EREN Research Projects


The Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN) is an NSF supported Research Coordination Network Project.  Laurel Anderson of  Ohio Wesleyan University, OH is the main PI of the project. Macalester College has been involved as a Core Network Participant since the inception of EREN. The EREN website provides more details on the network and the research projects involved.

My lab is currently involved in one of the collaborative projects – RBAST: Riparian Buffers Affect Stream Temperatures – Phases  I & II. The Project Coordinator is Dr. Jeff Simmons of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Maryland (

Introduction to the RBAST Study

The temperature regime of a stream is complex and spans a wide range of scales both spatially and temporally. The scale determines the type of impact temperature can have on biota. For example, fine-scale fluctuations (e.g., diurnal) have immediate effects on biochemical processes like photosynthesis. Moderate scale temperature variability as measured by daily mean temperatures can dictate what species are present or cause chronic stress. Seasonal and annual temperature variations can be summarized by mean annual temperature or growing season length and affect ecosystem-scale processes like NPP.

In this study we compare the stream temperature of forested stream reaches with paired stream reaches that have no canopy cover.  Using continuously-recording data loggers allows us to document both fine scale temperature fluctuations (diurnal) and eventually larger scale temperature variations (interseasonal and interannual).

Information on my lab’s work on this project.