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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Active Research ProjectsSUNY ESF Adirondack Ecological Center, Newcomb Campus – 2018

Project Title: A Reexamination of the Macroinvertebrate Community of Central Adirondack Streams
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Carrick Palmer, Kim Schulz
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Identify changes induced by Bti application, beaver activity, and other variables, on the structure and diversity of stream macroinvertebrate communities. Bti is a larvicide that targets black fly (Simulidae) larvae in streams, and is widely used across the Adirondacks to reduce the adult stage flies that plague humans. A study in the 1980s was inconclusive in the effects of Bti on black flies and other aquatic larvae; this study compares two streams, one with and one without Bti application.

Project Title: New York Moose Project: Movement, Population Demographics and Health Status
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Heidi Kretser, Jeremy Hurst, Angela Fuller, Krysten Schuler, Jacqueline Frair
Affiliation: Wildlife Conservation Society, Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell and ESF
Description: Tracking of moose movement (GPS radio collars) in NYS, including calf production and survival, helicopter fly transects (during winter), and scat collection, with the objective of creating a moose management program for New York State. More info at: https://ny-moose.weebly.com/

Project Title: Beaver (Castor canadensis) as ecosystem engineers: Modeling potential impoundments and impacts
Completion year: 2019
Researcher/s: Rachel Zevin, John Stella
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Build spatial ecosystem models, based on field data collected on Huntington Wildlife Forest, to find areas where beavers might occupy, potential ecosystem impacts (e.g., increased habitat diversity), and impacts on human infrastructure.

Project Title: Evaluating virulence of beech bark disease pathogens
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: John Castello
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Collection of beech bark patches to isolate the fungal pathogens Neonectria faginata and N. ditissima

Project Title: Role of Comammox Bacteria in Northeast Forest Nitrogen Cycling
Completion year: 2019
Researcher/s: Hyatt Green
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Characterization of environmental variation in Nitrogen and Phosphorus and the relation with abundance of any of the five groups of nitrifiers in soil.

Project Title: The Price of Wilderness? Exploring the Relationship Between Wilderness and Community Well-Being in the Central Adirondacks
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Cheryl Sandrow, Elizabeth Vidon
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Evaluate what values residents attribute to wilderness areas that are adjacent to their communities, if there is a relationship between recently classified wilderness areas and economic stability of adjacent communities, and if attitudes about wilderness and community vitality result in (potential) changes in economic strategies.

birdwatchers in forestProject Title: Effects of Soil Acidification on Forest Health and Biodiversity in the Adirondack Mountains
Completion year: 2016
Researcher/s: Michael Whalen, Martin Dovciak
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Investigate the impact of soil acidification on beech bark disease infection rate, severity, and beech thicket density, and on songbird abundance, species richness, and species composition.

student by large mapleProject Title: The Sky is Falling: Invasive-induced Forest Biodiversity Loss and Evaluation of Stand Rehabilitation
Completion year: 2020
Researcher/s: Ravyn Neville, Stacy McNulty, Greg McGee, Shannon Farrell, Rene' Germain
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Study the ecological benefits of a mechanical treatment to remove a recalcitrant understory of American beech. Understand how this treatment impacts plant diversity (vascular and epiphyte) and a suite of wildlife taxa (including bats, birds, and small mammals) sensitive to forest structural changes.

Project Title: Lake Hadlock Fish Community Survey
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Margaret Murphy
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Fish community assessment and evaluation of water quality of Lake Hadlock, for comparison to fish on Huntington Wildlife Forest

student researcher with mouseProject Title: Beaver influence on small mammal habitat in the Adirondack Mountains
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Michael Rosenthal, Shannon Farrell
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Investigate the impact of beaver activity, through changes to hydrology and forest structure, in occurrence and habitat use of terrestrial mammals in the Adirondack Mountains. Employ live-capture of small mammals in and around beaver habitats of different sizes and ages.

Project Title: Revegetation of iron mines
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Jessica Saville – Lee Newman
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Identify the best methods to revegetate abandoned iron mines, including Tahawus, NY.

student with troutProject Title: Brook Trout Distribution and Habitat use in an Adirondack River System, New York
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Carriane Pershyn, Neil Ringler
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Characterization of the brook trout population of the headwaters at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR), to determine the habitat value of the near river reaches of tributaries of the East Branch. Sampling of fish community on Huntington Wildlife Forest for comparison.

Project Title: Estimation of a nutritionally-based carrying capacity of moose in Adirondack Park
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Samuel Peterson, Jacqueline Frair
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Determine where and what is the best forage for moose in the growing and dormant seasons by sampling plants in plots across the park and combining estimations of available total browse biomass, digestible energy and digestible protein with moose browse selectivity and energetic requirements.

student taking core samples from soilProject Title: Soil carbon dioxide fluxes in a northern hardwood forest: fine-scale microclimatic controls and impacts of intense rainfall events
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Will Saunders, Colin Beier
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Evaluate how weather conditions impact CO2 fluxes through changes in microclimate exerted by soil-saturating, high magnitude rain events.

student with marten in humane trapProject title: American marten and fisher ecology and management in New York State
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Paul Jensen, Stacy McNulty
Affiliation: NYS DEC, SUNY ESF
Description: Characterize marten habitat selection at several spatial scales, and home range, foraging and harvest dynamics responses to beech mast cycles and fluctuating small mammal populations.

Project Title: Hydrological patterns of two related sub-catchments in the Arbutus Lake Watershed in the Adirondacks
Completion year: Open
Researcher/s: Colin Beier, Patrick McHale, LJ Mills, Greg Lawrence, Charles Driscoll
Affiliation: SUNY ESF, USGS, Syracuse University, New York State Research and Development Authority
Description: Biogeochemistry sampling in stream, lake and uplands to understand temporal and spatial heterogeneity of two different but proximal streams in Arbutus watershed.

Project Title: Articulating Two-Aged Silviculture in Northern Hardwood Stands
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Ralph Nyland, Chris Nowak
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Evaluation of deciduous tree stocking, diameter distribution, and other silvicultural aspects with management alternatives at long-term plots on Huntington Wildlife Forest.

Project Title: The effects of Riparian Management Zone (RMZ) delineation on timber value and ecosystem services in diverse forest biomes across the United States
Completion year: 2020
Researcher/s: Maneesha Jayasuriya, Renè Germain
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Determine the final forest area delineated by different RMZ guidelines, and the volume of forest stocking, living biomass, and stumpage value for forest areas under different RMZ guidelines, using GIS.

Project title: Common Loons - A sentinel of mercury pollution in New York's aquatic ecosystems
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Nina Schoch
Affiliation: Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation
Description: Capture, blood and tissue extraction with non-lethal techniques, banding, and release of Common Loons (Gavia immer), to assess the impact of mercury pollution an acid deposition to New York's aquatic ecosystems using the species as an indicator.

Project title: Developing an exposure profile for mercury and calcium in New York songbirds and bats, and understanding methylmercury availability in herpetofauna of New York
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: David Evers, Melissa Duron
Affiliation: Biodiversity Research Institute
Description: Sampling mercury and calcium levels in songbirds and bats to understand the exposure of species to mercury.

Project title: Monitoring spatial gradients and temporal trends of mercury in songbirds of New York State
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Amy Sauer
Affiliation: Biodiversity Research Institute, Maine
Description: Document spatial gradients and temporal trends of mercury concentrations within insectivorous, songbird communities throughout various habitat types in New York State. Sample songbird blood and feathers and invertebrate prey.

Project title: Nitrous oxide consumption in acid forest soils
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Armanda Roco
Affiliation: Cornell University
Description: Collection of soil cores to characterize bacterial yield, and bacterial ability to reduce nitrous oxide.

Project title: Proactive risk assessment of the next amphibian threat: understanding species and population-level susceptibility, environmental suitability, and development of disease mitigation tactics to combat the salamander-eating fungus (Bsal)
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Cait McDonald, Kelly Zamudio
Affiliation: Cornell University
Description: Develop an understanding of the threat to salamander diversity by the potentially invasive fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal).

Project Title: Determining the importance of vernal pools across geophysical and urbanization gradients to inform regulation, conservation, and management
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Matthew Schlesinger, James Gibbs, Stacy McNulty
Affiliation: NY Natural Heritage Program
Description: Collect available data on pools across New York State to create a comprehensive database of known vernal pools. Target sampling of existing and potential pools for salamander and wood frog breeding populations, as well as in and near-pool habitat, to inform future conservation and wetland management planning.

Project title: Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation
Completion year: open
Researcher/s: Susan Capone
Affiliation: NYS DEC
Description: Lake and stream chemistry monitoring for various parameters to document long-term recovery from acidification and to understand ecosystem functioning across the Adirondacks.

Project title: Investigating the presence of the Columbia silk moth (Hyalophora columbia)
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Janet Mihuc
Affiliation: Paul Smiths College, NY
Description: Document location and timing of adult moth flight across northern New York, a region where little is known about this large, charismatic species.

Project title: Tree mycorrhizal associations control a broad suite of important ecosystem processes: a collaborative study of Adirondack forest types
Completion year: 2020
Researcher/s: Kurt Smemo
Affiliation: Skidmore College
Description: Determine the relationship between the type of mycorrhizal fungi and ecosystem processes such as decomposition and nutrient cycling. Soil and litter sampling through natural gradients and mixed forest at two sites on Huntington Wildlife Forest.

Project Title: Diversity of malaria parasites (Haemosporidia) in Catharus thrushes in the Adirondack Mountains
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Naima Starkloff, Jeremy Kirchman
Affiliation: SUNY Albany, NYS Museum
Description: Determine diversity, prevalence, and distribution of malaria parasites of four species of thrushes (Catharus spp.)and how these relate to host identity, relatedness or habitat. Collect blood samples from mist-netted birds to compare to other elevations/habitats across the region.

Project Title: Changes in water clarity and DOC of Adirondack lakes over a 30-year span
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Paul Bukaveckas
Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia
Description: Obtain limnological data including temperature and light profiles, chlorophyll-a, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) during a revisit of Adirondack lakes that were and were not chronically acidified during the 1980's.

Project Title: Determining Sources of Mercury Contamination within Terrestrial Habitats in the Adirondack Park of New York State
Completion year: 2016
Researcher/s: Amy Sauer
Affiliation: Biodiversity Research Institute, Maine
Description: Identify the origin and types of mercury entering and transferring through wetlands and terrestrial food webs of the Adirondack systems via analysis of blood and tissue samples from bats and insectivorous songbirds.

Project Title: From "take back the town" to "lock up the lake": Investigating shifting perspectives towards environmental protection in Lake George, NY.
Completion year: 2018
Researcher/s: Audrey White, Elizabeth Vidon
Affiliation: SUNY ESF
Description: Interviews of voters and local politicians from Lake George to identify the impact of proposed environmental policies on local election outcomes

Project Title: Long-term Regeneration Dynamics in Northern Hardwood Forests of the Northeast
Completion year: 2016
Researcher/s: Nichole Rogers, Tony D'Amato
Affiliation: University of Vermont, Vermont
Description: Evaluate the influence of uneven-aged silvicultural systems and repeated harvest on seedling establishment and recruitment with seedling regeneration measurements.

Project Title: Tracing the spread of European earthworms into North America using molecular markers and field experiments
Completion year: 2017
Researcher/s: Andreas Klein
Affiliation: Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany
Description: Characterization of the role of recent and historical introduction events in the invasion of two European earthworm species using molecular markers with large and small scale resolution

Project Title: The Role of Beaver in Sediment and Carbon Budgets of the Adirondack Mountains, NY
Completion year: 2016
Researcher/s: Matthew Jungers
Affiliation: Denison University, Ohio
Description: Analysis of sedimentation and catchment-level carbon budget indicators to evaluate the effect on catchments of active and inactive beaver ponds on carbon.

Project Title: Hemlock Ground-Verification Surveys
Completion year: 2019
Researcher/s: Ezra Schwartzberg
Affiliation: Adirondack Research
Description: Provide ground verification data to improve the success of remote-sensed hemlock distribution models created by NASA. Assess field and spatial methods for hemlock presence/absence as well as under- and over-story species composition and abundance.

Project Title: Limnology of Lakes and Wetlands Dissolved Organic Material
Completion year: 2019
Researcher/s: Jon Stetl, Kevin Rose
Affiliation: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Description: We are asking 1) How much phosphorus and nitrogen (and in what forms) are bound to DOM in these lakes and in the watersheds that feed them? 2) How does the amount of organically bound nutrients vary across lakes of a wide range of DOM concentrations? and 3) How does nutrient availability and light availability interact to affect lake primary production? We will quantify the characteristics of DOM in Adirondack lakes, including the nutrients associated with DOM and its light absorbing characteristics, by taking water and soil samples in lakes on HWF and elsewhere.