Scientists to scour lake, shoreline and catalog every species found in 24 hours
Hundreds of scientists, students and members of the public will gather along the shores of Onondaga Lake Sept. 12 and 13 to inventory and identify every species of plant and animal that can be found in 24 hours.
Onondaga Lake bioblitz/SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Led by faculty members at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) with support from the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, the extensive survey, called a bioblitz, will provide a snapshot of the species — mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, insects, fungi, trees, shrubs and other plants — present during that period. Scientists say that snapshot will help them learn more about how to continue restoring this important landscape.
“It’s important for the public to know what a gem Onondaga Lake is, along with the surrounding landscape,” said Dr. Donald Leopold, an ESF Distinguished Teaching Professor who chairs the ESF Department of Environmental and Forest Biology. “This has been one of the most exciting remediation projects in the United States.”
The bioblitz is part of the celebration surrounding the inauguration of ESF’s fourth president, Dr. Quentin Wheeler. Wheeler will be formally installed during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12. The bioblitz begins later that afternoon and continues around the clock. Results will be reported during a reception on the ESF campus at 4 p.m. Sept. 13.
Wheeler, an entomologist with an interest in species exploration and biodiversity, said the cultural and scientific significance of Onondaga Lake makes it an appropriate place for a bioblitz.
“Onondaga Lake is the birthplace of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy,” Wheeler said. “In the early 20th century, it was a resort and a major tourist attraction. In the last several years, Onondaga Lake has undergone perhaps the most significant restoration effort of any lake in the country. Its recovery is an example of how an ecosystem can recover from degradation. Learning more about its current state will help us better chart its future.”
Leopold and his colleagues have worked at the lake for more than 12 years. His focus is using native plants to restore ecosystems so they are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
“Onondaga Lake and the surrounding area is one of the most interesting landscapes in upstate New York,” Leopold said. “There are inland salt marshes and fens, and there used to be significant chestnut forests. Given some of the exciting things we are seeing lately, it’s time to take that snapshot.”
Leopold said a number of features combine to make the Onondaga Lake ecosystem unique. During the winter, it hosts the largest urban population of eagles in the United States. It is the site of rare inland salt marshes that are tied to the economic history of Syracuse; these salt marshes can be restored and expanded using the root and seed stock that is already present. In another 25 years, he said, that restoration potential could be lost if the marsh area continues to shrink. The ecosystem also includes fens that provide habitat for rare plants and was once the site of a significant grove of American chestnut trees that was wiped out by the blight that killed most of the species in the eastern United States.
The bioblitz could involve hundreds of participants. It will draw heavily from the faculty, staff and students at ESF and from volunteers who have become environmental stewards through the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps. The Corps, established in 2012, is a growing organization of community volunteers who contribute to restoration projects that create or improve wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. Founding partners of the Corps include Montezuma Audubon Center, Onondaga Audubon Society, Parsons, O’Brien & Gere and Honeywell.
Members of the public will be able to participate in and follow the bioblitz via social media. Members of the public will be able to participate in and follow the bioblitz via social media. Anyone wishing to follow bioblitz news as it happens can do so via Twitter, #ESFbioblitz. Official tweets will be via @SUNYESFalumni.
Claire Dunn | newswise
Sea turtles face plastic pollution peril
09.10.2015 | University of Exeter
NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event
08.10.2015 | NOAA Headquarters
Physicists of TU Berlin and mathematicians of MATHEON are so successful that even the prestigious journal “Nature Communications” reported on their project.
Security in data transfer is an important issue, and not only since the NSA scandal. Sometimes, however, the need for speed conflicts to a certain degree with...
Having a light touch can make a hefty difference in how well animals and robots move across challenging granular surfaces such as snow, sand and leaf litter. Research reported October 9 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics shows how the design of appendages – whether legs or wheels – affects the ability of both robots and animals to cross weak and flowing surfaces.
Using an air fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the...
Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.
To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...
The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.
As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...
Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.
Inspired by insects
01.10.2015 | Event News
30.09.2015 | Event News
17.09.2015 | Event News
13.10.2015 | Trade Fair News
13.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
13.10.2015 | Health and Medicine