SUNY Oneonta News

May 17, 2011



ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Alexander Soroka, a junior Environmental Sciences major at SUNY Oneonta, has been selected to participate in a highly competitive summer research program—Research Experience for Undergraduates—that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Soroka will conduct research at the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, a long-term ecological research site in New Hampshire where scientists were among the first to document thelink between the burning of fossil fuels and acid rain.

“Investigating and Communicating Change in Ecosystems,” the Hubbard Brook Research Experience for Undergraduates program, emphasizes both independent research and the communication of ecosystem science to broad audiences. The program includes research strands in animal ecology, biogeochemistry, hydrology and soils, and forest vegetation and carbon cycling. Research at Hubbard Brook has produced some of the most extensive and longest continuous data bases on the hydrology, biology, geology and chemistry of a forest and its associated aquatic ecosystems.

Soroka plans to conduct his research on rainfall and water flow. “This summer I will be monitoring water isotopes at Hubbard Brook. I will investigate temporal and spatial variation of surface waters,” he said. “This research will help in an ongoing effort to better understand what happens after rain falls. How fast does the rainwater move? Where does the water pool? This information will help hydrologists determine what happens when pollutants come with the rain.”

According to SUNY Oneonta Environmental Sciences Program Director Thomas Horvath, Hubbard Brook is a seminal research site for understanding ecology and ecosystem function. “The researchers associated with Hubbard Book are all of incredible international reputation,” Dr. Horvath said. “I can’t think of an REU opportunity that would be more beneficial to a student’s academic portfolio than with Hubbard Brook. The peers Alex will interact with are likely going to be the next big names in ecology.”

The Environmental Sciences program at SUNY Oneonta includes a core set of courses in the Environmental Sciences in conjunction with a concentration in Biology, Earth Sciences, or Planning. More information about the program is available from Dr. Horvath at



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