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.

Plymouth State University and Newfound Lake Region Association Pledge to Protect NH’s Fourth Largest Lake and its Watershed

January 14th, 2015 by June
Plymouth State University and the Newfound Lake Region Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating a partnership allowing graduate students to work with NLRA through hands-on education, while the NLRA receives resources from PSU. In photo, front left, NLRA President Rob Moore signs agreement with PSU President Sara Jayne Steen. From left, back row, PSU’s Center for the Environment Associate Director June Hammond Rowan, NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith, Andrew Vielleux, NLRA Program Manager and Joseph Boyer, Director, PSU’s Center for the Environment.

Plymouth State University and the Newfound Lake Region Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating a partnership allowing graduate students to work with NLRA through hands-on education, while the NLRA receives resources from PSU. In photo, front left, NLRA President Rob Moore signs agreement with PSU President Sara Jayne Steen. From left, back row, PSU’s Center for the Environment Associate Director June Hammond Rowan, NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith, Andrew Vielleux, NLRA Program Manager and Joseph Boyer, Director, PSU’s Center for the Environment.

PLYMOUTH, N.H.– A partnership between Newfound Lake Region Association (NLRA) and Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) will provide new resources for protecting and improving the health of New Hampshire’s fourth largest lake and its watershed, and more opportuniti

es for PSU students to gain environmental management and protection experience. Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said the five-year memorandum of understanding signed on January 12 will benefit the University and the region.

“This new relationship charts a path to broadened environmental literacy, effective management policies and stewardship surrounding watershed ecosystems,” said Steen. “Our undergraduate and graduate students will benefit greatly from the opportunity to engage with NLRA through hands-on education that has real-world outcomes.”

Located ten miles southwest of Plymouth amidst a beautiful vista of mountains and small towns, Newfound Lake is one of New Hampshire’s cleanest and clearest lakes, with a watershed ecosystem encompassing more than 63,000 acres. Because of its scenic appeal, development pressures and recreational use pose significant threats to the surrounding land and water quality. NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith believes the MOU will facilitate research, monitoring, education and stewardship of the lake and its watershed.

“I see this as a natural extension of work we’ve already started,” Smith said. “Furthermore, PSU students will get an enhanced educational experience while helping us protect the watershed, which serves the public good.” CFE Director Joseph Boyer noted that PSU and NLRA have collaborated previously on a watershed protection master plan project and that this agreement will benefit both groups. “The student experience is key,” Boyer said. “There are great opportunities for PSU students to participate in management, planning, policy and water-quality monitoring projects and interact with NLRA staff who may come to campus to teach a class or offer their expertise in the field.”

Newfound Lake, photo courtesy Newfound Lake Region Association.

Newfound Lake, photo courtesy Newfound Lake Region Association.

“The intent is to create a framework for sharing resources and ideas, identifying what we’ve already accomplished and what still needs to be done,” said June Hammond Rowan ’11EdD, CFE’s associate director and research assistant professor. “Our goal is that projects our students and faculty participate in make a significant difference for the Newfound watershed,” she added.

While pursuing his master’s degree in environmental science and policy at PSU, Andrew Veilleux ’13G completed an internship at the Squam Lakes Association in Holderness, NH. That opportunity provided him with applied education experience that helped prepare him for his career. Veilleux currently serves as NLRA’s program manager. “I see a lot of opportunities in this relationship,” Veilleux said. “The theory learned in the classroom and the ‘hands-on’ experience are a great combination. What I learned at PSU through my master’s program is parallel to what I’m doing now.”

Boyer believes the partnership will open up avenues to new resources for both NLRA and PSU, including community and federal grants. “The NLRA has access to funding to help meet environmental protection and monitoring goals, while PSU can provide expertise and resources that NLRA doesn’t have, such as our faculty, to help meet their needs,” Boyer said.

“We’re a small organization with a huge mission,” said Rob Moore, NLRA President. “We have a lot of challenges in protecting the lake and the watershed; we’re very excited about this partnership.” PSU and NLRA officials expect to convene an annual meeting with area stakeholders, such as business people, students, faculty and environmental advocates to discuss current and future projects.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

Shannon Rogers – Working with NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship

December 17th, 2014 by June
Photo by Chelsea Berg

Photo by Chelsea Berg

Shannon Rogers was a co-author on a recently accepted project proposal, The Social Indicator Project: Integrating social science into ecosystem management for New Hampshire’s estuaries, for a NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship and will serve on the project Steering Committee.

In 2013-2014, Rogers (supported by PSU CFE and NH EPSCoR) partnered with the Piscataqua Region Estuary Partnership (PREP) to design and deploy a region and state-wide Water and Watershed Survey. The goal of the survey was to understand how New Hampshire residents, use and value water resources. The survey also aimed to identify residents’ behaviors and habits in relation to non-point source pollution sources (lawn fertilizer, residential stormwater management) and overall water quality and quantity, as well as willingness to pay and level of political will to implement policies to control pollution. Understanding residents’ behavior guides a more cost-effective targeting of outreach and education efforts and helps evaluate whether efforts to improve these behaviors are making a difference. The NOAA Coastal Management Fellow will use the baseline understanding achieved through this survey to build the social indicator development process. The goal is to systematically integrate social science into ecosystem management for New Hampshire’s estuaries.

A fellow will be recruited through the NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship Program 2015-2017.

Rogers and her students are currently engaged in research focused on socio-ecological issues in Great Bay. The Social Indicator Project will provide an excellent opportunity to build on existing work by applying social science methods to answer important management questions and ultimately improve ecosystem health in coastal New Hampshire and more broadly throughout the state.

MS in Environmental Science & Policy and Graduate Research Assistantships

December 17th, 2014 by June

001Plymouth State University (PSU), Plymouth, NH, is inviting applications for its MS program in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P). The MS in ES&P is coordinated by PSU’s Department of ES&P and the Center for the Environment (CFE). Students will have opportunities to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and scientists from other academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations including organizations such as Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, White Mountains National Forest, and NH Department of Environmental Services, and the Squam Lakes Association.

Students accepted to PSU’s MS in ESP may be eligible for graduate research assistantships (GRA). For academic year 2015-16, we anticipate four GRAs in the areas of hydrology, environmental social sciences, ecosystem services, climate change, ecological economics, limnogeology, landscape ecology, or a combination of those topics. Students receiving assistantships will conduct field sampling, analytical and/or theoretical work on projects related to our mission, and/or serve as teaching assistants. These assistantships provide a unique opportunity to work with a diverse cohort of students and mentors from a broad array of disciplines focusing on the environment.

Assistantships are contingent on acceptance into the MS program in Environmental Science and Policyand typically provide a stipend of $8-15K and up to 15 credits of tuition per year. Applications to the MS in ES&P are submitted to PSU’s  Graduate Studies. For more information about the MS in ES&P, please contact MS ES&P Program Coordinator and Associate Director of CFE, June Hammond Rowan (jhammondrowan@plymouth.edu).


Graduate Assistant Opportunity in Ecosystem Services

December 1st, 2014 by June

The Center for the Environment (CFE) and the Masters of Science Program Environmental Science & Policy at Plymouth State University (PSU) seeks applicants for a unique and exciting graduate research assistant (GRA) position to be focused on view-shed understanding and valuation.


Photo by Shannon Rogers

Ecosystems in New Hampshire and the surrounding Northern Forest Region provide a wide range of services that are critical to the region’s inhabitants and the high quality of life they enjoy.  Recent and proposed large-scale energy projects in the region have highlighted the value of views in a regional economy that has historically been strongly dependent upon tourism. Understanding how resources can be managed for multiple ecosystem services within valuable view-sheds is critical for environmental decision making at the State & Regional level.

Website Review – Input needed!

November 18th, 2014 by June

Climate & Lakes websiteThroughout this year Melanie Perello, a Master’s student in Environmental Science and Policy at Plymouth State University, has been working in Squam Lake and Ossipee Lake for her thesis research. The project is looking at water quality and its relationship with climate and weather events. As part of her project, she has developed a website to provide information to the local community about this project and the current status of these lakes. To evaluate this website she has developed a survey for website viewers to assess their understanding of the project and to get feedback. Please take a few minutes to look at the website and take the short survey. Thank you!

Building Community Resilience

October 30th, 2014 by June

Dr. Kathleen Bush

In collaboration with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Kathleen Bush will be involved with two newly funded projects focusing on building capacity for climate change adaptation in the state of New Hampshire. This work is part of DHHS’s Climate and Public Health Program through the Center for Disease Control’s Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative,

The overarching goal of these two projects is to build capacity in the New Hampshire public health system for using environmental health data effectively. As an environmental epidemiologist, Bush will focus on evaluating the linkages between climate-related factors such as temperature and precipitation and several health outcomes including heat-related illness, gastrointestinal illness, asthma, and vector-borne diseases.

This work is directly aligned with the goals of the Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network to build significant capacity for improving community health through the meaningful use and application of environmental health data. New Hampshire’s EPHT program will help establish and maintain a state tracking network to obtain integrated health and environmental data and use it to provide information in support of actions that improve the health of communities.

Several partners are involved in this work including Matt Cahillane and Thomas Lambert from NH DHHS, Roger Stephenson from Stephenson Strategic Communications, and the NH Climate and Health Working Group.

The two projects will focus on the development of web-based data platforms to inform local decision making. One project focused on Heatwave Warning Systems will work to assure that the National Weather Service criteria is appropriate for the protection of the region’s current population and that public health officials can use the notification products effectively to protect public health. In subsequent years the project will focus on communications and outreach activities to ensure end users understand the meaning, validity, and utility of the new warning system. A second project will focus on extreme precipitation and water quality. Effective prediction models and data surveillance combined with early warning tools will provide decision-relevant data at multiple scales for beach managers, local health officers, watershed protection groups, and the general public. These projects will have a large community engagement component in order to assess end-user needs and build a surveillance/warning tool that meets the needs of partners and builds general capacity for monitoring and responding to changing environmental conditions.

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