Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science


Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Teaching Lab Director, joined the faculty of Barnard College in 2006. Prior to joining Barnard, Dr. Maenza-Gmelch was a member of the faculty at New York University in the departments of Biology and Teaching and Learning. She is also an educator at the Black Rock Forest Consortium where she has developed and taught summer field programs for students from middle school to graduate school.  Her PhD is from New York University.

Dr. Maenza-Gmelch is a palynologist and forest ecologist. Her research and teaching interests include paleoecology, effects of climate and land-use change on bird populations, soundscape ecology and field and digital curriculum development. Her publications have focused on the Late-glacial and Holocene vegetation, climate, and fire of the Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York as well as other sites in the Northeast USA.

Other research includes habitat-based bird surveying in Black Rock Forest in order to establish long-term trends, seasonal inventories and connections between bird diversity and vegetation composition and structure.  She has collaborated with the Macaulay Library of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in an effort to archive audio of habitat soundscapes and individual bird taxa at Black Rock Forest. Listen to the forest at http://blackrockforest.org/listen-forest

Terryanne collaborated with Columbia’s CNMTL to create the Paleomodule for the Virtual Forest Initiative (http://blackrock.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/paleoecology/).  The Paleoecology Module is a web-based,  interactive and inquiry-based virtual palynological experience. The fundamental idea was to take the pollen, plant macrofossil, and radiocarbon data from the actual Sutherland Pond sediment core and put them into a simulation so that students could learn the discovery process inherent in reconstructing a forest's ecosystem using paleoecological techniques without the time and resource constraints that make actual sediment coring and pollen processing impossible in a classroom setting.

Google Scholar link: 


In the News





Developed and taught field ecology labs in New York City and beyond for Barnard Environmental Science Department at Riverside Park, The Sibyl Levy Golden '38 Ecological Learning Center Greenroof, The Campus Tree Carbon Storage Project, Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Central Park, Sterling Forest State Park, Black Rock Forest and the Empire State Building   http://barnard.edu/headlines/looking-nature-heart-new-york-city and ht...

Developed the curriculum for and taught the first residential undergraduate and graduate courses at Black Rock Forest http://blackrockforest.org/files/blackrock/content/Sprnig%202014%20Newsl...

Developed and taught the first summer science program and internship for high school students at Black Rock Forest https://eco.confex.com/eco/2009/techprogram/P20880.HTM

Co-developed the Virtual Forest Paleoecology module (with Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning) http://blackrock.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/paleoecology

Mentors undergraduate researchers in the field at Black Rock Forest Consortium through the LDEO Internship program and the Barnard Summer Research Institute   http://barnard.edu/headlines/barnard-students-intern-black-rock-forest-c...

Led the development of the Listen to the Forest education webpage (with the Black Rock Forest Consortium and the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University)      http://blackrockforest.org/listen-forest

Led the effort (with Black Rock Forest Consortium and Orange County Land Trust) to nominate Black Rock Forest-Schunnemunk Mountain as an Audubon Important Bird Area:






Academic Focus: 


Paleoecology of the Hudson Highlands and surrounding regions

Forest Ecology


Field and digital ecology curriculum development



Terryanne teaches Land-use, Bird and Plant Dynamics, Introduction to Environmental Science lecture (fall semester), Forests and Environmental Change, and Environmental Science Lab.   Check out one of the classes on the Hudson River:   https://youtu.be/6RrrJS2xI-w



Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne, Patterson, Angelica, Wright, Melissa A, Gmelch, Peter L, and Schuster, William SF (2019).   An Enhanced Biodiversity Blitz Model for Natural History Education at Black Rock Forest, NY. Northeast Natural History Conference Abstracts (April 12-14, 2019), Springfield, Massachusetts.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne (2018). Comparison of foraging and nesting guild diversity in bird communities along various road types and trails at Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, New York. Abstracts of the International Ornithological Congress (August, 2018) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne and Wasmuth, Marissa (2017). Impact of road types and trails on bird abundance and diversity at Black Rock Forest, Hudson Highlands, New York. Abstracts of the 102nd Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting (August 7-11, 2017) Portland, Oregon.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne (2017). Bird studies at Black Rock Forest 2011-2016. Black Rock Forest/Highlands Research Symposium (June, 2017). Cornwall, NY.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne, Schuster, William S. F. and Kenyon, Chris (2016). Hudson Highlands West Important Bird Area: Harriman and Sterling to Black Rock and Storm King, New York. Abstracts of the North American Ornithological Conference (August 16-20, 2016). Washington D.C.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne and Sarah Gilly (2015). Bird diversity in relation to vegetation composition and structure at Black Rock Forest, Cornwall, New York. Abstracts of the 100th ESA Annual Meeting (August 10 – 14, 2015), Baltimore, Maryland.

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne (2015). Black Rock Forest - Schunnemunk Mountain Important Bird Area Proposal. Black Rock Forest/Highlands Research Symposium (June, 2015). Cornwall, NY

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne and Sarah Gilly (2012). Habitat-based bird monitoring in Black Rock Forest, Cornwall, NY: long-term trends and seasonal inventories, 2011. Abstracts of the 97th ESA Annual Meeting (August 5 – 10, 2012), Portland, Oregon.

Maenza-Gmelch, T. E. and Alice J. Cox (2010). A web-based paleoecology module provides a virtual palynological experience for undergraduates: Virtual Forest Initiative at Black Rock Forest. Abstracts of the 95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010), Pittsburgh, PA.

Heusser, L.E., Maenza-Gmelch, T.E., Lowell, T.V. and Hinnefeld, R. (2002). Late Wisconsin periglacial environments of the southern margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet reconstructed from pollen analyses. Journal of Quaternary Science 17(8): 773-780.

Maenza-Gmelch, T.E. (1997). Holocene vegetation, climate, and fire history of the Hudson Highlands, southeastern, New York, U.S.A. The Holocene 7(1): 25-37.

Maenza-Gmelch, T.E. (1997). Late-glacial - early Holocene vegetation, climate, and fire at Sutherland Pond, Hudson Highlands, southeastern New York, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Botany 75:431-439.

Maenza-Gmelch, T.E. (1997). Vegetation, climate, and fire during the late-glacial - Holocene transition at Spruce Pond, southeastern New York, U.S.A. Journal of Quaternary Science 12(1): 15-24.

Mitchell, R. S., Maenza-Gmelch, T. E., and Barbour, J.G. (1994). Utricularia inflata Walt. (Lentibulariaceae), new to New York state. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 121:295-297.




Office: 404D Altschul Hall
Lab: 403 Altschul Hall
Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, USA  
Phone: 212.854.7089
Lab Phone: 212.854.7986
Fax: 212.854.5760

Office Hours: 

by appointment

In the News

Taught by lecturer Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch, “Case Studies in Land-use, Bird and Plant Dynamics” has been conducting bird population surveys this semester at Jamaica Bay, Central Park, Black Rock Forest and Sterling Forest.