insight

While walking through the woods in the Hudson Valley, it is common to stumble upon the remnants of stone walls. Now mossy and overgrown, they date back to a time when agriculture dominated the landscape.

Warmer winters not only effect of climate change

With the cold temperatures of the past few days, one might think it would take sheer gall for me to write a column about global warming.

No free lunch with hydropower

Many people make the mistake of thinking that hydroelectric power is an environmentally benign source of energy. It is renewable (unlike oil), doesn't generate noxious waste (unlike nuclear power), and wouldn't seem to produce harmful greenhouse gases (unlike coal).

Eavesdropping on your neighbors

When making decisions about how to navigate the world, many of us take cues from the people sharing our environment. If your neighbor departs on his morning commute carrying an umbrella, you might reconsider your choice of footwear. Similarly, overhearing your neighbor in a heated argument would probably thwart you from asking to borrow a cup of sugar or some pruning shears.

The changing Hudson project: Bringing ecology into the classroom

For over two decades, IES scientists have been paying close attention to conditions in the Hudson River. Through collaboration and perseverance, they have amassed world-class datasets on invasive species, aquatic food webs, and nutrient pollution. While this information is essential to effective management of the river, it is also a rich resource for educators who want to bring real ecology into the classroom.

A good lawn is a small lawn

The great American lawn is about as far from a natural ecosystem as one can get. These artificial landscapes require an inordinate amount of resources to keep them in the green and manicured condition Americans have come to expect.

Forging a major center for ecology

For almost a quarter of a century, Dr. Gene E. Likens has focused on one overriding goal, fostering excellence in his staff. From the moment he took the helm of the Institute in 1983, he had a simple and steadfast plan: hire the brightest people possible and encourage them to blossom professionally. 

The fate of Adirondack lakes

Cary researcher gathers water samples from remote Adirondack lakes via retrofitting a float plane for lake sampling.

The Ecosystem Literacy Initiative: Learning the Language of Ecosystems

In January, IES announced a new era in its 23-year legacy of education. Dubbed the Ecosystem Literacy Initiative (ELI), this new effort aims to help people think about the ecosystems we depend upon and link that understanding to their daily lives.

To Salt or Not To Salt? Roadways & Parking Lots Threaten Freshwater

There are 2.6 million miles of paved roads in the United States, and new roads are being constructed daily. When parking lots and driveways are factored in, there is already enough blacktopped surface in the U.S. to cover the entire state of Ohio. Paved roads and parking spaces come in handy for our nation’s drivers, but they also come with a serious unforeseen cost— the degradation of freshwater ecosystems.

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