Here are some answers to common questions about the Hudson Valley Environmental Monitoring and Management Alliance (EMMA).
The Environmental Monitoring and Management Alliance (EMMA) brings together organizations and individuals centered in New York’s Hudson Valley to develop a regionally coordinated ecological monitoring network that informs sustainable management practices and natural resource conservation through scientific research while engaging the public in environmental protection.
Each EMMA member is an organization located at a landholding, at least part of which is maintained as forests or fields. The EMMA sites represent a wide range of management strategies and vegetation types along a rural to urban gradient.
The collective research experience of EMMA’s member organizations allows us to investigate the Northeast US’s major conservation concerns on a regional scale. Geographic variability across member sites provides EMMA with the flexibility to both monitor current and emerging conservation threats and test land management strategies to find the best solutions for reducing or eliminating those threats. Our diverse network similarly allows members to benefit from collaboration, exchange of expertise, and shareable resources.
During quarterly meetings, EMMA’s member representatives come together to coordinate our work and plan the future of EMMA. Throughout the course of the year, EMMA member representatives refine our study methods, collect data and organize management efforts.
Environmental organizations often work independently with little communication or collaboration between institutions. Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and species extinction, combined with a greater demand on education and outreach resources, have posed significant and urgent hurdles for environmental institutions, land trusts, field stations, and nature preserves.
By opening lines of communication and standardizing methods of studying these threats, land managers may respond to urgent challenges more precisely and wholistically; researchers can have increased confidence that datasets collected are robust and reliable; and educators can draw on diverse datasets and outreach efforts when new programs are in demand. EMMA strives to coordinate efforts across member organizations in order to capitalize on, leverage, and expand shared resources.
EMMA’s efforts are centered in New York’s Hudson River Valley region.
EMMA’s member organizations recognize climate change, deer overbrowse, habitat loss and fragmentation and invasive species as urgent threats to ecosystem health in the Hudson Valley. We have identified the need for impactful, regional coordination that facilitates implementation of natural resource management solutions to address these particular threats.
Environmental monitoring involves collecting data over time to detect both short and long- term changes in ecosystems. Several of EMMA’s projects include the collection of data that can serve both purposes.
EMMA prioritizes environmental monitoring that will inform natural resource management strategies.
Natural resource management involves making strategic changes to an ecosystem to support a particular species, state, or process. For example, removing invasive plants supports the survival of competing native plants, which serves as habitat for native animals.
EMMA is developing natural resource management strategies based on results obtained from monitoring initiatives.
EMMA welcomes collaboration with land management organizations, and is accepting new member organizations. Click here to learn more about how your organization can become an EMMA member.
EMMA’s long term datasets provide a unique opportunity to make data- driven decisions about managing natural resources. EMMA informs resource management in larger metropolitan, suburban and rural areas and can provide a diversity of sites to test best management practices.
EMMA provides a unique opportunity for scientific research to inform management. Our long term data can be a useful supplement to research projects. Because EMMA sites are situated along a latitudinal urban to rural gradient, researchers can monitor the outward spread of ecologically significant organisms or phenomena from a large metropolitan area (New York City) or monitor the effects of urbanization on wild lands.
EMMA welcomes collaboration with researchers interested in studying regional environmental phenomena. Click here to learn more about conducting research across the EMMA network.
EMMA welcomes the participation of citizen scientists in making observations and collecting data! Click here for opportunities.