HEF: Health Ecology and Farming

Our team's research focuses on the interactions among ecosystems, climate, and society, with a focus on how changes in winter climate will affect our local agriculture production. Outwintering of dairy cows on organic dairy farms is an increasingly common practice as it is believed to be beneficial to cow health. However, there are large uncertainties surrounding potential health benefits and ecological impacts on soil nutrient retention, greenhouse gas emissions, and water quality.  Our project will measurements of snow, soils, and manure inputs in outwintering pastures to assess the fate of pasture manure during winters with variable snowpack conditions. Findings will help inform outwintering practices that optimize cow health and ecosystem health. 


  • Elizabeth Burakowski (EOS)
  • Alix Contosta (EOS)
  • Todd Guerdat (COLSA)
  • Alyson Ebderhardt (NH Sea Grant, Cooperative Extension)
  • Andre Brito (COLSA)
  • Andrew Smith (COLA)