Research at Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries is at the core of our mission and vision, and is aligned with Clarkson's focus on healthy world solutions that ultimately protect the air, water and habitats.

Students and Professor Shane Rogers doing research in the water with Beacon Institute.

Interdisciplinary faculty teams collaborate across fields to proactively integrate environmental concerns into best management practices. Our research currently focuses on invasive species and hydrology with field study and citizen science.

Dennings Point Invasive Species Research Project

Clarkson's Beacon Institute, in collaboration with Hudsonia, completed in January 2021 an invasive species research project encompassing all of Dennings Point Park in Beacon, NY.

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Led by Rebecca Rew, Outreach Associate and PRISM Project Associate, the research team worked throughout 2020 to conduct a terrestrial plant survey, implement public education programs, and create a report suggesting management strategies. 

Dennings Point is colonized by many invasive plants that out-compete and crowd out native plant populations, which better support native insects and animals.

The research team made 7 primary recommendations to help manage invasive plant species like bottlebrush buckeye, knotweed and buckthorn, and to monitor the ecosystem as a "sentinel site" for early detection and rapid response (EDRR) of plant and insect species of interest. 

The Dennings Point Invasive Species Project was contracted by the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LHPRISM) with funds from the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Current Research Projects

New viability-based control method and early detection tools for invasive European Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) in New York State

PI: Dr. Shane Rogers
Study Area: Hudson River near Beacon

Using aerial and underwater photography, Prof. Shane Rogers is establishing growth rates, nutrient uptake dynamics and the life cycle of chestnuts. He is conducting experiments to stabilize chestnut seeds via Clarkson's anaerobic digester. The goal is to make recommendations for the timely removal and effective management of invasive chestnuts to support recreation and restoration of ecology. 

Engaging Communities to Advance Hydrologic Science (HydroComm)

PI: Dr. Tyler Smith
Co-PI: Dr. Ben Galuzzo
Co-Investigators: Dr. Seema Rivera, Asher Pacht
Study Areas: North Country, Capital Region, Lower Hudson Valley

A team of faculty and staff from across Clarkson's campuses is "groundtruthing" hyrologic models by developing community engagement in hydrologic science through a strategy of citizen science and participatory modeling which has been shown to enhance scientific impact. The goal is to improve hydrologic models and motivate STEM education through community engagement across the Clarkson University footprint. 

Experimental investigation of CO2-induced acidification on the physiological performance of the invasive mystery snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis) from northern New York

PI: Dr. Andrew David
Study Areas: Raquette River and Fishkill Creek

Clarkson Prof. Andrew David is studying the effects of future climate change scenarios on the health of representative specimens of the invasive Asian mystery snail and comparing it with native species from New York State waterways. The goal is to predict specific climate change impacts on stream ecology, to identify management strategies for invasive snails and to make recommendations for sustaining native snail ecology and population.

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