Environmental Science Department Image.j

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

 
Samuel Adams Photo.jpeg

SAMUEL ADAMS '20

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Land Management Plan for Native Plants and Animals

The aim of my project was to create a management plan for the native plants and animals at a wetland/upland site in Southampton, MA. The management plan includes creating a plan for removing invasive species, installing birdhouses, planting beneficial native species, and delineating the wetland.

 
CURCA Logo.png

DAIZHA BAPTISTE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Does the Inclusion of Native Communities in Conservation Projects Influence Outcomes and Avoid Conservation Refugees?

The growing issue of displacement and expulsion of native people in the name of conservation and biological protection has resulted in a considerable amount of human rights violations and debates over environmental ethics. In this senior research project, I examine how community-based conservation approaches interact with both social and environmental institutions in an effort to find the most sustainable route for modern-day conservation.

 
CURCA Logo.png

MCKENNA BENTO

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Impact of Residential Development on Cyanobacteria Colonization in Ponds of Plymouth, MA

Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms found in ponds and other bodies of water, and when a bloom occurs it can be extremely toxic to the organism and to the environment. I sampled ten ponds in Plymouth, MA to determine the correlation between residential development and the amount of cyanobacteria present and have found that ponds with more residential development had more cyanobacteria.

 
CURCA Logo.png

ERICA BURTON 21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Impacts of Small Massachusetts’ River Impoundments on Macroinvertebrate Communities

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates can serve as bioindicators of water quality because species can vary in sensitivity to pollution and oxygen concentrations. We sampled Aquatic Macroinvertebrates upstream and downstream of ten dam impoundments in Massachusetts to determine the impact that small dams have on aquatic ecosystems.

CURCA Logo.png

GILLIAN PINCIARO '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Impacts of Small Massachusetts’ River Impoundments on Macroinvertebrate Communities

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates can serve as bioindicators of water quality because species can vary in sensitivity to pollution and oxygen concentrations. We sampled Aquatic Macroinvertebrates upstream and downstream of ten dam impoundments in Massachusetts to determine the impact that small dams have on aquatic ecosystems.

 
CURCA Logo.png

DEAN CONRAD '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A Comparison of Massachusetts’ Freshwater Lake and Stream Acidity Between 1990 and 2020

We sampled the pH in 71 lakes and streams across Massachusetts and mapped out the results using GIS. We compared present day acidity levels with data from 30 years ago to calculate how much conditions have improved as a result of stricter air quality regulations; this is important because acidity levels play a major role in aquatic ecosystem health.

CURCA Logo.png

TRISTAN COURTEMANCHE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A Comparison of Massachusetts’ Freshwater Lake and Stream Acidity Between 1990 and 2020

We sampled the pH in 71 lakes and streams across Massachusetts and mapped out the results using GIS. We compared present day acidity levels with data from 30 years ago to calculate how much conditions have improved as a result of stricter air quality regulations; this is important because acidity levels play a major role in aquatic ecosystem health.

 
Kristen Couture Photo.jpeg

KRISTEN COUTURE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A Comparative Study of Diet Fluctuations of Dissolved Oxygen and pH Between a Deep Tail-Water Release River and a Shallow White-Water River

We sampled dissolved oxygen and pH every half-hour for a 24-hour diel cycle on the Swift (MA) and Scantic (CT) Rivers, and compared the results using stream survey characteristics. We found the highly productive Swift River had dramatic diel fluctuations, whereas the less productive Scantic River had only modest diel fluctuations.

Ryan Judd Photo.jpeg

RYAN JUDD '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A Comparative Study of Diet Fluctuations of Dissolved Oxygen and pH Between a Deep Tail-Water Release River and a Shallow White-Water River

We sampled dissolved oxygen and pH every half-hour for a 24-hour diel cycle on the Swift (MA) and Scantic (CT) Rivers, and compared the results using stream survey characteristics. We found the highly productive Swift River had dramatic diel fluctuations, whereas the less productive Scantic River had only modest diel fluctuations.

 
Kristen Couture Photo.jpeg

KRISTEN COUTURE 

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An Assessment of Current Habitat Conditions and Macroinvertebrate Populations in the Swift River and Scantic River

This poster focuses on analyzing the current habitats available on the Swift and Scantic Rivers. Macroinvertebrate were are collected in various river habitats on both rivers and were their populations were also assessed.

Ryan Judd Photo.jpeg

RYAN JUDD '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An Assessment of Current Habitat Conditions and Macroinvertebrate Populations in the Swift River and Scantic River

This poster focuses on analyzing the current habitats available on the Swift and Scantic Rivers. Macroinvertebrate were are collected in various river habitats on both rivers and were their populations were also assessed.

 
CURCA Logo.png

BRYANT DANA '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Effects of Different Management Techniques on Invasive Plants and on Ixodes scapularis (black- legged ticks) Population

Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between invasive shrub abundance and tick populations, which may be related to microclimate conditions such as soil moisture and humidity. To investigate this relationship, we visited the area of interest twelve times to measure tick abundance, microclimate, and vegetation regrowth of four plots one year after each were treated with different invasive management techniques to evaluate which technique was the most effective and time efficient.

CURCA Logo.png

CHRIS LECLAIRE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Effects of Different Management Techniques on Invasive Plants and on Ixodes scapularis (black- legged ticks) Population

Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between invasive shrub abundance and tick populations, which may be related to microclimate conditions such as soil moisture and humidity. To investigate this relationship, we visited the area of interest twelve times to measure tick abundance, microclimate, and vegetation regrowth of four plots one year after each were treated with different invasive management techniques to evaluate which technique was the most effective and time efficient.

CURCA Logo.png

CAREY MARSHALL '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Effects of Different Management Techniques on Invasive Plants and on Ixodes scapularis (black- legged ticks) Population

Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between invasive shrub abundance and tick populations, which may be related to microclimate conditions such as soil moisture and humidity. To investigate this relationship, we visited the area of interest twelve times to measure tick abundance, microclimate, and vegetation regrowth of four plots one year after each were treated with different invasive management techniques to evaluate which technique was the most effective and time efficient.

 
CURCA Logo.png

OLIVIA FOOTIT '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Non-native Insects and Their Impact on the Eastern Hemlock

Non-native insects have the potential to dramatically reduce tree populations and lead to major changes in forest composition. In this senior seminar project, I have measured the abundance of two non-native insects - the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and the elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa) - in two locations in western Massachusetts, to determine how eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is being affected by their presence.

 
 
CURCA Logo.png

ERIC HARRIS 

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An Analysis of the Effects of Shoreline Development on Lower Trophic Level Freshwater Organism Diversity and Abundance in Massachusetts

We analyzed the effects of shoreline development along pond/lake ecosystems to determine its impact on lower trophic level aquatic life. We sampled fifteen pond/lake ecosystems in Massachusetts weekly for five weeks, using bait fish traps to measure species diversity, abundance, and characteristics, which was then compared to shoreline development using satellite imaging.

CURCA Logo.png

CHAD HAUPTMAN '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An Analysis of the Effects of Shoreline Development on Lower Trophic Level Freshwater Organism Diversity and Abundance in Massachusetts

We analyzed the effects of shoreline development along pond/lake ecosystems to determine its impact on lower trophic level aquatic life. We sampled fifteen pond/lake ecosystems in Massachusetts weekly for five weeks, using bait fish traps to measure species diversity, abundance, and characteristics, which was then compared to shoreline development using satellite imaging.

PAUL SOUCY '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWEK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An Analysis of the Effects of Shoreline Development on Lower Trophic Level Freshwater Organism Diversity and Abundance in Massachusetts

We analyzed the effects of shoreline development along pond/lake ecosystems to determine its impact on lower trophic level aquatic life. We sampled fifteen pond/lake ecosystems in Massachusetts weekly for five weeks, using bait fish traps to measure species diversity, abundance, and characteristics, which was then compared to shoreline development using satellite imaging.

Kailyn LaPointe Photo.jpeg

KAILYN LAPOINTE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Ecological Management Plan for Recreation and Biodiversity at Springdale Forest in Westfield, Massachusetts

This project is an ecological management plan for a section of forested area off of Springdale Rd. in Westfield, Massachusetts. The management plan draws from field data on invasive species and current recreational use and provides guidance on how to restore the land to a state that promotes biodiversity and supports passive recreational activities.

 
J. Levesque Image.jpeg

JONPIERRE LEVESQUE '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Effect of River Impoundments on Fish Catchability and Aquatic Ecosystem Health

Over the course of 2 months, we fished upstream and downstream of 5 impoundments, 5 times each, to determine the catchability of fish as a measure of the impact of those impoundments on aquatic ecosystem health. At this point (halfway through the study) we have not found any strong indication that catchability differs upstream versus downstream.

Thomas Morin Photo.jpeg

THOMAS MORIN '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR MICHAEL VORWERK, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Effect of River Impoundments on Fish Catchability and Aquatic Ecosystem Health

Over the course of 2 months, we fished upstream and downstream of 5 impoundments, 5 times each, to determine the catchability of fish as a measure of the impact of those impoundments on aquatic ecosystem health. At this point (halfway through the study) we have not found any strong indication that catchability differs upstream versus downstream.

 
CURCA Logo.png

NICOLAS PIETRONIRO '20

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR LAUREN DICARLO, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

N.O.I. Proposal for Restoring the WSU Research Area

This project proposes a restoration plan for two degraded sites within the Westfield State University’s research area. This plan has two objectives: 1) remove multiple exotic species to encourage the growth of native plants and 2) involve students in the removal process and vegetation monitoring.

 
CURCA Logo.png

PAIGE PRESSEY '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The Influence of Urbanization on Ecosystems and Humans

Pollution from urbanization tends to disproportionately impact certain demographics, including BIPOC, so it is essential to consider this while analyzing how well Massachusetts manages urbanization. In this senior seminar project, I investigate the relationship between urbanization and air pollution in Massachusetts counties.

 
Matthew J Rowell Photo.jpeg

MATTHEW J ROWELL '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Mowing's Effect on Climate Change

Soil is a non-renewable resource that we have been draining carbon from since the earliest days of civilization through agriculture and land management. In this senior seminar project, I am investigating how much carbon may be added back to soil after the cessation of mowing in the research area at Westfield State University.

 
CURCA Logo.png

LIAM TOMASETTA '20

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Santuit Cranberry Bog Restoration

In this senior capstone project, I create a restoration plan for an abandoned cranberry bog located in Mashpee and Barnstable Massachusetts. The goal is to restore the abandoned cranberry bog to a natural wetland habitat, included in the plan is the site location description, goals and objectives, methods, and multiple restoration options depending on the project's budget.

 
Michael Virgilo.jpeg

MICHAEL VIRGILIO '21

MAJOR: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR TIM PARSHALL, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 

Alford Springs Nature Preserve, Forestry Project and Interpretive Trail Sign.

The focus of the project was to collect specific data about wildlife habitat and vegetation for Berkshire Natural Resources Council in regards to the Forestry project that resulted in the heavy cutting of trees along the Father Loop trail at Alford Springs. The cutting has been evaluated for its potential to serve ecological benefits associated with early successional habitat for wildlife, ability to maintain production of high quality lumber, as well as what the project will look like in the future for BNRC to install an educational interpretive sign on the trial that will engage recreational users with the significance of the property.