Science and Technology Research Institutes

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Inc

  • Millbrook, NY
  • http://www.ecostudies.org

Mission Statement

For over twenty-five years, our scientists have been investigating the complex connections that govern the natural world, and their objective findings lead to more effective policy decisions and increased environmental literacy. Today as society faces climate change, declining supplies of fresh water, urban sprawl, and other critical challenges, the Institute is one of the most influential ecological research organizations. Decision makers, land managers, educators, and the public look to our scientists to help shape the environment we will leave for future generations.

Main Programs

  1. Engaging Undergraduates in an Ecological Research Community
  2. Baltimore Ecosystem Study
  3. Long Term Effects of a Species Invasion on an Aquatic Ecosystem (Hudson River)
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Cary is one of the largest ecological programs in the world.  Collaborative long-term studies conducted by our scientists have been instrumental in informing the Clean Air Act, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and environmental management practices throughout the Northeastern U.S, including the Hudson River, New York’s Catskill and Adirondack forests, New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and the Baltimore, MD watershed. Cary’s main research campus is on 2,000 acres in Millbrook, NY, and open to the public for outdoor recreation as well educational activities and public programs hosted by the Institute.

ruling year

1993

Principal Officer since 2007

Self-reported

Dr. William H. Schlesinger

Keywords

Self-reported

Ecosystem research, ecology education

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Also Known As

Cary Institute

EIN

22-3232968

 Number

7264953228

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Science and Technology Research Institutes, Services N.E.C. (U99)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Engaging Undergraduates in an Ecological Research Community

For the past 23 years, the Cary Institute’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program has provided 8-12 students each summer with an opportunity to conduct quality research in ecology at a world-class institute. Our alumni have gone on to wonderful careers in academic ecology as professors or research scientists, in environmental management or consulting, in ecology education, or in many other fields. In alumni surveys, they report that their Cary REU experience was instrumental in their career success. REU students contribute to the mission of the Institute through their research, with most writing papers for the Undergraduate Ecology Research Reports on-line publication, and many co-authoring peer-reviewed articles based on their work.  The program is led by Alan Berkowitz, Cary's Head of Education and a Ph.D. Plant Ecologist.  The program budget is $545,000 over five years.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$545,000.00

Program 2

Baltimore Ecosystem Study

With its well-defined watershed, long-standing watershed associations with data on past land use, and a foundation of environmentally motivated social science research, Baltimore is an excellent model for researching urban ecology and the way the urban footprint impacts the ecology of surrounding areas. By integrating ecology with social sciences and the humanities, and fostering positive relationships with the people and institutions located in the research areas, BES makes research relevant to the lives of Baltimore residents. When residents are informed about the ecology of their city, they are given the opportunity to make decisions that will benefit the system.  This long-term ecological research project is led by Steward T.A. Pickett, Ph..D., Plant Ecologist.

Program budget is $
964,931/year for six years with a total budget of  $5,789,588.

Category

Science & Technology

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$5,789,588.00

Program 3

Long Term Effects of a Species Invasion on an Aquatic Ecosystem (Hudson River)

Non-native species have large ecological effects, cause enormous economic damage, and are one of the most important and least wellcontrolled of human impacts on the world?s ecosystems. The long-term effects of species invasions, which may differ considerably from short-term effects, are still poorly understood. Soon after zebra mussels invaded the Hudson River over 17 years ago, they had large impacts on nearly every aspect of the ecosystem. Recently, the zebra mussel population and its effects have begun to change: survival rates of zebra mussels have fallen by a factor of 100, and some, but not all, parts of the ecosystem have recovered toward pre-invasion conditions. This project continues the investigators' long-term study of zebra mussel invasion by quantifying the zebra mussel population and its effects on water chemistry, water clarity, and populations of phytoplankton, zooplankton,bacteria, and native pearly mussels in the Hudson River. Results will lead to a better understanding of the zebra mussel (one of the world's most important invaders), and also provide one of very few detailed studies of the long-term effects of an invader.Results from this research will be of significant value to managers who oversee with the Hudson River and who confront wide-ranging effects of non-native species. To reach beyond the scientific community, the researchers will disseminate their findings by posting data on open websites; continuing highly successful programs for middle- and high school students; and continuing a very active program of outreach through public lectures, seminars, training workshops, and newspaper articles. This project is led by David L. Strayer, Ph.D., Freshwater Ecologist. 
 
$90,000 a year for 5 years $450,000 total grant

Category

Science & Technology

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$450,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Cary is one of the largest ecological programs in the world.  Collaborative long-term studies conducted by our scientists have been instrumental in informing the Clean Air Act, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and environmental management practices throughout the Northeastern U.S, including the Hudson River, New York’s Catskill and Adirondack forests, New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and the Baltimore, MD watershed. Cary’s main research campus is on 2,000 acres in Millbrook, NY, and open to the public for outdoor recreation as well educational activities and public programs hosted by the Institute.

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Financials

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CARY INSTITUTE OF ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Inc

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Dr. William H. Schlesinger

BIO

Dr. Schlesinger is the author or coauthor of over 180 scientific papers. His textbook Biogeochemistry: An analysis of climate change is widely taught at the university level. Findings from his research have been featured on NOVA, CNN, NPR, and in the pages of Discover, National Geographic, The New York Times, and Scientific American.

His distinctions include elected membership in both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a past president of the Ecological Society of America (2003-2004) and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow (1999).

Dr. Schlesinger is committed to bridging the divide between science and policy. He has testified before U.S. House and Senate Committees on a range of environmental issues, including desert habitat preservation, global climate change, and, most recently, carbon sequestration. Currently, he serves on the boards of The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Terrapass LLC.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Irene W. Banning

Board of Managers, The New York Botanical Garden

Term: Apr 2011 - Apr 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?