Our current work focuses in three areas of ecology: (1) aquatic sciences, (2) wetland rehabilitation, and (3) lichens. In aquatic sciences we are in our third year of a long-term project investigating the distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrates in Fishing Creek watershed (Columbia and Sullivan Counties, PA) in relation to stream chemistry and changes in channel morphology due to flooding. This study began in 2010 with the assistance of a Coldwater Heritage Partnership grant. In wetland rehabilitation we are collaborating with Allegheny Land Trust, Duquesne University, and others to rehabilitate a disturbed wetland at Wingfield Pines (Bridgeville, PA). This area was once strip mined for coal in the mid-1900s and more recently purchased by Allegheny Land Trust. The property has several wetland areas that were rehabilitated in 2009 and contains a passive wetland treatment system to remove iron from underground mine drainage. We have conducted annual botanical surveys since 2008 to assess the rehabilitation process. These surveys generate data that allow us to evaluate growth rates of saplings in relation to environmental factors, develop an inventory of botanical species, and study the dynamics of invasive species. In lichens we are studying the application of lichens as biological indicators of air quality in southwestern Pennsylvania. This project was started in 2008 with the support of a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wild Resource Conservation grant. This is a long-term study that will be repeated every five years to assess changes in lichen communities in relation to climate change and urbanization.
Matthew R. Opdyke, PhD (Curriculum Vita)
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Point Park University
201 Wood Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
mopdyke [at] pointpark.edu
Last updated August 1, 2012.
Check out these three exciting projects and opportunities for involvement:
1) Fishing Creek Watershed Study
2) Lichen Study
3) Wetland Rehabilitation Study