Newsletter Detail

Photo courtesy of Richard Fey                                                    

As I write this edition of the Raquette Lake News, I have my window open to a warm, breezy March day with absolutely no ice on the lake. This is the first March ice-out I have witnessed and the first in many years for longtime residents. We are all wondering, “What is happening to our winters?” Of course, we don’t have to look too far back to see much colder temperatures. Last February set records locally for average lows, and this February set global records as the warmest in modern times. I guess unpredictable is the new norm.
Oddly, the warm weather didn’t really interfere with our winter programs. We started the season by postponing the Wilderness First Aid course until March (see accompanying article), but every other group made it in by the ice road. We did take our last March group, William and Mary, out two days early due to the deteriorating ice conditions
and had them stay one night in the Main Lodge at Antlers. Thanks to the newly renovated and equipped
kitchen, they were able to spend a pleasant, if rustic night “camping out” in the unheated lodge. Compared
to our friends in the lodging, motel and snowmobile businesses, we fared quite well.
We remain quite busy working on projects to facilitate more student experiences and improve the resources at Raquette
Lake. Thirty-six students received a total of $11,604 in course fee assistance for spring and summer programs based on their length of stay. We also supported numerous student groups with transportation and program enhancement grants. Campus Technology Services replaced our aging laptops with new PCs, and for the first time, a supply of iPads. Rhonda and I will be working on apps for the iPads that will enable students to use them in the field for natural history information and research. Six of each device will be located in the Carlson Classroom at Camp Huntington, and two of each at Antlers. This will alleviate faculty from having to bring their own computers from campus.
We are also working on plans to expand a limnology study lab at Antlers, building on local support from the Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation, a grant administered by Angela Pagano, assistant professor, biological sciences, for the Field Biology course, and a new Environmental Chemistry winter class. This collaboration will provide useful data about water quality and progression of invasive species in the lake. Plans are also underway to host the construction of a comprehensive weather station at Camp Huntington funded by FEMA and the New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Departments. Finally, we are seeking funds to begin a sustainable energy initiative by installing photovoltaic roof panels on three buildings at Camp Huntington.
There is never a “quiet” time on Raquette Lake, as we use the down time between seasons to further these and other
important projects that provide expanded student opportunities for learning. Enjoy this edition of the Raquette Lake News, and join us for an alumni outing this summer. We look forward to seeing you soon!