Spring 2016 Environmental Science Colloquium

January 20th, 2016 by June

Colloquium Spring 2016Please join us for the Spring 2016 Environmental Science Colloquium. The Colloquium series is for students, faculty, and the public and we invite all to come hear the latest on environmental research and topics of interest to our region. Talks are at 4 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001. We look forward to seeing you!

January 27 – Environmental Security in West Africa: Engagement on Sustainable Forestry and Landscape, Clare Mendelsohn, Deputy Supervisor, White Mountain National Forest

February 17 – Extreme precipitation in the Northeast: atmospheric processes and forecasting challenges
Benjamin Moore, SUNY Albany

February 24 – Atmospheric rivers and the great New England flood of March 1936, Jason Cordeira, Department of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry, and Center for the Environment

March 9 – Mary Ann McGarry, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and Center for the Environment

March 23 – Tracking Seasons & Climate Change in the Northern Appalachians, Georgia Murray, Appalachian Mountain Club

March 30 – Regionally occurring chemicals of regulatory concern at the BMI Industrial Complex, Henderson, NV, Paul Hackenberry, Hackenberry Associates, LLC

April 20 -Have your read any good books lately? A review of some recent books in environmental history
Larry Spencer, Department of Biology, and Center for the Environment

Environmental Science & Policy Teaching Assistant Positions

January 20th, 2016 by June

Land Conservation Techniques course at Randolph Community ForestPlymouth State University (PSU), Plymouth, NH, is inviting applications for its MS program in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). We offer expertise in areas such as watershed ecosystems, hydrology, climate change, ecological economics, landscape ecology, and land use planning. Our curriculum emphasizes the relationships between science and policy, decision making for social and ecological sustainability and resilience, and science communication. Students in the program often collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and scientists from other academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations including organizations such as Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, White Mountain National Forest, NH Department of Environmental Services, Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Squam Lakes Association. Students also work with the Center for the Environment.

Students accepted to PSU’s MS in ESP may be eligible for graduate assistantships (GA). For academic year 2015-16, we anticipate several teaching assistantship (TA) positions. TAs will assist with undergraduate courses in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. TAs work with faculty on preparing and teaching labs, organizing and preparing field equipment, helping students in the field with monitoring equipment, driving vans, teaching a unit/module, grading assignments and lab field books, assisting with discussions, and leading study groups. A valid US driver’s license is required.

Assistantships are available only to full-time students enrolled in the MS program in Environmental Science and Policy and typically provide a stipend of $4,700 and 12 credits of tuition per year. Applications to the MS in ES&P are submitted to PSU’s  Graduate Studies. For more information about the MS in ES&P, please contact MS ES&P Program Coordinator June Hammond Rowan (jhammondrowan@plymouth.edu). Also, please visit https://www.plymouth.edu/department/esp/ms-in-environmental-science-and-policy/ .

Squam Lakes Watershed Plan

January 15th, 2016 by June

SAM_2724The Center for the Environment is partnering with the Squam Lakes Association on developing a new Squam Lakes Watershed Plan.

In 1991, the New Hampshire Office of State Planning completed a Squam Lakes Watershed Plan. At that time, this effort was to serve as a model management plan for New Hampshire’s lake watersheds. Now, 25 years later, we are ready to  begin updating this plan. We invite you to join us on January 20, 2016 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the SLA Resource Center  in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Squam Lakes Watershed Plan and to assist us in taking the next steps in updating this important management tool.

Much has changed in the past quarter-century, necessitating a Watershed Plan update. Not only has our landscape changed, but our understanding of lakes and watersheds has evolved. The planning process and requirements for watershed plans are also different with a stringent set of requirements. Our meeting on January 20, 2016 will serve as a jumping off point for the planning process, set to be completed by early summer 2017. We will focus on the requirements of an updated plan, the steps and resources that are necessary for creating the plan, and accomplishments to date.

The Squam Lakes Association is leading the Squam Watershed planning effort in partnership with the Center for the Environment at Plymouth State University. We welcome everyone to the January 20th meeting: local public officials, conservation organization partners, state agencies, watershed landowners, town residents, and the general public. RSVPs are requested. Please contact the SLA.

 

Plymouth State Partners with White Mountains Environmental Groups in Climate Change Research

January 12th, 2016 by June

January 11th, 2016 by blyndes

Hydrologist Dan Evans installing instruments at the top of the Eddy flux tower. Mark Green photo.

Hydrologist Dan Evans installing instruments at the top of the Eddy Flux tower. Mark Green photo.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Standing high above the hardwood tree canopy of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, a steel tower glistens in the sun. Scientific instruments mounted to the top of the 110-foot structure work non-stop, gathering data on moisture, carbon dioxide content and temperature. According to PSU Professor of Hydrology Mark Green, the Eddy Flux research tower is measuring how the forest reacts to changes in the atmosphere.

“We’re watching the forest breathing,” Green stated. “The instruments measure the carbon dioxide coming down during the day when the trees are photosynthesizing and then at night when they’re releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. It also measures how much water is being released into the atmosphere during the day. The resulting change in air temperature helps measure how the forest is responding to climate warming.”

Green continued by saying the data from Hubbard Brook tells a scientific story, and those results must be correctly communicated to adopt fact-based environmental policy changes.

“We’re documenting how the forest is responding to carbon dioxide and temperature fluctuations, but if we’re not communicating it clearly as scientists, decision makers can’t develop policies to respond to what we’re seeing.”

The $50,000 cost of the tower was paid for, in part, by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, which has a critical interest in the health of thousands of acres of forestland in New England.

View of the core Eddy Flux instrumentation at the top of the tower with the Hubbard Brook experimental watersheds in the background. Mark Green photo.

View of the core Eddy Flux instrumentation at the top of the tower with the Hubbard Brook experimental watersheds in the background. Mark Green photo.

“The forest has already shown us a lot,” said Green. “The precipitation we’ve seen this decade is a solid 15 percent higher than over the past 100 years. Whether that’s going to persist, we don’t know, but the forest definitely responds to events like that, through higher stream levels and increased potential for flooding.”

The tower also provides an extraordinary learning resource for Plymouth State students, according to Atmospheric Science and Chemistry Professor Eric Kelsey.

“Students learn about relationships between the energy, carbon and water budgets in Hubbard Brook and how they relate to forest ecosystem dynamics,” said Kelsey. “The proximity of the flux tower to PSU allows easy access for students to visit the site, learn about how the measurements are taken and then apply the concepts learned in class.”

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu.

Apply soon for Graduate Assistantships for 2016-2017

January 4th, 2016 by June

Geoff camera 127Plymouth State University (PSU), Plymouth, NH, is inviting applications for its MS program in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). We offer expertise in areas of watershed ecosystems, hydrology, climate change, ecological economics, landscape ecology, and land use planning. Our curriculum emphasizes the relationships between science and policy, decision making for social and ecological sustainability and resilience, and science communication. Students in the program often collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and scientists from other academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations including organizations such as Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, White Mountain National Forest, NH Department of Environmental Services, Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Squam Lakes Association.

Students accepted to PSU’s MS in ESP may be eligible for graduate assistantships (GA) with PSU’s Center for the Environment. For academic year 2016-17, we anticipate GAs in the following areas:

  • Limnology and paleolimnology research projects on several lakes in Northern New Hampshire and Maine.
  • Phenology research on alpine and woodland flowering plants in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
  • Analysis of long-term environmental data sets.
  • Water chemistry dynamics and laboratory analysis.

Assistantships are available only to full-time students enrolled in the MS program in Environmental Science and Policy and typically provide a stipend of $8,000 and 15 credits of tuition per year. Applications to the MS in ES&P are submitted to PSU’s Graduate Studies. For more information, please contact Associate Director of the Center for the Environment and MS ES&P Program Coordinator June Hammond Rowan (jhammondrowan@plymouth.edu).

Seeking M.S. graduate assistant for EPA project on understanding values of water quality improvements

December 4th, 2015 by June

DSCN0169The Center for the Environment (CFE) and the Masters of Science Program Environmental Science & Policy at Plymouth State University (PSU) seeks applicants for a unique and exciting graduate research assistant (GRA) position focused on understanding non-use values of water quality improvements in small streams for an anticipated project.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with collaborators from Dartmouth College and regional and State partners to better understand how non-use values can be assessed and integrated into decision making in the Great Bay Watershed. Great Bay is one of only 28 estuaries of National Significance and is facing impairment challenges in both the Estuary and its watershed.

Students with environmental science & policy, economics, and social science research backgrounds and interests are encouraged to apply. Previous experience interacting with stakeholders through interviews and/or focus groups is highly valuable as well as coursework and/or a strong interest in ecological/environmental economics. Priority will be given to applications completed and received by Jan. 15, 2016. All GRAs are for students accepted into the MS program in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) and provide an excellent opportunity to work with a broader cohort of students and their mentors. Application requirements for the MS in ES&P are available on the ES&P Department website.

PSU is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender or religious preference. In addition, the project leaders have a strong commitment to enhancing research opportunities for under-served groups and we encourage individuals belonging to any perceived minority group to apply.

CFE facilitates interdisciplinary environmental research, education, and public engagement in the northern New England region. CFE engages in research and education in support of graduate student research and in meeting the needs of regional partners, such as the White Mountain National Forest, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, Squam Lakes Association, NH Department of Environmental Services, and other environmental organizations. The PSU campus and the surrounding Lakes and White Mountains regions provide excellent facilities and an outstanding natural research laboratory.

Please contact Dr. Shannon Rogers for more information about the position and the application process:  shrogers@plymouth.edu

MS ES&P Alumna Jamie Sydoriak Featured on Plight of the Grassland Birds

October 2nd, 2015 by June

SydoriakJamie Sydoriak, a 2014 graduate of PSU’s MS in Environmental Science & Policy program, is featured in the New Hampshire Public Televisions documentary on Plight of the Grassland Birds, which will air on October 8 at 9 pm. While at PSU, Jamie worked with CFE and advisor Len Reistma on a project with the Vermont Center for Ecosystem Studies on protecting grassland bird habitat.

More information about the documentary is available from NHPTV.

Fall 2015 Environmental Science Colloquium

September 18th, 2015 by June

PSU CenterEnvironment_Fall2015The Center for the Environment is hosting The Environmental Science Colloquium this fall. The Colloquium series is for students, faculty, and the public and we invite all to come hear the latest on environmental research and topics of interest to our region. Talks are at 4 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001. We look forward to seeing you!

Sept. 23, Modeling complex systems to set research and conservation priorities, Elizabeth Harper, New England College & Affiliated Faculty, Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University

Sept. 30, Conservation of birds in a changing climate with special attention to Neotropical-Nearctic migrants like the Blackpoll Warbler, William DeLuca, UMass Amherst

Oct. 21, Resilience of New Hampshire’s hydrology to disturbance, Mark Green, Center for the Environment and Department of Environmental Science & Policy, Plymouth State University

Oct. 28, North America’s Great Basin: A climate and water conundrum, Scotty Strachan UNevada-Reno

Nov. 18, Integrating bottom up knowledge into a top down organization- a story of sustainability efforts at US Army Corps, Shannon Rogers, Center for the Environment and Department of Environmental Science & Policy, Plymouth State University

Dec. 9, Patterns in macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity in a headwaters stream in Coos County, Brigid O’Donnell, Center for the Environment and Department of Biology, Plymouth State University

New England Surfers Care about Water Quality, According to Preliminary Survey Data

September 18th, 2015 by June

New England Sustainability Consortium Media Release
Contact: Evelyn Jones, NH EPSCoR, evelyn.jones@unh.edu

Shannon Rogers, assistant professor of Environmental Science & Policy at PSU’s Center for the Environment (right), and Sophie Scott PSU graduate student (left) at North Hampton State Beach, NH. Photo by Evelyn Jones, NH EPSCoR.

Shannon Rogers, assistant professor of Environmental Science & Policy at PSU’s Center for the Environment (right), and Sophie Scott PSU graduate student (left) at North Hampton State Beach, NH. Photo by Evelyn Jones, NH EPSCoR.

Up and down the Maine and New Hampshire coastline researchers from Plymouth State University have been on a summer “surfari”, scouring beaches and vigilantly watching for primo weather forecasts. They want waves (not just ankle biters). Because they know when the surfs up, that’s where they’ll find surfers. Once sighted, they approach their targets with clipboards and surf wax. They’ve interviewed almost 245 surfers this year from Scarborough, ME to Seabrook, NH.

Shannon Rogers is not an average beachgoer, looking for a relaxing day on the shore. She’s an assistant professor of Environmental Science & Policy at Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment. She and her PSU graduate student Sophie Scott want to know how issues around water quality are perceived locally in NH and ME. They are part of a larger collaborative research project involving several New England universities and dozens of scientists in examining sources of coastal water pollution and strategies for managing beach advisories and closures.

“The idea to study surfers came up because they are the most exposed to the water and are generally perceived as having a ‘laissez faire’ attitude about the associated risks. They are more likely to be active during storms and after it rains, when water quality is lowest. And they use the ocean year round”, says Rogers. “We are studying their perception of risk related to water quality and trying to understand how much local ecological knowledge the surfing community possesses. Given the nature of the sport, they are also more apt to ingest water or get cuts or scrapes.”

Rogers and Scott decided the best way to tap into this knowledge was to chase the Big Kahuna by hitting the beaches. In the spring, they started talking with Surfrider Foundation and various gatekeepers in the Gulf of Maine beach and surfing community (i.e. surf shop owners, seasoned surfers, state resource agencies) along the coast as part of long scoping interviews. They gathered information about where to surf, why people choose to go surfing at various locations, and how they get their knowledge of different areas. From there, they developed a very brief survey that could be administered on the beaches in 2-3 minutes.

Scott began administering the short beach survey as part of her PSU graduate thesis in late spring. “I’m a Mainer and my background is in sustainable agriculture with an interest in food systems. I was raised in a family of fisherman. My father was an “egga” (sea urchin diver) and he’s an old school Maine surfer,” said Scott. “Examining beaches was different twist for me, but I’m interested in water quality and know that the surfing community is in the water more than anybody else. Based on the survey responses so far, surfers have provided a lot of local ecological knowledge.”

Michele Pruyn

July 22nd, 2015 by June

After a long illness, Michele Pruyn passed away on July 17, 2015 surrounded by family and friends.

Michele was an Associate Professor of Plant Biology and an affiliate faculty member in the Center for the Environment. Prior to coming to PSU in 2006, Michele earned her PhD in Wood Science and Forest Science from Oregon State University, an MS in  Botany and Plant Pathology from Michigan State University, and a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Michele was a dedicated teacher who loved working with students. Her teaching areas included: Biological Science I, Plants and Civilization, Botany, Evolution, and Plant Physiology. As a tree eco-physiologist she researched factors controlling tree species distributions in the northern hardwood forest. Her most recent work focused on investigating the long term effects of acid rain on tree health and productivity. She was also interested in the physiological differences among tree species (especially yellow birch) along environmental gradients, such as elevation, aspect and changing soil characteristics.

Over the years Michele mentored many undergraduate students in her plant physiology lab, and served as a thesis advisor for graduate students in the M.S. in Biology and M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy programs.

Michele played a leadership role in CFE’s NSF-funded Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. During her time at PSU she also served on the Research Advisory Council, the Curriculum Committee, and the Campus Community Council, among many other activities.

Michele will be missed by the PSU community for, among many other things, her signature smile and her deep love and commitment to her students.  She is survived by her husband and two boys.

Contact Us

Contact Us

January 9th, 2013 by Michael

Center for the Environment

Plymouth State University
Samuel Read Hall Building, 2nd Floor
MSC #63, 17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264
psu-cfe@plymouth.edu

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