Spring 2016 Environmental Science Colloquium

January 20th, 2016 by June

Colloquium Spring 2016Please join us for the Spring 2016 Environmental Science Colloquium. 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. We look forward to seeing you!

January 27 – Environmental Security in West Africa: Engagement on Sustainable Forestry and Landscape, Clare Mendelsohn, Deputy Supervisor, White Mountain National Forest

February 17 – Extreme precipitation in the Northeast: atmospheric processes and forecasting challenges
Benjamin Moore, SUNY Albany

February 24 – Atmospheric rivers and the great New England flood of March 1936, Jason Cordeira, Department of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry, and Center for the Environment

March 9 – Mary Ann McGarry, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and Center for the Environment

March 23 – Tracking Seasons & Climate Change in the Northern Appalachians, Georgia Murray, Appalachian Mountain Club

March 30 – Regionally occurring chemicals of regulatory concern at the BMI Industrial Complex, Henderson, NV, Paul Hackenberry, Hackenberry Associates, LLC

April 20 -Have your read any good books lately? A review of some recent books in environmental history
Larry Spencer, Department of Biology, and Center for the Environment

Michele Pruyn

July 22nd, 2015 by June

After a long illness, Michele Pruyn passed away on July 17, 2015 surrounded by family and friends.

Michele was an Associate Professor of Plant Biology and an affiliate faculty member in the Center for the Environment. Prior to coming to PSU in 2006, Michele earned her PhD in Wood Science and Forest Science from Oregon State University, an MS in  Botany and Plant Pathology from Michigan State University, and a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Michele was a dedicated teacher who loved working with students. Her teaching areas included: Biological Science I, Plants and Civilization, Botany, Evolution, and Plant Physiology. As a tree eco-physiologist she researched factors controlling tree species distributions in the northern hardwood forest. Her most recent work focused on investigating the long term effects of acid rain on tree health and productivity. She was also interested in the physiological differences among tree species (especially yellow birch) along environmental gradients, such as elevation, aspect and changing soil characteristics.

Over the years Michele mentored many undergraduate students in her plant physiology lab, and served as a thesis advisor for graduate students in the M.S. in Biology and M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy programs.

Michele played a leadership role in CFE’s NSF-funded Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. During her time at PSU she also served on the Research Advisory Council, the Curriculum Committee, and the Campus Community Council, among many other activities.

Michele will be missed by the PSU community for, among many other things, her signature smile and her deep love and commitment to her students.  She is survived by her husband and two boys.

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.


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.

2014 Spring Science Colloquium

January 21st, 2014 by June

Please join us on Wednesdays at 4 pm in Boyd Science Center, Room 001 for the 2014 Spring Science Colloquium. Each term, we offer a variety of talks and speakers covering diverse topics. For more information contact Angie Preisendorfer (603-535-3179) or Shannon Rogers.

  • February 26 – The Geology of New Hampshire’s White  Mountains, Richard Boisvert, NH State Archaeologist; J. Dykstra Eusden, Bates College; Brian Fowler, Mt. Washington Observatory; Woody Thompson, Maine Geological Survey (Presenters will also be available for book signing.)
  • March 12 – A Day  in the Life of a County Forester: Working with New Hampshire’s Private Woodlot Owners to Be the Best Stewards of the Land, David Falkenham, Grafton County Extension Forester, UNH Cooperative Extension
  • March 26 – The Changing Climate of Science, Politics and Climate Change, Roger Stephenson, Outreach Consultant, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • April 9 – Climate Change in New  England: A Review of Historical Hydrologic Records and  Projections for the 21st  Century, Thomas Huntington Research Hydrologist U.S. Geological Survey
  • April 16 – Exploring the Linkages Between Ecosystem Services and  Human Health, Kathleen Bush, Research Assistant Professor, PSU Center for the Environment
  • April 23 – Gambling with  the Globe: The Role of Risk in Climate Policy Decisions, Mark Borsuk, Associate Professor of Engineering Thayer School of Engineering Dartmouth College
  • April 30 – More Than a Century of Conservation in the Squam Watershed, Rebecca Hanson, Director of Conservation, Squam Lakes Association


November 27th, 2012 by June

The NH LoVoTECS project recently published a newsletter and  launched a blog dedicated to updates, interesting findings and additional information about the LoVoTECS network. Graduate student Ashley Hyde presented a poster, “Using Specific Electrical Conductance to Compare Rainfall Runoff in NH Urban and Rural Catchments,” at the EPSCoR All Hands Meeting on November 7, 2012 in Waterville Valley, NH.

The New Hampshire Lotic Volunteer Temperature, Electrical, Conductivity, and Stage Sensing network  (LoVoTECS) involves a state-of-the-art, broad scale and high-frequency hydrologic sensing network using simple sensors operated by a diverse group of partners. The network sensors continuously measure conductivity, temperature, and water level. These indicators of water quality and physical condition are key to understanding the natural variability of, and human influences on, streams and rivers. LoVoTECS is funded by the National Science Foundation through a cooperative agreement to the New Hampshire Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. The network is coordinated by a group of researchers, staff, and students at Plymouth State University – and implemented by our broad group of partners, including educators,researchers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and citizen scientists. Our goal is to improve our understanding of New Hampshire’s water resources and help develop a technically advanced workforce by providing educational opportunities to interact with large data sets.

2012-13 White Fellowship Recipient

October 24th, 2012 by June

Jamie Sydoriak, a Plymouth State University/Center for the Environment graduate student studying grassland bird communities, has been awarded the Joe and Gail White Fellowship for 2012-13. The White Fellowship was created by two Plymouth State graduates who care deeply about protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources and fostering PSU’s ongoing efforts in educating the public about this goal. Joe ’68 and Gail White ’66 were both teachers who eventually started a successful organic farm in southern New Hampshire. The White Fellowship helps pay a graduate student’s tuition, stipend, or research expenses.

Recent News from CFE

October 24th, 2012 by June

Here are some of the latest activities of the Center for the Environment:

Mark Green recently had a paper published:

  • Bain, D.J., M.B. Green, J.L.Campbell, J.F. Chamblee, S. Chaoka, J.M. Fraterrigo, S. Kaushal, S.L. Martin, T.E. Jordan, A.J. Parolari, W.V. Sobczak, D.E. Weller, W.M. Wollheim, E. Boose, J.M. Duncan, G. Gettel, B. Hall, P. Kumar, J.R. Thompson, J.M. Vose, E.M. Elliott, and D.S. Leigh. 2012. Legacies in material flux: structural catchment changes pre-date long term studies. BioScience, 62 (6): 575-584.

Denise Burchsted, Geoff Wilson, and Mark Green were invited to and attended the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) All Scientists’ Meeting on September 10-13 in Estes Park, CO. Mark led a working group on hydrologic legacies, Denise participated in a working group focused on the preparation of a proposal relating to quantifying the impact of past land use on today’s hydrology at sites across the LTER network, and Geoff represented Hubbard Brook at workshops addressing education in the LTER network.

Doug Earick, Errin Volitis, and Ashley Hyde took part in a hands-on teacher workshop on Saturday, September 22 at Prospect Mountain High School in Alton.  The work is part of a NH EPSCoR project on fresh water stream and river monitoring throughout the state, called LoVoTECs.  The workshop was the first of a series of training sessions for middle school and high school teacher volunteers involved in the program, and included instruction in the set-up and use of water quality sensors, analysis and application of data, and an overview of the research scope of the project.  Future workshops will focus on the development of curriculum and student research opportunities.

June Hammond Rowan, associate director, recently gave a talk titled “How Does Your Planning Board Know About Planning?” at the New Hampshire Planners Association annual conference. She was also invited to speak at a meeting of the Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission.

Marguerite Crowell, who completed her MS in Environmental Science and Policy this past spring, has been invited to work with the NH Department of Environmental Services Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau on helping them rethink their approach to water education and develop a water education plan.

2008 Research Conference Program

April 29th, 2010 by Bridget

1st Annual Undergraduate Research and Outreach Conference

Friday, August 8, 2008 at the Pierce Lab, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
10am: Opening remarks and introductions
10:15: Student presentations of Science Communication projects:

2009 Research Conference Program

April 29th, 2010 by Bridget

2nd Annual Undergraduate Research and Outreach Conference

Monday, August 10, 2009 at the Pierce Lab, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
10am: Opening remarks and introductions
10:15: Student presentations of Science Communication projects:

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