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From our President

Understanding the ecology of infectious diseases is critical to protecting public health. In the U.S., tick-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent thanks, in part, to climate change. 

Imported forest pests the greatest threat to U.S. Trees

When asked ‘what’s the greatest threat facing U.S. trees,’ common answers are climate change and development. 

Temperate zone? Not so much

Whoever named the "temperate zone" must have had a sense of humor. I'm writing this during a week of humid, 90-degree days, and just a few months ago it was 13 below, a stiff north wind providing the icing on that frozen cake. Since then, we've had rain, snow, sleet, warm spells, cold snaps and thunderstorms.

At the Forefront of Shoreline Management

In coastal communities, the fear of rising sea levels has put climate adaptation and resilience planning at the forefront of shoreline management programs in recent years. But for inland water communities, the impacts of climate change, while perhaps not as obvious as regular coastal flooding events or as scary as sea level rise predictions, are no less real.

Brazil's Amazon conservation in peril

Amid political turmoil in Brazil, there is a threat to abolish the country's environmental licensing process, derailing decades of conservation efforts in the Amazon. Cary Institute Graduate Student Fellow Rafael Almeida, Visiting Scientist Fabio Roland, and Trustee Tom Lovejoy discuss all we stand to lose in a letter published in the July 15 issue of Science.

David Strayer testifies before Congress on the damaging effects of invasive species

Testimony of David L. Strayer before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans. 23 June 2016

Adirondack Forest Pest Summit

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are co-hosting an Adirondack Forest Pest Summit, a free conference meant to help raise awareness about invasive insects negatively affecting New York forests. The event will take place at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 11th.

An interview with the 300-year-old clam

I just read that some of the clams (freshwater mussels, technically) in Scandinavian creeks are thought to live for 280 years. This means that animals alive today were around when Johann Sebastian Bach was still playing the organ in Leipzig, mature adults when shots were fired at Lexington, old enough retire (if clams retired like people) when Napoleon’s armies marched across Europe, and more than 125 years old when Lincoln freed the slaves.

Winter’s silence broken with signs of spring

Spring officially arrived on March 20. I caution myself from likening it to flipping on a light switch. This simplistic idea is born from too many winter days wishing for better weather. Realistically, spring is a transitional period when nature first takes halting, then cascading, steps from the scarcity of winter into the riotous surplus of summer.

shannon ladeau

Zika: Are outbreaks in U.S. cities avoidable?

When it comes to addressing emerging infectious disease, we have a short attention span. Forces are mobilized when we’ve crossed a tipping point, and demobilized when the immediate threat has passed. 

biofuel plant

Letter to the Senate on carbon neutrality of forest biomass

Letter signed by 65 research scientists sent to U.S. senators working on the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The Senate has accepted an amendment to the act which would legally designate forest biomass to be "carbon neutral."

De-Extinction, a risky ecological experiment

Genetic engineering may allow us to rebirth close facsimiles of extinct species. But would bringing back a few individuals of a famously gregarious bird like the passenger pigeon truly revive the species, when the great oak forests that sustained them are gone? And if it succeeds, what if the birds don't fit in anymore in our changed world?

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.

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).

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.

Baltimore school of urban ecology

In 1997, Cary Institute Distinguished Senior Scientist Steward T. A. Pickett formed the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of only two National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research sites in an urban setting. Under his direction, BES has grown into an interdisciplinary team of more than 150 researchers and collaborators advancing an understanding of how to achieve sustainable, resilient cities.

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 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?

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