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News stories tagged with "ecology"

SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus.  Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe
SLU junior David Smith is an Environmental Studies major and lives on the school's sustainability farm a few miles from campus. Chores include tending a flock of chickens. Photo: Todd Moe

St. Lawrence junior's coursework includes farm chores

Sometimes spending a college semester abroad means just a few miles down the road. St. Lawrence University junior David Smith, a Potsdam native, is one of nine students living and studying sustainability issues on a 33-acre farm leased from Cornell Cooperative Extension this spring.

The farm, just south of Canton, includes a house, outbuildings, gardens, orchards, a chicken coop and classroom space. Professors visit the farm to teach courses. This spring, students will help prep the gardens that will feed participants in the fall semester program.

Next Tuesday, Earth Day, will be a busy time for Smith, who combines his college studies with environmental activism. Smith is the organizer of NC350, a local chapter of 350.org, an international organization working to address global climate change.

Todd Moe stopped by SLU's Sustainability Semester farm to get one young person's take on helping the planet.  Go to full article
Susan Willson and The Gorilla. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Susan Willson and The Gorilla. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Cat collar scholar: SLU biologist examines a new way to curb songbird mortality

Right now in the Canton-Potsdam area, there are about 50 people dressing their cats in technicolored, fluffy, Elizabethan collars. But they're not doing this because they think it's cute, or because they're making the next viral cat video.

The pets and their owners are part of a new study that has big implications for cats and their prey. Zach Hirsch has more.  Go to full article
Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the University of Toronto Press, this 2012 publication includes art by Paul Geraghty, Julius Csotonyl and Brenda Carter along with photos from Canadian Geographic. French and e-book editions should be available soon.
Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the University of Toronto Press, this 2012 publication includes art by Paul Geraghty, Julius Csotonyl and Brenda Carter along with photos from Canadian Geographic. French and e-book editions should be available soon.

Donna Naughton on "The Natural History of Canadian Mammals"

Donna Naughton has been fascinated by nature and natural science all her life.

She landed a job at the Canadian Museum of Natural Science almost by accident, while on a field trip tour as an undergraduate. Her book The Natural History of Canadian Mammals was published in 2012 to high praise as a new standard for this topic.

Now retired, Naughton recently realized a long-time dream by moving to an island in the Rideau River, near Kemptville, Ontario - brimming with trees, birds and animals.

Lucy Martin discussed the 10-year book project with Naughton on a Barnes Island nature walk in late May.  Go to full article
Celia Evans, lower right, teaches Russian students some of her favorite songs. Photo: Celia Evans
Celia Evans, lower right, teaches Russian students some of her favorite songs. Photo: Celia Evans

Teaching and learning in Siberia

This fall, an ecology professor at Paul Smiths College traveled thousands of miles to learn about a new culture, and share a bit about life in the Adirondacks. Celia Evans was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and conduct research in Siberia. She, and her two daughters, spent three months in Russia's Altai Republic studying primary school students' relationships to their environment, community and culture.

Evans, who also shared her love of folk music with her Russian hosts, told Todd Moe that she also wanted to find out how students in Siberia are learning about their natural world compared with students in the North Country.  Go to full article
Fieldwork includes studying what the hares eat and where in the forest.
Fieldwork includes studying what the hares eat and where in the forest.

Tracking snowshoe hares in the Adirondacks

A group of Paul Smiths College students has spent the last few years studying one of the region's smallest mammals. Bears, moose and loons usually come to mind when you think of wildlife in the Adirondacks. But biology and ecology students at Paul Smiths are tracking and monitoring the behavior of snowshoe hares. They're small, furry and cute, but also a big part of the region's ecosystem. Wildlife experts say hares are important because they're prey for almost everything in the forest that eats meat, including raptors, foxes and coyotes.

The data collected from school field trips will help wildlife managers better understand the food cycle in the Adirondacks from predators to prey and plants.

Todd Moe tagged along with Paul Smiths biology students as they tracked snowshoe hares to find out what they're eating and how they choose their habitat in the woods near campus.  Go to full article
Birders watch and tally numbers from a Bloomingdale roadside
Birders watch and tally numbers from a Bloomingdale roadside

Braving snow and cold to count birds

The National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count is underway and continues through next week. The annual bird census relies on volunteer bird watchers who head out with binoculars, bird guides and even mobile apps to scan trees and fields, and report on every bird they see. Todd Moe spoke with longtime birder Joan Collins, in Long Lake, who says this is the 111th annual Christmas Bird Count.  Go to full article

Great Lakes states push for federal action against Asian carp

The invasive Asian carp and its potentially devastating impact on the Great Lakes were the focus of a Congressional hearing in Washington yesterday.

The agressive fish has already infested the Mississippi River basin, and traces of its genetic material have been found in Lake Michigan for the first time.

Illinois temporarily closed navigational locks near Chicago to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Representatives of the states surrounding the lakes are pressing the federal government to do more, faster. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Book Review: "Living Waters"

For those of us in the North Country the St. Lawrence River is a summer playground or the wide water below us when we take the bridge to Canada. For author Margaret Wooster, the giant river is part of the Great Lakes watershed, and an ecosystem in danger. Betsy Kepes reviews Wooster's book Living Waters, Reading the Rivers of the Lower Great Lakes.  Go to full article

Invasives a growing threat to Adirondacks

Adirondack Park Agency commissioners were given a status report yesterday on what's considered to be the biggest threat to the ecology of the Adirondacks. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
A bog near Blue Mountain Lake, part of the Finch Pruyn timber easement
A bog near Blue Mountain Lake, part of the Finch Pruyn timber easement

Carnivorous pitcher plants and rolling thunder grace an ancient Adirondack bog

Huge conservation deals over the last decade have protected nearly a million acres of land in the Adirondacks. The deals allow timber harvesting to continue. But scientists say they also protect crucial habitats and eco-systems. In part two of his report on the Finch, Pruyn easement negotiated by the Adirondack Nature Conservancy Brian Mann sends an audio postcard from a bog near Blue Mountain Lake.  Go to full article

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