Susquehanna University Partnership

Chesapeake Conservancy has partnered with Susquehanna University on Precision Conservation projects since 2016. A selection of our accomplishments together are listed below.

Validating Precision Conservation

Precision conservation uses high-resolution spatial data paired with on-the-ground partner knowledge to identify land parcels where installation of best management practices can create impoved water quality outcomes. In partnership with Susquehanna and Bloomsburg universities, stream monitoring was conducted over three years to determine whether priority parcels identified with precision conservation methods correlate with on-the-ground conditions. For example, precision conservation variables such as our drainage area analysis might be a good predictor of macroinvertebrate communities in streams. Additionally, increasing area covered in agriculture and impervious surfaces corresponds to higher nitrogen concentrations in stream sediment.

If you would like to read more about Susquehanna’s precision conservation efforts, visit Susquehanna University’s website.

Images below are of fish electroshocking and macroinvertebrate collections conducted by the Freshwater Research Institute at Susquehanna University.

Live Stake Collaborative

Susquehanna University has also partnered with Chesapeake Conservancy on a live stake collaborative since its creation in spring 2019. The live stake collaborative leverages volunteers to collect and distribute streamside tree planting materials – free of charge – to local conservation partners. Susquehanna University provides refrigerated storage space for the collaborative, while students serve as project coordinators and volunteers for collection events. In our pilot year, the collaborative distributed over 28,000 free tree cuttings, resulting in the planting over 10 acres of streamside forest valued at over $42,000. Images below are of live stake cutting events with Susquehanna University students.

Live Stake Garden

Susquehanna University is also home to the Live Stake Collaborative’s first live stake garden. The garden is planted with 2,000 cuttings of 12 different species of shrubs and trees. The garden will be used to harvest free live stake cuttings and serves as a location for student research to inform best management and maintenance practices as well as which species are most successful as live stakes. Local news coverage of the live stake garden installation can be found on their website. Images below are of the installation of the live stake garden at Susquehanna University.

Photo Credits: Gordon Wenzel