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. 


Creating a new green space model for tomorrow’s cities

When you think of urban planning and design, the U.S. Forest Service likely isn't the first federal agency that comes to mind. But with upwards of 70 percent of the world's population projected to live in cities by 2050, the Forest Service is not only paying attention to urban ecosystems, they're hoping to help shape urban design and planning around them.

Beavers take a chunk out of nitrogen in Northeast rivers

Beavers, once valued for their fur, may soon have more appreciation in the Northeastern United States. There they are helping prevent harmful levels of nitrogen from reaching the area's vulnerable estuaries. By creating ponds that slow down the movement of water, they aid in removing nitrogen from the water.

No sharks in fresh water adventures

Like many freshwater scientists, I suffer from Cousteau envy. To me, fresh waters are fascinating, but they get no respect from the public.

scott meyer

Environment fueled inquisitiveness for Meyer

I'd like to beg your indulgence to share a few personal thoughts today that were inspired by the recent passing of my friend Scott Meyer. Scott ran the Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, and was one of the most inquisitive and optimistic people I've ever met.

The algorithm that's hunting Ebola

In April 2014, just after world health officials identified a series of suspicious deaths in Guinea as an outbreak of Ebola, 10 ecologists, 4 veterinarians, and an anthropologist traveled to a Guinean village named Meliandou. Theirs was a detective mission to determine how this outbreak began. How had "patient zero," a 2-year-old boy named Emile, contracted the Ebola virus?

Today’s forests reflect yesterday’s land use

In the Hudson Valley, our forests have been shaped by human activities, which have often altered and hidden the roles played by natural processes like climate and soil fertility. For thousands of years, we have been manipulating local plant communities.

Opossums are the saviors of humans against lyme disease — don’t make them roadkill

Many people don't give a lot of thought to some of the forest animals that may be crossing a road or trying to scurry out of the way as a car comes speeding around a corner. Well, there may be a lot more thought given to opossums, now that they have been connected to being the saviors of human beings against Lyme disease.

The growing global battle against blood-sucking ticks

Diseases spread by ticks are on the rise around the world, spurred by a combination of factors, including shifting climates and population sprawl into rural areas. Reported cases of Lyme, the most common US tick-borne illness, have nearly tripled in the country since 1992.

Ecologists embrace their urban side

Urban ecologists attribute the swell of interest in their discipline to multiple factors, including the realization that human actions are warming the planet, that people are migrating to cities in increasing numbers and evidence that the study of urban ecosystems provides important and practical insights.

Can you trust Wikipedia for science facts?

If you type anything scientific into Google, the chances are that Wikipedia will be prominently placed in the search results. The fact that other encyclopedias don't get a look in is a sign of just how popular the site is, with crowd-sourced wisdom trusted ahead of the knowledge of select specialists.

What Wikipedia edits can tell us about the politicization of science

Long before our current politicized battles over the science of climate change, vaccines and evolution, there was an older generation of political science fights — over the health effects of smoking and the environmental costs of acid rain and the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer, to name a few.

On Wikipedia, politically controversial science topics are vulnerable to information sabotage

Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a research source most U.S. students rely on. But, according to a paper published today in the journal PLOS One, Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to information sabotage.

Hudson Valley Youth make ink out of rocks at Cary Eco-science Camp

For the last two weeks of July, young people from around the Hudson Valley were able to make their own inks and tints and paint with them in an eco-science camp at the Cary Institute. 

Hudson River’s underwater vegetation still recovering from hurricanes

Water celery has been noticeably absent for the past several years. In summer 2012, it became apparent that something was amiss. The plant was not found in spots where it previously had been prolific.

Two numbers: Humans have burned up half the world’s biomass

By now the lesson is clear: Burning coal and petroleum produces carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas that contributes to the warming of our globe. That alone is enough reason to believe fossil fuels are not a sustainable basis for society long-term.

How one local man's immunity to ticks could save us all

Rick Ostfeld is a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook. For decades, he has studied ticks and tick-borne diseases, primarily in the forests and fields of the mid-Hudson Valley.

Invasive species add to monarch butterfly’s woes

Most readers are familiar with monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). The striking orange and black species has historically been widespread throughout North America.

CDC report: Lyme disease is spreading to new territories

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Lyme disease has substantially expanded over the past few decades, with 17 states in the Northeast and upper Midwest now considered at high risk.

19 Teachers + Forest Ecosystem Functions = 100s of student engagement opportunities

What happens when nineteen teachers have the opportunity to study how forest ecosystems function? You get the potential to engage hundreds of students in thinking about forests as dynamic, exciting systems that shape the quality of the world we live in, from cleaning water and cooling the environment to preserving biodiversity.

This New Map Shows Your Risk of Catching Lyme Disease

If you live in the northeastern United States, Lyme disease and its lesser-known brethren, including erlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and the rest—is hard to escape.


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