Appalachian Laboratory

Student Stories

Dylan's model is trying to understand how changes in forest configuration and land cover would affect the distribution of sensitive bird species like the cerulean warbler, golden winged-warbler, and wood thrush.

Claire Nemes on censusing free roaming cats

One of the challenges to understanding potential cat impacts on birds at the population level is a lack of good information on the numbers of free-roaming cats—their abundance or density in a given area. We have very little information on densities of cats in the Neotropics, even though, anecdotally, it looks like the numbers are fairly high. This research will help fill in an important knowledge gap.


Stephanie Siemek on the evaluation natural protections for streams affected by runoff

"The Chesapeake Bay started showing signs of degradation in the 1960s from sediments, nutrients, and toxicants from human activities. Since 1983, programs have been implemented with the goal of reducing nutrient runoff and improving the water quality of the Bay. Putting industrial regulations into place was successful, but nonpoint source pollution—which is pollution that cannot be easily attributed to a particular source, such as agricultural runoff—remains a challenge."


Andy Gougherty on the impacts of climate change on trees

2014 Presidential Fellow 

“Climate change is going to have a variety of effects on the environment—some changes more intuitive than others. Intra-specific variation is likely to play an important role in how a species is able to cope with climate change over the long term. Developing a way to assess how intra-specific variation is related to current climates can give us insight into how the species may be affected by future climates.”


Joel Bostic on the sources of nitrate pollution in the Bay watershed

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and 2016 UMCES Presidential Fellow

"Nitrate pollution contributes harmful algal blooms and oxygen minimum zones and has been an ongoing issue for the Chesapeake Bay for a long time... If we can better understand the sources (atmospheric vs. terrestrial) of nitrate entering the Bay from different watersheds, it can help with management policies."