Newsroom

The serious downsides of road salt

Storm Jonas made it clear how important road salt is for keeping the streets and sidewalks of New York City clear of snow and ice. The Department of Sanitation had more than 300,000 tons of it on hand to deal with Jonas, more than the weight of three aircraft carriers.

City lights, urban sprawl, and uncovering the future of ecology with Dr. Peter Groffman

"For a long time in environmental science we've done a pretty good job of keeping people outside the box of ecosystems" says Dr. Peter Groffman, who studies the microbial and chemical ecology of urban landscapes and waterways.

Dr. Joshua Ginsberg on the Paris Agreement

Recently we asked Dr. Joshua Ginsberg, president of the Cary Institute, for his thoughts about the Paris climate change accord, or the Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations in December. Although he admits that there are flaws — it falls short of the reductions in greenhouse gasses scientists believe necessary and is a voluntary, and therefore non-binding, agreement — he believes it is “a real step forward” that establishes a framework for moving ahead.

There's a secret world under the snow, and it's in trouble

As much of the U.S. East Coast continues to dig out from last week's historic blizzard, it's easy to think of snow as a disruptive force that causes normal life to come to a standstill. While that might be true for large cities and the people who live in them, it is not true for wildlife—especially wild animals that have long made their homes in the fields and forests

Got dams or culverts? Speak up and help save fish

A public-private partnership is hoping to make travel a bit easier for Hudson Valley fish by figuring out all the places where fish can't get there from here, and then fixing as many of them as possible.

Lake Poopo

Bolivia’s second-largest lake has evaporated

What was once Bolivia's second-largest lake is now almost entirely gone, turned into a barren expanse of salty earth that's littered with dead fish and abandoned boats.

Cool science (very cool) examines how ice storms may shape the future of northern forests

A team of scientists in New Hampshire succeeded this week in capturing one of nature's most destructive forces - ice - and corralling it in two large research plots on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

Lake Poopo

Bolivia's second largest lake has dried out. Can it be saved?

Bolivia's second largest lake, Poopó, has all but dried up, threatening the livelihood of fishing communities and spelling ecological disaster for hundreds of species. The Bolivian government is blaming dry weather spurred by El Niño and a changing climate, but that's not the whole story.

Cary scientists win prestigious John H. Martin Award

The John H. Martin Award recognizes a paper in aquatic sciences that is judged to have had a high impact on subsequent research in the field. The 2016 Martin Award is for "Carbon dioxide supersaturation in the surface waters of lakes" by Jonathan Cole, Nina Caraco, George Kling and Tim Kratz. Cole et al (1994) documented that lakes are often supersaturated with CO2 and focused attention on inland waters as sources of carbon to the atmosphere.

bats

Hunt for Ebola’s wild hideout takes off as epidemic wanes

With the official end of Ebola transmission across West Africa anticipated on 14 January, an epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in 2 years may be starting to fade into history. But that does not mean that Ebola has disappeared. The virus remains hidden in animal reservoirs, and is almost certain to spill over into humans again.

electric eel

Life still exists in darkest places

It's easy to feel light-deprived during these short, pale winter days, especially after a week of gray weather. Compared to many underwater habitats, though, a cloudy winter's day is a floodlit paradise.

baltimore

A New School of Urban Ecology: Contributions from Baltimore

Modern American urban ecology can be said to have come to fruition to a large extent in Baltimore. Of course there are other cities where parallel, reinforcing, or complementary research and engagement activities are taking place, and all contribute to the emerging edifice of contemporary urban ecology. But the work in Baltimore has a distinct flavor that helps understand what is novel about today's urban ecological science.

Better watch out for ticks this holiday season

This holiday season, you better watch out — for ticks. Unusually high fall temperatures in the northeastern United States have let blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks, remain active later into December than usual.

science policy exchange meeting

Cary Institute and partners launch Science Policy Exchange consortium

Dr. Joshua Ginsberg, President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, joined with partners from five other research institutions to host “Science for a Sustainable World” a reception to launch the Science Policy Exchange (SPE).

acorns

Autumn’s bounty-the feast before the famine

Here in the Hudson Valley, nature’s harvest has been abundant. Nuts and fruits will help wildlife fuel their southern migrations or stock their winter larders. Not every year produces such a bounty; this season’s bumper crop of wild foods will impact local plants and animals for years to come.

Will climate change = more disease?

Scientists estimate that almost 75 percent of new (and re-emerging) diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st Century were transmitted through animals. Among these so-called "zoonotic" diseases are AIDS, SARS, H5N2 avian flu and H1N1, or swine flu.

Wetlands award

Stuart E.G. Findlay has received the Environmental Law Institute’s prestigious National Wetlands Award in recognition of his contributions to freshwater ecology and restoration.

Uwin network

Alan Berkowitz will lead education activities for the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN), a consortium of 14 institutions recently awarded $12 million dollars by the National Science Foundation to address threats to urban water systems. Led by Colorado State, partners include the Cary Institute, Princeton University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Maryland – Baltimore County, Arizona State, and Oregon State.  

On Wikipedia, be wary of entries on controversial science

Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a source most students rely on. But, according to a recent paper by Dr. Gene E. Likens, Cary Institute President Emeritus, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial science can be unreliable.

luncheon

Supporters’ corner

We are very grateful to supporters who made the 5th Fall Luncheon on the Grounds on September 20, 2015, a resounding success.

From our President

Summer was a bustling and productive time at the Cary Institute. Rick Ostfeld’s field crew continued their mammal and tick surveys – work essential to understanding the ecology of tick-borne disease. Visiting scientist Ken Schmidt and his team spent their 18th season investigating the ecology and behavior of veeries.

Tracking infectious disease

Imagine a world where a computer program could pinpoint the next infectious disease outbreak, guiding response efforts and saving lives. Cary Institute disease ecologist Dr. Barbara Han is bringing this vision closer to reality.

Local artists inspire Cary Institute campers

This summer, the Cary Institute offered a special two-week camp exploring the interface between ecology and art. Cary educators teamed with George Kaye of Ecographs and Laurie Seeman of Strawtown Studio to add a new dimension to stream studies.

The Hudson and BES data jams

This spring, Cary Institute educators hosted two Data Jams, one in New York’s Hudson Valley and the other in Baltimore, Maryland. Both competitions, now in their second year, challenge middle and high school students to interpret ecological data and creatively communicate their findings to general audiences. 

Remote ecosystems vulnerable to pollution

The Grand Canyon reach of the Colorado River meanders through one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States. It would be easy to assume steep canyon walls and uninhabited shores resulted in pristine waters. But research by Cary Institute’s Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall and colleagues has found that this isolated part of the Colorado harbors toxic levels of mercury and selenium.

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