Denise Burchsted Joins CFE

July 20th, 2011 by June

This fall, Denise Burchsted is joining CFE as a postdoctoral scholar. Designed as a 2-year position, Denise will focus on teaching graduate courses, working with graduate students, and participating in an active research agenda.

Denise studied geoscience for her PhD at the University of Connecticut. She has a diverse background with training in civil engineering (BS from UConn) and ecology (MFS from Yale University). Her research has focused on blending these disciplines to study the aquatic landscape across various scales. She is interested in the application of her work to the management of rivers and wetlands.  In this context, she has worked on the restoration of the Everglades, designed dam removals and other fish passage projects, designed salt marsh and freshwater wetland restoration projects, and led watershed conservation planning efforts in Connecticut.

This year, Denise will teach the graduate courses Ecosystem Management, Nature of Environmental Systems, and Restoration Ecology. Graduate students will benefit from her expertise and she will also work on developing research projects in the region collaborating with CFE faculty, students, and other researchers.

Israel’s River Water Isotope and Chloride Study Results To Be Presented on June 22

June 22nd, 2011 by June

The Center for the Environment (CFE) at Plymouth State University has been working with the Israel’s River Volunteer Advisory Group on monitoring the river’s water isotope and winter chloride Levels. On Wednesday, June 22, 7 pm at the Jefferson Town Hall, the Jefferson Conservation Commission will host a talk and discussion about the results of this project. The public is invited to attend.

New Publications

May 18th, 2011 by June

Assistant professor Mark Green recently co-authored a paper titled “Historical Legacies, Information and Contemporary Water Science and Management“. The article was published in Water, an open access journal on water science and technology, including the ecology and management of water resources.

CFE’s work with the White Mountain National Forest on monitoring water quality at the site of the former Ore Hill Mine was included in an article in Technology News and Trends, a newsletter about soil, sediment, and groundwater characterization and remediation technologies published by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate Change Research: Studying the North Atlantic Oscillation

May 16th, 2011 by June

By Lisa Doner

The Center for the Environment makes its debut in climate change research with a $612,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study decadal cyclicity in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) proxies from northwest Iceland lake sediments. The project includes 3 summers of field work in Iceland, analyses of approximately one thousand sediment and water samples, and acquisition of three pieces of major equipment: a laser particle-size analyzer, a freeze-drier, and a turbidity-triggered, automated water sampler. Student research is also a part of this project.

Understanding Regional Water Resources with Isotopes

May 16th, 2011 by June

By Mark Green

We’re surrounded by a bunch of odd, but harmless, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. These atoms are isotopes, meaning that they have extra neutrons. Hydrogen-2 has one extra neutron and occurs about once per every 6800 hydrogen atoms in New England waters; oxygen-18 has two extra neutrons and occurs about once per every 500 oxygen atoms in New England waters. These isotopes are stable and are very useful for understanding how water moves in watersheds because some water sources have different amounts of these stable isotopes. For example, snow looks really different than rain with regards to oxygen and hydrogen isotopes.

Tracing Source Waters in the Pemigewasset River Watershed

May 16th, 2011 by June

By Kristin Brandt, Graduate Student

I am using water stable isotopes of oxygen-18 and hydrogen-2 to trace waters in the Pemigewasset River Watershed. This research has great potential to provide some unexpected knowledge of the hydrology in the region. My study area is 622 square miles and includes sampling of the Pemigewasset River, the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, the Lost River/Moosilauke Brook, Hubbard Brook and its tributary Paradise Brook, the Mad River, and the Baker River and its tributary Clay Brook. I am also sampling groundwater wells and rainfall. From the samples I collect I can determine if water in the streams looks more like groundwater or more like rain. In addition to collecting isotope samples, I am also measuring pH, temperature, and conductivity of the streams and groundwater. With these measurements I can determine if groundwater entering the stream can explain changes in pH in the river and if temperature can be used as effectively as isotopes to determine whether or not groundwater is entering the stream. I am using a combination of statistical, graphical, and GIS techniques to analyze my data.

Spring News from the Environmental Research Laboratory

May 16th, 2011 by June

by Aaron Johnson

The Environmental Research Laboratory is gearing up for the 2011 sampling season.  This summer, we will continue its collaboration with NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to provide support and analysis for volunteer lake and river monitoring groups in the northern part of the state. Last summer’s work led to the addition of 8 new lakes in Coos County to the state Volunteer Lake Assessment Program, and we anticipate more lake groups using our lab in the future.

CFE Students Present at Research Symposium

May 4th, 2011 by June

Several Center for the Environment graduates students in PSU’s MS in Environmental Science and Policy program presented posters at Plymouth State’s Scientific Research Symposium on April 29, 2011. The symposium was designed to highlight student research projects at PSU.

Students posters included:

CFE Presentation at Meeting of NH Arc Users Group

April 18th, 2011 by June

Lisa Doner, Research Assistant Professor, and Christina Maki, MS Candidate in Environmental Science & Policy, will be speaking at the New Hampshire Arc Users Group Meeting on April 20, 2011. Their talk is on “Tracking Geochemical Sources in an Iceland Watershed”.

The NH Arc Users Group is an informal group that meets several times a year for professional development and networking opportunities around GIS-related topics. For more information, visit their website.

Ice Jam and Flooding Provide Learning Opportunity

March 11th, 2011 by June

Students in PSU’s graduate course in Watershed Hydrology got a lesson in the dynamics of the Pemigewasset River on March 7, 2011. Heavy rains (4 inches recorded at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest) on March 6th and 7th created a combination of runoff, melting, and ice jams on the river which formed on the river causing local flooding, but also provided an  example of how real time data can help understand the water flows.

Assistant professor Mark Green changed his teaching plans to incorporate data from the US Geological Survey river gage in Plymouth. “Seeing the ice jam and then looking at the data from the river provided the students with a chance to explore how these types of events happen,” said Green. “It prompted discussions about how dynamic watershed processes can be and the challenges of forecasting floods.”

Marguerite Crowell, a student in the class commented that, “The data show how early in the rain event the increasing temperature of the river due to the rain led to river ice breaking up and collecting to form the ice jam.  This all occurred in a short amount of time.  Predictions can be made based on the data, and with models. Focusing on this current event allowed us to make connections to our local environment.

Data about the river are available at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nh/nwis/uv?site_no=01076500.

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