Projects

Below is a list of all projects we have worked on since moving to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2012 (see Program History). In the future this list will be expanded to include all projects since the beginning of our program with The Nature Conservancy in 1985 and will be sortable. For information about projects by program area, click on the light green bar at the top of this page.


Project Title
Project Sponsor
End Date


Core Projects

These are long-term agreements with state agencies to provide Natural Heritage data and services.


Invasive Species Database
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands and Forests
Project Page

This is a partnership with Invasive Species Coordination Unit within the Division of Lands and Forests and has been ongoing since 2007. At the request of DEC, we spearheaded the development of iMapInvasives, an on-line, spatially explicit, all-taxa database to track invasive species locations. Through NatureServe, the database platform is available nationwide for use by other states who wish to participate and use iMapInvasives to manage their invasive species data. Our work includes database development, data maintenance for NYS partners, bulk uploads of NYS data, providing species expertise to partners, providing GIS support to NYS PRISMS, outreach to new users, and conducting trainings and workshops with agency partners and citizen scientists.


Marine Component to the Natural Heritage Program
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Marine Resources
Project Page

We are working with the NYS DEC's Division of Marine Resources to build a marine species and habitat component to our program. Our marine zoologist works alongside Marine Division staff on Long Island and we also dedicate some staff ecologist time to working on marine habitat mapping and classification. The ultimate goal of this program is to provide DEC with information on marine species status and areas of conservation importance that can be used for conducting environmental reviews and supporting species conservation planning and management. This work is conducted from the NYS DEC office in East Setauket, NY.


Natural Heritage Program Administration & Services
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife

This is our primary, ongoing agreement between the NYSDEC Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) for operation of the NY Natural Heritage Program. Basic program services focus on wildlife and wildlife habitat and are divided into four broad categories: Program administration, database maintenance & data processing, data distribution, and providing technical expertise and support to the agency. Our specific work objectives are developed annually in consultation with Division staff.


State Forest, Forest Preserve Inventory and Ecological Support
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands and Forests
Project Page

Each year we conduct rare species and natural community surveys on State Forests and Forest Preserve. In State Forests we focus on monitoring High Conservation Value Forests and we also conduct surveys on any new properties. In Forest Preserve our activities focus on mapping and monitoring rare species and community locations in support of Unit Management Planning and implementation. Important deliverables for this project include updates to online Conservation Guides, Species Distribution Models, and Predicted Richness Overlays, and workshops on Heritage data use.


State Parks Biodiversity Partnership
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Project Page

The Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation provides support for NYNHP staff dedicated to State Parks. Our state parks inventory team collects, analyzes, and compiles information on rare species and significant natural communities in parks throughout the state. They also serve as stewardship consultants, helping regional staff and facility managers respond to complex ecological management and planning issues.


Statewide Botany Services
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands and Forests
Project Page

Under our statewide botanical services with the agreement with NYS DEC, we enter, map, and maintain data on more than 6,000 occurrences of over 600 rare plant species; conduct and supervise field surveys for rare plant species throughout New York State; and update our state threatened and endangered species list for rare plants annually. We also provide botanical information and interpretation to state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, businesses, researchers, and the public.


Whale Study Support
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Marine Resources
Project Page

We are working collaboratively with the Department’s Marine Endangered Species (MES) staff on the implementation of the large whale monitoring program. This work is conducted from the NYS DEC office in East Setauket, NY.


Projects


NYS Breeding Bird Atlas
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
March 31, 2023
Project Page

The New York Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA) is a statewide inventory of all the birds breeding in the state. The first BBA was conducted from 1980-1985, the second from 2000-2005, and with the NYS DEC and a group of conservation partners we launched the third atlas in 2020. We will be engaging thousands of volunteer birders and naturalists statewide in this third Atlas and will offer dozens of training sessions around the state on Atlas data collection and eBird, which will be used to collect NYS Breeding Bird Atlas data. Atlas data are proven to be among the most important tools for conservation and land management in the state. They provide critical information on where threatened and endangered species are breeding, which is invaluable for reviewing the impacts of proposed development projects and for determining which species are of conservation concern (e.g., Species of Greatest Conservation Need and Threatened and Endangered species) and knowing which areas should be protected or managed to support those species (e.g., Bird Conservation Areas).


Statewide Mammal Survey
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
March 31, 2023

The New York Mammal Survey is the first-ever attempt at mapping the statewide distributions of all of New York’s more than 70 species of mammals, from mice to moose. Despite the visibility and familiarity of many mammals, little is known about many of the smaller species, which can be cryptic, nocturnal, and detectable only by trapping. There are surprisingly little survey data from recent years and several species have not been reported from the state in decades. With funding from the NYS DEC, a project team at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is compiling available mammal data from museums, literature, universities, state agencies, social media, and other sources into an online repository that will be available for public viewing and eventually allow citizen science input. In addition, the DEC is funding surveys on Wildlife Management Areas that use a standard trapping methodology. NYNHP is leading smaller efforts on State Parks and the Adirondack and Catskills Forest Preserve. The data collected will help managers know which at-risk mammals occur on their properties and inform the state’s list of endangered and threatened species.


Improving Onsite and Remote Wetland Functional Assessment: A Focus on New York City Water Supply Basins.
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
Dec. 31, 2022
Project Page

This project continues to develop our wetland functional assessment protocol, while generating a baseline understanding of pollinator biodiversity in wetland habitats.


EPA National Wetland Condition Assessment
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
March 31, 2022
Project Page

EPA funds a wetland sampling effort in each state to help them assess wetland quality across the United States. This assessment occurs every five years and is based on a random draw of wetland sites across the country. We typically sample 16 sites in NY using EPA Sampling protocol.


Empire State Native Pollinator Survey
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
Dec. 31, 2021
Project Page

This project is a four-year field effort to determine the current distribution and conservation status of selected pollinators. Our zoologists will conduct surveys statewide following a study design and sampling protocol for each target group identified by an Advisory Committee of experts convened during the planning phase of the project (see Pollinator Study, August 2016 - September 2017). The statewide survey has a citizen science component that involves training volunteers who use iNaturalist to record locations and photographs of pollinators observed around the state.


Determining the Importance of Vernal Pools Across Geophysical and Urbanization Gradients to Inform Regulation, Conservation, and Management
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
June 30, 2021
Project Page

In this project we are compiling available data on vernal pool quality in rural and urban locations in major regions of NYS and conducting field sampling to fill knowledge gaps. We are using these data to propose criteria for "significant" vernal pools that will vary across different hydrological basins and landscape contexts, with a goal of more vernal pools being added to New York’s regulated wetland maps.


Developing Methods and Creating End-User Tools for Wetland Functional Assessment
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
June 30, 2021
Project Page

Developing a wetland functional assessment protocol for identifying ecosystem functions and values for non-tidal freshwater wetlands across the state.


Montauk Point Intertidal Surveys
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
March 31, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin the New York Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project in the fall of 2018 at Montauk Point. The New York Natural Heritage Program has documented a marine rocky intertidal (MRI) community of statewide significance around the point and NYS DEC has made monitoring changes in this community a requirement of the Water Quality Certificate. This project will address the potential impacts of construction of a stone revetment on native organism re-colonization of the rocky intertidal zone. Three consecutive years of MRI intertidal surveys at and around Montauk Point will be performed to chart re-growth of the MRI community after seawall construction in comparison to the unaffected MRI. The first survey will be undertaken prior to construction activities and the last survey two years after the project is completed.


Hudson Valley Forest Patch Update and Assessment
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
Dec. 31, 2020
Project Page

The objective of this project was to delineate road-less forest patches throughout New York State, based on the latest version of the National Land Cover Dataset (2016), and then to assess the condition of those patches within the Hudson River Estuary Watershed.


Monitoring and Conservation of Federally Endangered and Threatened Plant Species in New York
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - Lands and Forests
June 30, 2020

Entomological Services for Fort Drum: Pollinator Survey
Department of Defense - Fort Drum
March 31, 2020

Fort Drum and its diversity of ecosystems, particularly early-successional habitats like grasslands, provide substantial habitat for pollinators and an opportunity to examine the effects of substantial habitat disturbance from training activities. Very little is known about the insects of Fort Drum and pollinators in particular. We are conducting a survey of insect pollinators at Fort Drum to guide natural resource management. The survey is based on the overlapping Empire State Native Pollinator Survey, which provides statewide context for the commonness and rarity of detected species. Focal taxa include bumble bees, mining bees, leafcutter bees, oil bees, saproxylic hover flies, bee flies, flower long-horned beetles, hairy flower scarabs, flower moths, and sphinx moths. We are surveying 120-150 sites around the Installation, with samples allocated among the Installation’s five ecozones (for an “extensive survey”) and in two target habitats expected to contain unusual pollinator faunas—successional northern sandplains grassland and northern peatland.


Rare Fen-Dependent Species and Habitat Surveys at Junius Ponds
NYS Department of Transportation
March 31, 2020

Junius Ponds contains a distinctive and irreplaceable constellation of rare habitats that support highly specialized communities of organisms including rare animals and plants. We are working collaboratively with SUNY Oswego and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation to evaluate the condition of Junius Ponds with special attention to rare species, habitat quality, and water quality. Our staff will map the current distribution of vegetation communities (i.e., native plant communities, rare plant occurrences and non-native invasive plant presence and abundance) and compare results to historical conditions and our own previous mapping. We will provided recommendations to our partners at SUNY Oswego who will then develop a site-specific habitat management plan with various BMP’s and provide critical data towards a Biological Assessment and Programmatic Agreement (BA/PA) with USFWS to address the needs of the New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Transportation, and the NYS Transportation Administration.


Supporting MoBI: NYNHP participation in the development of the Map of Biodiversity Irreplaceability
NatureServe
June 30, 2019
Project Page

We are working with NatureServe and several state natural heritage programs to produce and disseminate a map of the biodiversity value (i.e., the irreplaceability of imperiled species) of the 48 conterminous U.S. states. Our role is to assist with the development of a large set of predictor layers, evaluate existing NatureServe locational data, compile additional data layers of species locations, and develop an approach for modeling terrestrial species. This approach will be based on the methods developed by the the NatureServe Network Eastern Regional Modeling projects.


Ensuring the Accuracy of Biodiversity Information, the Foundation for Conservation Action
Sarah K. deCoizart Perpetual Charitable Trust
March 31, 2019
Project Page

This is a continuation of foundation funding we have received for mapping and transcription of backlogged and older records of animals to ensure our database is as complete as possible. It has allowed us to prioritize a list of at-risk animals that need addressing based on their degree of conservation concern and the threats to them. We will be continuing to conduct field surveys to high priority rare animal occurrences and using species-specific survey methods to determine the presence or absence of target species.


Stewardship and Guidance for the Protection of the Rare Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
March 31, 2019

Over three years, we conducted an in-depth habitat assessment and developed a monitoring and management strategy for the northern barrens tiger beetle to aid managers at Minnewaska State Park Preserve in protecting New York’s only occurrence of northern barrens tiger beetle. This project investigated the beetles’ biology to seek answers to the following management questions: 1) How can we avoid recreational and management impacts to adult and larval habitat?; 2) When is the beetle most vulnerable to disturbance?; 3) How large is the population, and thus how resilient to disturbances like fire and invasive species might it be?; and 4) Are there additional areas in the park occupied by the beetle? This project was part of a SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry graduate student thesis.


Creating a New Landcover Classification for the Albany Pine Bush
Albany Pine Bush Commission
Dec. 31, 2018

The goal of this project was to develop a new land-cover map to support the conservation and management mission of the Albany Pine Bush Commission. Using three sets of high resolution satellite imagery from 2017 (January, May, September) and training points from 2014 and 2017, we created a land cover classification of the Albany Pine Bush study area for 16 cover types. This includes nine forested types and four other natural cover types (water, herbaceous/shrubby wetland, bare sand, herbaceous barrens, scrub oak). Then, focusing only on the areas accessible for current management or potential accessible in the future for land management actions, we created an ecological community map for seven ecological community types plus four more developed classes. The ecological community types included pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, pitch pine-scrub oak thicket, successional northern sandplains grassland, Appalachian oak-pine forest, pitch pine-oak forest, successional southern hardwoods, and successional northern hardwoods. The final products provided to the Albany Pine Bush Commission include the final land cover classification, the unsmoothed ecological community map, and the smoothed ecological community map.


Turning eBird Data Into EOs in Biotics
NatureServe
Dec. 31, 2018

We partnered with NatureServe on this small project to explore and analyze eBird data for select bird species in order to help determine its potential utility in a regularly context. We reviewed 27,605 eBird records for six rare species in NY: Black Tern, Harlequin Duck (non-breeding), Red-headed Woodpecker, Seaside Sparrow, Upland Sandpiper, and Yellow-breasted Chat. Using these eBird reports we were able to add 27 new known locations used by these rare species, a 19% increase over existing records. The known area occupied by Seaside Sparrows more than doubled and we were able to estimate the range extent of Yellow-breasted Chat for the first time in New York. The continual flow of data coming into citizen science platforms is very important to our program because we can obtain data at a scale not possible with only our staff scientists. Read our resulting paper.


West Point Isotria Surveys
US Department of Defense - West Point
Sept. 30, 2018

The West Point Military Academy requested that we search likely areas for this federally-endangered plant. They funded surveys in 2010 and 2018 but no plants were found.


Implementing the 2020 Vision for Adirondack Park - Where Are We Now?
Adirondack Council
June 30, 2018

From 1988 to 1990 the Adirondack Council released Volumes 1-3 in their 2020 Vision series. Focusing on biodiversity (Davis 1988), the Adirondack Wilderness System (Davis 1990), and the Adirondack Wild Forest system (McMartin 1990), these three volumes set out an ambitous series of goals for conservation in the Adirondack Park. With excellent foresight and clarity, acquisition goals were set to different conservation target groups, with some goals focusing on conservation of exemplary communities, and others focused on expanding wilderness areas to reasonable biological boundaries. This project was an an assessment of the progress towards fulfilling the land acqusition goals set out in these visionary plans.


Update of Natural Heritage Important Areas for the Hudson River Valley
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
June 30, 2018
Project Page

We generated Important Areas (IAs) for 1,901 rare animal, rare plant, and significant natural community occurrences within the ten counties in the Hudson River Valley and within the full extent of the tidal Hudson River watershed, including 306 occurrences that were entered since the previous update of IAs in 2013. NYNHP also generated IAs for 850 locations of three other herp species and for 2,263 locations of wild brook trout. We delivered Important Area spatial layers organized into 18 feature classes in two file geodatabases.


Hempstead Plains - Assessment and Management Recommendations
BAND Foundation
March 31, 2018

In less than 250 years the globally-rare Hempstead Plains grassland natural community that once covered over 50 square miles of western Long Island, has been reduced to a couple dozen acres on three Nassau County parcels that are surrounded by urban development and threatened by the spread of invasive species. Despite this long history of degradation, it is impressive to see that taken together, many of the characteristic native plants of the Hempstead Plains grassland have survived for decades, providing habitat for 14 rare plants tracked by the NY Natural Heritage Program. We surveyed a total of 93 plots and observation points over ten days within the study area. We sampled 18 relevé plots and 62 detailed observation points with vegetation cover data. We classified 16 natural communities in the five parcels.


Monitoring of Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Coastal Wetland Habitat in Support of Adaptive Management
US Department of State - International Joint Commission
March 31, 2018

This wetland monitoring project addresses a critical need in the implementation of a new regulation plan for Lake Ontario. It looks in more detail at the relationships between elevation and plant composition in 16 New York wetlands by linking water-level dynamics to vegetation samples. We are also monitoring performance indicators for meadow marsh extent, muskrat houses, and rare plants in these wetlands. We are collaborating with DEC Division of Lands and Forests, Bureau of Real Property to create control points with centimeter-level elevation precision near each wetland and with TNC to ensure that our study design, sampling, and results satisfy the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (LOSLR) environmental monitoring called for in the International joint Commission’s framework for adaptive management.


Statewide Riparian Opportunity Assessment
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands & Forests
Nov. 30, 2017
Project Page

This project provides the DEC’s Division of Lands and Forest with a riparian land inventory and opportunity assessment to strategically identify and prioritize sites for implementation of DEC’s Trees for Tribs program and other riparian restoration efforts within New York. The primary goal of this assessment is to identify target locations where enhancement of riparian buffers will produce tangible benefits by improving water quality (reduction of nutrient and sediment loading, erosion control, etc.) and habitat quality (riparian cover, habitat connectivity, etc.). A secondary goal of this assessment is the identification of opportunities for riparian protection, including conservation easements and land acquisition.


Designing the Empire State Pollinator Survey
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
Sept. 30, 2017

The planning phase of a statewide pollinator survey, now underway, consisted of assembling an Advisory Committee that worked together to select taxonomic groups of pollinators likely containing species at risk. The committee also came up with sampling protocol for each group and study design that will be implemented by NHP field biologists. Data from the project will be used to determine the distribution of target species and inform conservation status ranks.


Species Distribution Modeling of T&E Species Throughout R5
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
June 30, 2017
Project Page

We worked in collaboration with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, all other northeast Natural Heritage Programs, and the USFWS field office staff from USFWS Region 5 to assemble the key environmental variables and species occurrence data and information for regional species distribution modeling (SDM) for Threatened and Endangered Species. Modelers at NYNHP and VANHP will develop regional models for selected species and deliver final screening layers for use in USFWS environmental review and species recovery efforts.


Supporting Actionable Decision-Making for Wetland Permitting in New York from Urban to Rural Environments
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
June 30, 2017
Project Page

Assessing connections between wetland ecological health and adjacent upland land use, we found upland buffers are important for managing the quality of NYS' wetland resources..


Flora and Ecology of Hudson Valley Rocky Summits
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
March 31, 2017

The goal of this project was to better understand the role of fire in the maintenance of the unique rocky summit ecosystems in the Taconic and Palisades Regions. We inventoried the current flora at both burned and unburned sites, with an emphasis on potential rare plant species. Data collected was analyzed and summarized in a final report with recommendations that can be used to aid future management and land use decisions in the Parks.


Bearfort Mountain Natural Area Botanical Inventory
Tetra Tech, Inc.
Oct. 31, 2016

This is a survey or Bearfort Mountain Natural Area undertaken by Tetra Tech, Inc. a contractor of Kinder Morgan Energy Company. Kinder Morgan was required by the State of New Jersey (NJ DEP) to conduct a comprehensive biodiversity inventory of the Natural Area as a condition of a pipeline expansion project. We contracted botanist David Werier to do the botanical survey portion of the work.


Great Lakes Basin Riparian Opportunity Assessment
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands and Forests
June 30, 2016
Project Page

We will provide the DEC’s Great Lakes Program with a riparian land inventory and opportunity assessment to strategically identify and prioritize sites for implementation of DEC’s Trees for Tribs program and other riparian restoration efforts within New York’s Great Lakes basin. The primary goal of this assessment is to identify target locations where enhancement of riparian buffers will produce tangible benefits by improving water quality (reduction of nutrient and sediment loading, erosion control, etc.) and habitat quality (riparian cover, habitat connectivity, etc.). A secondary goal of this assessment is the identification of opportunities for riparian protection, including conservation easements and land acquisition.


Identifying Biodiversity Priority Areas in New York and its State Parks
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
June 30, 2016
Project Page

For this project, we conducted a GIS analysis to identify those areas in New York State that are a priority for the conservation of unique, distinctive, and significant components of New York’s biodiversity. We then used the results of the analysis to rank State Parks for conservation priority. See project page for more information.


Improving Vegetation Indicators of Wetland Condition
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
June 30, 2016

Our objective was to improve the vegetation-based wetland condition indicators for wetland scientists working in New York. We reviewed and updated the taxonomy and status of New York plants and finalize coefficients of conservatism (CoC) for all New York plants via a workshop of botanical experts. The taxonomic review included significant literature and herbarium specimen review, with the updates compiled on the online NY Flora Atlas and the USDA PLANTS Database. With this revised flora, we convened a four day workshop of New York’s botanical experts to finalize CoC values for each species. These values will be applied to ongoing wetland projects and distributed to wetland assessment users throughout the state.


Inventory of Plants, Animals, and Natural Communities of Plum Island
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
June 30, 2016
Project Page

The goal of this project was to conduct a comprehensive, four-season inventory of rare plants and animals on Plum Island and develop a seamless map of the island’s natural communities, documenting communities of statewide significance. We identified and visited sites for botanical and zoological field surveys, conducted natural community inventories, compiled and processed data, and produced final maps and reports.


Long Island Invasive Species Management Area PRISM
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Lands and Forests
June 30, 2016

We coordinated the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area (LIISMA) which is comprised of 50 partners in various government agencies, conservation organizations, and businesses on Long Island and in NYC. This partnership is one of the eight Partnerships for Invasive Species Management (PRISM) that work across NY to track and manage invasive species. Our PRISM coordinator helped partners communicate on critical issues related to invasive species; kept the partnership organized and on track by providing leadership in annual work planning and long term planning; and provided member organizations with pass-through funding for early detection; outreach and education; and invasive species management, monitoring, and reporting.


Development of Wetland Assessment Protocols in New York
US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2 Wetland Program
March 31, 2016
Project Page

Developing NYS’ first three-tiered protocol for assessing wetland condition including the first publication of our NY Rapid Assessment Method (NYRAM).


Vegetation Classification of NYC Parks Ecological Communities
Natural Areas Conservancy - New York City
March 31, 2016

We partnered with the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) to improve the utility of NAC vegetation plot data and the Ecological Community Map (ECM) created from this plot data. Revisions to the map ensure wider understanding and usage of these products and their derivatives by natural areas managers throughout New York City.


Maintaining the Accuracy of Biodiversity Information for Conservation
Sarah K. deCoizart Perpetual Charitable Trust
Feb. 29, 2016
Project Page

This is a foundation grant we received for mapping and transcription of backlogged and older records of animals to ensure our database is as complete as possible. It has allowed us to prioritize a list of at-risk animals that need addressing based on their degree of conservation concern and the threats to them. Over the last couple of years we have been conducting field surveys to high priority occurrences and using species-specific survey methods to determine the presence or absence of target species.


Distribution and Conservation Status of the Newly Described Species of Leopard Frog in the Northeast
Wildlife Management Institute
Dec. 31, 2015

Following on the discovery that leopard frogs of NY, NJ, and CT were a distinct species, we received funding from the Regional Conservation Needs program to further study the newly described species. The objectives of our study (PDF, 4.6 MB) were to 1) Determine conclusively which leopard frog species occur presently and occurred historically in ten eastern U.S. states; 2) Refine the range of Rana kauffeldi relative to the two other leopard frog species; 3) Map new, potentially reduced, ranges for the two congeners; 4) Assess the species’ conservation status, particularly in areas where R. kauffeldi is already known to be of concern; 5) Contrast multi-level habitat associations among the three species; and 6) Improve upon the separation of species using acoustic and morphological field characters to facilitate future inventory, monitoring, and status assessments of the new species.

The species description was followed by our 10-state study culminating in a report and a second journal article.


Double Trouble State Park Botanical Inventory
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Dec. 31, 2015

This was a one-field-season rare plant survey of a State Park in south central New Jersey for the NJ Natural Heritage Program, which is part of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.


NY Protected Areas Database
US Geological Survey
Dec. 31, 2015

USGS provided funding to update a protected areas geodatabase for New York State that contributes directly to the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US). Specific project objectives were to: update New York’s state and local government data and private conservation protected areas data in a PAD-US geodatabase following a review of national standards and to build capacity in the state, through interagency coordination, to increase the likelihood additional updates will be available to maintain PAD-US.


Spatially Prioritizing Conservation Investments in New York State: A Decision Support Toolkit for Climate Adaptation
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Dec. 31, 2015

This TNC led project collected, synthesized and packaged information managers need to make climate-smart decisions. Information on the distribution of habitats and species, the condition of these habitats and identified threats, connectivity among habitats that will allow for species relocation, and the provision of ecosystem services were integrated into a single toolkit that supports the identification of climate adaptation strategies for conservation objectives. Our role in this project was to apply our expertise in species science and spatial modeling to predict shifts in selected species distributions due to projected climate and land use change, and to develop a spatial Climate Change vulnerability Index for selected species.


Rare Plant Conservation Guides
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Aug. 31, 2015

A 2-year project to fill the gaps in the availability of NYNHP information on rare plants in central and western New York State Parks by creating 32 new Conservation Guides. Our primary goal was to create an easily accessible, information rich tool that will help inform and support natural resource management, planning, and education in NY state parks.


Lake Ontario Adaptive Management Wetland Monitoring
US Environmental Protection Agency - Great Lakes Program
June 30, 2015
Project Page

This wetland monitoring project addresses a critical need in the implementation of a new regulation plan for Lake Ontario. It looks in more detail at the relationships between elevation and plant composition in 16 New York wetlands by linking water-level dynamics to vegetation samples. We also monitored performance indicators for meadow marsh extent, muskrat houses, and rare plants in these wetlands. This project was a collaborative effort with DEC Division of Lands and Forests, Bureau of Real Property to create control points with centimeter-level elevation precision near each wetland and with TNC to ensure that our study design, sampling, and results satisfy the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (LOSLR) environmental monitoring called for in the International joint Commission’s framework for adaptive management.


Detecting Climate Change in Wetlands in the Adirondack Park
Adirondack Park Agency
March 31, 2015
Project Page

The goal of this project was to assist the Adirondack Park Agency in the design and implementation of a wetland monitoring program that will enable analysis of wetland responses to climate change by identifying wetlands at risk from climate change. The project developed protocols and criteria for detecting and monitoring climate change effects, develop data collection training modules for citizen science volunteers, and develop a web-based GIS database to facilitate analysis and interpretation of Adirondack wetland data.


Hudson River Element Occurrence Processing
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
Dec. 31, 2014

With funding from the Hudson River Estuary Program, we examined all of our files of unprocessed data and rare species reports for information on occurrences of rare animals, rare plants, and significant natural communities in the ten counties of the Hudson River Valley. Reports and other data were assessed as to whether there was enough information to be confident of the identification of the species, to determine that the presence of the species qualified as an occurrence, and to map the occurrence. Some unprocessed data and reports did not meet these criteria and thus were not processed. From the data and reports that did meet the above criteria, 267 element occurrence (EO) records were created or updated in Biotics, New York Natural Heritage’s spatial and tabular database. All new EO records and 77 updated records involved new mapping of the EO in addition to new tabular data.


Identifying High-Quality Streams in the Hudson River Valley to Assess Watershed Resiliency and Support Conservation and Management Priority Setting
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
Dec. 31, 2014

The primary objective of the project was to assemble available biodiversity data and develop fine-scale predictive models for water quality metrics, macroinvertebrate biodiversity, freshwater mussels, and rare species for all stream reaches in the Hudson River Valley. Because not all stream reaches in the Valley have been surveyed, we used distribution models to predict species richness and water quality scores. As part of the project we piloted an outreach and citizen science effort in Rensselaer County, working with the Rensselaer Land Trust to employ our data in their conservation decision-making and engage them in the process of stream quality assessment in the field, which also served to validate our modeled data. Project deliverables included compiled biodiversity data, spatial model predictions, field results, and a final report. These spatial data layers will help all Estuary Program partners interested in conservation, restoration, management, and outreach activities as they relate to stream quality and resilience.


Balancing Wind and Wildlife: New Data and Tools to Improve Wind Project Siting for Biodiversity Conservation
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Nov. 30, 2014

The goal of this TNC project is to identify statewide biodiversity priorities by merging the most comprehensive biodiversity data available with wind project priorities and, through consultation with partners, guide appropriate siting of future wind projects. NYNHP has a central role in the project which is to compile, analyze, and prioritize all available statewide biodiversity data and then synthesize this data to address at-risk species habitat, large tracks of natural ecosystems, and connectivity among habitats. The synthesized biodiversity information will be used to inform the appropriate balance between biodiversity and wind energy projects. As part of the project, we are working with Cornell on the first-ever analyses of bird migration routes using citizen science and nocturnal acoustical data.


Adirondack Alpine Monitoring for Climate Change
USDA Forest Service - Northeastern States Research Cooperative
Sept. 30, 2014

This project was the first ever re-sampling of these alpine plant populations. We workedwith Adirondack Mountain Club and an ESF student hired specifically for this project to estimate the population and sub-populations of selected rare species growing throughout the Adirondack alpine zone and to test for any divergence in population size from the 2006-7 population estimates. We will also conducted analyses to determine if any changes can be linked to specific environmental variables, like early snowmelt and the duration of the growing season. This study provides more insight into the nature of ecological change in the Adirondack alpine zone, including both species-specific factors and short term negative effects of climatological changes.


Whale Monitoring Plan
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Marine Resources
June 30, 2014

This project is Phase 1 of a longer term effort to identify areas of conservation importance for whales off of Manhattan Island and vicinity. The goal is to design the most appropriate survey and analysis method(s) to address baseline migratory trends for each whale Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), delineate areas of conservation importance, and provide a basis for long-term monitoring.


Conservation Assessment of Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies) in the Northeastern Region
Wildlife Management Institute
March 31, 2014
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This project is the first Region-wide conservation assessment for the order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). We are working with partners across the Northeast to compile existing distributional data into a common database, coordinating with the ongoing effort to develop a comprehensive northeastern invertebrate database. These data will be used to assess the regional vulnerability of rare odonates occurring in the northeast and to inform “regional responsibility” for them. It will also prioritize species based on the extent to which regional conservation actions will benefit a species versus actions elsewhere. As a final product we will combine responsibility and vulnerability into a single prioritization matrix and habitat crosswalk and provide a list of high-priority aquatic habitats in the northeast hosting disproportionate numbers of at-risk Odonata.


Vegetation Association/Ecological Community Map - Kohler Environmental Center
Choate Rosemary Hall
Dec. 31, 2013

Conducted natural community field work and produce a vegetation association/ecological community map of the Kohler Environmental Center (~150 acres) in Wallingford, CT.


PATHWAYS: Wildlife Habitat Connectivity in the Changing Climate of the Hudson Valley
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
Feb. 29, 2012
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This project, funded by State Wildlife Grants with match funding from the Hudson River Estuary Program and Cornell University, seeks to determine the current and potential future habitat connectivity for 25 Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Hudson Valley. Using advanced modeling techniques in a Geographic Information System, we use climatic, geological, and land cover data to determine how connected the landscape is for these 25 species, under current climatic conditions and with potential future changes in climate. Results from this are helping us understand priority locations for conservation in the Hudson Valley.


New York Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
Jan. 1, 2012
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The New York Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey (NYDDS) began in 2005, spanned five field seasons through 2009, and relied heavily on citizen scientists to help collect data over a large geographic area. Its primary goal was to document the current distribution of all odonate species in New York State.


New York State Freshwater Conservation Blueprint Project
The Nature Conservancy
Dec. 31, 2011
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This project's goal was to develop GIS datasets that identify the locations and status of critical freshwater targets (habitats and species) in New York. The focus of the effort was rivers, streams, and lakes, and specific targets included freshwater and migratory fish, mussels, and other aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCNs) which may serve as indicators of river and stream health.


Vulnerability of At-Risk Species to Climate Change in New York
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish and Wildlife
March 1, 2011
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In this project, we calculated the relative vulnerability to climate change of 119 of New York’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) using NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI). We combined literature review and modeling data with expert opinion to derive these assessments
that complement our conservation status ranks (S-ranks).


Sandy Creeks Watershed Inventory and Landscape Analysis
New York State Tug Hill Commission
Jan. 31, 2011
Project Page

The purpose of this project was to provide the NYS Tug Hill Commission and its communities with a clearer picture of the biodiversity and ecological patterns of the 284,000-acre Sandy Creeks Watershed. We wished to help identify natural areas in the watershed that are vital to protecting the landscape character and biodiversity of the region including the relative ecological quality of subwatersheds.