Welcome to the blog of the ARC, dedicated to encourage, facilitate, and disseminate scholarship that advances the quality and vitality of the Adirondack Park and related environs. For more information on our history, projects, annual conference, and the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, please visit our web page at www.adkresearch.org.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Research Notes: Valuation of Natural Resource Improvements in the Adirondacks

The posting of this publication, Valuation of Natural Resource Improvements in the Adirondacks, is a follow up to the initial post regarding the study of how much people are willing to pay for natural resources in the Adirondack Park. Published in 2004 by H. Spencer Banzhaf, Dallas Burtraw, David Evans, and Alan J. Krupnick, this article outlines specific facts and figures that were arrived to after surveying Adirondack residents. The estimates collected by this group revealed that residents would be willing to pay $48 to $107 annually to benefit the Adirondack region, implying the potential for vast statewide benefits. This article will hopefully offer a little more insight and connectedness to the previous posting.

Research Notes: Mercury Contamination in Sport Fish in the Northeast

Mercury deposition in aquatic ecosystems is becoming an increasing issue both worldwide and in the Adirondack park region. In the publication "Mercury Contamination in Sport Fish in the Northeastern United States: Considerations for Future Data Collection," researchers studied the levels of mercury contamination of sport fish in lakes throughout the Northeast. They were met with numerous obstacles that led them to create suggestions for future data collections. The main purpose of their study was to judge the human dimensions of the food web and natural resources, and to determine how humans would be affected by the contamination present in the aquatic ecosystems. Although the study was flawed, the researchers were able to outline ways in which future research could be conducted in order to better judge potential impacts of mercurial fish on human health.

Research Notes: Wind Turbines in the Adirondack Park

In March, the Adirondack Park Agency announced that it wants to make it easier for residents to construct wind turbines on their property. Through recent initiatives calling for an increased presence of alternative energy sources in the region, the APA believes that wind energy is a step in the right direction. It is the hope of the APA that the Adirondack community will no longer feel discouraged from installing small scale turbines in their communities based on their revised regulations. The proposal, scheduled to be put up for APA board review this past April, would open up many opportunities for the erection of wind turbines throughout the park.

Article Link

Research Notes: The W!LD Center

This past November the W!LD Center hosted the conference: ‘The American Response to Climate Change - The Adirondack Model: Using Climate Change Solutions to Restore a Rural American Economy.’ The intended focus of the conference was to look for methods counteracting climate change which could be used to boost the Adirondack economy. One of the proposed solutions, outlined in the article "Wild Center Details Planned Conference to Address Ways Early Action on Low Carbon Economy can Benefit Adirondack Economy", is to lower the carbon emissions of the region through green design and alternative energy sources. There was also the suggestion of capitalizing on the vast water resources within the region, which, in the future, could greatly benefit the local economies of the Adirondack region.

Research Notes: Landscape Ecology of Eastern Coyotes

The 2007 Ecological Applications article "Landscape Ecology of Eastern Coyotes Based on Large-scale Estimates of Abundance" concerns the main areas of coyote habitation in the Adirondack region. Through fecal sampling and analyzing areas of disturbed forest, researchers worked to create a map of where this fairly new species is concentrating in the Adirondacks. The study revealed, based on abundance models, and contrary to previous assumptions, that forested areas are very suitable habitats for these coyotes. The research collected showed the highest density of coyote population present on the Southwestern edge of the Adirondack Park.

Research Notes: CFES Program

Kristen Ward, a student at Middlebury College, recently published her thesis regarding the non-profit organization College For Every Student (CFES) and its work in Adirondack schools. Entitled "From “one more step” to college for every student: the evolution of a nonprofit organization in two Adirondack schools", the focus of her thesis was to find if CFES was successful in these schools, and to address the potential issues that teachers at these schools face. What Ward found was that many New York schools felt CFES was a school reform organization, despite it being an organization for providing access to college. This indicates a disconnect between the ideals of CFES and the experiences of the teachers, who find their definitions of success very different from that of the organization.