ES 375 Case Studies in Environmental Sustainability

 

Schedule for the ES Capstone Event

 

Spring 2008

 

Oral Presentations by Senior ES Majors will begin at 9:00 AM in Emerson Auditorium:

 

9:00-9:15 AM             Opening Remarks:  Environmental Studies and the Water Resources Initiative

 

9:15-9:30 AM             Noah Novotny, Leah Wohl-Pollack, and Whitney Eliot

THE CONCENTRATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF COPPER IN LOUGHBERRY LAKE SEDIMENT

Copper sulfate has been used for over 40 years in Loughberry Lake as an algaecide. This project analyzed copper concentrations in sediment samples extracted from cores taken from Loughberry Lake. We determined if and how copper has accumulated in the bottom sediments over time and related it to copper sulfate application history in order to better understand copper’s possible impact on the lake ecosystem.

 

9:30-9:45 AM             Charles Gouin and Matthew Helterline

ACCUMULATION OF COPPER IN THE AQUATIC SPECIES OF LOUGHBERRY LAKE

We examined the concentration of copper in the tissue of five aquatic species in Loughberry Lake, and three species from Lake Lonely.  The species belong to various trophic levels, allowing us to detect any evidence that copper is biomagnifying.  We examined muscle and skin tissue separately from the organ tissue so that these concentrations could be compared.

 

9:45-10:00 AM           Elizabeth Stoner and Elizabeth H. White

IMPACTS OF COPPER SULFATE ON THE FEEDING EFFICIENCY OF JUVENILE BLUEGILL SUNFISH

Dissolved copper can damage the olfactory and visual systems of fish at low concentrations.  We examined the impact of copper sulfate, a common algaecide, on the foraging behavior of juvenile sunfish.  Foraging efficiency influences fish health and food web dynamics, and therefore can suggest changes in ecosystem functioning.

 

 

10:00-10:15AM          Eric Jenks

A PHOSPHORUS BUDGET FOR THE SARATOGA LAKE WATERSHED
I quantified the amount of phosphorus entering and exiting the Saratoga Lake Watershed in order to help determine if phosphorus loading is a problem for the watershed.   By examining both inflows and outflows, I could determine the sources and fates of phosphorous in the watershed.

 

10:15-10:30 AM         BREAK

 

 

 

10:30-10:45 AM         Meghan Lena, Jessica Morten, Angela Polletta 

ASSESSING STORMWATER RUNOFF AND POLICY IN THE KAYADEROSSERAS WATERSHED
Our study examined the impact of land use on stormwater runoff in the
Kayaderosseras watershed using the Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment
(L-THIA) model. We also examined local management goals aimed at
fulfilling federal and state stormwater policy and assessed
implementation success based on town annual reports. We interviewed
local officials and site inspectors regarding the challenges of
implementing local stormwater management policies, and in particular,
sediment and erosion control at construction sites.

 

 

10:45-11:00 AM         Dante Petri

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS ON THE SARATOGA LAKE WATERSHED

I examined the environmental impact of septic systems on the Saratoga Lake watershed.  Using GIS and local sewer maps, I developed an estimate of the total number of septic systems in the watershed.  I estimated the effectiveness of septic system in treating wastes using interviews with local septic contractors and scholarly research. 

 

 

11:00- 11:15 AM        Andy Hart and Kate Stevens 

WHAT TO DO ABOUT A DROUGHT IN A BOUT OF DROUGHT: UNDERSTANDING DROUGHT IN A WATER-RICH REGION 

Our study examines how precipitation, water consumption and the capacity of Loughberry Lake affect the occurrence of drought in the water-rich Saratoga Lake watershed.  Drawing on interviews with Public Works officials, we also explored drought management policies for Saratoga Springs.

 

11:15-11:30 AM         Sophia Wiley
EXAMINING SMART GROWTH IN MALTA, NEW YORK 

I examined the prospects for smart growth in Malta, New York using case studies of Advanced Microchip Devices and Steeplechase and interviews with elected officials and stakeholders.  My research has found that the conflict between preserving a “family town” identity and the envisioned plans for growth simultaneously complements and deviates from the principles of smart growth

 

11:30-11:45 PM         Lauren Fletcher and Sieglinde Mueller

A WATERSHED EDUCATION GUIDE FOR SARATOGA LAKE

Drawing upon national, state, and regional watershed curricula, we created an education guide of key concepts and learning activities to educate children about the Saratoga Lake watershed.  We field tested our guide with 3rd-5th graders at the Saratoga Independent School and St. Mary’s School.

 

11:45-12:15 Discussion and closing remarks