Community Service: Graduate students raise funds for Children’s Hospital

October 28th, 2013 by June

Seven Environmental Science and Policy graduate students (Ben Bolaski, Jess Wilhelm, Melissa Leszek, Matt Bartley, Jonathon Loos, Jamie Sydoriak, and Ashley Hyde) raised $700 and participated in the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) Hero 5k and half marathon in Hanover on October 20th.

The event encourages participants to wear costumes and super hero outfits and the students wore green CFE capes to represent PSU and show their support for the remarkable work done by the Children’s Hospital.

Thank you to our students to helping support this worthy cause.

Plymouth Area 1st Science Brew Café Draws Standing Room Only Crowd (Despite Red Sox Playoff Game!)

October 16th, 2013 by June

Mark Green, Ashley Hyde, and Errin Volitis explain their research at Plymouth's 1st Science Brew Cafe

Plymouth’s first Science Café was held on October 15 at Biederman’s Deli and Pub. Even though the Red Sox were playing an important post-season game, over fifty people, including community members and PSU students, came to learn about science in an informal setting.

The topic on tap for the first Science Brew Café was “Sensing New Hampshire’s Streams and Rivers.” Hydrologist and assistant professor Mark Green gave an overview of a research project using 200 sensors at 100 sites to study water quality and flow. The sensors collect information on conductivity, temperature and stage every 5 to 15 minutes year round creating a large volume of data. Conductivity serves as a measure of water quality and stage relates to the flow and amount of water in the rivers and streams.    Errin Volitis, a research technician working on the project, talked about her work coordinating the installation of the sensors and training volunteers to help with the project. The sensors are hosted by volunteers and organizations around New Hampshire and each has a specific research question which the data from the sensors will help to address. Ashley Hyde, a graduate student in Environmental Science and Policy, explained how the data are also being used by school teachers and students at all levels throughout the state to give them experience in understanding their local environment and data analysis.

Standing Room Only at Science Brew Cafe

Science Cafés take place all over the globe with the goal of bringing science and scientists into a community in a casual setting.  Please see http://www.sciencecafes.org for more information.  New Hampshire recently formed a Science Café Coalition http://sciencecafenh.org.  The State currently has ongoing Cafés in Portsmouth, Nashua, and Lebanon.

The Plymouth Science Brew Café was organized by assistant professor Shannon Rogers and Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment. Thank you Biederman’s for hosting the event and also to the presenters. Support for this event was also provided by NHEPSCoR and the National Science Foundation. http://www.epscor.unh.edu.

Additional Science Brew Cafés will be organized in the future. Please contact the Center for the Environment at psu-cfe@plymouth.edu or plymouth.edu/cfe for more information.

Putting Science on Tap: Science Café comes to the Plymouth Area!

September 24th, 2013 by June

On Tuesday, October 15th at 6pm, Biederman’s Deli and Pub will be hosting the first Science Brew Café in partnership with Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment and Environmental Science and Policy Department.

Science Cafés are unique. They are designed for people to learn about science and meet scientists in a comfortable, community setting. Eveyone is invited to come grab some food and a drink and be ready to learn and ask questions in a casual setting. Researchers will speak briefly about their work and  the majority of time will be a conversation between the audience and the scientist.

The topic on tap for the first Science Café  is “Sensing New Hampshire’s Streams and Rivers.” Mark Green, Ashley Hyde, and Errin Volitis from Plymouth State University will provide an overview of their work studying rivers and streams in New Hampshire. Clear mountain streams flowing from the White Mountains and powerful industrial rivers are hallmarks of New Hampshire’s rich natural beauty and cultural heritage. While our waters are of exceptional quality in most cases, there are still water quality and quantity issues. Water sensors have recently been deployed in streams and rivers across New Hampshire (including several in the local area) to better understand water quantity and quality. This effort, which draws on community volunteer monitors, has been active for one year.  The conversation will focus on what is being observed and learned, and how it may help water resources management in the region. The conversation can focus on water resources in central New Hampshire as well as resources across the State and in the region.

Food and drink can be ordered from the menu, admission is free.

Science Cafés take place all over the globe with the goal of bringing science and scientists into a community in a casual setting.  Please see http://www.sciencecafes.org for more information.  New Hampshire recently formed a Science Café Coalition http://sciencecafenh.org.  The State currently has ongoing Cafés in Portsmouth, Nashua, and Lebanon.

Support for this event is also being provided by NHEPSCoR and the National Science Foundation. http://www.epscor.unh.edu. Thanks Biederman’s for hosting the event and  to our presenters: Dr. Mark Green, Assistant Professor of Hydrology, Plymouth State University; Ashley Hyde, Masters Candidate, Environmental Science and Policy; and Errin Volitis, Research Technician, PSU Center for the Environment

For more information, please contact Dr. Shannon Rogers, 603-535-2216.

New Student Orientation

September 16th, 2013 by June

PSU faculty and graduate students in Environmental Science and Policy and Meteorology enjoy a day on Mt. Washington

The Center for the Environment coordinates PSU’s Master’s of Science program in Environmental Science and Policy and this fall eight new students have started in the program.

After an orientation that included introductions, a chance to meet faculty, and information about the program requirements, we all went on a field trip up Mount Washington with students and faculty in the MS in Meteorology program. The drive north provided students with a chance to see some of the North Country and the White Mountains. The drive up the Mt. Washington Auto Road was exciting, especially after we entered the clouds and the visibility was greatly reduced. Everyone had a chance to have a tour of the Mt. Washington Observatory and their museum, as well as some time exploring the summit. Mike Pelchat, Park Manager for the Mt. Washington State Park, provided an overview of the history and summit operations. On the way down, the weather cleared just above treeline and everyone got to enjoy the spectacular views.

Thank you to the Mt. Washington Observatory and the Mt. Washington State Park for their time and support!

2013 Fall Science Colloquium

August 23rd, 2013 by June

Please join us on Wednesdays at 4 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001 for the 2013 Fall Science Colloquium. We have a great line-up of speakers covering diverse topics. For more information contact Angie Uhlman (603-535-3179) or Doug Earick.

  • September 11: New Directions in Sea Level Rise Projections, W. Tad Pfeffer, Professor, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University Colorado – Boulder
  • September 18: The Inconvenient Impervious Truth: The future of stormwater management in New England, Steve Kahl, Director of Environmental and Energy Strategies, James Sewall Company
  • September 25: Putting the Capital ‘A’ in CoCoRAHS: Citizen Scientists Measuring Snow Albedo in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Burakowski,Ph.D. Candidate, Natural Resources and Earth System Science, UNH
  • October 9: STEM in New Hampshire: A Demand-Supply Analysis, Katrina Evans, Assistant Director, Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, NH Employment Security
  • October 16: Fingerprinting Moisture Transport Near Hawaii Using Stable Isotopes in Water, Adriana Raudzens Bailey, PhD Candidate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado – Boulder
  • October 23: Atmosphere-Ice Interactions during the Neoproterozoic “Snowball Earth” Glaciations, Jason Goodman, Assistant Professor of Physics, Wheaton College
  • October 30: Genealogy of Calcium at Hubbard Brook: Soils, Parent and Grandparent Materials, Scott Bailey, Research Geoecologist, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • November 6: A Day in the Life of an Environmental First Responder, Raymond Reimold, Complaint Investigator, NH Dept of Environmental Services (Ray is a 2008 graduate of PSU’s MS in Environmental Science and Policy program)
  • November 13: Motorized Recreation and Its Role in New Hampshire, Chris Gamache, Chief, NH Bureau of Trails, Division of Parks & Recreation

CFE Welcomes Kathleen Bush

August 23rd, 2013 by June

Dr. Kathleen Bush joins PSU this fall as a research affiliate at the Center for the Environment and Adjunct Faculty in Biology and ES&P. Kathleen is an environmental health scientist, trained at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her doctoral work focused on extreme precipitation and waterborne disease. She joins us from North Carolina where she was an ASPH/EPA Environmental Health Fellow at the US EPA in Research Triangle Park working with the EnviroAtlas Team to investigate the linkages bewteen ecosystem services and human health.

Kathleen was recently awarded an EPSCoR Seed Grant. In partnership with New Hampshire Health and Human Services and White Mountains Community College STEM-health Camp, this grant will launch a collaborative research project focused on STEM research and STEM education related to climate change and human health in New Hampshire.

Statewide Teacher Institute – August 5 & 6, 2013

July 31st, 2013 by June

Plymouth State’s Center for the Environment is hosting a statewide teacher institute in association with the LoVoTECS research project on August 5 & 6.  The focus of the workshop will be to engage teachers in the process of using data collected by the research team in developing curriculum for use in their middle school and high school classrooms.  Approximately 25 teachers will be attending, representing schools from across the state.  Participants will take part in opportunities to analyze and manipulate datasets collected by LoVoTECS aquatic sensors, think about research questions that they or their students could develop around project data, and create curriculum to put into practice these ideas once they return to their classes in the fall. Approximately half of the teachers taking part in the institute currently act as volunteers water monitors, maintaining sets of sensors in their own locales, while the other half  will be new to the project and learning more about the overall research initiative. The institute is coordinated by Doug Earick.

This workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, is part of NH EPSCoR’s statewide Ecosystems and Society project.  Researchers are studying the environment in an effort to support better management of the state’s natural resources, so that population growth and development proceed in a sustainable fashion, without threatening the quality of life that makes New Hampshire a desirable place to live and visit.  The mission of NH EPSCoR is to broaden and strengthen New Hampshire’s research capacity and competitiveness through research, education and economic development.  It’s critical for the state to broaden and diversify the capacity to conduct research; to support business, industry and society with a workforce educated in science, engineering and mathematics; and to improve communication between scientists and the public.

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

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