Past Research Studies

Horry County Project

Even though many of us never give it any thought, landfills are just as necessary to the American people as the resources they consume.  According to the South Carolina Solid Waste Management Annual Report, in the 2003 fiscal year South Carolinians produced over 4.5 million tons of municipal solid waste. Once resources are consumed and the waste is disposed, it must reach a final destination. Today, solid waste collection sites are few in number. According to U.S. EPA, the nationwide number of active solid waste collection sites in 2003 was around 1851 as opposed to around 8000 in 1998. To compensate for the fewer sites, the sites are now much larger. The larger sites pose issues for environmental and natural resource factors and the encroachment into wildlife territory.

Collecting from the whole county, which happens to include the Myrtle Beach area, the Horry Country Solid Waste Authority is responsible for collecting a large amount of solid wastes. Due to the vast amount of wastes under the HCSWA’s responsibility, the site sits on a very large 1187-acre tract of land.

In order for HCSWA to operate and carry out its responsibility to the public, encroachment into these natural areas is essential. This project, in conjunction with a forest management plan, will provide a comprehensive wildlife management plan that will provide insight to the habitat types within the area as well as recommendations on maintaining its natural resources, history, and unique wildlife diversity. Click here to read more...

Double-Crested Cormorant Project

The Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a piscivorous bird native to North America.  It is an extremely efficient predator and is often referred to as “murder on wings.” These birds have experienced exponential population growth in South Carolina and throughout the Southeast in the past few decades.  The Double-crested, which is the focus of our study, is the most abundant of five species of cormorant in the lower 48 states (Hanisch et al. 2003).  Predominantly a migratory species, there is mounting evidence that the cormorant is becoming sedentary throughout much of its southern range.  This is cause for concern due to the fact that the expanding numbers of birds has led to increased human/cormorant conflict over resources such as recreational fisheries and aquaculture.  There is also perceived damage to other natural resources such as colonial wetland birds and vegetation.  The true extent of the damage brought about by cormorants is thought to be significant, but is poorly documented. The purpose of this website is to keep stakeholders and other researchers/contributors informed  of our progress. Click here to read more.. 

I-85 Corridor Urban Forestry Study

This study aims at the assessment of Urban Forest Cover and Structure, implications and opportunities for local policy changes in the Greenville-Spartanburg Metropolitan areas.