Ecosystems & Society

Alix Contosta

Ecosystems & Society

healthy ecosystems are critical to securing our quality of life.

Our natural world provides many services that are the foundation for economic vitality and environmental health in the Granite State. In addition to opportunities for recreation and tourism, services provided by our ecosystems like flood protection, maple sugaring, and pollination impact our well-being. Collectively, these services support many of the State’s major industries, sustain the health and well-being of its residents, and serve as an anchor for our cultural identity.

What do changes in climate and land use in my state, my town, and my backyard mean for me?

Changes in climate and human activity impact many environmental variables. For example, future increases in annual and extreme precipitation will likely contribute to more flooding, and a projected increase in the duration of dry summer periods, combined with a growing population, will likely stress water supplies.

Intensive measurement and modeling efforts of our ecosystems represent the central research activities of this project. Our investigation is aimed at acquiring a deeper understanding of the relationships between land use, regional climate change, water quality, soil processes, forest dynamics, snow behavior, and management policies. We also studied public and stakeholder perceptions and are exploring ways to improve the success of communicating science with policy implications.

This project expanded our state’s collective research capacity with over 200 researchers and students from seven academic institutions collaborating across science disciplines and helped train a highly-skilled 21st century STEM workforce. Multiple education initiatives also emerged from these efforts, connecting scientists to local communities and schools.

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Partner Institutions: Dartmouth College, Great Bay Community College, Keene State College, Mount Washington Observatory, Plymouth State University, Seacoast Science Center, St. Anselm College, University of New Hampshire, White Mountains Community College

Related Projects

heat map
A digital library that provides public access to a broad suite of data sets generated by our projects.
researcher with child collecting samples
Improving our understanding of rivers and streams with submerged sensors.
people posing with equipment outside in the snow
Students redesign an environmental sensor to monitor snow loads and prevent roofs from collapsing.