Jonathon Loos Awarded American Rivers’ Lapham Fellowship

March 25th, 2015 by June

LoosFellowship315 006Jonathon Loos, a graduate student in Plymouth State University’s Master of Science program in Environmental Science and Policy and the Center for the Environment, has been awarded the American Rivers’ Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship. This fellowship honors the memory of Anthony A. Lapham who served for many years on the board of American Rivers, including as its Chairman.

The Lapham Fellowship provides an excellent professional development opportunity for talented post-graduates pursuing careers as leaders in the field of conservation advocacy. One recipient is selected every two years out of a national pool of applicants. The goals of the Lapham Fellowship Program are to develop the next generation of conservation leaders, and to generate research products that directly support the mission and goals of American Rivers. Lapham Fellows focus on an applied research project that will make a tangible contribution to American River’s mission, develop advocacy skills and create a network of professional contacts.

During this two-year fellowship, Loos will work in Washington, DC with the American Rivers Director of Restoration Policy to carry out a collaborative project focused within the Connecticut River watershed and contribute to current policy initiatives within the American Rivers organization. His proposed research project will examine the ecological and social benefits that come from intact floodplain ecosystems, and will generate frameworks for including local values in management of floodplains at local and regional community levels.

Collecting Sediment Core Samples From Kezar Lake

March 11th, 2015 by June

Contributed by Lucy LaCasse, Kezar Lake Association, Stoneham Maine

Preparing to lower the sediment core sampling apparatus through the ice at Kezar Lake with Dr. Lisa Doner of PSU; Field Martin, a PSU undergraduate student in Environmental Science and Policy; Don Griggs, chair of the Kezar Lake Watershed Association's Climate Change Observatory; and Jay Hunter, a community volunteer.

Preparing to lower the sediment core sampling apparatus through the ice at Kezar Lake with Dr. Lisa Doner of PSU; Field Martin, a PSU undergraduate student in Environmental Science and Policy; Don Griggs, chair of the Kezar Lake Watershed Association’s Climate Change Observatory; and Jay Hunter, a community volunteer.

Given the recent pattern of heavy snows, high winds, and bitter cold, we lucked out with February 28 as our chosen day to collect sediment core samples from the bottom of Kezar Lake, in Lovell. Though last Saturday dawned with sub-zero temperatures, the day warmed beautifully to the mid-20’s and provided cloudless skies, brilliant sunshine, and barely a breeze: absolutely perfect conditions for a day on the ice.

The coring effort, organized by the Kezar Lake Watershed Association’s Climate Change Observatory, is a collaboration with Dr. Lisa Doner at Plymouth State University (PSU), New Hampshire. Doner is a paleolimnologist (the study of past changes in lake environments) in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and a researcher at PSU’s Center for the Environment. With the logistical and moral support of 26 volunteers from the Kezar Lake area, Doner and five PSU students transformed our normal weekend routine into an actual scientific field expedition.

Melanie Perello Awarded International Phycological Society’s Paul C. Silva Grant

February 24th, 2015 by June

February 24th, 2015 by blyndes

PSU graduate student Melanie Perello has received a prestigious grant to study water quality in New Hampshire’s Ossipee and Squam Lakes.

PSU graduate student Melanie Perello has received a prestigious grant to study water quality in New Hampshire’s Ossipee and Squam Lakes.

Plymouth, N.H.– A Plymouth State University graduate student has received a prestigious grant to study water quality in New Hampshire’s Ossippee and Squam Lakes.

Melanie Perello, a second-year graduate student in PSU’s Environmental Science and Policy program, is the inaugural recipient of the International Phycological Society’s (IPC) Paul C. Silva grant. This award for student-led research on algae supports Perello’s Master of Science thesis, a collaborative project with the Center for the Environment, the Squam Lakes Association and the Green Mountain Conservation Group, to monitor various indicators of water quality, including diatoms (algae), in the two lakes.

“Specifically, I am looking at diatom fossils preserved in the sediments of Ossipee and Squam Lakes,” said Perello. “Both of these lakes are important resources for drinking water and recreation, as well as vital habitat for sensitive wildlife. The quality of these lakes is continually threatened by changing climate, nutrient pollution, and shoreline development. Diatoms can be used as an indicator of lake water quality and the fossils allow us to infer past water quality and climate, providing a long-term record for each lake.”

Perello’s research expands upon historical and current data gathered by lake water quality assessment volunteers in New Hampshire by combining it with new, year-round water quality monitoring and lake sediment archives analyses.

“Melanie is targeting two regions within New Hampshire that have very active volunteer monitoring programs and whose lake associations are concerned about future influences on water quality by land-use and climate change,” said PSU Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Lisa Doner, who also serves as Perello’s advisor. “The support from the International Phycological Society will assist Melanie in meeting her research goals and also support the region through applied environmental science.”

“We will be able to tell residents the history of water quality in those two lakes, the changes that have occurred and what those changes are related to,” added Perello.

Perello is a native of Poland, Ohio, and earned her undergraduate degree at Westminster College.

The IPC is dedicated to the development of phycology (the study of algae), the distribution of phycological information and international cooperation among phycologists and phycological organizations. Dr. Paul Claude Silva (1922-2014) helped organize the IPC in 1960 and is regarded as a leader in the field of algae study. He spent most of his working life at the University of California-Berkeley and the Jepson Herbarium. The grant includes funding for travel to meetings and workshops in which the student is presenting work on algae research projects.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or

CFE Celebrates Winter

February 20th, 2015 by June
MS ESP Graduate Students enjoying the skiing and riding

MS ESP Graduate Students enjoying the skiing and riding

Each year at Plymouth State University, winter is celebrated with Winter Carnival. For a day in February, students, faculty and staff enjoy a day of being outside and having fun in the snow. It is great time to spend time with each other in a relaxed setting, practice winter sports, and just have fun.

Nordic Skiing in Waterville Valley

Nordic Skiing in Waterville Valley

photo 4

Students and faculty snowshoeing in Waterville Valley

Students and faculty snowshoeing in Waterville Valley

Student Posters Win at NHANRS Meeting

February 13th, 2015 by June

NHANRS Color LogoGraduate students Chelsea Berg and Jennifer Bell attended the 2015 New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists (NHANRS) 2015 Annual Meeting in January where they presented posters on their research as part of a student poster competition. Jen was awarded first prize and Chelsea won second prize in the poster competition.

The students also had the opportunity to discuss their work with environmental consultants, researchers, teachers, and other local professionals. Eight speakers, including CFE affiliate Scott Bailey, covered a variety of topics including hydrology of upland soils, updates to national hydric soil indicators, updates to NH Department of Environmental Services wetland rules, new resources for permitting, an overview of the State’s wetland mitigation program, a proposed bill for watershed planning in the Great Bay basin, an update on MS4 permitting, and a report on the statewide culvert data collection.


Students Present at ACES Conference

February 13th, 2015 by June
Chelsea Berg at ACES

Chelsea Berg at ACES

In December, two graduate students, Chelsea Berg and Jonathon Loos,  attended an ACES, A Community on Ecosystem Services Conference in Washington DC entitled Linking Science, Practice, and Decision Making.  The week-long conference was packed with amazing presentations about ecosystem services work around the globe. Jonathon Loos presented his thesis work on incorporating ecosystem services into decision-making surrounding climate adaptation and flooding. Chelsea Berg presented her thesis work on modeling the ecosystem service of nutrient retention for the Great Bay Estuary in New Hampshire and Maine. Jonathon and Chelsea both volunteered as A.V. Technicians during the conference, and while working a Plenary Session, Chelsea was invited onstage! (see photo) Overall, both students gained incredible insight and enjoyed representing PSU & CFE. The student’s work is supported by NH EPSCoR and Shannon Rogers serves as their advisor.

CBerg ACESPosters:

Jonathon Loos

Jonathon Loos

Spring 2015 Environmental Science Colloquium

February 10th, 2015 by June

PSU CenterEnvironment_Spring2015ColloquiumPoster_661674The Center for the Environment is hosting The Environmental Science Colloquium this spring. The Colloquium series is for students, faculty, and the public and we invite all to come hear the latest on environmental research and topics of interest to our region. Talks are at 4 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001.

Jan. 28: Where do forests end and streams begin? Seeing the forest for the streams. Scott Bailey, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

Feb. 18: Multi-jurisdictional lake management: the role the Squam Lakes Association plays in conservation and recreational use. E.B. James, Executive Director, Squam Lakes Association

Feb. 25: Refuge in the Whites: Why is warming weaker at higher elevations in New England? Eric Kelsey, Research Assistant Professor and Director of Research at the Mount Washington Observatory

Mar. 11: Reconstructing lake thermal structure in a changing climate. Jasmine Saros, Associate Director & Professor Climate Change Institute & School of Biology & Ecology, University of Maine

Mar. 25: Cape Wind renewable energy project. Charlie Natale, President & CEO ESS Group

Apr. 15: Resilience of New Hampshire’s Hydrology to Disturbance. Mark Green, Associate Professor of Hydrology Plymouth State University

Apr. 22: Growing Granite…Joys and Challenges of Farming in New Hampshire. Suzanne Brown, Executive Director, New Hampshire Institute of Agriculture and Forestry

Center for the Environment Hosts Regional Conservation Meeting

February 5th, 2015 by June

Feb 2015 Conservation RoundtableOn the evening of the 3rd of February, members of the Central New Hampshire Conservation Commission Roundtable met at Plymouth State University for a discussion of topical conservation issues in central New Hampshire.

The evening began with a short presentation by Dr. Amy Villamagna, PSU’s assistant professor of environmental science and policy, on her study of the relationship of conservation easements in Virginia/North Carolina to the provision of ecosystem services. She found that in many ways private easements had similar if not more value than land purchases by governmental bodies because those easements were “closer” to population centers where the demand for services were greater. Following Amy’s talk Representative Suzanne Smith and Nik Coates (Exec. Director of the NH Association of Conservation Commissions) presented an overview of what was happening in Concord. The rest of the evening was given over to short updates by attendees.

Groups represented included the conservation commissions from Hebron, Holderness, Plymouth, and Rumney; land trusts including Squam Lakes Conservation Society, Lakes Region Conservation Society, Pemi-Baker Land Trust; and state and local conservation groups including The Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Baker River Watershed Association, Loon Preservation Society, Newfound Lake Region Association, White Mountain National Forest/Pemi Ranger District, Friends of the Pemi-Livermore Falls group, and Squam Lakes Association. The meeting was co-sponsored by PSU’s Center for the Environment and the Holderness Conservation Commission. Thanks go to Larry Spencer (PSU & Holderness Conservation Commission) for organizing and providing cookies.

Ashley Hyde to Present at PRLAC Meeting, March 2, 2015, 7 pm

February 4th, 2015 by June

SAM_1825On March 2, 2015  at the Pemi River Local Advisory Committee (PRLAC) meeting, Ashley Hyde, hydrologic technician for the Center for Environment at PSU, will present water quality data from the 11 LoVoTECS sites that lay within the Pemigewasset River catchment.

The goal of this month’s PRLAC meeting is to review goals and priorities for the coming year and to review local water quality data. There is now 2.5 years of continuous data from these local rivers and streams from the LoVoTECS project. Ashley will update the group about the specific conductivity and nutrient levels in our local systems, compare storm responses in different parts of the watershed, and take a close look at winter from a storm drain’s point of view.

The meeting is open to the public and held at 7 pm at the Pease Public Library in Plymouth, NH. (Note: this meeting was originally scheduled for February 24, 2015)

Jamie Sydoriak ’14G – Research project article

January 16th, 2015 by June

Jamie - newsletter photoJamie Sydoriak’s, ’14G, research project on grassland birds in the Upper Valley was recently featured in the Vermont Center for Ecosystems’ Field Notes newsletter. The article outlines her work with landowners and developing new strategies for managing grasslands to preserve critical bird habitat. Jamie completed her MS in Environmental Science and Policy at Plymouth State in the spring of 2014 and Len Reitsma served as her research advisor.

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