Monitoring Vegetation Changes on Altitudinal Transects

December 10th, 2014 by June

In partnership with the Margret and H.A. Rey Center in Waterville Valley over several years, the Center for the Environment monitored vegetation changes along altitudinal transects. This project was established on Mount Tecumseh in Waterville Valley, NH in 2008 and a second transect was established in 2010 on Mount Starr King in Jefferson, NH.

At both sites, both vegetation phenology and microclimate data were collected and used in conjunction with regional meteorological data sets to delineate the vegetation-climate trends of the region. Monitoring when plants undergo annual changes such as leaf budding, developing and losing leaves, and overall growth and comparing these data to climate trends helps to understand the changes that occur in vegetation in response to a changing climate. Conducting the monitoring along a gradient up the mountain helps reveal these changes due to the changes in microclimates with altitude.

Squam Lake Recreation Management Decision System

December 10th, 2014 by June

Squam Recreationists Mapping ProjectThe Center for the Environment at PSU developed a Lake Recreation Management Decision System (LRMDS) for the Squam Lakes. This project built on a previous study, the Squam Water Recreational Opportunity Spectrum (WROS) completed by Josh Carroll from UNH which assessed recreational zones on the lake. The Squam LRMDS considered additional dimensions, gathered input from stakeholders using participatory GIS, and established recreational zones and key indicator conditions to be monitored in these areas. If changes in these conditions exceed the defined standards for the zones, the LRMDS creates a set of management actions that can be presented to stakeholders to choose from to address the changed conditions. By establishing zones with public input, defining standards, and presenting management options, the LRMDS can help with decision making to ensure the health of the Squam Lakes.

The Squam LRMDS project was a joint effort between CFE, Squam Lakes Association, and the NH Department of Environmental Services’ (DES) Lakes Management Program. Andrew Veilleux worked on this project as part of his thesis research for his MS in Environmental Science and Policy, and associate professor of sociology Brian Eisenhauer was the project advisor.

Related information:

Second Home Development in the Northern Forest

March 30th, 2011 by June

The Center for the Environment has been involved in a research project to analyze the social, economic, and ecological effects of second home development in the Northern Forest region. Second home ownership is a prevalent land use in the region. Working with Cornell University, University of Vermont, University of Maine, and Penn State University, the project focused on:

  1. Describing the distribution of recreational homes,
  2. Identifying the causes of recreational home growth and create forecasting models,
  3. Identifying social, ecological, and economic effects,
  4. Using this information to help policy makers develop responsive programs to help maintain the northwoods region’s imagery and enhance regional well-being.

Hubbard Brook Research Experience for Undergraduates:

April 23rd, 2010 by Bridget

Hubbard Brook Research Experience for Undergraduates: The Center for the Environment and Hubbard Brook Research Foundation manage a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBRF) under a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program emphasizes the societal relevance of ecology and ecosystem science, and also provides opportunities for an outreach partnership with an organization. Eight undergraduate students from colleges and universities around the United States spend the summer at HBRF in the White Mountain National Forest. The students work with research mentors on projects in the major areas of ecosystem research at Hubbard Brook and also participate in a science communication project that serves a nonprofit organization, local government, or public agency.

Every Acre Counts: the Newfound Watershed Master Plan:

April 23rd, 2010 by Bridget

Newfound webCFE has been involved in the Newfound Lake Watershed Master Plan project from 2008-2011. A watershed plan is often a key component of managing water resources by providing a holistic framework to watershed communities for the application of management tools that meet water resources goals for the entire watershed. As watersheds typically cross town lines, the development of a watershed plan is a collaborative process involving multiple stakeholders.

Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior:

April 23rd, 2010 by Bridget

Brian Eisenhauer, associate director of the Center for the Environment and assistant professor of sociology, along with a team of other researchers from universities throughout New England, participated in a two year project called “Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior to Reduce Nutrient Runoff in New England’s Urbanizing Watersheds.” This project was funded from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

River Watchers:

July 23rd, 2008 by Bridget

CFE organized an educational workshop on monitoring river water quality for volunteers from the Rey Center in Waterville Valley, NH. Laboratory Technician Adam Baumann assisted the volunteers with sample collection and analysis of the samples was completed in the Environmental Research Laboratory. Samples were taken from Snow’s Brook and the Mad River at locations both above and below development to monitor water quality.

Survey for Sandwich, NH Historic District:

April 23rd, 2008 by Bridget

Associate Director Brian Eisenhauer and five PSU graduate and undergraduate students completed a survey for the Town of Sandwich’s Historic District Commission during the spring of 2008. This research project developed an informed awareness of community attitudes about the historic district and the services provided, as well as addressed issues of growth, sustainability, and development.

Contact Us

Contact Us

January 9th, 2013 by Michael

Center for the Environment

Plymouth State University
Russell House
MSC #63, 17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264
psu-cfe@plymouth.edu

phone (603) 535-3179
fax (603) 535-3004