Lake George
Darrin Fresh Water Institute,
5060 Lake Shore Drive
Bolton Landing, NY 12814

PH: (518) 644-3541
Fax:(518) 644-3640

DFWI is a multidisciplinary environmental research center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute dedicated to understanding the structure and function of aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric systems. Our primary research focus is on the ecological consequences of environmental perturbations due to human activities in the Northeastern United States.

Featured Science

New Invasive Freshwater Clam Species Discovered

Corbicula fluminea Positively Identified in Lake George

The Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) has discovered a new invasive fresh water clam species in Lake George. This species, found by DFWI student Jeremy Farrell, was located in the Village of Lake George and poses a serious threat to native mussels and the Lake George ecosystem, according to Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer, director of DFWI.

Nierzwicki-Bauer said the species – Corbicula fluminea – is an invasive clam from Asia, capable of self fertilization, achieving densities of thousands per square meter, and crowding native species from their typical habitats.

Commonly known as the Asian clam, it is a light brown triangular clam that can survive in fresh and brackish waters. If the invasion is a localized one, it may be possible to eradicate, she added. The dominant native mussel in Lake George is Elliptio complanata.

“It is imperative that we move quickly to determine the extent of this infestation to assess the best treatment options that can be undertaken immediately,” said Nierzwicki-Bauer, who is also a professor of biology. “We have reached out to the regulatory agencies to assess all our options.”

Read More



The Institute is an integral part of the environmental initiative at Rensselaer. Internships involving both laboratory instruction and intensive field studies are held at the Lake George site.

Student participation in research activities at the Institute is encouraged with a number of student internships available each summer.

Be sure to check out our "First Year Experience" for RPI incoming freshmen.



DFWI publications and media material now available at the Folsom Library archive. Click here
Come check out the Keck Water Research Laboratory, DFWI's on campus research facility for water quality.









All Photos seen throughout this site were taken by DFWI Faculty and Staff

Featured Photo

Jeremy Farrell

Graduate Student and DFWI researcher Jeremy Farrell sampling through the ice on Lake George, NY in February 2011 (photo: Brian Keleher)


A Semester in the Adirondacks

Rensselaer undergraduate biology student Nicole Nolan recently looked into the murky water of a fish tank here, checking on hundreds of zebra mussel larvae that she studied in the laboratories of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute.

Nolan was part of the first class of students to spend an entire “Semester of Study” at the Institute.

Her study of the infamous invasive species was part of a full semester of research and courses that included catching and measuring fish in some of the most inaccessible lakes in the Adirondacks, releasing young pheasants to the wild, and doing real work in the lab to provide researchers at the Institute with new information on how to control damaging invasives such as zebra mussels.

Read More


DFWI Researchers present at the 2011 Northeast Natural History Conference at the NYS Museum in Albany, NY


Click here for a list of DFWI abstracts and posters that were presented along with the researchers that attended the conference.



DFWI Home | Research | Facilities | Outreach & Education | Publications

Copyright ©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)  110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY USA 12180  (518) 276-6000