colby-sawyer faculty

Nicholas A. Baer

Associate Professor and Chair, Natural Sciences
(603) 526-3066 |

Joined the faculty in 2004. Received B.A. from University of Vermont and Ph.D. from University of Maryland. Teaching interests include freshwater biology, conservation biology, ecology, water resources, and environmental studies. Research interests are in freshwater foodweb dynamics, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, ecosystem structure and function, particularly relating how aquatic organisms respond to changes in water parameters such as pH, conductivity, and nitrogen, phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon concentrations.

I teach courses in ecology, freshwater biology, conservation biology, Community and Environmental Studies, and other sciences. My courses concentrate on exploring both the surroundings landscape, flora, and fauna, as well as how humans interact with our natural resources. I focus many of the activities and field trips throughout New Hampshire, and take advantage of the natural resources in the Lakes region around New London.

My research interests in water quality and how human derived impacts affect water resources allow me to incorporate students in my on-going studies in the region. I am currently collaborating with a community-based lake association, as well as several other researchers from other institutions to investigate how water quality changes in the Lake Sunapee watershed affects the foodweb dynamics in streams, and heavy metal transport within the foodweb. Please see my research section for additional details on both my research and recent undergraduate research projects.

Areas of Expertise

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Conservation Biology
  • Aquatic Entomology
  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Hydrology

Recent publications

  • Baer, N.A. and K.C. Weathers. 2006. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and foodweb dynamics: Tea for two? The 91st Annual Meeting Abstract Bulletin for the Ecological Society of America. 19 (abstract).

  • Baer, N.A. 2006. In-stream dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the effect on macroinvertebrate community structure and function. Eastern Branch Meeting of the Entomological Society of America.

  • Baer, N.A. 2005. “Within and among watershed variation of macroinvertebrate community structure in two Maryland Coastal Plain streams”. The 2nd Maryland Stream Symposium.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. “Macroinvertebrate community structure and ecological function in Maryland Coastal Plain streams.” Diss. U of Maryland, 2004.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. and William O. Lamp. “Detrital foodweb response to dissolved organic carbon and nutrient changes: Exploring Coastal Plain stream dynamics.” The Ecological Society of America, Savannah. Aug. 2003.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. and William O. Lamp. “Effects of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon on microbial and macroinvertebrate contributions to leaf litter breakdown.” The North American Benthological Society, Athens. May. 2003.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. and William O. Lamp. “Macroinvertebrates and leaf decomposition: a comparison across two Maryland Coastal Plain streams.” The Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Restoration Conference, Baltimore. Sept. 2002.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. and William O. Lamp. “Macroinvertebrate community structure vs. leaf decomposition: a comparison across two Maryland coastal plain streams.” The North American Benthological Society, LaCrosse. May 2001.

  • Baer, Nicholas A., William O. Lamp and Doug Samson. “Biohydrological comparison of the Nassawango and Nanjemoy watersheds in the Maryland coastal plain region.” The North American Benthological Society, Keystone. May 2000.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. Summary report of the biohydrological survey in the Nanjemoy and Nassawango watersheds. Maryland: The Nature Conservancy, 1999.

  • Baer, Nicholas A. and Edward Ohanian. “Comparison of the data used in the 1997 World Health Organization evaluation to the 1991 EPA's drinking water regulation for nitrate/nitrite.” The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Seattle. Nov. 1998.


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • B.A., University of Vermont