Research in the Nature Preserve
Information for Researchers
Geology: GroundWater Tables
Dan Michaud, under the direction of Karen Salvage, measured the heights of groundwater tables across natural areas. Studies concerning groundwater tables in our natural areas are of the utmost importance because of shallow tables cause by increasing pressures on land resources caused by rising populations and the subsequent need of water table control.
Biology: Amphibian Studies
The Nature Preserve supports numerous species of amphibians and provides an ecosystem
for the spotted salamander and red-backed salamander. It follows then that most of
the biological studies conducted in the nature preserve concern amphibians, especially
salamanders and frogs. John Maerz and Aaron Sullivan conducted their research on
red-back salamanders, while Dale Madison and the previous director of the Center for Integrated Watershed Studies did research on the radiotracking of spotted salamanders. Victor Lamoureux conducted
his research on the wintering behavior of green frogs, and Jason Rohr completed his
thesis on newts in the Nature Preserve.
There are limitations in studying birds and mammals because of the large population and erratic behavior of students at Binghamton University. Equipment tends to disappear and data is ruined because of human interference. Many people believe that studying birds such as blackbirds using harmless traps is a form of animal cruelty, and will often remove the traps before the researcher has a chance to collect any data.
Natural ecosystems purify water and air, modify climate, reduce flooding, and provide
natural products that are crucial to human existence, but few systems have been managed
to sustain these benefits. Watersheds are functional units by which our interactions
with the environment can be assessed, because the water that flows from a watershed
is a measure of the health of that area.
The newly created Center of the Integrated Watershed Studies here on the campus serves as a source of expertise on natural features of watersheds and human effects on watersheds. Our campus, situated within the Fuller Hollow Creek watershed, provides an ideal setting for watershed and local scale research. The CIWS is using the Nature Preserve and natural areas as a teaching, training and research tool. Undergraduate and graduate students are performing field studies and Drs. Joe Graney and Karen Salvage are performing ongoing automated and manual data collection and analysis.
Again, Dr. Dale Madison is focusing on the radiotracking of salamanders because these creatures provide an important insect control mechanism and are an indicator of ecosystem health and surface water quality.
The Binghamton University Scholars Program
Management Model for the Nature Preserve
Project Team: Lindsey Krecko, Liz Phares, Ilana Price, Melissa Yanek, Sheri Zola
The findings are posted on the new Nature Preserve Website for the purpose of stimulating interest on campus and in the surrounding communities.