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Great Lakes Research Consortium
SUNY ESF Thousand Islands Biological Field station

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) operates a major aquatic research program through its Thousand Islands Biological Station (TIBS) at Governor’s Island in Clayton, New York, in the upper St. Lawrence River and 15 miles downstream of Eastern Lake Ontario. 

The research program focuses on aquatic ecology with an emphasis on fisheries, wetlands, invasive species, water levels management, and the effects of flow regime interruption. The mission of the TIBS is to conserve aquatic resources through generating scientifically based information to assist the decision making process of managers, while providing high-quality opportunities in the areas of education and outreach.

The St. Lawrence River provides a unique opportunity as an educational resource to promote public understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes that make up a large river ecosystem. The potential for the river to serve as “living laboratory” is immense because it is the 10th largest river in the world in terms of its flow characteristics (nearly 250,000 cfs average) and the only natural outlet to the Great Lakes, and that it attracts so many from around the world as a major tourist destination. This is a complex system, our project is located in the Thousand Islands Region, an archipelago of over 1,800 islands, thousands of shoals and habitats in connected lakes and bays, with extensive coastal marshes. Through its dynamic environmental processes and the impacts of its perturbation, much is to be learned from its study for all participants.

Priorities for Facility and Program Improvements for Fiscal Year 2004

  • Facilities upgrades including renovation of the research laboratory and boathouse on Governor’s Island.
  • Construction and upgrades of student and faculty housing including purchase of mainland property to improve access and year-round research capability.
  • Addition of conference/meeting room and computer facility
    Renovate the TIBS research annex at the Zenda Farm facility and purchase laboratory equipment.
  • Provide access to real time environmental data collected
    from remotely operated buoy in St. Lawrence River.

John M. Farrell, Director
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Thousand Islands Biological Station
PO Box 530, Governor’s Island
Clayton, NY 13624
Phone: 315-470-6990

Thousand Island Biological Station