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Catskill Science Collaborative

A group of individuals and institutions dedicated to facilitating collaboration and outreach by those doing environmental research in the Catskill Mountain region of New York State.

Coordinating and communicating Catskill Mountain research.

Funded by New York State through Environmental Protection Funds, and with support from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and private donors, the Catskill Science Collaborative (CSC) is one way we help implement the goals of the Catskill Environmental Research and Monitoring (CERM) group. The CSC is coordinated by Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.


  • Promote scientific research and environmental monitoring in the Catskill Region on topics relevant to natural resource management.
  • Provide a locus for exchange of information between resource managers (e.g., NYSDEC, NYC DEP, private landowners) and scientists.
  • Promote the development of "scientific infrastructure" (e.g., databases, bibliographies, intensive research sites) that improves the opportunities for collaboration among Catskill researchers.
  • Provide opportunities for Catskill residents and visitors to learn about research and environmental issues in the Catskill Region.

Why We Need The Catskill Science Collaborative

The Catskill Region’s economy is driven by natural resources. The key industries of tourism, forestry, and agriculture all require healthy and well-managed ecosystems for their long-term sustainability. Nine million people obtain their drinking water from the NYC water supply system and depend on healthy forests and streams in the Catskill watersheds to maintain the quantity and purity of their water. 

Environmental research and monitoring provide the scientific foundation of intelligent ecosystem management in the face of climate change, invasive species, development, and other environmental changes.

A large number of federal, state and municipal agencies, universities, and research institutes are involved in research, monitoring, and management of Catskills resources. However, there are few opportunities for scientists and managers to exchange information across agencies and institutions, make data freely available for long-term use, or to communicate research findings to the public.

The CSC launched in 2018 to fill these gaps in coordination and communication.


Catskill Research Fellowships

The Catskill Research Fellowship program gives undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work alongside academic mentors to answer research questions articulated by natural resource managers working in the Catskill Mountain region of New York State.

Applications are closed for 2024. However, a new Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released in the fall. We will accept proposals in early 2025 from college or university professors who are interested in collaborating with natural resource managers to support conservation efforts and address critical knowledge gaps in the Catskill region. Applicants must have an interested undergraduate or graduate student prepared to work on the project if funded.

A student stipend and funding to cover research expenses is included in the fellowship.

For more information, please see the 2024 Request for Proposals (RFP).

Contact: Joy Damon,

Past Fellowships

2022 Fellows
joy damon

Joy Damon, a Master's student at SUNY ESF, worked with Ian Dunn of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Diane Kuehn of SUNY ESF to replicate a 2019 CSC fellowship project on visitor use of trail registries and their connections to visitation, perceptions of risk, and educational messages. Joy's comparative analysis provides managers with a more accurate tool for estimating visitor trail use based on trailhead registries. This project also supplied managers with a statistical tool that can be used for continued estimation of visitor use. 

cassie roberts

Cassie Roberts, a Ph.D. student at RPI, studied dissolved organic matter in the Neversink Reservoir Watershed in partnership with NYC Department of Environmental Protection and her RPI advisors, Sasha Wager and Kevin Rose. Check out her blog post, “Neversink Reservoir: How carbon shapes drinking water,” and project summary below to learn more about her exemplary work. DEP managers will use this project’s data for model verification and calibration to advance their decision-making capabilities.

garrett boland

Garrett Boland, a Master's student at SUNY ESF, enjoyed his summer in the Catskills high peaks, where he worked to better understand the recreational use of informal trails in collaboration with Pine Roehrs at NYSDEC and ESF advisor, Jill Weiss. In addition to his thorough report, Garrett produced a series of maps using ArcGIS and a guidance document for replication of the project's methodology.


Lingqun Zeng, a Ph.D. student at SUNY Albany, continues his exploration of the roles of cover cropping on dissolved phosphorus runoff in coordination with NYCDEP and his advisor, Rixiang Huang. This study aims to evaluate the potential contribution of winter cover cropping to phosphorus loading in the Cannonsville watershed. Lingqun and our other fellows generously shared the findings at the 2022 CERM conference. 


We would also like to thank former fellows, Dr. Jenny Wang and Alison Derevensky for sharing their knowledge at the 2022 CERM conference. Jenny continues to partner with her fellowship team through a post-doctoral research position with the NYS Water Resources Institute, and Alison is now applying her collaborative skills as a community coordinator for energy projects in New York.

Catskill Research Fellowship Updates

Fellowship Orientation


Catskill Science Collaborative Resources

Data Portal

Managed in partnership with the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative, the Catskill Science Collaborative Data Portal is a collection of publicly accessible environmental data collected throughout the Catskill Mountains region. The Data Portal can help researchers meet grant requirements such as the need for a data management plan, as well as the need to make data publicly available.

Data Portal

How to Contribute Data

Are you a researcher or natural resource managers that has data you would like to contribute to the Catskill Science Collaborative Data Portal? Are you starting a new research project in the Catskills? Data are safely archived, receive a Digital Object Identifier(DOI) and are discoverable through major scientific data aggregators such as DataOne. Contact: Joy Damon,


Our digital collection includes over 600 peer-reviewed journal articles and gray literature documents, all of which are focused on ecology research and environmental monitoring in the Catskills Region.


Research Guide to the Catskills Region of New York

A guide to support individuals and organizations conducting ecological research and environmental monitoring in the Catskills Region of southeastern New York.



Funded by New York State through Environmental Protection Funds, Cary Institute, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program, Rondout Neversink Stream Program, and our generous sponsors and donors, the CSC carries out the goals of the Catskill Environmental Research and Monitoring (CERM) group, an informal collaboration initiated in 2010. The program is coordinated by Cary Institute.