Catskill Environmental Research & Monitoring (CERM) Conference

The 2016 CERM con­fer­ence was held Thurs­day, Octo­ber 27 and Fri­day, Octo­ber 28, 2016 at the Bel­leayre Ski Cen­ter
in High­mount, NY.

The two-day CERM con­fer­ence is an oppor­tu­nity for researchers, agency staff, and oth­ers work­ing on nat­ural resource and envi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment issues in the Catskills to net­work and collaborate.

CERM 2016 atten­dees can mail a com­pleted con­fer­ence eval­u­a­tion form to or AWSMP, P.O. Box 667, Shokan, NY 12481.

Stream Assessment study

Stream assess­ment study, Ashokan Watershed.

2016 Con­fer­ence Agenda and Presentations

Click here for final agenda with pre­sen­ta­tion titles.

Open­ing Remarks 

Steve Pari­sio, NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, CERM Overview

Don Kent, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Catskill Envi­ron­men­tal Research and Mon­i­tor­ing (CERM) Research Directory

Keynote Address

Joshua Gins­berg, Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, Inside the Blue Line: Look­ing at the Catskills as a 136-Year Exper­i­ment in Nat­ural Recovery

Ses­sion 1 — Research for Resource Man­age­ment and Pol­icy Deci­sions in the Catskills

Gary Lovett, Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, Why Do We Keep Get­ting New For­est Pests and What Can We Do About It?

Danyelle Davis, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and Jason Siemion, U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, How Effec­tive Are Sed­i­ment and Tur­bid­ity Reduc­tion Projects (STRPs) in the Stony Clove Creek Watershed? 

Michael DiS­arno, NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, Assess­ing the Sta­tus of Brook Trout Dis­tri­b­u­tion in South­east New York State

Lor­raine Janus, NYC Depart­ment Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Catskill Region Water Qual­ity Improve­ments with 25 Years of Water­shed Protection

Ses­sion 2 — Tools and Mod­els to Under­stand and Adapt to Cli­mate Change in the Catskills

Seth Lawler, Dew­berry, Iden­ti­fy­ing Stream Reaches Most Sus­cep­ti­ble to Climate-Exacerbated Debris Load

Ingrid Zabel, Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, Cli­mate Change Resources for New York State: The New York Cli­mate Change Sci­ence Clearinghouse

Kris­ten France, The Nature Con­ser­vancy New York, The New York State Nat­ural Resource Navigator

Ses­sion 3 — Con­tributed Presentations

Deb­o­rah Lay­ton, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Pre­lim­i­nary Com­par­i­son of Sim­i­lar­i­ties and Dif­fer­ences in Tree Height and Vol­ume as a Func­tion of Diam­e­ter for Aggre­gated and Indi­vid­ual Species in Dif­fer­ent Water­shed Basins within the Catskills

Thomas Franzem, SUNY Oneonta, Fac­tors Impact­ing Amphib­ian Pop­u­la­tions in Anthro­pogenic Ver­nal Pools

Scott George, U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, Long-Term Trends in Nat­u­ral­ized Rain­bow Trout Pop­u­la­tions in the Upper Eso­pus Creek

Nachiketa Acharya, Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity, Appli­ca­tion of Sto­chas­tic Weather Gen­er­a­tors for Cli­mate Change Impact Study over the Catskill Moun­tain Watersheds

Lori Froehlich, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, The Devel­op­ment of Enhanced Robotic Mon­i­tor­ing Buoys on Can­nonsville and Nev­ersink Reser­voirs to Mea­sure Dis­solved Organic Mat­ter, Chloro­phyll and Cyanobacteria

Ses­sion 4 — Car­bon in Catskill Waters from Soil to Tap

Chris John­son, Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity, Dis­tri­b­u­tion of Soil Car­bon and Pro­duc­tion of DOC

Chris­tine Goodale, Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, Inter­ac­tions Between DOC and the Nitro­gen Cycle

Chris Solomon, Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, The Eco­log­i­cal Roles of DOC in Aquatic Ecosystems

Emmet Owens, NYC Dept. of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Mod­el­ing of DOC and Dis­in­fec­tion By-Product Pre­cur­sors in the NYC Water Supply

Ses­sion 5 - Wood in Catskill Streams and Flood­plains: Ecosys­tem Integrity, Water Qual­ity, and Pub­lic Safety

Ellen Wohl, Col­orado State Uni­ver­sity, Messy Rivers, Healthy Rivers, and Large Wood: The Role of Phys­i­cal Com­plex­ity in Sus­tain­ing Ecosys­tem Processes

Katie Costi­gan, Uni­ver­sity of Louisiana at Lafayette, Large Wood in Cen­tral Appalachian Head­wa­ter Streams: Con­trols on and Poten­tial Changes to Wood Loads from Infes­ta­tion of Hem­lock Woolly Adelgid

Stephen Long, Author, Thirty-eight: The Hur­ri­cane that Trans­formed New England

Ses­sion 6 - Catskill Soils and Wet­lands Coop­er­a­tive Research

Charles Ver Straeten, NYS Museum, Catskills Bedrock: An Ele­men­tal Geo­chem­istry Overview

Dorothy Peteet, Colum­bia Lam­ont Doherty Earth Obser­va­tory, Deglacia­tion in the Catskills — When, How, and Who?

Julie Urban, Penn. State Uni­ver­sity, Mol­e­c­u­lar Sequenc­ing of the Humus Layer in Catskill Soils: Using Deep Sequenc­ing to Char­ac­ter­ize Res­i­dent Bac­te­r­ial and Fun­gal Communities

Olga Var­gas, USDA Nat­ural Resources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice, Catskill Soil Tax­on­omy – Do Moun­tain­top Soils Qual­ify as Spodosols?

Ses­sion 7 — Con­tributed Presentations

David Este­ban, Vas­sar Col­lege, Micro­bial Com­mu­nity Dif­fers Under Sugar Maple vs. Red Oak: Impli­ca­tions  for N cycling in the Catskills and Hud­son Val­ley Region

Allan Frei, CUNY Hunter Col­lege, Hur­ri­cane Irene and Trop­i­cal Storm Lee: How unique were they in the Catskill Mountains?

Lau­ren Davis, Retired Engi­neer, Poten­tial Improve­ments in Flood Mit­i­ga­tion Evaluation

Poster Ses­sion

Troy Ellick and K. Belin­sky, Using a Bird Feeder Net­work to Char­ac­ter­ize Cam­pus Bird Diver­sity Abundance

Sarah Hin­shaw, A. Caban­il­las, and W.D. Davis, NYC Dept. of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Updat­ing and opti­miz­ing Catskill Moun­tain bank­full dis­charge and hydraulic geom­e­try regional relationships

Kyongho Son, E. Schnei­der­man, E.M. Owens, L. Lin, and L. Band, Esti­mat­ing car­bon bud­gets of the Bis­cuit Brook water­shed using RHESSys

About the Conference

The pur­pose of the CERM forum is to:

(1) High­light envi­ron­men­tal research and mon­i­tor­ing efforts relat­ing to the Catskill Mountains;

(2) Bring together a diverse inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group of researchers, stu­dents, resource man­agers and oth­ers inter­ested in the Catskills;

(3) Explore the impacts of cli­mate change, inva­sive species and other envi­ron­men­tal stres­sors on water qual­ity, bio­di­ver­sity and ecosys­tem health; and

(4) Stim­u­late dis­cus­sion and pro­mote col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts that address data gaps and envi­ron­men­tal issues affect­ing the region.

CERM flyer

Learn about past CERM conferences.

Who Attends?

The con­fer­ence is intended mainly for researchers, stu­dents and resource man­agers work­ing and study­ing in the Catskills, but any­one who would like to con­tribute or learn more about the region is wel­come to attend.

USGS electroshocking on the stream..

Elec­troshock­ing Study. Photo by Mark Loete.


The Bel­leayre Moun­tain Ski Cen­ter is located at 181 Galli Curci Rd, High­mount, NY 12441. The con­fer­ence is held in the Over­look Lodge with scenic views of the Catskill high peaks.

Belleayre Mountain view from ski lift

View from Bel­leayre Mountain

Con­fer­ence Organizers

Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Program/Cornell Uni­ver­sity Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, Bard College/Center for Envi­ron­men­tal Pol­icy, Catskill Insti­tute for the Envi­ron­ment, United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, Cary Insti­tute of Ecosys­tem Stud­ies, New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, New York State Energy Research & Devel­op­ment Author­ity, New York State Museum, Rondout-Neversink Stream Man­age­ment Program