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Download David Hughes, 02 May, 2012 Presentation, The Sustainable Energy Dilemma, here.

The central goal of the Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Program (AEEP) at Cornell University is to understand the interaction of energy and agriculture as these affect environmental quality in the rural environments of New York State (NYS) and downstream coastal regions (i.e. Chesapeake Bay)

Building on the older Agricultural Ecology Program (AEP), the AEEP will continue to focus on identifying, quantifying, and assessing the relative importance of the sources and sinks of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sediment in the Upper Susquehanna River basin with particular emphasis on N fluxes.

Additionally, the exponential increase in the production of biofuels and use of agricultural lands for biofuel production over the past few years (Howarth & Bringezu 2009) and the recent NYS proposal to open large parts of the State, including the Upper Susquehanna River basin, to shale gas development (NY DEC 2009) may mean marked biogeochemical and physical changes to the rural landscape and ground and surface water quality; it simply is not possible to evaluate the sources and sinks of nutrients and sediments in the upper basin and to develop improved approaches for reducing these inputs without considering the effects of these new trends. Although our primary focus will remain on water quality, we believe it important to also consider the interacting effects of energy and agriculture on emissions of greenhouse gases. Optimum management of the rural environment demands a holistic approach that broadly considers environmental consequences.

The project will also assist resource managers in reducing the NYS contribution to Chesapeake Bay nutrient loading. President Obama issued an executive order on May 12, 2009, calling Chesapeake Bay a “national treasure” and greatly increasing the commitment of the federal government to reducing nutrient pollution in the Bay (Obama 2009). Simultaneously, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they would move immediately toward implementing enforceable TMDLs (total maximum daily load standards) for N and P inputs to the Bay and NYS, the EPA, and the Chesapeake Bay Program are now moving aggressively forward with development of the Bay's first mandatory TMDLs, which will likely be enforced next year. AEEP research will help evaluate these targets and provide a research base for guidance on how to best meet and revise them in the future.

Specific research goals include:

  • continue to improve estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment fluxes in the upper basin;
  • determine the factors controlling sources of nutrient pollution in mixed agricultural/forested landscapes;
  • assess the importance of agricultural sources relative to other nutrient sources (e.g. fossil fuel combustion);
  • provide a research base for guidance on approaches for reducing nutrient pollution in the Susquehanna River basin;
  • evaluate the effects of biofuel production and shale gas development on water quality and on net greenhouse gas emissions.
Research staff
Other collaborators
  • Curatolo, Jim | Upper Susquehanna Coalition cooperator
  • Entringer, Ron | NYS DEC cooperator
  • Fickbohm, Scott | Upper Susquehanna Coalition cooperator
  • Groffman, Peter | Institute of Ecosystem Studies cooperator
  • Heard, Erin | Upper Susquehanna Coalition cooperator
  • Kaushal, Sujay | University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science cooperator
  • Thomas, Steven | University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources cooperator
  • Yearick, Chris | Upper Susquehanna Coalition cooperator
Journal articles
  • Howarth,R, D Swaney, G Billen, J Garnier, B Hong, C Humborg, P Johnes, CM Mörth, and R Marino. 2011. Nitrogen fluxes from the landscape are controlled by net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs and by climate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , DOI: 10.1890/100178
  • Woodbury PB, Howarth RW, Steinhardt G. 2008. Understanding Nutrient Cycling and Sediment Sources in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin | Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education (April, 2008) | link
  • Johnson, MS, Woodbury, PB, Pell, AN, and Lehmann, CJ. 2007. Land use change and stream water fluxes: Decadal dynamics in watershed nitrate loadings. Ecosystems DOI: 10.1007/s10021-007-9091-2.
  • Nagle GN, Fahey TJ, Ritchie JC, Woodbury PB, 2007, Variations in sediment sources and yields in the Finger Lakes and Catskills regions of New York. Hydrological Processes 21(6):828-838
Reports
  • Indirect Emissions of Carbon Dioxide from Marcellus Shale Gas Development. A Technical Report from the Agriculture, Energy, & the Environment Program at Cornell University | Report | Download full report
  • Progress Report: Understanding Sources and Sinks of Nutrients and Sediment in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin | Report |Download full report
  • Workshop on Atmospheric Deposition of Nitrogen - Chesapeake Bay Program, Science and Technical Advisory Committee | Report | Download full report (PDF)
  • Hearing on Non-point Source Pollution: The Impacts of Agriculture on Water Quality | testimony before congressional committee | Download written testimony
Presentations
  • Steinhart, G. S. and B. J. Lowe. 2007. Data Curation and Distribution in Support of Cornell University's Upper Susquehanna Agricultural Ecology Program. Proceedings from DigCCurr2007, an international symposium on Digital Curation. Chapel Hill, NC. Available online: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/7517
  • Bettez, N.; Howarth, R.; Marino, R.; Davidson, E., 2007, Indications of Nitrogen Saturation in Forests Adjacent to Roadways Due to Mobile Source Emissions. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Funk, C.; McHorney, R.; Foreman, K.; Crusius, J.; Howarth, R.; Marino, R.; McGlathery, K.; Berg, P. 2007. Watershed and Estuarine Processing of Groundwater Borne Nutrients. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Hayn, M.; Howarth, R.; Marino, R.; Berg, P.; Foreman, K.; Giblin, A.; McGlathery, K., 2007. Nitrogen Input-Output Dynamics in a Shallow Tidal Estuary on Cape Cod. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Hong, B.; Swaney, D.; Howarth, R. 2007. Improving Regional Nutrient Management Model: new estimates of nitrogen loads in 16 northeastern US watersheds. Abstract for the Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Howarth, R.; Swaney, D., 2007. The Influence of Climate on the Flux of Nitrogen from Large Watersheds . Abstract for the Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Johnes, P. 2007. Nutrient Flux Estimates in UK Catchments: Developing multi-proxy approaches for freshwater, estuarine and coastal waters. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Mahl, U.; Tyler, A.; McLenaghan, N.; Howarth, R.; Berg, P.; Giblin, A.; Marino, R., 2007. Linking Benthic Invertebrate Density and Diversity to Nutrient Cycling and Eutrophication in Shallow Estuaries . Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Marino, R.; Howarth, R.; Bettez, N.; Davidson, E.; Molodovskaya, M. 2007. Estimating the Importance of Near-Source Deposition of Nitrogen from Vehicle Emissions to Cape Cod. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • McGlathery, K.; Ferdie, M.; Berg, P.; Foreman, K.; Giblin, A.; Howarth, R.; Marino, R. 2007. Biotic Feedbacks During Eutrophication of Coastal Bays: The role of plants in the "coastal filter." Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • McLenaghan, N.; Tyler, A.; Mahl, U.; Marino, R.; Howarth, R. 2007. The Role of Invertebrate Functional Diversity in Regulating Benthic Algal Dynamics. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Melkonian, J., H. M. van Es, A DeGaetano, J. Sogbedji, and L. Joseph. 2006. Application of dynamic simulation modeling for nitrogen management in maize. World Congress of Soil Science, Philadelphia, PA, July 9-15, 2006
  • Melkonian, J., H. M. van Es, A DeGaetano, J. Sogbedji, and L. Joseph. 2006. Synthesis, modeling and application of disciplinary soil science knowledge to soil water plant environment systems World Congress of Soil Science, Philadelphia, PA, July 9-15, 2006
  • Sanders, J.; Kling, C.; Howarth, R.; Scavia, D.; Turner, R.; Boynton, W.; Conley, D. 2007. Thematic Plenary: The EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Assessment. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Steinhart, GS. 2007. Data Curation and Distribution in Support of Cornell University's Agricultural Ecosystems Program. Workshop: Data Preservation, Sharing, and Discovery: Small Science in the Digital Era. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, Durham, NC. May 16-17, 2007.
  • Steinhart, GS. 2007. Ensuring Data Availability for Cornell University's Upper Susquehanna Agricultural Ecology Program. Land Informatics Conference II. September 28-29, 2007. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.
  • Turner, C.; Tyler, A.; Mahl, U.; Marino, R.; Howarth, R. 2007. Eutrophication and Benthic Macrofauna: Impacts on Porewater Chemistry in Sediments of Varying Organic Matter. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Tyler, A.; Turner, C.; Mahl, U.; Berg, P.; Marino, R.; Howarth, R., Feedbacks Among Benthic Invertebrates, Microalgae and Sediment Biogeochemistry in Shallow Estuarine Sediments. Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
  • Woodbury PB, Howarth RW, Swaney DP. 2006. Modeling Nitrogen in the Susquehanna Basin (USA) using the SCOPE-NANI Approach. Annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Montreal, Canada, November 5-10, 2006.
  • Woodbury PB, Swaney DP, Howarth RW. 2006. Nitrogen Inputs and Riverine Export for the Susquehanna Basin. Poster presentation, Second Agricultural Ecosystems Program Meeting, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 29 November, 2006.
  • Woodbury PB, Swaney DP, Boyer EW, Howarth RW. 2006. Modelling Nitrogen in the Susquehanna Basin using the SCOPE-NANI Approach. Poster presentation, First Agricultural Ecosystems Program Meeting, Cornell University, 4 May, 2006.
  • Woodbury PB, Howarth RW, Swaney DP. 2007. Modeling Nitrogen in the Susquehanna Basin USA using the SCOPE-NANI Approach. Biennial meeting of the Estuarine Research Federation, Providence, RI, November 4-8, 2007.
  • Woodbury PB, Howarth RW, Swaney DP. 2007. Modeling Nitrogen in the Upper Susquehanna Basin of New York using the SCOPE-NANI Approach. Invited platform presentation, Watershed Management and Science Conference, Binghamton University, May 22, 2007.
  • Woodbury, P.; Swaney, D.; Howarth, R. 2007. Modeling Nitrogen in the Susquehanna Basin USA Using the SCOPE-NANI Approach. Abstract for the Estuarine Research Federation Science and Management, Providence, RI, 4-8 November 2007.
Dissertations and theses
  • Rich, Justin, 2008, Winter Nitrogen Cycling in Agroecosystems as Affected by Snow Cover and Cover Crops, Master of Science Thesis, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 18453.
    • Distribution of Cs-137 in stream sediments and stream banks in the upper Susquehanna basin - 2006 | link
    • Water quality data for Fall Creek (Tompkins County, NY) sampling sites: 1972-1995 | link
    • Water quality data for Kashong Creek Watershed (Ontario County and Yates County, NY) sampling sites: 1977-1979 | link
    • Water quality data for southern tributaries to Cayuga Lake (Tompkins County, NY): 1987-1989| link
    • Water quality data for well, stream, and seep samples from the Harford Teaching and Research Farm (Cortland County, NY): 1974-1994 | link
    • Well Logs for wells at the Cornell Department of Animal Science Harford Teaching and Research Center | link