JULY 2018 

For the first time since the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Bay Report Card scores have been calculated, the positive trajectory that was reported in recent years is now statistically significant. This is important evidence that the positive trend in ecosystem health is real, and that efforts to improve conditions in the Bay are working. The largest estuary in the nation scored a C grade (54%) in the 2017 report card, one of the highest scores calculated.

"We have seen individual regions improving before, but not the entire Chesapeake Bay. It seems that the restoration efforts are beginning to take hold," said Bill Dennison, Vice President for Science Applications.

A new study shows that dead zones in the lower Chesapeake Bay are beginning to break up earlier in the fall, which may be an indication that efforts to reduce nutrient pollution to the Bay are beginning to make an impact.

"The size of low-oxygen water in the dead zone has been getting smaller at end of summer. Reoxygenation has allowed for a conversion of nitrogen to a form that is more amenable to being removed by natural processes," said Assistant Professor Jeremy Testa. "We envision that this is how the Bay would've typically functioned before dead zones were such a severe problem."

Hard work by UMCES' sustainability and facilities teams have earned the Maryland Department of the Environment's Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award for 2018. The award recognizes organizations that have shown a strong commitment to the implementation of sustainable practices, the demonstration of measurable results, and the continual improvement of environmental performance.
Associate Professor Laura Lapham took students from the College of Southern Maryland on a research cruise to look for tiny bubbles of methane in water and sediment this spring. The science field trip was made possible by a Changing the Face of STEM Mentoring Grant aimed to expose the students to work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Read more about their day on the water.

"The Tiny Bubbles project is a great opportunity to encourage young women scientists to explore and develop careers in science," said Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Director Tom Miller.

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology joined with the United Way of Central Maryland, McCormick's Flavor for LifeĀ® program, and JJ McDonnell to announce the FISH Project, a collaboration between these local organizations that will positively impact the health of the central Maryland region. The group of local organizations gathered at Baltimore's Franciscan Center this month, where guests of the center were served a healthy, bronzini lunch as part of this important initiative to provide underserved communities across the region with access to healthy, high quality sources of protein.


The key to understanding how climate change has impacted our forests can be found in tiny grains of ancient tree pollen preserved in layers of sediment gathered from lake beds. What can it reveal? 

Matt Fitzpatrick describes how sequencing the pollen's DNA can help scientists understand how trees respond to climate change.
NEXT GENERATION: Suzi Spitzer on science communication
"I am researching ways to improve collaborations between citizen scientists and professional scientists so these groups can more effectively work together to create new scientific knowledge that answers their respective research questions and fulfills both scientific and local needs. I am also researching how scientists can engage and empower community members by encouraging collaborative learning and two-way science communication, and integrating citizen data and knowledge into the broader science discourse."

Report dolphins sightings in the Chesapeake Bay! The DolphinWatch app is now available on iPhone and AndroidMORE

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Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
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