As Time Passes Over the Land

February 9th, 2011 by June

Plymouth State University’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery and White Mountains Institute present As Time Passes Over the Land, paintings of the White Mountains, February 8–April 9 at the Drerup Gallery.

The exhibition includes 29 works by 20 artists. White Mountain School painting has long been admired for the ways in which artists captured and embellished the natural beauty of the region. Equally embedded in those paintings is evidence of environmental change, from the impact of settlers’ activities including clear-cutting, hunting and farming, to the industrial practices of pulp mills and mines.

The text for the exhibition catalog was written by PSU professors: historian Marcia Schmidt Blaine and the Center for the Environment’s hydrologist Mark Green, and reflects the interdisciplinary approach of the exhibition.

Exhibition information is online at

Spring 2011 Environmental Science Colloquium

February 1st, 2011 by June

Come join us for our spring semester Environmental Science Colloquium on Wednesday afternoons from 4-5 pm at the Boyd Science Center, Room 001. The talks cover a wide range of topics around environmental science and sustainability. The colloquium is available for graduate credit and we also invite the community to come for free. This spring, the Colloquium is sponsored by the Center for the Environment and the White Mountains Institute. For more information, contact Doug Earick or Kim Duncan. Read on for the complete list of dates and speakers.

Davis Conservation Foundation Supporting CFE’s Water Quality Monitoring Work

February 1st, 2011 by June

CFE recently received funding from the Davis Conservation Foundation to enhance the monitoring of surface water bodies in New Hampshire’s North Country. In 2011, we will be working on developing a network of volunteers serving to help with water quality monitoring.

New Hampshire relies on volunteers to help monitor water quality through the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ (DES) Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP) and Volunteer River Assessment Program (VRAP). CFE’s Environmental Research Laboratory works with VLAP and VRAP volunteers providing sampling equipment, analyzing water samples, and reporting the results to both DES and volunteers. “We provide a convenient location for volunteers in the North Country and Lakes Region,” said Aaron Johnson, senior laboratory technician.

Happy Holidays from the Center for the Environment

December 14th, 2010 by June

Center for the EnvironmentThe Center for the Environment (CFE) opened in 2004 to assist the region with addressing environmental science questions through research, education and collaboration. Working with students, faculty, and off-campus partners, our goal is to define, acquire, and provide science-based knowledge that can be used to make informed decisions. After five years as associate director, Brian Eisenhauer is currently interim director of the Center and June Hammond Rowan is serving as interim associate director.

This fall we welcomed five new graduate students to PSU’s MS in Environmental Science and Policy program which we coordinate with the College of Graduate Studies. Since 2005, thirteen students have completed their degree and many remain in New Hampshire in a variety of positions related to their work at CFE. Our program is small providing meaningful courses, individualized instruction, and research experiences for these students.

PSU Partners with White Mountain National Forest in Water Testing

December 10th, 2010 by June

This year, Plymouth State University’s (PSU) Center for the Environment and the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) have worked together on assessing the condition of water bodies within the national forest in New Hampshire and eastern Maine.

“The Forest Service has a responsibility to ensure that state water quality standards are met while at the same time allowing the WMNF to support a variety of uses such as recreation, forestry, and wildlife habitat,” said Sheela Johnson, WMNF hydrologist. “One way we do this is to collect water samples from streams, ponds, and wetlands throughout the forest and analyze the samples monitor the water quality.”

The WMNF asked the Center for the Environment to assist in collecting water samples and other field data, and managing those data for future use. Mark Green, the Center’s hydrologist, worked with James Sherrard on the project giving him valuable applied work experience in hydrology and land management.

Recreating America’s Colonial Hydrologic History

December 1st, 2010 by June


Cover of December 1, 2010 issue of Environmental Science & Technology

Mark Green, assistant professor of hydrology at the Center for the Environment and research hydrologist at the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, is co-author of a feature article about historical hydrology in the December 1, 2010 journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The article, titled “Tapping Environmental History to Recreate America’s Colonial Hydrology”, describes the process used in a National Science Foundation funded research project that looked at recreating the colonial hydrologic history in America. Mark was the project leader and was responsible for coordinating a large team of interdisciplinary researchers. The team’s work provides a new way of uncovering the hydrology of the past and will lead to a better understanding of hydrologic systems now and in the future.

Research Professor Lisa Doner Awarded NSF Grant

October 22nd, 2010 by June

In the northern part of Iceland an unknown force is creating mysterious changes in the mud of its deepest lakes. Every 80-100 years, the chemical fingerprint of the lake mud changes dramatically for a brief time and then returns to what it was before. This bizarre cyclical behavior has been going on for at least 900 years and nothing like it has been reported anywhere else in the world. If Lisa Doner is right, the answer to this mystery lies in a climate feature called the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Doner, a research professor at the Center for the Environment at Plymouth State University, was recently awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the deposits in the bottom of lakes in Iceland and how the North Atlantic Oscillation affects the process of deposition. Doner explains, “The North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO for short, and a related, larger circulation pattern called the Arctic Oscillation (AO), together control most of the Northern Hemisphere’s year-to-year atmospheric variation. The NAO and AO have been credited with causing many of the recent patterns of drought, flooding and severe weather in North America, Europe and the Middle-East, including last winter’s repeated snowstorms in the southeast and the colder and wetter winters in NH.”

So why is Iceland the only region that seems to show this phenomenon? And how does this relate to our regional climate?

Doug Earick Awarded NH Department of Education Grant

October 22nd, 2010 by June

Research assistant professor Doug Earick, in collaboration with PSU’s Department of Education’s Early Childhood Program, has received a Mathematics & Science Partnership grant from the NH Department of Education for a project on Teacher as Researcher: The role of inquiry, and learning progressions through environmental science studies. Over the next year, this $75,000 grant will focus on teacher professional development for up to thirty K-5 teachers from the Newfound School District in the use of inquiry in science education utilizing the field of environmental studies. 

The project will provide a variety of outreach services to the teachers and schools in the project including:

  • embedded professional development through monthly workshops with a focus on K-5 requirements as outlined in the New Hampshire Frameworks targeting the recognition and understanding of learning progressions,
  • technical and instructional assistance in the development of inquiry-based curriculum utilizing science progressions and in the design of authentic assessments to benefit inquiry approaches with K-5 children that are geographic and culturally relevant to the schools represented in this project,
  • mentorship in the application, implementation, and analysis of systemic action research, and
  • collaborative publication and presentation opportunities. 

Mark Green to Lead Cyberseminar on 10/1/10

September 27th, 2010 by June

Hydrologist Mark Green from the Center for the Environment will present a cyberseminar on October 1, 2010 at 3 pm for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). Mark’s talk is titled “Extracting characteristic hydrologic patterns from many catchments: the case of stream water total nitrogen to total phosphorus ratios.” For more information and participate in the seminar, visit the CUAHSI Web site.

CUAHSI is a consortium of universities, colleges, and research institutions in the United States and around the world. They enable the water science community to advance the understanding of water and its centrality to life, earth, and human society.


Fall 2010 Colloquium

September 21st, 2010 by June

Come join us for our fall colloquium. Each Wednesday afternoon from 4-5 pm the Center for the Environment hosts a speaker for our colloquium series in room 001 of the Boyd Science Center. The talks cover a wide range of topics around environmental science and sustainability. The colloquium is available for graduate credit and we also invite the community to come for free. For more information, contact Angela Uhlman. Read on for the complete list of dates and speakers.

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

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