Adirondack Ecological Center
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
6312 State Route 28N
Newcomb, NY 12852
(518) 582-4551 - office
(518) 582-2181 - fax
I am interested in all things science and nature. I think the world is full of questions waiting to be asked and we have an obligation to seek the answers. And maybe, if we're lucky, we can make things better.
Graduate Research Topic
My research examines how avian species richness, composition, and guild diversity vary between beaver-impacted and non-impacted riparian zones within the central Adirondack Mountains. I am also examining how avian community structure changes as beaver ponds undergo successional changes. I will also be looking at vegetative structure and habitat variables to make links between beaver impacts and witnessed avian usage.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."-Mahatma Gandhi
I believe that scientific research must be connected to the spheres of environmental policy, conservation planning, and natural resources management. This kind of applied, multidisciplinary research promotes effective environmental stewardship and helps us move toward the goal of safeguarding the biosphere for future generations. I am grateful to have the opportunity to conduct applied conservation biology research here at ESF. I plan to develop my career around integrated, interdisciplinary, and international environmental projects related to biodiversity conservation, wetlands ecology and management, and ecological resilience.
Graduate Research Topic
I will be measuring avian bioacoustic diversity at boreal lowland wetland sites in New York State's Adirondack Park. I plan to employ soundscape ecology methods as a means of detecting rare boreal bird species and as a way to record the level of anthropogenic noise at wetland sites in areas with differing Land Use Classifications as determined by the Adirondack Park Agency. This research will improve understanding of how avian acoustic diversity may vary depending on differences in land ownership and corresponding human activities.
“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” - Aldo Leopold
Graduate Research Topic
I am conducting a study on the diet of the American marten (Martes americana) population in the Adirondacks. Through this study I hope to flesh out the relationships that martens have with important prey items including small mammals and masting tree species. Certain small mammal species and certain tree species exhibit pulse driven cycles. I want to know what role the marten plays in these cycles and how the marten benefits or declines from these interactions.
The worst thing that will probably happen—in fact is already well underway—is not energy depletion, economic collapse, conventional war, or the expansion of totalitarian governments. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired in a few generations. The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us — Edward O. Wilson
Graduate Research Topic
Foraging ecology of rusty blackbirds in northern New Hampshire
My research interests are based in northeastern temperate ecosystems and include forest ecology, landscape ecology, and the study of impacts of human land use on wildlife habitat. I am fascinated by the complex relationship between public and private land management in the Adirondack Park and the crossroads between science and policy. I believe that research is highly effective when coupled with an applied component and powerful tools such as a Geographic Information System. In combination with field explorations and ground-based data collection, GIS is useful for exploring conservation of biodiversity and impacts of recreation, development, and forest management in the Northern Forest.
I promote research at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as participatory environmental science programs for ages "K through Grey" at ESF's Newcomb Campus and Huntington Wildlife Forest, via the Adirondack Interpretive Center and Adirondack Biodiversity Project. It is critically important to expose students and visitors to the Adirondack Park to the connections between humans and their environment, not as an abstract concept, but as an ongoing effort to protect both natural resources and vibrant human communities. Student mentees gain proficiency with field and lab biology, computer analysis, project management, communication, team-building and leadership. I value a diverse, collaborative approach to learning and co-led "Integrating Science and Stewardship in the Adirondacks," a mentored research experience for underrepresented students in environmental biology and involving academic scholarship and career awareness (the NSF UMEB program).
Please note: my year-round office is in Newcomb, NY approximately 150 miles northeast of ESF's main campus in Syracuse.
I seek motivated, energetic students interested in pursuing applied field biology and forest ecology. My interests are wide and centered on the Northern Forest, which stretches from the Adirondack region of New York to the timberlands of Maine. Together with other faculty at ESF and colleagues in other organizations, my students and I embark upon research projects designed to answer pertinent questions and result in information of benefit to the wildlife, lands and people of the region. For other project ideas, see Current Research at AEC and ALTEMP projects.
State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY (1994-1997); Master of Science in Environmental and Forest Biology
State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY (1990-1994); Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies
LaMere, C. R.*, S. A. McNulty and J. E. Hurst. In press. Human-black bear conflicts are related to mast production in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Proceedings of the Eastern Black Bear Workshop 2011.
Beier, C.M., J.A. Stella, M. Dovciak and S.A. McNulty. 2012. Local climatic drivers of changes in ice phenology and duration on high-elevation lakes in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Climatic Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0455-z.
Cale, J.A.*, McNulty, S.A., Teale, S.A., and Castello, J.D. 2012. The impact of beech thickets on northern hardwood forest biodiversity. Biological Invasions.
Jensen, P.G., C.L. Demers, S.A. McNulty, W. Jakubas, and M.M. Humphries. 2012. Marten and fisher responses to fluctuations in prey populations and mast crops in the northern hardwood forest. Journal of Wildlife Management 76:489-502. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.322.
Brunner, J.L., K.E. Barnett, C. Gosier, S.A. McNulty, M. Rubbo, and M.B. Kolozsvary. 2011. Ranavirus infection in die-offs of vernal pool amphibians in New York, USA. Herpetological Review 42(1):76–79.
Jablonski, K.E.*, S. A. McNulty, and M. D. Schlesinger. 2010. A digital spot-mapping method for avian field studies. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122:772–776.
Stager, J.C., S. McNulty, C. Beier, and J. Chiarenzelli. 2009. Historical patterns and effects of changes in Adirondack climates since the early 20th century. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies 15:14-24.
Allen, E., R. Curran, S. Halasz, J. Barge, S. McNulty, A. Keal, and M. Glennon. 2009. Adirondack GIS: Resources, Wilderness, and Management. Marguerite Madden, ed. Pages 1135-1168 in the ASPRS Manual of Geographic Information Systems. American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Bethesda, MD. 1352pp.
Signell, S., B. Zuckerberg*, S. McNulty, and W. Porter. 2008. Development of an Adirondack Ecosystem Model. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies 15:13-17.
McNulty, S.A., S. Droege, and R.D. Masters. 2008. Long-term trends in breeding birds in an old-growth Adirondack forest and the surrounding region. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:153–158.
McNulty, S. A. and R. D. Masters. 2005. Changes to the Adirondack forest: Implications of beech bark disease on forest structure and seed production. Pages 52-57 in Evans, C.A., J.A. Lucas, and M.J. Twery, eds. Beech Bark Disease: Proceedings of the Beech Bark Disease Symposium. General Technical Report NE-331. Newtown Square, PA. USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 149pp.
Jakubas, W. J., C. R. McLaughlin, P. G. Jensen, and S. A. McNulty. 2005. Alternate year beechnut production and its influence on bear and marten populations. USDA Forest Service Beech Bark Disease Symposium Proceedings, Paul Smiths, NY.
Haulton, S. McNulty, B. A. Rudolph, and W. F. Porter. 2001. Evaluating 4 methods to capture white-tailed deer. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29:255-264.
McNulty, S. A., W. F. Porter, N. E. Mathews, and J. A. Hill. 1997. Localized management for reducing white-tailed deer populations. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25:265-271.