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Riverdale Science Lab Begins Arctic Research
Posted 07/13/2017 01:44PM


Two faculty members and five students traveled to Alaska this month to collect specimens as part of a new research initiative by the Summer Science Research Program at Riverdale's Lisman Laboratories.

Led by Dr. Rachel Cox, director of science research, and Marshall Nicoloff, director of outdoor education, the group traveled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and then followed the Dalton Highway along the Alaska pipeline toward Prudhoe Bay.

They collected White Spruce needle samples from trees growing in three different latitudes within the arctic tree line, and mosses from the tundra above tree line. Their research will investigate two issues: how growth and maturity of the white spruces at tree line are controlled by genetic variations, and how mosses adapt to the changing climate conditions of the tundra ecosystem.


Their research will augment work being done by Columbia University's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology and the Toolik Field Station Institute of Arctic Biology.

The students on the trip were Fred Meckler '18, Marti Gendel '18, Connor Bird '18, Julia Gardner '17, and Zach Halem '14.

The Summer Science Research Program is continuing its research on differences in marsh grass found along the Bronx River and the Greenwich Cove in order to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on the species. The Lisman Laboratories has published two articles about its research on the marsh species from these locations. 


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