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ESF Professors Receive Great Lakes Research Consortium Awards


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Three faculty members from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) are among 11 researchers who received grants from the Great Lakes Research Consortium.

The consortium comprises 12 New York colleges and universities that pursue research aimed at understanding, restoring, and protecting the Great Lakes. The consortium, which has seven Canadian affiliates, is based on the ESF campus.

The three ESF recipients are Dr. Neil H. Ringler, chair of the Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology; Dr. Therese M. Donovan, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology; and Dr. Susan Senecah, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Ringler, who is a SUNY-designated Distinguished Teaching Professor, was awarded a grant used to help fund a workshop focusing on the decline of Atlantic salmon in New York state. The two-day workshop held in October drew about 45 scientists, resource managers, and representatives of fishing groups to exchange information and discuss research needs aimed at making strides in restoring Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario by the year 2000.

Ringler, a specialist in the ecology of St. Lawrence River fishes and the effects of forest practices on aquatic systems, joined the ESF faculty in 1974. He resides in Baldwinsville.

Donovan's project studies the way migratory birds are affected by the ecological health of habitat near Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Donovan, with Dr. Chris Norment of SUNY-Brockport, ESF graduate student David Bonter, and Betsy Brooks of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory near Rochester, will conduct research using Doppler radar to identify sites along Lake Ontario and Lake Erie that consistently host large numbers of migrant birds. Their goal is to learn what attracts the birds to certain sites. Land managers and conservation agencies will use the information for planning purposes.

Donovan, a Syracuse resident, has been a member of the ESF faculty since 1993.

Senecah's project centers on educating New York legislators about Great Lakes issues. The grant will fund development of a web site with information about the funding, administrators, public officials, and resources related to the Great Lakes. The site will be entirely New York-based, and Senecah said the goal is to provide New York legislators with the ability to make wise decisions about issues affecting the lakes. Senecah is working on the project with Dr. Joseph DePinto, director of the Great Lakes Program at the State University at Buffalo.

Plans for the web site grew out of a meeting last spring that resulted in the formation of the New York Coalition of Great Lakes Legislators. The group comprises state senators and assembly members whose districts are in the watersheds of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The spring meeting also resulted in an update of the DEC's directory of Great Lakes-related issues, and a flow chart that illustrates the relationships among all the agencies and organizations with ties to the lakes.

Senecah, who resides in Syracuse and Schenectady, joined the ESF faculty in 1993.

ESF, a specialized college of the State University of New York founded in 1911, offers associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Areas of study include chemistry, construction management and wood products engineering, environmental and forest biology, environmental resources and forest engineering, environmental studies, forestry, landscape architecture, and paper science and engineering.