Professor to speak about long-term research of Smitty Creek

PAUL SMITHS, NY (02/28/2012)(readMedia)-- A long-term research project taking place just down the road from Paul Smith's College is the subject of next week's Fisheries and Wildlife Seminar Series on campus.

Craig Milewski, an associate professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences, will speak Friday, March 9, about research done at the Smitty Creek watershed by Paul Smith's undergraduates.

Milewski's students established six stream reaches in the Smitty Creek watershed in 2004 that have been used as part of a long-term study on how the environment and different species interact and fluctuate over time. The watershed, located off of Keese Mills Road, was coined "Smitty" after the nickname given to Paul Smith's students.

"The benefit of using this small watershed as a teaching environment is that it has served as a real model of stream ecology and watershed processes in experiential learning," Milewski says. "Students learn that long-term resource monitoring is an integrated effort. They build upon findings of previous student research and they develop a comprehensive understanding of streams as physical and biological systems."

Before joining the Paul Smith's College faculty, Milewski was a watershed ecologist and project coordinator with a water development district in eastern South Dakota and a fisheries biologist with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The last session of the semester will be held on Friday, April 6, when Donna Parrish, the unit leader of the Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, will speak about the potential effects of changing climate on downstream Atlantic salmon migration.

Both talks are free and open to the public. They will be held from 10:10-11 a.m. in the college's Pine Room, which is in the Joan Weill Student Center.