University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Research Project

Increasing Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Resilience In Dominant Agroecosystems of the Northeast

Cows in Pasture

The project goal is to develop and evaluate alternative management systems for dominant agricultural land uses in the Northeast that enhance ecosystem services and improve climate change resilience. We will:

  1. Implement alternative agricultural management systems on operating farms in the Northeast;
  2. Quantify carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions, sediment and nutrient loss, and hydrologic characteristics associated with conventional and alternative management systems;
  3. Evaluate socio-economic factors related to alternative system implementation;
  4. Estimate ecosystem services of water purification, nutrient cycling, and climate regulation on a broader scale.

This project will utilize edge-of-field flow monitoring stations, soil analysis, socio-economic metrics, and greenhouse gas measurements on cooperating dairy farms in two watersheds. Data will be collected on two field-scale paired watersheds. Comparisons will be made across watershed pairs, as well as four different management systems. We expect that results will be transferable to similar production systems across and outside of the region and will be integrated into outreach/Extension programming to educate and influence change amongst agricultural stakeholders, service providers, and policy makers.

Principal Investigator

Co-Principal Investigators

  • Carol Adair, Assistant Professor of Climate Change and Adaptation, UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

  • David Conner, Associate Professor, UVM Community Development & Applied Economics

  • Stephanie E. Hurley, Assistant Professor, UVM Dept. of Plant & Soil Sciences



This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-67020-23180.



5/1/15 - 4/30/19

For more information:

Joshua Faulkner UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture (802) 656-3495

Last modified July 09 2015 09:05 AM