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 in the stream corridor.

A preliminary study of the stream was  funded in 2012-2013 by the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program.

Patterns of Conductivity and pH in the Fonteynkill (2015) poster:
There are three monitoring sites on the Fonteynkill. How do they vary? The impoundment at Vassar Lake alters pH and conductivity patterns.

Student project poster: Sasha Brown, Mary Ann Cunningham (2012), Does an urban riparian corridor support mainly urban birds?


Fonteynkill Watershed


A sample of results from stream monitoring data