Saturday, October 4, 2014

AREAC helping NYC Parks with Lake Water Quality Issues

In today's NY Times, reporter Lisa Foderaro explained the work NYC Parks is doing trying to restore the water quality of Meadow Lake in Crotona Park in Queens, NY. Dr. Branco and his students have been helping with that effort. This summer, we worked with the Natural Resources Group of NYC Parks to install thermistors and a water quality sondes. The goal is to identify the drivers of low oxygen conditions, known as hypoxia, that occasionally appear. To date, our results show that thermal stratification is infrequent because of the high wind exposure of this lake, which keeps it mixed. However, occasional and brief periods of low oxygen are associated with slight increases in salinity. near the bottom of the lake. Janel Chap, an MS student in AREAC is working on the data for her thesis.

The NY Times article also mentions the work that the Branco Lab has been doing in Prospect Park for the last few years. Prospect Park Lake's issues are driven by the phosphate-rich drinking water that serves as the lakes inflow. The water quality in Prospect Park Lake will not improve significantly until the phosphorus input has been reduced or eliminated. Dr. Branco is trying to help the Prospect Park Alliance identify a solution to this problem. For now, Christine Halloran, another MS student, will be monitoring for cyanobacteria blooms and trying to identify the factors that trigger them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Preparing for the worms

A few months ago, a student walked into AREAC and announced his desire to elevate his interest in vermiculture into a full-fledged research project. Self-motivated students are always welcome in AREAC, and Jorge will be conducting growth rate experiments on Tilapia using Red Wiggler worms to supplement their diet. This is an effective means to recycle food waste and turn it back into food production, and the use of worms as a diet supplement in urban aquaponics systems has already been demonstrated. Jorge hopes to calculate the nutrient and carbon recapture from this practice.

The first step in this new line of research in AREAC was to construct the worm bin. Dr. Branco found some spare room in a corner of the lab, which is now occupied by the new worm accomodations.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Aquaponics in the New York Times

There's an article in the New York Times Home section today about aquaponics. From the article:
Aquaponic gardens use fish, water and no soil — and may be the future of food growing.

Well, that's what Martine Schreibmand has been saying for quite a while now. Under his direction, AREAC has been raising tilapia in the basement of the Ingersoll Hall Extension for years. Soon, the greenhouse on the roof of the building will be complete, and hopefully, a full blown aquaponics operation will begin there. Right now, Martin and Rob Dickie are expanding their aquaponics operation downstairs. AREAC is ready, willing and able to lead the aquaponics and sustainable food production charge in Brooklyn and the other boroughs.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Juergen returns with gusto

Juergen Polle has returned to AREAC and Brooklyn College following his sabbatical. During his absence, research associates and students remained busy at AREAC isolating algae strains to screen for biofuel production. Now that he's back, the research will be sure to continue...especially since Juergen has recently been awarded close to a million dollars to continue his work.

Brooklyn College Research Scientists Receive Grants of More than $3 Million

Martin becomes a YouTube sensation

I just found out about this video clip of Martin from about a year ago. He's discussing his current passion...aquaponics. I'll let him do the talking, so have a look.