Emily Norton Henry, PhD Student

The Effects of Shoreline Development on Turtle Populations


The Problem

  • Many lakes have been the site of intense residential development for decades.
  • This development is associated with a number of negative impacts such as altered riparian & lake vegetation.
  • We know very little about the effects of shoreline development on turtles, even though they are important consumers, make up a large portion of biomass in lake food webs, and are important integrators of terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Research Question

Do turtle densities, age and size structure, nest site choice, and reproductive success differ predictably with lake shoreline residential development?


  • High-development & low development lakes
  • Lake and riparian habitat & turtle sampling 2009-2011

The Economic Value of Lake Water Clarity

The Problem

  • Water clarity is a valued ecological attribute & an indicator of lake health.
  • It is difficult to place a value on such ecological attributes.
  • One way to place monetary value on such non-market goods is through hedonic valuation – regressions that include a variety of property attributes (e.g., structural, neighborhood, and environmental characteristics).
  • Previous studies have shown that good water clarity increases property values, however, previous studies have included either a single or a few lakes and have not included other important environmental predictor variables such as conservation lands.

Research Question

What is the monetary value of lake water clarity and other environmental characteristics (e.g., conservation lands, public access)?


  • Secchi disk depth from 138 MI lakes
  • 1430 lakefront residential properties with attributes and sales prices
  • Hedonic models


MSU Environmental Science & Policy Program, USGS, MI-NALMS, NSF-MSB

Current Employment

Education Coordinator, Oregon State University