RESEARCH FACILITIES AND STUDIES

  • CLEMSON EXPERIMENTAL FOREST

    The Clemson Experimental Forest's 17,500 acres are dedicated to education, research and demonstration in order to better understand and manage forest resources for the benefit of society. These essential resources include clean air, clean water, pleasing aesthetic qualities, abundant wildlife, protection of species and habitat diversity, recreation opportunities, along with commodity products from the forest. The forest is managed strictly for perpetual sustained or improved yield of these products. The Clemson Experimental Forest personnel, equipment, supplies, roads, recreation facilities and maintenance are solely supported by revenue generated by the Forest.
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  • 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...

  • BARUCH INSTITUTE OF COASTAL ECOLOGY AND FOREST SCIENCE

    The Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science (BICEFS) was formally established on May 21, 1999, but its roots are over 30 years old. Upon her death in 1964, Belle Baruch, daughter of financier Bernard Baruch, established the Belle W. Baruch Foundation. The Foundation called upon the colleges and universities of South Carolina to use her land resource, Hobcaw Barony, and her financial resources to establish research and teaching programs in forestry, wildlife and marine science. Clemson University began a forest science program on Hobcaw shortly thereafter with the formation of the Belle W. Baruch Forest Science Institute. The program grew through the years and research topics increased in their diversity as the need for information about all aspects of the environment became increasingly important.

    Today’s demands on the natural resources of the coast require research and education programs that address all aspects of coastal ecology. Air, water, soil, vegetation, and wildlife are inextricably linked with each other and with man’s needs for living space, food, recreation, and products used in our every day lives. BICEFS retains the research program established over the past 35 years by the Forest Science Institute and brings new expertise to address other aspects of the complex coastal environment. At a recent conference titled “Global change and its effects from rivers to the sea,” Clemson University’s Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science highlighted findings of an ongoing study focusing on some of the local effects of climate change. 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.. 

  • 185 CORRIDOR URBAN FOREST 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. 

  • GRAY SQUIRREL CONTRACEPTIVE PROJECT

    The eastern gray squirrel (EGS) (Sciurus carolinensis) is one of the most common wildlife species in urban and suburban communities within the eastern United States. Because of their relative adaptability and lack of predators in urban environments, their numbers have increased in communities across their natural range. With this increase in numbers there has also been a corresponding increase in human-squirrel conflicts. Most notable is the damage gray squirrels are causing to trees and shrubs in managed landscape settings. Gnawing and stripping of tree bark by gray squirrels has become a serious problem in communities where squirrel populations are unusually high. For example, recent observations by landscaping crews on Clemson University’s main campus have documented over 100 mature trees killed directly by gray squirrels gnawing and bark stripping, and an additional 100 trees severely damaged by squirrels (Bill Carson, personal communication). An outside arborist consultant estimated the loss of one mature tree from gray squirrels on Clemson’s campus to be $13,275.00. Using these estimates, damage caused by gray squirrels on Clemson’s campus may exceed $1.3 million dollars.

    Efforts to control EGS numbers and their associated damage have been limited to exclusion techniques, habitat modification, repellents, trapping, shooting, and recreational hunting.  Unfortunately in some situations, these alternatives are not effective, practical, or socially acceptable as tools for controlling EGS numbers and associated problems that they cause in urban and suburban communities. Recent work by Pai (2009) to evaluate the effectiveness of the immunocontraceptive GonaCon™ in reducing reproduction in a small group (317) of EGS on the campus of Clemson University demonstrated that the contraceptive was effective in preventing reproduction in both male and female squirrels. However, the cost of capturing and vaccinating individual EGS with GonaCon™ was $15/squirrel and proved to be cost prohibitive, especially when administering on a large scale basis like the entire campus of Clemson University (325 ha).

    This project proposes to field test the immunocontraptive DiazaCon™ to reduce EGS reproduction and damage on the entire campus of Clemson University.  Like GonaCon™, DiazaCon™ has been shown to be effective at inhibiting reproduction in a variety of birds and mammals.  An additional benefit of DiazaCon™ is that it is an oral bait and does not require capturing EGS. Consequently is shows great promise as a cost-effective, nonlethal method of controlling EGS reproduction and damage in urban and suburban communities.