Dan Carrión '08 Charts Cayuga's Waters

Dan Carrión ’08 visits Sustainability Café to talk about the health of the lake.  by Jessica Bachiochi '09

Cayuga Lake’s watershed — the surrounding land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved materials into the lake — is 864 square miles. It provides water to more than 140,000 residents of 49 villages, towns, and cities in seven counties. Those residents are perhaps the most significant natural factor in the overall health of the lake and its watershed.

Dan Carrión ’08 is concerned with all the factors that affect the health of the lake. Carrión, Cayuga Lake Watershed Networks’ staff program assistant (a position he was offered after he spent a semester interning with the project as an undergraduate), was the first guest in the Sustainability Café series for fall 2008. He discussed a new collaborative project between a group of Cornell graduate students and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network that will develop a “report card” to assess the health of the lake.

“We will attempt to evaluate the lake as much as possible through different disciplinary lenses,” Carrión says. Students from fields including public administration, natural resources, environmental engineering, and development sociology are contributing to the development of the report card.

In his talk Carrión explained what the interdisciplinary group hopes to accomplish and how it can detail impacts of climate, vegetation, wildlife, and human methods of land use upon the Cayuga Lake watershed.