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Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch

Record Type: Person

Title: Senior Lecturer

Institution: Barnard College

Biography: Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch is a senior lecturer at Barnard College in the Department of Environmental Science. She teaches Forests and Environmental Change, Case Studies in Land-use, Bird and Plant Dynamics and Environmental Science Lab. Her Ph.D. is from NYU.

Terryanne is a palynologist. Her research interests include paleoecology, pollen and seed morphology, fire ecology, phytogeography, forest succession, climate change, and effects of habitat fragmentation on bird and amphibian populations. Her publications have focused on the Late-glacial and Holocene vegetation, climate, and fire of the Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York as well as other sites in the Northeast USA. Other research includes habitat-based bird surveying in Black Rock Forest in order to establish long-term trends and seasonal inventories. She is also collaborating with the Macaulay Library of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in an effort to archive audio of habitat soundscapes and individual bird taxa at Black Rock Forest.

Dr. Maenza-Gmelch has developed and taught field-based ecology and environmental science courses for undergraduate and graduate, as well as high school, students for several years. She has taught extensively at Black Rock Forest where she developed the curriculum for and taught the first residential undergraduate course at the forest. This was followed by a graduate course in field botany and forest ecology. She developed the curriculum and is the lead instructor for the Black Rock Forest High School Summer Program in Field Ecology and Research Methods.

Terryanne collaborated with Columbia’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning to create the Paleoecology module, which is a web-based, interactive and inquiry-based virtual palynological experience. The fundamental idea was to take the pollen, plant macrofossil, and radiocarbon data from the actual Sutherland Pond sediment core and put them into a simulation so that students could learn the discovery process inherent in reconstructing a forest's ecosystem using paleoecological techniques without the time and resource constraints that make actual sediment coring and pollen processing impossible in a classroom setting.

Roles: Educator, Scientist

Keyword: Black Rock Forest