CFE Researchers Assist with New Atlantic Coast Ecosystem Study

July 25th, 2013 by June

Errin Volitis, LoVoTECS network coordinator, helps volunteer scientists mount and calibrate aquatic sensors installed in over 87 rivers and streams across New Hampshire. The NH LoVo TECS Network derives from Lotic Volunteer Network with the sensors recording temperature, electrical conductivity, and stage (TECS). The network is coordinated by a group of researchers, staff and students at Plymouth State University, and implemented by a broad group of partners, including educators, researchers, government agencies, non-profit organizations and citizen scientists.  Credit: Errin Volitis, Center for the Environment, Plymouth State University.New Hampshire and Maine’s coastal tourism and shellfish industries contribute $400 million annually to the regional economy but the coastal environment is vulnerable to the effects of land development and climate change. A team of researchers led by the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maine will conduct a three-year study of the many factors affecting the health of their shared coastal ecosystem. This collaboration, funded by a $6 million award from the National Science Foundation, aims to strengthen the scientific basis for decision making for the management of recreational beaches and shellfish harvesting.

Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment will participate in the project through expanding a current water research project to the Gulf of Maine, leading workforce development initiatives, and examining inclusive decision-making as a product of ecosystem research. Three of PSU’s faculty (Mark Green, assistant professor of hydrology; Doug Earick, assistant research professor; and Shannon Rogers, assistant professor and ecological economics) and students from the Center for the Environment and Department of Environmental Science and Policy will be involved in the project.

Evaluating Basin-scale Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for USACE

July 18th, 2013 by June

Shannon Rogers, assistant professor of ecological economics at PSU’s Center for the Environment and Department of Environmental Science and Policy is partnering with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on improving USACE resilience to climate change threats. Under the USACE Program to Reduce Civil Works Vulnerabilities, the project will help USACE to continue meeting its mission requirements and objectives while complying with federally mandated requirements for planning and action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The goal of the work is to develop, test, and deploy an approach for helping USACE meet its greenhouse gas mitigation targets while preserving or enhancing its authorized project functions and planning for water-resource adaptations to climate change and variability. The approach involves a framework for systematically integrating specific knowledge from operators and other system experts at USACE about their systems’ objectives and performance with actionable information about climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study Annual Meeting

July 11th, 2013 by June

Hubbard Brook Research Foundation

Each July at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest the cooperators of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study gather to share information about current research. This annual meeting provides an important opportunity for communication, exchange of ideas, and research plans. This year, the 50th anniversary of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, the following CFE people gave talks on July 10-11:

  • Lily Zahor: Does soil calcium affect transpiration?
  • Mark Green: Comparison of low flow changes after watershed harvesting treatments
  • Geoff Wilson: Science, society and sisyphus: A perspective on HBRF’s facilities
  • Eric Kelsey: Exploring collaborative research ideas with Mount Washington Observatory at Hubbard Brook
  • Scott Bailey: Genealogy of calcium at Hubbard Brook: Soils, parent, and grandparent materials

The Value of a View: Plymouth Magazine article features CFE research project

July 11th, 2013 by June

A Center for the Environment pilot study investigating local residents’ attitudes on the value of scenic views is the cover story in the latest Plymouth Magazine.

Shannon Rogers, an assistant professor with CFE and the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, is working with two students on a pilot project to assess the value of views. This topic is timely and Shannon’s work is featured in the most recent issue of Plymouth Magazine. The research is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) through the New Hampshire EPSCoR program.

Since publication of the Plymouth Magazine article, Shannon has received numerous comments and requests for more information about her research project. “It is exciting to have people interested in our work. The viewshed project is a pilot study and in the future I hope we can expand it to cover a broader region,” Shannon said. “Views are important to people and our region where new land uses are changing the look and possibly the functioning of the landscape. Our research will help us to better understand the complex values people place on a view and the many ecosystem services that may be imbedded in a scenic view.”

PSU Oversees Volunteer Water Sampling Project Throughout NH

July 11th, 2013 by June

Left to right, Plymouth State University Environmental Science and Policy graduate students Ashley Hyde and Matt Bartley collect water samples in the Pemigewasset River in Plymouth July 8.

On July 16, volunteers throughout New Hampshire have committed to collecting water samples in the State’s rivers and streams to take a ‘snapshot’ of water quality. Plymouth State University is overseeing this unique water sampling project with the goal of improving the understanding of New Hampshire’s water resources and providing data to be used by resource managers, state agencies, researchers, and educators.

The Associated Press picked up this story and it has been published around the country.

Hubbard Brook Research Experience for Undergraduates

June 19th, 2013 by June

Plymouth State University, in cooperation with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF), hosts a unique summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program based at the Hubbard Brook Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The program emphasizes the societal relevance of ecology and ecosystem science.

This year, nine students from around the country are engaged in a research project developed from the major areas of ecosystem research at Hubbard Brook. Students work under the mentorship of scientists active in research at Hubbard Brook.  In addition, through weekly presentations given by the mentors and other scientists, students are also exposed to a full spectrum of ecosystem research.

Throughout the summer, the REU students will be posting information about their work. Check the Hubbard Brook REU Blog for updates!

Talk on Recreation and Land Management Decision Making on Squam Lakes

May 15th, 2013 by June

Please join us onThursday, May 16, 2013, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm at the Squam Lakes Association in Holderness, NH, for a talk by CFE graduate student Andrew Veilleux on “Recreation and Land Management Decision Making on Squam Lakes.”

Andrews is completing his research that investigates how Squam is used and the opinions of those that enjoy the lakes. This project has involved an innovative GIS system to gather from people their perspectives about recreational use on the lake.

As part of the project, Andrew has completed a brochure summarizing his work.

Calcium-Fertilized Forests Use More Water According to New PSU and Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study

April 1st, 2013 by June

Mark Green from CFE is lead author on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper summarized the results of a forest fertilization experiment that the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. The research showed that a forest fertilized with calcium grew faster and in doing so transpired, or evaporated through their leaves, more water than the control watershed. The difference was so great that streamflow substantially declined in the fertilized forest. This is interesting because the forest may have been limited by calcium due to the legacy of acid rain in the region. Also, it highlights an unintended consequence of forest fertilization. While the goal of fertilization is often to optimize biomass production, this practice may reduce water supplies in the process. CFE member Scott Bailey is a co-author of the paper.

CFE Hosts the 2013 NH Water & Watershed Conference

March 5th, 2013 by June

East Inlet, Photo by Phil Haskell

Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) hosts the 2013 New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference, Friday,  March 22 in PSU’s Hartman Union Building. The event features more than 30 talks addressing current water related research as well as effective strategies at the local, regional, state, and federal levels about changing environmental and societal conditions and their effects on New Hampshire’s water resources and aquatic environment. Specific topics to be covered include watershed planning, restoration, and management; education and outreach; ecosystem services of lakes, rivers, and watersheds; coordinating a response to climate change; and water quality and quantity.

CFE Signs Partnership Agreement with NH Dept. of Environmental Services

January 31st, 2013 by June

The Center for the Environment has coordinated with the NH Department of Environmental Services on a new partnership agreement that addresses mutual areas in interest and opportunities for collaboration. DES Commissioner Tom Burack visited PSU on January 28, 2013 where he and PSU’s President Sara Jayne Steen signed the agreement. Following the signing ceremony, Commissioner Burack met with CFE faculty and students to discuss environmental issues on the state horizon, legislative initiatives, student internships and workplace development, and interests in furthering STEM initiatives.

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