Dr. Celia Ann Evans

Hopeful Landscape

by Celia Evans | The Road

Year Started at Paul Smith’s:  2001
Department: Natural Science
Program: Environmental Science, Biology, Ecological Restoration



My current ecological research includes plant structure in peatland communities, specifically the study of potential climate change on the distributions of tamarack and black spruce in the southern part of their geographic distribution.  Other areas of research is browse preferences of herbivores in winter, salamander abundances and species diversity in our forest ecosystem,  and has also has included beech bark disease impacts on forest structure, and salamanders as indicators of ecosystems function.

I have also collaborated with  the Adirondack Watershed Institute on the response of invasive and native aquatic plants to desiccation during transport and water temperature in a changing climate.  All of this work is performed with the help of our wonderful students.

New areas of research are teaching and learning including assessment of student outcomes and the Impact of short-term study abroad experiences on students and the faculty that collaborate to facilitate them


  • Distinguished Faculty Award. Student Government Association, Paul Smith’s College, 2003. “…for her outstanding fellowship with students both in and outside the classroom. Thank you for motivating and inspiring students of Paul Smith’s College to reach their full potential.”
  • H. David Chamberlain Teaching Excellence Award. Paul Smiths College Faculty, Paul Smith’s College, 2011. “In recognition of your commitment to your students, and dedication to the mission of Paul Smith’s College.”
  • 2012 Fulbright teaching and research Fellowship to Gorno-Altaisk State University, Altai Republic, Russian Federation.

Interests and Activities 

I continue to work in science education since my Post-doc at UNH. A real highlight for me was a 3 month teaching/research Fulbright scholarship in the Altai Republic in the Russian Federation. I worked with students at Gorno-Altaisk State University and worked with a Russian colleague to conduct research on rural elementary school students’ cultural relationship to place. Our research examined the relative strengths of formal (school) and informal (family, community, and media) factors that influence their attachment to place and ecological literacy in the Altai and in the Adirondacks.

One of the most gratifying and exciting thing I do with students is facilitate two upper division STEM courses in collaboration with Moscow State University in the Russian Federation.  Since 2012 I have worked to develop a collaboration with great administrators and faculty at Moscow State University to deliver our collaboratively designed courses in English at two Field Stations. Please follow the links for a previe of what those courses entail! @PSC>MSU.winter ecology and @PSC.MSUsummer 

Lately, along with teaching and research I have been publishing magazine and newspaper essays about my science and education research interests and passions. Article examples can be found here and here. I am also a singer/songwriter in the folk genre. I’ve released five albums of original acoustic folk and am working on a sixth.


Academic Background


Post-Doctorate Research Associate in Science Education, University of New Hampshire
PhD, Biology, Dartmouth College
BS, Botany/Ecology, University of Toronto
BA, Biology, Humbolt State University




 (Asterisks (*) denote undergraduate co-authors)




Contosta A.R., Casson N.J., Garlick S., Nelson S.J., Ayres M.P., Burakowski E.A., Campbell J., Creed I., Eimers C., Evans C., Fernandez I., Fuss C, Huntington T., Patel K., Sanders-DeMott, R., Son K., Templer P., Thornbrugh C.  Northern forest winters have lost cold, snowy conditions that are important for ecosystems and human communities (In preparation for Ecological Applications).


Evans C.A., DeSotle R*, and Mattilio C.*, Chenaille, A.* and A. Whiston*.  2016. A Fine-scale Examination of Larix laricina and Picea mariana Abundances along Abiotic Gradients in an Adirondack Peatland. Northeastern Naturalist 23: 420-433


Garnas J.R., Houston D.R., Twery M.J., Ayres M.P., & Evans C. 2013 Inferring controls on the epidemiology of beech bark disease from spatial patterning of disease organisms. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00595.x


Evans C. A., Forrest K. M.*, Kelting D. L., and L. E. Steblin*. 2011. Likelihood of fragment viability and rootlet formation in Eurasian watermilfoil (Myrophyllum spicatum L.) after desiccation.  Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 49: 57-62.


Garnas, J. R., Ayres, M. P., Liebhold, A. M. and Evans, C.  2011.  Subcontinental impacts of an invasive tree disease on forest structure and dynamics. Journal of Ecology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2010.01791.x


Garnas J. R., Houston D.R. , Ayres, M.P. and Evans C. 2010 . Disease ontogeny overshadows effects of climate and species interactions on population dynamics in a nonnative forest disease complex. Ecography 34: 1-10


Woodcock T., C. Evans, C. Laxson, R. Tucker, J. Allen, J. Mihuc, E. Allen and T. Mihuc. 2008. Land Use designation and vegetation community structure in the Adirondack uplands (New York, USA). Applied Vegetation Science 11: 509 – 520.


Evans, Celia A., Lucas, Jennifer A*. Twery, Mark J., (eds.).  2005.  Beech bark disease: Proceedings of the beech bark disease symposium: 2004 June 16-18; Saranac Lake, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-331. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 149 p.


 Evans, Celia, A., Ayres, Matthew, P., Twery, Mark J., Houston, David, R., Liebold, Andrew.  2005. Using models to identify forests at risk of major structure and compositional change due to beech bark disease. In:  Evans, Celia A.; Lucas, Jennifer A.; Twery, Mark J., eds. Beech bark disease: Proceedings of the beech bark disease symposium: 2004 June 16-18; Saranac Lake, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-331. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 116-123. 


 K. Van Leaven*, C. Evans. 2005. A Preliminary Examination of Beech Bark Disease and the Influence of Soil Moisture on Bark Thickness and Disease Status in the Northern Adirondack Uplands. In: Evans, Celia A.; Lucas, Jennifer A.; Twery, Mark J., eds. Beech bark disease: Proceedings of the beech bark disease symposium: 2004 June 16-18; Saranac Lake, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-331. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 60-64


J.A. Lucas*, C. A. Evans, M. J. Twery. 2005. The Status of Beech Bark Disease in Northern Hardwood Forests: A research update from the Beech Bark Disease Symposium of 2004. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies 12: 9-12




 Kelting, D.L., Evans C.A. Decoupling apriori student preparedness from the contribution of higher education institutions to student success across Carnegie Categories. (in preparation for Higher Education Research).


 Stetler, J*., Evans, C. & Bringley, C. Literature circles as active learning packets for use in the natural sciences: Transforming traditional supplemental instruction into guided study. (In Review for  Eco Ed Digital Library, https://ecoed.esa.org/index.php?P=FullRecord&ID=605)


 Evans C.A., Kelting, D.L., Holmlund, E.R., and C.L. Laxson. 2013. Protecting Our Waters through Integrated Milfoil Research, Education, and Management At the Adirondack Watershed Institute Of Paul Smith’s College. Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies.19:5-9.


Abrams E. D., Southerland S., and C.A. Evans. 2007. Defining the Components of a Useful Definition.  In: Inquiry in the Classroom: realities and opportunities. E. Abrams, S. Southerland, and S. and S. Sylva (eds.) Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC. pp: ix-xlii


Evans C., Abrams E., Marra P., Roux K., Salmonsen L. *, and R. Reitsma. 2005.  The Neighborhood Nestwatch Program: Sense of Place and Science Literacy in a Citizen-based Ecological Research Project. Conservation Biology 19: 589-594.


C.A. Evans, E.D. Abrams, B. Rock, S. Spencer. (2001) Student/Scientist Partnerships: A teacher’s guide to assessing the critical components. The American Biology Teacher, 63: 318-323.


 Courses Taught


General Ecology, Wetlands Ecosystems and Management, International Winter Ecology, International Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Plant Physiology, Capstone Planning. 


Related Links


Article: It’s not just about maple anymore



Contact »

Professor of Ecology, International Programs Coordinator, Fulbright Liaison and Fulbright Program Advisor
Freer Science, 218
(518) 327-6460

Facilitating the Process of Students Building their Own Knowledge

Building Critical Thinkers