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.

Brian Eisenhauer Named CFE Interim Director

September 16th, 2010 by June

Dr. Brian Eisenhauer has been named interim director of the Center for the Environment. The change in leadership, according to University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Julie Bernier, will ensure the Center for the Environment continues to develop partnerships and work together to provide applied research on behalf of the lakes region and White Mountains.  Brian was an inaugural member of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) and its co-chair, as well as having served as Associate Director of the Center for the Environment.  Bernier said Eisenhauer is well-qualified and respected by his peers.

“Brian has been an exceptional Associate Director for the Center,” said Bernier. “I am confident in his ability to work with the team and our partners to move the mission of the Center forward.” 

Fall Term Begins

September 16th, 2010 by June

This fall, the Center welcomes six new graduate students to the MS in Environmental Science and Policy program. These students have come from New Hampshire to Alaska to engage in environmental science courses and research projects. An orientation was recently held to introduce them to the program, PSU, and Plymouth.

Center to Host 2011 NH Water & Watershed Conference

September 7th, 2010 by June

The 2nd New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference will be held on March 25 & 26, 2011 at Plymouth State University. The Center for the Environment is a sponsor and host of the conference.

The call for abstracts is available and abstracts are due October 29, 2010. Conference sponsors, exhibitors, and room sponsors are also being sought.

Israel’s River Project Data Presented at Jefferson Conservation Commission Meeting

July 22nd, 2010 by June

During the late winter and early spring of 2010, the Center for the Environment, with assistance from th Israel’s River Volunteer Advisory Group ,tested the Israel’s River  in Jefferson and Lancaster, NH for chloride. While chloride occurs naturally in our water sources, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services reports that testing over the last 25 years has indicated that chloride levels have increased steadily and substantially in some of New Hampshire’s freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and groundwater. It is believed that road salt is the source of this increase level of chloride.

Electronic Water SensorOn May 18, 2010, Mark Green and Aaron Johnson from the Center for the Environment present the results of the recent testing of the Israel’s River at a meeting of the Jefferson Conservation Commission. Samples were taken from the river at various times and a sensor was also put into the river in Lancaster. The sensor provided data every 15 minutes and could be compared to the less frequent physical samples that were analyzed at the Center’s Environmental Research Laboratory.

The results indicate that the Israel’s River has low levels of chloride, but Center hopes to continue testing the river in the future to better understand the dynamics of chloride.

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