When beavers dam a stream, they create wetlands that provide important habitat but may also generate methane gas, one of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. To examine the affect these ponds have on the environment, two students have spent their summer at the University of Rhode Island conducting experiments and analyzing data.
Liz Elmstrom, a Matunuck resident who attends the University of Vermont, and Molly Welsh, a URI student from Jamestown, collected sediment samples from several beaver ponds in Washington County for their analysis.
The students’ research was made possible by the federally funded Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a program of the National Science Foundation. They reported the results of their research last week at the Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows conference.