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Syracuse, NY, United States

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry is an American, specialized, doctoral-granting institution based in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, immediately adjacent to Syracuse University, within which it was founded, and with whom it maintains a special relationship. ESF also operates facilities in the Adirondack Park , the Thousand Islands, elsewhere in central New York, and Costa Rica. The College's curricula focus on the understanding, management and sustainability of the environment and natural resources. It commemorated its centennial in 2011. Wikipedia.


Lomolino M.V.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2010

Charles Darwin's observations and insights continue to inspire nearly all scientists who are captivated by both the marvels and the perils of island life. Here I feature four themes inspired by Darwin's singular insights: themes that may continue to provide valuable lessons for understanding the ecological and evolutionary development of insular biotas, and for conserving the natural character and evolutionary potential of all species restricted to isolated ecosystems (natural or anthropogenic). © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Turner J.S.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Swarm Intelligence | Year: 2011

Eusociality has evolved independently at least twice among the insects: among the Hymenoptera (ants and bees), and earlier among the Isoptera (termites). Studies of swarm intelligence, and by inference, swarm cognition, have focused largely on the bees and ants, while the termites have been relatively neglected. Yet, termites are among the world's premier animal architects, and this betokens a sophisticated swarm intelligence capability. In this article, I review new findings on the workings of the mound of Macrotermes which clarify how these remarkable structures work, and how they come to be built. Swarm cognition in these termites is in the form of "extended" cognition, whereby the swarm's cognitive abilities arise both from interaction amongst the individual agents within a swarm, and from the interaction of the swarm with the environment, mediated by the mound's dynamic architecture. The latter provides large scale "cognitive maps" which enable termite swarms to assess the functional state of their structure and to guide repair efforts where necessary. The crucial role of the built environment in termite swarm cognition also points to certain "swarm cognitive disorders", where swarms can be pushed into anomalous activities by manipulating crucial structural and functional attributes of the termite system of "extended cognition." © 2010 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. Source


Stehman S.V.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2013

A map of land cover or land-cover change produced from remotely sensed data is linked to estimation of area of land cover or land-cover change via an accuracy assessment of the map. A variety of area estimators have been proposed based on different approaches to using the estimated error matrix produced from an accuracy assessment along with information available from the map. These estimators include a stratified estimator (where the strata are the map classes), several model-assisted estimators incorporating the map information as auxiliary variables in a variety of different models, and a bias-adjusted estimator that corrects for classification error when area is computed directly from the map. In some cases the same area estimator results from more than one approach. For stratified random sampling with the map classes defining the strata, the model-assisted and bias-adjusted estimators are equivalent to the stratified estimator of area that would typically be used with this sampling design. Thus the commonly used stratified estimator is the lone choice for stratified random sampling. For simple random sampling, the bias-adjusted estimator and a model-assisted difference estimator are equivalent, but other model-assisted options include poststratified (i.e., applying a stratified estimator to data obtained from a simple random sample), ratio, and simple regression estimators. A simulation study demonstrates that for simple random sampling, the poststratified estimator almost always has the smallest variance among these estimators. The only exception to the superior performance of the poststratified estimator occurred when overall accuracy was very high, the true proportion of area was small (i.e., less than 2%), and the accuracy assessment sample size was small (n=. 100). Because the poststratified estimator for simple random sampling is equivalent to the stratified estimator used with stratified random sampling, the stratified estimator provides a unified, simple approach to area estimation for these two commonly used sampling designs. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Ryan S.J.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Walsh P.D.,University of Cambridge
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Infectious disease has recently joined poaching and habitat loss as a major threat to African apes. Both "naturally" occurring pathogens, such as Ebola and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), and respiratory pathogens transmitted from humans, have been confirmed as important sources of mortality in wild gorillas and chimpanzees. While awareness of the threat has increased, interventions such as vaccination and treatment remain controversial. Here we explore both the risk of disease to African apes, and the status of potential responses. Through synthesis of published data, we summarize prior disease impact on African apes. We then use a simple demographic model to illustrate the resilience of a well-known gorilla population to disease, modeled on prior documented outbreaks. We found that the predicted recovery time for this specific gorilla population from a single outbreak ranged from 5 years for a low mortality (4%) respiratory outbreak, to 131 years for an Ebola outbreak that killed 96% of the population. This shows that mortality rates comparable to those recently reported for disease outbreaks in wild populations are not sustainable. This is particularly troubling given the rising pathogen risk created by increasing habituation of wild apes for tourism, and the growth of human populations surrounding protected areas. We assess potential future disease spillover risk in terms of vaccination rates amongst humans that may come into contact with wild apes, and the availability of vaccines against potentially threatening diseases. We discuss and evaluate non-interventionist responses such as limiting tourist access to apes, community health programs, and safety, logistic, and cost issues that constrain the potential of vaccination. © 2011 Ryan and Walsh. Source


Escobedo F.J.,Ziegler | Kroeger T.,Nature Conservancy | Wagner J.E.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2011

The purpose of this paper is to integrate the concepts of ecosystem services and disservices when assessing the efficacy of using urban forests for mitigating pollution. A brief review of the literature identifies some pollution mitigation ecosystem services provided by urban forests. Existing ecosystem services definitions and typologies from the economics and ecological literature are adapted and applied to urban forest management and the concepts of ecosystem disservices from natural and semi-natural systems are discussed. Examples of the urban forest ecosystem services of air quality and carbon dioxide sequestration are used to illustrate issues associated with assessing their efficacy in mitigating urban pollution. Development of urban forest management alternatives that mitigate pollution should consider scale, contexts, heterogeneity, management intensities and other social and economic co-benefits, tradeoffs, and costs affecting stakeholders and urban sustainability goals. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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