Dr. Jay Curt Stager
Dr. Jay Curt Stager
Year Started at Paul Smith’s: 1987
Department: Natural Science
I enjoy working with students, whether in the classroom, in the field/lab, or out and about in the community. Here are examples of projects that some of my students have undertaken in the past:
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).
Jason Fitzpatrick: Sediment coring at Lake Sibayi, South Africa. (field research funded by NSF, with S.A.Council for Geosciences; 2003).
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).
Jay White: LOI Analysis of Sediment Cores from Verlorenvlei, South Africa(Senior capstone, Fall, 2010)
Interests and Activities
Using sediment cores from lakes to investigate ecological changes over thousands of years, particularly with respect to environments in Africa, Peru, and the Adirondacks. But I’m also interested most aspects of the natural sciences, ranging from coral reef ecology and archaeology 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 (video of playing “Blackbird” for a feathered friend). I’ve been running bi-weekly Open Mics on campus since 1989 (Thursday nights, Hutchins Cyber Cafe, 8-10 PM), and in April I help to organize the Science Art Music Festival at the Paul Smiths VIC (http://www.samfest.org). I have also co-hosted “Natural Selections,” a weekly science program on North Country Public Radio since 1989.
When the snow in the woods is good (and especially when the sun is shining), I enjoy back-country telemark skiing.
BIO 101 Introductory Biology
BIO 320 Evolution
BIO 472 Paleoecology
ENV 362 The Science of Climate Change
2013 Carnegie-Case Foundation Science Professor of the Year, for New York state
1985 PhD Duke University Zoology & Geology
1979 BA Bowdoin College Biology & Geology
Draper-Lussi Endowed Chair in Lake Ecology and Paleoecology
Publications (*asterisk indicates student co-author)
2019 Stager, J.C., B. Wiltse, B. Cumming, T. Holsen, J. Stetler, C. Laxson, C. Marcillo, and D. Charles. A novel ecological state at Bear Pond (Adirondack Mountains, NY, USA) following acidification and partial recovery. Lake Res. Management 35: 208-223.
2019 Norton, S.A., A. Amirbahman, L. Bacon, H.A. Ewing, M. Novak, A. Nurse, M. Retelle, J. Curt Stager, and M. Yates. Chemical, biological, and trophic status of temperate lakes can be strongly influenced by the presence of late-glacial marine sediments. Lake Res. Management doi.org/10.1080/10402381.2019.1669747.
2019 Rechlin, M., C. Laxson, C. Milewski, and C. Stager. Environmental history of Lower St. Regis Lake: Degradation and the path to ecological redemption. Adirondack J. Envir. Studies 23: 81-99.
2019 Press, D., C. Stager, and E. Cummings. Walden: The graphic novel. (link here).
2018 Stager, J.C., B. Wiltse, J.B. Hubeny, E. Yankowski*, D. Nardelli*, and R. Primack. Climate variability and cultural eutrophication at Walden Pond (Massachusetts, USA) during the last 1750 years. PLOS ONE 13(4): e0191755.
2018 Muschik, M., J.M. Russell, E. Jemmi, J. Walker, K.M. Stewart, A.M. Murray, N. Dubois, J.C. Stager, T.C. Johnson, and O. Seehausen. Arrival order and release from competition does not explain why haplochromine cichlids radiated in Lake Victoria. Proc. Royal Soc. B, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0462.
2018 Stager, J.C. Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes. W.W. Norton.
2018 Stager, J.C., K. Alton*, C.H. Martin, D.T. King, Jr., L.W. Petruny, and D.A. Livingstone. On the age and origin of Lake Ejagham, Cameroon, and its endemic fishes. Quat. Res. 89: 21-32.
2017 Stager, J.C. Hidden Heritage. Adirondack Life (March/April), pp. 54-66.
2017 Pausata, F.S.R., K.A. Emmanuel, M. Chiacchio, G.T. Diro, Q. Zhang, L. Sushama, J.C. Stager, and J.P. Donnely. Tropical cyclone activity enhanced by Sahara greening and reduced dust emissions during the African Humid Period. PNAS 114: 6221-6226.
2017 Pausata, F.S.R., Q. Zhang, F. Muschitiello, Z. Lu, L. Chafik, E.M. Niedermeyer, J.C. Stager, K.M. Cobb, and Z. Liu. Greening of the Sahara suppressed ENSO variability during the Mid-Holocene. Nature (Communications) doi:10.1038/ncomms16020.
2017 Stager, J.C. Sowing Climate Doubt Among Schoolteachers. The New York Times. (April 27).
2016 Stager, J.C., B.F. Cumming, K. Laird, A. Garrigan-Piela, N. Pederson, B. Wiltse, C.S. Lane, J. Nester, and A. Ruzmaikin. A 1600 year record of hydroclimate from Wolf Lake, N.Y. The Holocene doi: 10.1177/0959683616658527.
2016 Stager, J.C. Climate change in the Age of Humans. Ch. 1 in (Sample, V.A., R.P. Bixler, and C. Miller, eds.) Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene. University Press of Colorado.
2015 Chase, B., … J.C. Stager, et al. Evolving southern hemisphere response to abrupt deglacial North Atlantic climate change events. Quat. Internat.121: 132-136.
2015 Stager, J.C. Tales of a Warmer Planet. The New York Times. (Nov. 28).
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.
2014 Stager, J.C. Your Atomic Self: the Invisible Elements That Connect You To Everything Else In The Universe. Thomas Dunne Books.
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.
2013 Stager, J.C. You are made of waste. (with artist Yuko Shimizu) Nautilus (Nov. 7). www.nautil.us/issue/7/waste/you-are-made-of-waste.
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. Jour. Quat. Sci. ISSN 0267-8179. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2593.
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 Jour. Envir. Stud. (volume 16) www.ajes.org/v16/wiltse2010.php.
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. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 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. Quat. Res. 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 Jour. Envir. Stud. 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. Jour. 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 Jour. 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. Jour. 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 Jour. Envir. Stud. 9: 1-10.
2001 Stager, J.C. Did reclamation pollute Black Pond? Adirondack Jour. Envir. Stud. 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. Jour. 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. Man. 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. Carib. Jour. 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. Jour. Coll. Sci. Teach. 24: 91-93.
1994 Stager, J.C. Investigating Adirondack lakes. Adirondack Jour. Environ. Stud. 1: 30-34.
1994 Martin, M.R., and J.C. Stager. Assessing the human impact on lakes using sediment analyses. Lake Reserv. Man. 9: 95-96.
1992 Stager, J.C. Simple gravity corer suitable for educators. Jour. Paleolimnol. 7:253 255.
1992 Stager, J.C., and L.B. Cahoon. Distribution of benthic microalgae, pigments, and phosphate in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. Jour. 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. Jour. 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. Jour. 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. Freshw. Biol. 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.
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.
1997 A.C. Walker Foundation ($2,000). Lead-210 dating of a sediment core from Long Pond, Adirondack Park, New York.
1998 National Science Foundation ($60,000; ATM- 9808972), A 9,000 year diatom record of climate fluctuations from Lake Victoria, East Africa, with decade-scale resolution.
1999 National Science Foundation, Supplement ($15,040), Sediment coring and geological sampling at Lake Victoria, Uganda; National Science Foundation.
1999 National Science Foundation R.E.U.Supplement ($17,000), Student research at Lake Victoria, Uganda.
2001 National Science Foundation ($147,400; ATM-0117170), Sediment records of environmental changes at Lake Victoria, East Africa, during the past millennium, with decade-scale resolution.
2004 National Science Foundation ($299,964; ATM-0401845) Late Holocene geo-biologic records of climate changes at Lake Tanganyika, East Africa, with seasonal to decadal resolution.
2006 National Geographic Society ($20,000; #8040-06) ENSO History derived from Peruvian sediment cores.
2008 National Science Foundation ($334,246; EAR-0822922) High-resolution sediment records of late Holocene paleohydrology from the summer and winter rainfall regions of South Africa.
2013 National Science Foundation ($278,784; Paleoclimate): High-resolution sediment records of hydrological variability in the northeastern United States during the last millennium.