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Big science does happen in small places

June 27, 2013
By Jeremie Fish ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

It might seem like our area, without a major research university close by, would not have any science happening here. In reality we have a plethora of science happening here, which is something we should be proud of.

In the town of Wilmington there is the forgotten Atmospheric Science Research Center, which is run by the State University of New York at Albany. The ASRC began operation in 1961 but is going through a revitalization of sorts in recent years.

New buildings have been added, a science manager (Dr. Rich Brandt) is on site, and an operations director (Paul Casson) has recently helped with adding buildings and going through old equipment and chemicals that are available at the site.

Article Photos

Scientists with the Atmospheric Science Research Center collect data at this site atop Whiteface Mountain and at a site at the mountain’s base.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)

The ASRC collects data both at its site near the base of Whiteface mountain and at the top of the mountain. The added benefit is that the ASRC site used to be a lodge for Whiteface Mountain, and thus data has been collected on weather conditions there since the 1930s.

The site has collected ozone data since 1973 and thus has one of the longest-running continuous ozone records. The site also collects data on other gases such as oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur and carbon monoxide. Particulates found in the air are measured down to a size of 2.5 micrometers (1 micrometer is 1 million times smaller than a meter). They also measure properties of the precipitation that happens there.

Also the ASRC runs a series of free summer lectures that begin on July 9 and proceed biweekly (every other Tuesday at 7 p.m., with donations accepted) until Sept. 3. They appreciate the support.

For the summer they have two interns who will work at the site. They also share the site with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Department of Health, and the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corp.

Also here in the Adirondacks we have our own science journal that is published - the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies.

The AJES is produced by the Adirondack Research Consortium. The journal is a rarity in that it is free both to the authors and to readers. (Most journals charge one or the other.) The journal publishes articles that will be helpful with decisions for sustaining the Adirondack Park.

AJES publishes one peer-reviewed volume (which consists of two issues) per year, both online and in print. Roughly six articles are published per issue.

Most submissions come from people within the Adirondack Park and the northern forest region. Reviewers come from both within and without the Adirondack Park. The AJES also plans to host student research articles in the future.

More information can be found at



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