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. Cornell graduate students attended a two-week "biogeochemistry bootcamp.” And we hosted our 27th cohort of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students, where eleven undergrads spent the summer learning the ins and outs of being an ecologist under the mentorship of a Cary scientist. 

Spring and summer were also a great time for our staff. Stuart Findlay was honored with the Environmental Law Institute's prestigious National Wetlands Award for Research (see page 4), and three of our scientists were elected Fellows of the Ecological Society of America (see page 4) and honored at ESA’s centennial meeting, which was held in Baltimore this August. We made good use of the venue, showcasing our 20-year investment in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study—one of only two National Science Foundation funded Long Term Ecological Research Programs (LTER) that focuses on urban ecology.

The conjunction of the words urban and ecology may seem awkward. But with over 50% of the world's population living in cities, the importance of understanding the ecology of urban environments is critical to making city life sustainable, efficient, and inviting. Urban ecology was central to this year's ESA meeting. This was highlighted in a review of the meeting in the journal Nature, which profiled Steward Pickett, as well as in a film produced for the opening of the centennial meeting. Take a peek at 

In Baltimore, we hosted our first alumni get together. Over 140 staff, post docs, undergraduates, grad students, and visiting researchers – past and present – came together to celebrate the Cary Institute and its founder Gene Likens. Our network is national and extends globally. What is remarkable is the high regard, and deep affection our alumni have for the Cary Institute. The question I was most asked was "when are we going to do this again?"

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