Research Reports

Our research reports allow for a more in-depth exploration of our work.  Please find these listed below by topic.

On-Farm Biodiversity

This is a theme we have been exploring since the inception of our Program through a variety of studies about both the biodiversity that is supported on farmland, and the role of biodiversity in supporting agricultural production.  The following reports are based on studies involving a number of different local farms.

Profiles of On-Farm Creatures in Columbia County, NY: The Effects of Nature on Farm Production; the Effect of Farm Use on Nature by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo. 2012

Columbia County NY Openland Butterflies: A Draft Ecological Classification by Conrad Vispo, January 2011

Roxbury Farm Biodiversity: Conservation and Agroecological Considerations by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo February 2008

The Flora & Fauna of Some Columbia County Farms: Their Diversity, History and Management by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo. April 2006

Illustrated Appendices to ‘The Flora & Fauna of Some Columbia County Farms’ by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo 2006

Native Bees of Columbia County Farms and Floodplains by Martin Holdrege, 2009



We spent the 2006 field season studying nearly 100 open-land permanent ponds around the County.  We inventoried pond-associated biota (plants, butterflies, dragonflies and amphibians), measured aspects of the pond physical environment, and gathered remote-sensing data on surrounding land use. We then took this information and asked how these three different aspects of the pond interacted.

How, for example, does land use affect the biology of our ponds, or their sediments?  How does the geology of the pond’s setting influence its life?  The following report and summary report explore these questions.

Ponds of Columbia County: Patterns in Their Biodiversity, Thoughts on Their Management by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo, May 2007

Columbia County Ponds: Novelties & Relics, Deserts and Menageries by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo 2007. (Summary of full report)


Floodplain Forests

During the 2007, 2007 and 2009 field seasons, we completed two studies on Floodplain Forests in Columbia and Dutchess Counties.  Our work, at 31 sites around Columbia and Dutchess Counties, focused on documenting the plants and animals found in these habitats and considering some of the factors that might be influencing patterns in that biodiversity. There are some beautiful organisms and intricate patterns to be found. The documents below describe our findings.

Floodplain Forests of Columbia and Dutchess Counties, NY: Distribution, Biodiversity, Classification and Conservation by Claudia Knab-Vispo and Conrad Vispo, December 2010

The Plant and Animal Diversity of Columbia County, NY Floodplain Forests: Composition and Patterns.  By Claudia Knab-Vispo and Conrad Vispo, 2009

The Dancer’s Hem by Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo, 2008 (Summary of the 2009 Report)


Landscape Demographics

Forest, Field and Freeway:  A Summary of Statistics Describing Landscape, Land Use, and Related Activities in Columbia County, NY.  By Conrad Viso, July 2008 Draft.



This invited case study was prepared for submission to a regional journal, but was rejected because, in part, it was not the type of article they were looking for. Nonetheless, we feel it is one of the few places where we have tried to summarize the many threads of our program.

Accidental Harvest: The Farmscape Ecology of Columbia County, NY. by Conrad Vispo, Claudia Knab-Vispo and Anna Duhon. 2016