SUNY Oneonta News

August 17, 2011



ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Four SUNY Oneonta faculty members recently received significant grants to conduct research on the environment, including two with direct local impacts.

The National Science Foundation’s Field Stations and Marine Laboratories Program has awarded $103,633 to the Research Foundation of SUNY on behalf of SUNY Oneonta in support of the project entitled “RUI: Implementing the Otsego Lake Watershed Plan – Enhancement of Lake Access, Laboratory and Field Instrumentation and Associated Research.” Dr. Willard Harman, director of the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake, will coordinate the project. The award will fund construction of a series of weirs in tributaries to Otsego Lake on the property of the Biological Field Station to facilitate long-term stream hydrologic, sediment, and nutrient mass balance monitoring and analysis; the purchase of four boats to support its research and training on Otsego Lake; and the acquisition of instrumentation to refine acoustic evaluation of Otsego Lake fish populations, to collect fish characterizing tributary water quality, and for analysis of the aquatic biota in both the lake and its tributaries.

The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership hasawarded $16,905 in support of the project entitled “Invaders of Disturbed Wetlands in Central New York” under the direction of Dr. Donna Vogler of the SUNY Oneonta Biology Department. Dr. Vogler’s project is designed to identify, remove, and reduce populations of the invasive marsh thistle, which has recently established itself in Otsego and Madison counties. To help minimize the impact of marsh thistle on local wetlands, the project includes identification of the extent of existing populations of marsh thistle; verification and treatment of infested sites; experimentation with mechanical control methods; and follow-up to assess the efficacy of treatments.

Dr. Todd Ellis of the SUNY Oneonta Earth Sciences Department has received $246,606 from NASA’s Education & Public Outreach for Earth & Space Science Program for his project entitled “Teaching Inquiry using NASA Earth System Science: Preparing Future and Current Educators to Use Observation and Inquiry in the K-12 Classroom.” The project will train and support pre-service and in-service K-12 teachers, providing them with an opportunity to use NASA Earth Science mission data and GLOBE—Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment—observations to incorporate scientific inquiry-based learning in the classroom. The project aims to engage teachers in a way that will encourage them to remain active in integrating earth science inquiry in their classrooms.

Through its Educational Component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, the U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $3,136 to Dr. Martha Growdon of the SUNY Oneonta Earth Sciences Department for the project entitled “Bedrock Geologic Mapping of Matinicus Quadrangle.” Dr. Growdon will conduct fieldwork to prepare a bedrock map of Maine’s Matinicus Island. The location of bedrock is critical for locating freshwater aquifers for the island community.

More information about these and other grants received by SUNY Oneonta faculty is available from Kathy Meeker, director of the college’s Grants Development Office, at (607) 436-2632 or on the web at



For more information about the College, please call the Community Relations Office at (607) 436-2748 or send e-mail to Hal Legg, Director of Communications.

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