Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University - Collections and Research - Patrick Center For Environmental Research

Patrick Center For Environmental Research

The Patrick Center, formerly the Limnology Department, is an unusual operation to have in a natural history institution. Rather than concentrating on biological systematics, anthropology, archaeology, or geology, the Patrick Center for Environmental Research concerns itself with applied ecology. Founded in 1947 by Ruth Patrick, formerly of the Diatom Herbarium, it was one of the earliest environmental consulting concerns in the United States. However, its genesis within the Academy has had its consequences. It was also the first to employ interdisciplinary teams of scientists to study freshwater systems and the first to regard biodiversity as a central criterion of water quality.

One of its first undertakings, the 1948 biological survey of the Conestoga River Basin in Pennsylvania, is regarded as a milestone in environmental research. Similar surveys and other studies were subsequently conducted throughout much of the United States. Characteristically, these earlier projects resulted from a partnership of the Patrick Center (then the Limnology Department) with private industry. However, with the rise of the environmental movement in the 1960s and 1970s and the resulting increases in governmental regulation of water pollution, the environmental assessments pioneered at the Academy are increasingly being conducted by private environmental consulting firms.

Much of the current research at the Patrick Center is conducted in partnership with regulatory agencies and other governmental bodies. These studies can encompass fields as diverse as diatom autecology, environmental chemistry and toxicology, habitat restoration, long-term environmental trends, species conservation, and watershed management. Some of the work, such as recent studies on the ecological effects of small dams or the ecological benefits of riparian reforestation, employ most of the center's expertise and capabilities, while other studies may involve only one or a couple of the research programs.

An example of the latter is a current project sampling sediment cores in tidal marshes throughout the Delaware Estuary. This undertaking, possibly the most comprehensive core sampling in any estuary, relies extensively on the center's expertise in biogeochemistry and phycology. Once the sampling is completed, scientist will be able to investigate historical trends in marsh development, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, water pollution, salinity variations, and climatic change by analyzing the core's sediments, chemistry, and diatom assemblages.

Read more about this topic:  Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Drexel University, Collections and Research

Other articles related to "patrick center for environmental research, patrick center, research, environmental research":

Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Drexel University - Collections and Research - Patrick Center For Environmental Research - Phycology
... Diatom Herbarium, the Phycology Section of the Patrick Center is able to provide algal analyses for governmental and other agencies interested in both assessing water quality and long-ter ... In addition to these research efforts, the Phycology Section of the Patrick Center has developed a set of online resources for using algae in environmental research ... These include an algal image database, autecology datasets for freshwater algae, algae research with the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program, and a ...

Famous quotes containing the words research, patrick and/or center:

    Our science has become terrible, our research dangerous, our findings deadly. We physicists have to make peace with reality. Reality is not as strong as we are. We will ruin reality.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)

    The bottom line on bonding with multiples seems to be that if you see bonding as a static event—a moment in time at which you must have eye contact and skin contact simultaneously with two or more infants—you may indeed be in trouble.
    —Pamela Patrick Novotny (20th century)

    My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack.
    Ferdinand Foch (1851–1929)