The ERI funds a wide range of short term and long term projects for faculty and students.

Data archive for Fonteynkill data
Data collected since 2012 have been posted here, at the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative (FEMC, formerly VMC), for public access and download. Metadata is also provided. Thanks to John Brandt ’16 (and Collins Fellow 2016-17) for cleaning up and publishing the data set.

Casperkill Project

Since 2006, students and faculty from Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science and Geography, and Urban Studies conducted water quality monitoring on the Casperkill Creek, which runs from Peach Hill Park through the Poughkeepsie suburbs and Vassar campus to the Hudson River, We have been assessing the amount of road salt in the stream; dissolved oxygen, nutrient loading, bacteria, and heavy metal levels.  Funding for equipment, reagents, and student summer stipends has come from the URSI program, ERI funds, a New York Water Resources Institute grant, and a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation.

Fonteynkill Project
This multidisciplinary environmental science project focuses on the environmental health of one of two streams on the Vassar campus. The Fonteynkill, once originating in a spring near Fountain Brook Avenue in Poughkeepsie, now begins as a storm sewer drain just north of campus. Impoundments, impervious surfaces, road salt, and other impairments make the stream biologically impoverished, yet the riparian corridor remains a haven for wildlife, bird life, and plant life. Faculty and students from Earth Science, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and other disciplines are collaborating to collect baseline data, to monitor the stream for biological diversity, and to evaluate the impacts of planned riparian restoration of the stream corridor.

Other Projects (more info here)
  • Visualizing the Corn Belt in a changing climate (Mary Ann Cunningham)
  • Blanding’s Turtles of Dutchess County (Marshall Pregnall)
  • Edith Roberts Ecological Laboratory (Meg Ronshiem)
  • Mercury and Lead Deposition in Ombrotrophic Catskill Bogs (Alison Keimowitz)
  • Animals and Nutrient Cycling (Lynn Christenson)
  • Last Glacial Maximum Climate in the Estancia Basin (Kirsten Menking)
  • Can Chinese government green China’s buildings? (Yu Zhou)
  • Road Salt Impacts on Vassar Campus Soils (Cassandre Stirpe)