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From our President

Dear Friends of the Cary Institute:

As we enter into the busy fall season, I'd like to reflect for a moment on our successful summer. Eleven aspiring undergraduate scientists partnered with our scientists to hone their ecological skills in the 25th installment of Cary's Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which recently received a National Science Foundation renewal. The campus also saw an influx of summer field assistants, ecology campers, and classroom teachers, who took advantage of our teacher training workshops.

Rick Ostfeld's lab spent the summer assessing the environmental conditions that magnify Lyme disease risk, while Shannon LaDeau's lab made major efforts to quantify mosquito populations—both locally and in Baltimore—to ascertain the epidemiology of West Nile virus. These projects exemplify our efforts to understand the ecology of diseases that affect humans in natural and human-dominated habitats.

Disease ecology joins aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry as three focal areas in which we will strive for preeminence among our nation's environmental research organizations. This focus will be stressed in a new strategic plan being drafted in collaboration with our Board of Trustees. There will also be an increased emphasis on connecting research outcomes with citizens and decision makers. Now more than ever, the political process needs to be informed by solid, unbiased science.

This fall and winter we have a premier lineup of public programs for "Friday Night at Cary," which we hope you will attend. Upcoming is a talk by our own Gary Lovett on the rising impact of pests and pathogens in northeastern forests. Between invasive species and climate change, our native trees are under siege. Join us on October 19 for Gary's insights.

Your support of the Cary Institute makes possible these programs, our scientific research, and our delivery of science to decision makers. I thank our donors, especially members of the Aldo Leopold Society, and I invite others to join in support of the nation's premier institution focused on environmental research.