Salt, it makes roads safe in the winter, but is it safe for the environment? "In small quantities it would be safe, but not in large quantities," said Vicky Kelly, who manages environmental monitoring for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
Breeding wolves were killed off in New York back in the 1890s. But hearing nighttime howling today should not be blamed on our imaginations. Another predator, the eastern coyote (Canis latrans), abounds in our area and provides a similar hair-raising effect when we hear it calling.
Dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted to humans by two species of mosquitos, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. There are no vaccines for these viral diseases and while not often fatal, they can disable victims with painful symptoms for weeks or months.
With cities across the United States facing one of the most brutal winters in recent memory, the use of road salt can be an economic game changer, one that forces snowy cities to be innovators that balance safety, cost and the environment.
In the northeastern United States, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. At the same time, milder weather is allowing ticks to spread into new geographic regions.
Cary's head of education Alan Berkowitz explains why undergraduate research programs are so valuable-both for the students, who gain research experience, and the scientists, whose scientific thinking can benefit from the mentoring experience.
Although western Lake Erie has become an international poster child for noxious algae, a new study suggests that many of the world’s much smaller, cleaner, and calmer bodies of water are likewise in trouble if greater efforts are not undertaken to keep farm fertilizers and other nutrients out of them.
Familiar to the snowy landscape are salt trucks slowly crawling up and down the interstates and city streets sprinkling salt (which is only effective in temperatures above 15 degrees), or salt-brine over the roads.
In September, I arrived in Millbrook as the new president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. During the past two months, I’ve met with staff to better learn what we do and where we do it. The meetings have been spectacular.
While our trails and grounds are closed for the season, our education staff is gearing up for a busy spring. Field trips and enrichment activities are being scheduled with a focus on data literacy through long-term monitoring.
This past summer Cary's Steward Pickett was a Visiting International Professor at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences in Beijing. The center is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and home to the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology.
In the U.S. alone, some 15 million tons of salt is applied to our roadways each year. While its use has real benefits, in terms of safety and navigation, there have been cumulative costs to the environment.
Cary-led research has found that antibacterials, such as triclosan, have made their way into the American water system and are fueling the development of drug-resistant bacteria. And there are human health-related reasons to avoid their use in our daily lives.
More and more often, we hear about the arrival of a foreign plant or insect that is wreaking havoc on our native ecosystems. Take, for example, the Emerald Ash Borer, which will likely decimate all the ash trees in our forests.
Mice, chipmunks and shrews are welcoming hosts for the bacteria ticks spread. They're plentiful. They're low to the ground, so ticks can easily hop aboard. And they lack the immune systems that might compromise any infectious agents.