Many of Sea Grant’s upstate New York communities border on at least one body of water – whether the eastern portion of Lake Ontario near Oswego or eastern Lake Erie bordering Buffalo. There are also plenty of tributaries, including the St. Lawrence, Salmon, Niagara and Buffalo Rivers, among others. With so many of its user groups – from anglers and educators to elected officials and researchers – strongly tied to these coastal resources in the Great Lakes, New York Sea Grant hosted and participated in a variety of 40th anniversary lectures and receptions this past fall.
In October, NYSG’s Associate Director Dr. Kathy Bunting-Howarth
visited Syracuse’s SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) for the first in a series of lectures. The discussions – each geared towards a mix of around 40-50 faculty, graduate students, researchers, educators and university administrators – took a look back on the program’s first four decades of research, extension and education efforts. These span such diverse focus areas as fisheries, seafood safety, invasive species, coastal tourism, hazard resilience, habitat restoration, water quality and social science impacts.
“This presentation was an opportunity to introduce Sea Grant to a new generation of researchers, students, policymakers and anyone making decisions about the resources of New York’s coastlines,” says Bunting-Howarth.
In addition to those at ESF, Bunting-Howarth recognized researcher-led projects dating from NYSG’s early years through today based at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo State, SUNY College at Oswego, SUNY College at Brockport, Clarkson University and Cornell University. These projects included under-ice research in Lake Erie, seafood and freshwater sportfisheries research, and social science impact assessments. “To ensure that the best scientific information is available for coastal decision-makers, research needs extension to create a two-way bridge for delivering research results to coastal communities and communicating the research questions and needs of our diverse stakeholders back to the scientific community,” says Bunting-Howarth. She shared similar sentiments at lectures and receptions held at both the Aquarium of Niagara and the University at Buffalo in late October.
“These events were also opportunities to let people know about some of the invasive species that have caused dramatic impacts in the Great Lakes,” says NYSG’s Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske
. Aquatic invaders include zebra and quagga mussels, sea lamprey, the round goby, Asian carp and Eurasian ruffe.
SUNY Oswego was the final stop for Bunting- Howarth’s tour, this one part of the university’s Science Today series, which highlights women of achievement and women’s issues in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), spearheaded by Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Rhonda Mandel
. “This presentation was geared towards students, to help them understand what scientists can do for a living, from studying salmon and trout fisheries to being an extension educator working with students in grades K-12,” she said of her late-November talk.
Bunting-Howarth applauded NYSG Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White
for the BoatUS Foundation award-winning Discover Clean and Safe Boating initiative that includes an invasive species emphasis. “This is just one example of what NYSG extension does best, which is bringing science to New York’s 3,400 miles of shoreline,” said Bunting-Howarth.
—Paul C. Focazio and Kara Lynn Dunn
On YouTube ...
- NYSG@40: 2011 Statewide Highlights (February 2012) More>
- NYSG@40: A Look at our Extension Program (February 2012) More>
Top left photo at SUNY Oswego: l to r —Kristen Holeck (Cornell Field Sta.), Dr. Lars Rudstam (Cornell), Great Lakes Research Consortium Dir. Dr. Greg Boyer (ESF). Top right photo at SUNY ESF: NYSG researchers l to r — Dr. John Farrell, 1000 Islands Bio Sta.; ESF VP of Research Dr. Neil Ringler; NYSG Assoc. Dir. Dr. Kathy Bunting-Howarth; Boyer; Rudstam; Dr. Donald J Stewart (ESF). Center left photo at SUNY Oswego: l to r seated— Interim Provost, VP for Academic Affairs, BOG member Dr. Lorrie Clemo; Bunting-Howarth; Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Rhonda Mandel; standing l to r: NYSG Fisheries Spec. Dave MacNeill; undergrad Hannah Doerrier; Asst Provost for Budget and Operations, PAC member Dr. Michael Ameigh; NYSG Coastal Community Spec. Mary Penney; NYSG Recreation and Tourism Spec. Dave White. Bottom left photo at SUNY Oswego: l to r — Boyer and White (Kara Lynn Dunn, Ameigh in background). Center right photo at SUNY Oswego: l to r — PAC members Charles Blaas and Ameigh; Bunting- Howarth; NYSG Dir. Dr. Jim Ammerman. Bottom center photo: Bunting-Howarth; Aquarium of Niagara Exec Dir. Nancy Chapin; NYSG Coastal Educ. Spec. Helen Domske. Bottom right photo: Teacher Michelle Tabone, Boyer. Photo collage by Loriann Cody