New Habitat Guidelines for Six Species of Eastern Wildlife

May 1st, 2017 by June

canada-warblersThe American marten, Bicknell’s thrush, Canada warbler, rusty blackbird, scarlet tanager and wood thrush – six beleaguered northeastern forest animals – should get a boost from a new series of publications explaining how best to create and manage habitat for them.

Guidelines for Managing Habitat for Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need describe landscape and stand-level conditions needed by these six animals. The Guidelines, which range in length from 12 to 20 pages, also identify co-occurring species, such as New England cottontail and golden-winged warbler, which could benefit from the recommended management practices. The publications were developed by a team from High Branch Conservation Services and Plymouth State University with input from public- and private-sector foresters, wildlife biologists and conservation planners from 12 states and three Canadian provinces. Len Reitsma, professor of ecology at Plymouth State University and affiliated member of the Center for the Environment, was a project leader.

The Guidelines were funded by the Northeast Regional Conservation Needs (RCN) Grant Program, with a matching commitment from Plymouth State University, and other collaborating institutions. The Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies administers the RCN program to help states from Virginia to Maine implement their State Wildlife Action Plans.

MS Thesis Defenses in May 2017

April 27th, 2017 by June

wind-towersOver the next few weeks, students will be giving presentations about their research projects. Please join us for the following talks and learn more about our students’ work.

May 3, 12 pm at Frost Academic Commons: Carolyn Greenough – Understanding how stakeholders value scenic views: Lessons from the Lakes Region and White Mountains of NH on incorporating viewshed management into environmental decision making.

May 4, 1 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001: Anju Shrestha – Effects of Storm Flows on Phosphorus Concentrations from a Forested Catchment in New Hampshire

May 16, 1 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001: Rebecca Hanson – The utility of modeling water quality: finding the best practices for management of the Squam Watershed

May 30, 1 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001: Keith Van Gorden The Role of Wetlands as Habitat for the Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) in the White Mountain National Forest

Environmental Science and Policy Students Host Science Brew Café

April 25th, 2017 by June

On May 8th, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. experts in the fields of sociology, forestry, and economic development will participate in What’s In Store for Northern New Hampshire — a science café at Biederman’s Deli and Pub on Main Street in Plymouth.  The event will focus on the changing trends within forest management and their impacts on local communities and businesses.

Graduate students from Dr. Shannon Rogers’ environmental ethics course at Plymouth State University have invited Dr. Brian Eisenhauer, Anne Duncan Cooley, and Ken Desmarais to serve as the panel. Dr. Eisenhauer is a professor of sociology and Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability at PSU, Cooley is the Executive Director of the Grafton Regional Development Corporation, and Desmarais is the Assistant Ranger of Forestry for the Pemigewasset District, U.S. Forest Service.

After brief introductions, the floor will be open to questions and discussion moderated by Plymouth State students. New Hampshire’s Northern Forest provides a vast set of natural resources and serves as living space for many communities. The economic, ethical, and social importance of these lands will be examined from a variety of viewpoints, with changing values taking center stage of the discussion.Admission is free and open to the public; food and drink can be ordered off the menu.

Graduate Students in Plymouth State University’s MS in Environmental Science and Policy program work closely with faculty to gain expertise in areas such as watershed and forest ecosystems, hydrology, climate change, ecological economics, and land use planning. They develop effective skills to address the relationships between science and policy, make decisions for social and ecological sustainability and resilience, and become effective communicators of science.

For more information, contact Shannon Rogers.

Spring 2017 Environmental Science Colloquium

January 22nd, 2017 by June

img_0772The Center for the Environment announces speakers for the Spring 2017 Environmental Science Colloquium. The Colloquium series is for students, faculty, and the public and we invite all to come hear the latest on environmental science topics of interest to our region. The Colloquium presentations are held at 4-5 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001. We look forward to seeing you! For more information, please contact June Hammond Rowan.

February 8 – Tommy Stoughton, Research Faculty, Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University – Hanky-panky at the Spring Beauty Pageant: Evolution and Systematics of Claytonia lanceolata sensu lato (Montiaceae)

February 22 – Mary Ann McGarry, Associate Professor, Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy and Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University – Do we really know where the World’s “Most Dangerous” Volcanoes Exist?

March 8 – Dwight Bradley, US Geological Survey and Visiting Scholar, Dartmouth College – Geology and Mineral Resources of the Energy-Critical Elements

March 15 – Andy Colter, Forest Soil Scientist and Ecologist, White Mountain National Forest, US Forest Service – Terrestrial Ecological Mapping using LiDAR on the White Mountain National Forest

April 12 – Larry Spencer – Lessons from the Past: What the US exploring expedition (1838-1842) tells us about how or how not to do science!!

April 19 (in Boyd Room 144) – Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) & Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) – Oceans, climate, and health: Monitoring infectious diseases from space (co-sponsored by PSU’s Department of Biological Sciences, INBRE, & CFE)

April 26 –  Will Abbott, Vice President of Policy/Reservation Stewardship, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests – An Innovative Approach to Siting Large Longitudinal Energy Infrastructure

Graduate Student Carolyn Greenough Receives Award at NALMS International Symposium

January 19th, 2017 by June

Center for the Environment graduate student Carolyn Greenough was awarded a Judy Connor Student Award honorable mention for presenting an outstanding poster at the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) 36th International Symposium in Banff, Canada on November 1-4, 2016.

Each year NALMS judges student posters and presentations given at the Symposium and awards are given to recognize and honor the best of these presentations and posters. Carolyn’s poster was titled “Understanding How Stakeholders Value Scenic Views and Incorporate Viewshed Management into Environmental Decision Making: Lessons from the Lakes Region and White Mountains of New Hampshire.” The poster outlines her research which she is conducting as part of the requirements for her MS in Environmental Science and Policy at Plymouth State.

2017 NH Water & Watershed Conference

December 6th, 2016 by June

March 24, 2017 at Plymouth State University

Planning is underway for the 10th Anniversary of the New Hampshire Water & Watershed Conference on March 24, 2017 at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. Each year, this popular event addresses current issues around our water resources and watersheds. The conference will feature a plenary speaker, approximately 30 talks, and a poster session.


10 Years of NHWWC Sessions. By Carolyn Greenough

The event will focus on what has transpired during the past ten years as well as what we might expect during the next ten and beyond. We seek synthesis talks on the following topics:

  • Policy Impacts and Implications
  • Climate Change: Too Much Water; Too Little Water
  • Technological Advances in Watershed Research and Management
  • Nonpoint vs Point Source Pollutants
  • Public Outreach
  • Grey and Green Infrastructure
  • Legacy Issues

If you are interested in presenting a talk or poster at the NHWWC, please visit the Call for Abstracts page. Abstracts are due December 19, 2017. Conference registration will be available in mid-January 2017.

The 2017 NHWWC is organized by a group of people from a variety of organizations and hosted by the Center for the Environment at Plymouth State University.

The arrival of spring is changing in New Hampshire

November 7th, 2016 by June

img_1904Spring is but a distant memory but in a few months, as winter fades, temperatures will rise, ice will melt and frost heaves will buckle our roads.  Scientists refer to the transition from winter to the growing season as the “vernal window” and a new study shows it’s changing.

New Hampshire researchers investigating how climate change influences the transition from winter to spring looked at the date at which certain events occur that mark the seasonal transition, such as the melting of snow and the emergence of leaves in trees, as well as the lag period between these events. Their findings, published in the November issue of the scientific journal Global Change Biology, show that temperature and the amount of snowfall each year are key drivers to the timing of these events.

Scientists with NH EPSCoR’s Ecosystems & Society, including hydrologist Mark Green from the Center for the Environment,  project created a linked network of water and soil sensors and monitored snow and the forest canopy for three years. The research team supplemented this information with climate data and satellite data and with precipitation and stream data collected by more than 100 volunteers across the state. 

Fall 2016 Environmental Science Colloquium

August 10th, 2016 by June

Fall 2016 Colloquium Poster photoThe Center for the Environment announces speakers for the Fall 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 science topics of interest to our region. The Colloquium presentations are held at 4-5 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001. We look forward to seeing you! For more information, please contact June Hammond Rowan.

September 14: Participatory Citizen Science Delivers the Data for Informed Local Decision-making and Watershed Stewardship – Jeff Schloss, Natural Resources Program Team Leader, UNH Cooperative Extension

September 28: Uncertainties in Detecting Decadal Change in Soil Carbon and Extractable Elements in Northern Forests – Olivia Bartlett, Department of Social Science, Plymouth State University & PhD candidate, Natural Resources and Earth System Sciences, University of New Hampshire

October 12: Got data? Using data to drive environmental public health planning and policy – Kathleen F. Bush, Senior Management Analyst, Bureau of Public Health Statistics and Informatics, NH DHHS/DPHS and Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University

October 26: Climate Communication Challenges for Meteorologists – Lisa Doner, Environmental Science & Policy Department and Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University

November 9: The 25-year Anniversary of the Perfect Storm – Jason Cordeira, Assistant Professor of Meteorology, Department of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry and Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University

November 30: 303(d)?!?! Dam…Not Me! River restoration through selective dam removal in New Hampshire – The Black Brook story and movie review – Steve Landry, Supervisor, Watershed Assistance Section, NH Department of Environmental Services

Two Master’s students Awarded Plan NH Scholarships

July 12th, 2016 by June

PlanNHlogo (2)Plymouth State University students Carolyn Greenough and Laura Getts have been awarded 2016 Plan NH scholarships. Plan NH’s Scholarship and Fellowship Program recognizes and honors outstanding New Hampshire students who are interested in aspects of the built environment and its impacts on the social, economic, and/or environmental capital of a community. Both Greenough and Getts are graduate students studying Environmental Science and Policy and work with PSU’s Center for the Environment.

Greenough is researching viewshed alterations due to land development and large scale energy generation and transmission projects in the Lakes and White Mountain Regions of New Hampshire.  These regions have a strong sense of community, have been a favorite recreational destination for many generations, and have an economy largely based around tourism. While energy needs are real, cultural ecosystem services can be diminished by such development projects.  Her work will help understand the variety of values citizens and stakeholders hold regarding viewsheds, which alterations are acceptable, and what balances can be struck.

Greenough noted, “I am extremely grateful for the support given to me by Plan NH.  I feel so fortunate to have been selected as a recipient for this honor.” Greenough’s work is also part of the Ecosystem and Society project of the NH EPSCoR Program through their National Science Foundation’s Research Infrastructure Improvement Award # EPS 1101245.

Dr. Shannon Rogers, who serves as Greenough’s advisor, said “We, at Plymouth State and the Center for the Environment, are committed to community engaged scholarship that addresses local needs and values, such as this viewshed project. We are very grateful for Plan NH’s growing support of environmental policy work that impacts New Hampshire’s communities and built environments.”

Getts has been working collaboratively with off-campus partners, including the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition, Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire, Foundation for Healthy Communities, NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT), and several regional planning commissions, to assess active transportation statewide with a focus on bikability. Laura’s research approach, funded in part by Foundation for Healthy Communities, NH Charitable Foundation, and Bike-Walk Alliance of NH, blends a combination of spatial analysis, modeling, and, soon to be included, public surveys and participatory mapping in GIS to assess patterns of current biking activity and identify potential barriers to access and participation in active transportation options. With this support from PlanNH and new funding from NHDOT, Getts and her research partners aim to inform NHDOT, regional planning commissions, and towns across New Hampshire about the current status of biking as well as identify network gaps and barriers to use which will hopefully lead to a more sustainable transportation network in the state.

In support of Getts’s application, Dr. Amy Villamagna noted “I am consistently impressed with Gett’s caliber of work, her incredible work ethic, maturity, attention to detail, enthusiasm, and aptitude. She has quickly proven herself to be a strong leader in statewide bikability and sustainable communities research.” When notified of the scholarship award, Villamagna added, “I am delighted that Plan NH has recognized the incredible commitment to sustainable planning shared by both of our students.  They truly represent the future of New Hampshire sustainability.”

June 22: “Changing Climate, Changing Forests” Talk by Dr. Lindsey Rustad

May 24th, 2016 by June

001The Center for the Environment and Plymouth State’s Museum of the White Mountains are co-hosting a talk on June 22, 2016 at 4:30 – 5:30 pm by Dr. Lindsey Rustad on “Changing Climate, Changing Forests: Linking global and local perspectives on how a changing climate sculpts forests of New Hampshire.” Rustad is a research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and Team Leader for the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Her talk is part of “Taking the Lead: Women and the White Mountains,” an exhibit at the Museum of the White Mountains.

Rustad will discuss her latest research on climate change and the Northern Forest. She is interested in human-made disturbances on forested ecosystems in New England, especially as it applies to climate change.  Her work integrates a wide range of data into a unified multidisciplinary approach to understanding ecosystem response to global change. Most recently, Rustad has led a forest-based experiment simulating ice storms to help understand the impacts of these events on the forest.

Please visit the Museum of the White Mountains (34 Highland Street, Plymouth) before the talk.  It opens at 10 am on June 22 and will remain open until 7 pm on the day of Dr. Rustad’s presentation. The talk will be held in Heritage Commons, Samuel Read Hall Building (28 Highland Street, enter on campus side of building) on June 22 at 4:30 pm. Both the talk and the Museum are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact June Hammond Rowan or Rebecca Enman.

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

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