Dr. Jay Curt Stager

Year Started at Paul Smith’s: 1987
Division: The School of Natural Resource Management and Ecology
Program: Biology


I enjoy working with students both in the classroom and in the field/lab. In May, 2009, PSC students Jay White and Christiaan King joined me in a successful and enjoyable sediment coring expedition to South Africa. And here are some of the other projects that former students have undertaken in the past:

Jay Swartz: A paleolimnological investigation of Black Pond, NY. (Guided Research, SUNY-Plattsburgh, 1993).

John Hunter, John van Benschoten: A paleolimnological history of Long Pond, Franklin, County, NY. (Guided Research, PSC, 1997; published A.C. Walker Foundation Research Series).

Thom Sanger: An unusually pristine Adirondack lake. (Guided Research, PSC, 1998).

Rebecca Anfang: Preliminary evidence of environmental changes at Lake Bambili (Cameroon, W. Africa) since 24,000 BP. (Guided Research, PSC, 1997. Published in JOPL, 1999).

Dustin Grzesik, Scott Haddam, Carlene Heimiller, Kristen Przywara: Sediment coring at Lakes Victoria & Nabugabo, East Africa. (NSF-funded expedition, 2000; Palaeo-3, 2005).

Nicole Cook, Jeff Dowd: The diatom record of Bear Pond, NY. (Senior Capstone, PSC; 2002).

MacKenzie Hall: Assessing human impact on Lake Bonaparte. (Senior Capstone, PSC; 2002).

Jordan Westwood: Paleolimnology of Lake Nabugabo, Uganda. (Senior Capstone, PSC, 2002; Published in Palaeo-3, 2005).

Sara Mochamer: Sediment coring in Winam Gulf, Lake Victoria, East Africa. (field research funded by NSF and by International Center for Research in Agroforestry, Kenya; 2002).

Jason Fitzpatrick: Sediment coring at Lake Sibayi, South Africa. (field research funded by NSF, with S.A.Council for Geosciences; 2003).

Tammy Karst-Riddoch: Sedimentary diatoms from alpine and subarctic lakes as indicators of environmental and climatic conditions. (Ph.D., Queen’s U., Ontario; 2004).

Matt Hazzard: Late Holocene trends in diatom abundance in Lake Victoria, East Africa. (Guided Research, PSC, 2000). Diatom record of lake level fluctuations at Lake Sibaya, South Africa, over the last 400 years. (Senior Capstone, PSC; 2004).

Jerome Madson: Coring at Lakes Sibaya and Fundudzi, South Africa. (field research funded by NSF, with S.A.Council for Geosciences, 2004, with Matt Hazzard; Senior Capstone, PSC, 2005).

Dan DeSorcy: Documenting Adirondack Heritage Lakes (Senior Capstone, Spring, 2007).

Brendan Wiltse: Paleolimnological study of Lake George, NY. (Senior Capstone, Spring, 2007).

Kelly Kirsten-Sardinha: Holocene environmental change at Groenvlei, Knysna, South Africa. (MSc committee, University of Cape Town, South Africa; 2008).

Jay White: LOI Analysis of Sediment Cores from Verlorenvlei, South Africa(Senior capstone, Fall, 2010)

Josh Robtoy and Sid Cushing, Peat core studies from Bloomingdale Bog (Senior capstone, Spring, 2012)

Interests and Activities

Paleoecological research into environmental changes of the last 20,000 years, particularly with respect to lakes and climates in Africa, Peru, and the Adirondacks. But I’m also interested most aspects of the natural sciences, ranging from coral reef ecology and psychology to glacial geology and bee behavior.

I enjoy playing a wide range of guitar and banjo music styles, from traditional Irish and old-time to blues, bluegrass, rock, classical, and experimental. I’ve been running bi-weekly Open Mics on campus since 1990 (Thursday nights, Hutchins Cyber Cafe, 9-11 PM), and in July I help my gal Kary Johnson to run a week-long music camp for adults here on campus, the Mountain Arts Gathering (www.mountainartsgathering.com).

When the snow in the woods is good (and especially when the sun is shining), I enjoy back-country telemark skiing.

Academic Background

1985 PhD Duke University Zoology & Geology

1979 BA Bowdoin College Biology & Geology


2015       Stager, J.C., L.A. Sporn, M. Johnson, and S. Regalado. Of paleo-genes and perch: What if an “alien” is actually a native? PLOS ONE doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119071.

link to download:


2013       Pinet, P.R., E.K. Pikitch, and J.C. Stager.

The ongoing extinction event: A deep-time, eco-evolutionary perspective for mitigation and reconciliation management. In (A.M. Marinov and C.A. Brebbia, editors) Ecosystems and Sustainable Development. WIT Press. 10.2495/ECO130061

2013       Stager, J.C., Ryves, D., King, C., Madson, J., Hazzard, M., Neumann, F., and Maud, R.

Late Holocene precipitation variability in the summer rainfall region of South Africa. Quat. Sci. Rev. 67: 105-120.

2012       Stager, J.C.

What happens after global warming? Nature Education 3(3):7.

2012       Stager, J.C., P.A. Mayewski, J. White, B.M. Chase, F. Neumann, M.E. Meadows, C. King, and D. Dixon.

Precipitation variability in the winter rainfall zone of South Africa during the last 1400 years linked to the austral westerlies. Climate of the Past 8: 877-887.

2012       Mayewski, P.A.,… J.C. Stager,.. et al.

West Antarctica’s sensitivity to natural and human forced climate change over the Holocene. Journal of Quaternary Science. ISSN 0267-8179. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2593.

2011       Stager, J.C.

Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth. (Thomas Dunne Books; Harper Collins Canada; Scribe; Duckworth

2011       Stager, J.C., D.B. Ryves, B.M. Chase, and F.S.R. Pausata.

Catastrophic drought in the Afro-Asian monsoon region during Heinrich Event 1. Science 331: 129-132.

2011       Wiltse, B., and J.C. Stager

A Paleolimnological Record from Lake George, New York. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies (volume 16)

2010       Stager, C., and M. Thill.

Climate Change in the Champlain Basin: What natural resource managers can expect and do. Peer-reviewed report for The Nature Conservancy.

2010       Poleva, S., F., M. Tekleva, F.H,. Neumann, L. Scott, and J.C. Stager.

Pollen morphology, ultrastructure and taphonomy of the Neuradaceae with special reference to Neurada procumbens L. and Grielum humifusum EMey.ex Harv.et Sond. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 160: 163-171.

2010       Stager, J.C., F. Neumann, B. Chase, M. Meadows, J. Fitzpatrick*, M. Hazzard*, C. King*, J. Madson*, J. White*

Late Holocene paleoclimate records from Lakes Sibaya and Verlorenvlei, South Africa. Geophysical Research Abstracts, vol. 12, EGU2010-1386-1.

2009       Stager, J. C., C. Cocquyt, R. Bonnefille, C. Weyhenmeyer, and N. Bowerman.

A late Holocene paleoclimatic history of Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. Quaternary Research 72: 47-56.

2009       Stager, J.C., R.E. Hecky, B. Cumming, D. Grzesik, and H. Kling.

Diatom evidence for the timing and causes of eutrophication in Lake Victoria, East Africa. Hydrobiologia 636: 463-478.

2009       Stager, J.C., S. McNulty, C. Beier, and J. Chiarenzelli

Historical patterns and effects of changes in Adirondack climates since the early 20th century. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies 15: 15-24.

2008       Neumann, F., C. Stager, L. Scott, H.J.T. Venter, and C. Weyhenmeyer.

Holocene vegetation and climate records from Lake Sibaya, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 152: 113-128.

2008       Stager, J.C.

The Red Tavern: one of the last backcountry roadhouses. Adirondack Life (March/April), pp. 16-21.

2007       Stager, J.C., A. Ruzmaikin, D. Conway, P. Verburg, and P.J. Mason.

Solar variability, ENSO, and the levels of Lake Victoria, East Africa. J. Geophys. Res. 112: D15106, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008362.

2007       Felton, A.A., …. and J. C. Stager

Paleolimnological evidence for the onset and termination of glacial aridity from Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. Palaeo-3 doi:10.1016/j/palaeo.2007.04.003

2007       Stager, J.C., and T.C. Johnson.

The late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and the origin of its endemic biota. Hydrobiologia 596: doi:10.1007/210750-007-9158-2.

2006       Stager, J.C.

Wild cats of the Adirondacks (“Meow Mix”). Adirondack Life (March/April), pp. 58-64.

2006       Stager, J.C.

Clearwater Revival: Giving credence to the idea of a pristine pond. Adirondack Life (May/June), pp.14-20.

2006       Langen, T.A., …J.C. Stager… and B.T. Green.

Environmental impacts of winter road management at the Cascade Lakes and Chapel Pond. Final report, prepared for the NYS Department of Transportation, Albany, NY. Clarkson Center for the Environment Report No. 1.

2005       Stager, J.C., J. Westwood, D. Grzesik, and B.F. Cumming.

A 5500 year environmental history of Lake Nabugabo, Uganda. Palaeo-3 218:347-354.

2005       Maasch, K., Mayewski, P.A., Rohling, E., Stager, C., Karlén, K., Meeker, L.D., and E. Meyerson.

Climate of the past 2000 years, Geografiska Annaler 87A:7-15.

2005       Stager, J.C., D. Ryves, B.F. Cumming, L.D. Meeker, and J. Beer.

Solar variability and the levels of Lake Victoria, East Africa, during the last millennium. J. Paleolimnol. 33:243-251.

2004       Mayewski, P.A., E. Rohling, J.C. Stager, and 13 others.

Holocene climate variability. Quat. Res. 62:243-255.

2004       Stager, J.C., J.J. Day, and S. Santini.

Comment on “Origin of the superflock of cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa.” Science 304:963.

2003       Stager, J.C., B. Cumming, and L.D. Meeker.

A 10,200 year high-resolution diatom record from Pilkington Bay, Lake Victoria, Uganda. Quat. Res. 59:172-181.

2003       Stager, J.C., and T. Sanger.

An Adirondack “Heritage Lake.” Adirondack J. Envir. Stud. 10:6-10.

2003       Scholz, C.A., King, J.W., Ellis, G.S., Swart, P.K., Stager, J.C., and S.M. Colman

Paleolimnology of Lake Tanganyika, East Africa, over the past 100 kyr. J. Paleolimnol.30:139-150.

2002       Stager, J.C., P.A. Mayewski, and L.D. Meeker.

Cooling cycles, Heinrich Event 1, and the desiccation of Lake Victoria. Palaeo-3: 183:169-178.

2002       Stager, J.C. and M.R. Martin.

Global climate change and the Adirondacks. Adirondack J. Envir. Stud. 9:1-10.

2001       Stager, J.C.

Did reclamation pollute Black Pond? Adirondack J. Envir. Studies 8:22-27.

2001       Stager, J.C. Climatic change and African rain forests in the 21st century.

Chapter 9 in W. Weber, L.J.T. White, A. Vedder, and L. Naughton-Treves (eds.) African Rain Forest Ecology and Conservation, Yale University Press.

2000       Stager, J.C., and T. Johnson.

A 12,400 year offshore diatom record from Lake Victoria, East Africa. J. Paleolimnol. 23:373-383.

1999       Stager, J.C., and R. Anfang.

Preliminary evidence of environmental changes at Lake Bambili (Cameroon, West Africa) since 24,000 BP. J. Paleolimnol. 22:319-330.

1998       Stager, J.C.

Field Notes from the Northern Forest. Syracuse University Press.

1998       Stager, J.C., J. Hunter, and J. van Benschoten.

A paleolimnological history of Long Pond, Franklin, County, NY. (A.C. Walker Foundation Research Series).

1998       Beuning, K.R.M., K. Kelts, and J.C. Stager.

Abrupt climatic changes associated with the arid Younger Dryas Interval in Africa. pp. 147-156 in Environmental change and response in East African Lakes. Kluwer.

1998       Stager, J.C.

Ancient analogues for recent environmental changes at Lake Victoria, East Africa. pp. 37-46 in Environmental change and response in East African Lakes. Kluwer.

1998       Stager, J.C., M. DeAngelo, and J. Swartz.

A paleolimnological investigation of Black Pond, Franklin County, NY. (A.C. Walker Foundation Research Series)

1997       Stager, J.C., B. Cumming, and L.D. Meeker.

An 11,400-year, high-resolution diatom record from Lake Victoria, East Africa. Quat. Res. 47:81-89.

1997       Stager, J.C., P.R. Leavitt, and S. Dixit.

Assessing impacts of past human activity on water quality in Upper Saranac Lake, NY. Lake Reserv. Mgmt. 13:175-184.

1997       Stager, J.C., and P.A. Mayewski.

Abrupt early mid-Holocene climatic transition registered at the equator and the poles. Science 276:1834-1836.

1996       Stager, J.C.

Update on the ecological condition of Adirondack lakes. Wild Earth, 29-33.

1996       Stager, J.C., and V. Chen.

Fossil evidence of shell length decline in Queen Conch (Strombus gigas L.) at Middleton Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies. Caribb. J. Sci. 32:14-20.

1995       Stager, J.C.

Adirondack butterflies. Adirondac (July/August), pp. 12-14.

1995       Stager, J.C.

Stronger than dirt: How duff-munching worms are changing the Adirondack woods. Adirondack Life (March/April) pp. 14-16.

1994       Stager, J.C.

Just do it! A research based approach to introductory biology laboratory. J. Coll. Sci. Tchg. 24:91-93.

1994       Stager, J.C.

Investigating Adirondack lakes. Adirondack J. Environ. Stud. 1:30-34.

1994       Martin, M.R., and J.C. Stager.

Assessing the human impact on lakes using sediment analyses. Lake Reserv. Mgmt. 9:95-96.

1992       Stager, J.C.

Simple gravity corer suitable for educators. J. Paleolimnol. 7:253 255.

1992       Stager, J.C., and L.B. Cahoon.

Distribution of benthic microalgae, pigments, and phosphate in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 108:117 126.

1990       Stager, J.C.

Africa’s Great Rift Valley. National Geographic 177:2-41.

1990       Cahoon, L.B., J.R. Kucklick, and J.C. Stager.

A natural phosphate source for Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, USA. Int. Rev. ges Hydrobiol. 75:339 351.

1990       Maley, J., … Stager, J.C., … Zogning, A. (13 authors).

Lithostratigraphy, volcanism, paleomagnetism, and palynology of Quaternary deposits from Barombi Mbo (West Cameroon): preliminary results. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 42:319-335.

1988       Stager, J.C.

Environmental changes at Lake Cheshi, Zambia, since 40,000 years B.P. Quat. Res. 29:54 65. (doctoral dissertation)

1987       Stager, J.C.

Silent Death From Cameroon’s Killer Lake. National Geographic 172:404-420.

1987       Stager, J.C., and L.B. Cahoon.

The age and trophic history of Lake Waccamaw, N.C. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 103:1 13.

1986       Stager, J.C., P.R. Reinthal, and D.A. Livingstone.

A 25,000 year history for Lake Victoria, East Africa, and some comments on its significance for the evolution of cichlid fishes. Freshwater Biology 16:15-19.

1985       Lundberg, J.G., and J.C. Stager.

Microgeographic diversity in the neotropical knife fish Eigenmannia macrops (Gymnotiformes, Sternopygidae). Envir. Biol. Fish. 13:173 181.

1984       Stager, J.C.

The diatom record of Lake Victoria (East Africa): the last 17,000 years. pp. 455 476, In: D.G. Mann, (ed.), Proc. Seventh Int. Symp. on Living and Fossil Diatoms, Philadelphia. Koeltz, Koenigstein.

Courses Taught

BIO 101 Introductory Biology
BIO 320 Evolution
BIO 472 Paleoecology
ENV 120 Environmental Geology

Relevant Work Experience

  • 2011 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Invited Expert Reviewer (Paleoclimate Chapter)
  • 2003 University of Arizona & Tanzania. Faculty: The Nyanza Project: Paleolimnology instructor in summer field course on Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.
  • 2002-present Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono. Adjunct Professor. Current focus: tropical climate changes of the last millennium.
  • 1998-1999 Paul Smith’s College. Acting Assistant Dean, Science/Liberal Arts Division
  • 1994-1995 Hog Island, Maine. Instructor; National Audubon Society Ecology Camp
  • 1992 South Caicos Island, Bahamas. Instructor, Coral Reef Management. School for Field Studies.
  • 1991-present St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. Researcher and co-host of Natural Selections (formerly “Field Notes”), broadcast weekly on NCPR (www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/natural.php)
  • 1989, 1990 University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Summer Ventures Program, field research for gifted high school youths.
  • 1987-present Paul Smith’s College.Professor, Natural Sciences.
  • 1985-1986 University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Instructor; Marine Biology 362, Quaternary Studies (graduate level).
  • 1985 Duke University & Cameroon. Post-doctoral research associate: Limnology and sediment coring of Cameroon crater lakes.
Dr. Jay Curt Stager

Contact »

[email protected]
Freer 206
(518) 327-6342