Frost Valley believes that Environmental Stewardship requires an investment into scientific research. For over 30 years research has been conducted through a collaborative effort to better understand the Catskill ecosystem. This effort includes federal, state, university and regional non-profit partners.

Biscuit Brook and Neversink River Research Watershed

Since 1983 the U.S. Geological Survey and Frost Valley have been partners on research and education.  The Biscuit Brook watershed is home to numerous scientific studies and long term research.  Biscuit Brook is home to a USGS Gaging Station as well at the NADP stations operated by Frost Valley Staff.

The Biscuit Brook Watershed monitors the following:

  1. Precipitation and Deposition: Wet and Dry Deposition
  2. Soils: Chemistry and Toxicity
  3. Water: Organic contaminants, inorganic chemistry, trace metals, aquatic biota, and discharge

Stream data for Frost Valley’s Biscuit Brook is available from the USGS website.
For more information regarding Biscuit Brook and the Neversink, see the U.S. Geological Survey link below.

Luke Roehm Technology Center at Frost Valley

The Frost Valley Environmental Science Department is housed in the Luke Roehm Technology Center in the solar-powered Quirk Lodge. The staff oversees all scientific research conducted on Frost Valley property and serve as liaison to scientists and assists in data collection. Data is archived in the Roehm Center’s computer lab; selected data are stored on this web-site under the Environmental Monitoring tab.

Frost Valley operates three National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Stations. Frost Valley staff collect and process weekly water samples for the NADP: National Trends Network (NTN), Mercury Deposition (MDN) Stations, and Ammonia Monitoring Network (AMoN).  The NTN is the largest North American network that provides a long-term record of precipitation chemistry.  Each site has a rain gage and a precipitation collector.  The samples are tested for pH, specific conductance, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, nitrate, chloride, and ammonium ions.  The MDN station is tested for total mercury in precipitation.  It is the only network providing a long-term record for the concentration of mercury (Hg) in precipitation in North America. Frost Valley also operates a station for the US EPA’s Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET)

Frost Valley YMCA Research Partners and Studies

CARY Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Studying nutrient control and atmospheric deposition (acid rain)
Beech bark disease gap study plots

Central Connecticut State University
Leaf Longevity of Oxalis Acetosella (wood sorrel) in the Catskill Mountains, New York

Cornell University
Effects of Coarse Woody Debris on Catskill Streams.

National Audubon Society
Bird, amphibian, & carrion beetle ASSOCIATIONS WITH POST- harvest STAND CONDITIONS in northern hardwood forests of New York

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation/Biodiversity Research Institute
Mercury Exposure in Invertivores

Rondout-Neversink Stream Management Program
Implements recommendations identified in the prior contract, CAT-389, with broad goals that support watershed stewardship through assessment, planning, education, and stream and floodplain restoration activities in the Towns of Denning (Ulster County) and Neversink (Sullivan County).

Stroud Water Research Center
Meta-Ecosystems and the Upstream Legacy: Influence of Dissolved Organic Matter on the Structure and Function of Streambed Bacterial Communities

SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
Monitoring of watershed protection during sustainable timber harvests;
Predicting the Size of Discolored Hearts in Sugar Maple
Orchid abundance along forest successional gradients: Do mycorrhizal fungal symbionts determine rarity?
Vernal Photosynthesis and Nutrient Retranslocation in Dryopteris intermedia
Influence of Nutrient Availability and Tree Wilding Density on Nutrient Uptake by Oxalis acetosella (wood sorrel) and Acer saccharum (sugar maple)

SUNY Plattsburgh
The Effects of Beech Bark Disease on Mammal Assemblages in the Forests of Northern New York

Syracuse University
Response of Acidified Soils and Associated Surface Waters to Reduced Atmospheric Acid Inputs and Calcium Mitigation Strategies

USDA Forest Service
Forest Health Monitoring
Forest Inventory and Analysis
Sugar Maple Decline

U.S. Geological Survey
Gaging Station, Biscuit Brook and Neversink Watershed Research, Forest Nutrients; public education and outreach
Acidification of the Upper Neversink River: Effects on Biota
Effects of Forest Health on Ecosystem Health in the Headwaters of the New York City Water Supply, Catskill Mountains, NY
The Role of Nitrate in the Acidification of streams in the Catskill Mountains of New York
Water Quality Responses to Best Management Practices in Catskill Forests
Effects of a Beaver Pond on Runoff Processes
Effects of Stream Acidification on Inorganic Aluminum on Mortality of Brook Trout

Watershed Agricultural Council
Frost Valley Model Forest long-term monitoring

Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Science Department staff collects data from several environmental monitoring stations.

Thomas Dining Hall Weather Station
Location: Dining Hall
Data Collected: air temp., wind speed, wind direction, precipitation
Type of Instrument: Davis Instruments Weather Wizard III and rain gage
Link to Data: Frost Valley YMCA Weather Station

USGS Biscuit Brook Gage Station
Location: Biscuit Brook
Data Collected: flow (ft 3 /s), stage (ft)
Type of Instrument: Campbell Scientific CR10X datalogger with pressure transducer
Link to Data

National Atmospheric Deposition Program, National Trends Network
(Site: Biscuit Brook-NY68)
Location: Sequoia Loop
Data Collected: daily, monthly, and yearly precipitation and Total precipitation and chemistry
Type of Instruments:  Pluvio E-gage, Belfort Raingage, Aerochem Metrics precipitation collector
Link to Data

National Atmospheric Deposition Program, Mercury Deposition Program
(Site: Biscuit Brook-NY68)
Location: Sequoia Loop
Data Collected: daily, monthly, and yearly precipitation, mercury chemistry
Link to Data

Permanent Forest Inventory Plots
Location: Model Forest
Data Collected: tree species, basal area, trees per acre, regeneration, understory, and more