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Volume 1 | October 2019
Appalachian Laboratory
Fall 2019 E-Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 1
Drone photo of Lab by Dylan Taillie
Aerial photograph of Appalachian Laboratory taken by UMCES graduate student Dylan Taillie using a drone.
Last December, we launched our Appalachian Laboratory Year-in-Review electronic newsletter. This year, we've had so many exciting happenings at the Lab, we thought we'd expand the once-per-year newsletter to a biannual one, publishing in October and May each year.

We hope you enjoy this first edition, which includes Spotlights on the Richard Johnson Environmental Education Award and our our recently launched undergraduate internship initiative. We've also included some research and student highlights, as well as information on upcoming Watershed Moments Community Learning Series events.

A web version of this newsletter will join our previous End-of-Year Review on our website at
Featured Stories
2019 All Johnson Winners
Past winners of the Richard A. Johnson Environmental Education Award with 2019 winner Craig Hartsock.
2019 Johnson Award winner Craig Hartsock with Dr. Peter Goodwin, UMCES President, Jim Mullan, guest speaker, and Dr. Eric Davidson, Appalachian Laboratory Director.
Richard Johnson Environmental Education Award
Thanks to the generosity of the Johnson family, as well as numerous corporate and community donors, each year we recognize an individual or group from Garrett or Allegany Counties for their environmental education efforts by awarding the Richard A. Johnson Environmental Education Award. Named for Dr. Richard Johnson, a local surgeon and naturalist, this monetary award is presented at a ceremony in April and is intended to support continued environmental education endeavors. A committee of past winners and community members selects each year's winner.

In 2019, Craig Hartsock, founder of the Envirothon and numerous other environmental education initiatives in western Maryland, was the selected as a Johnson Award winner. Nominations for the 2020 award are currently open.

Photo left: Kane Samuel with internship supervisor Dr. Mark Castro.
Photo right: Scott McKinstry in the field during summer internship.
Screenshot of Kane Samuel's post-internship presentation.
Interns at the Appalachian Laboratory
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), the Appalachian Laboratory's parent institution, recently affirmed its commitment to undergraduate internships in its 2019 Strategic Initiatives. In support of this initiative, starting in spring 2019, the Appalachian Laboratory has served as host to two undergraduate interns from Frostburg State University.

Kane Samuel, then a senior majoring in chemistry, worked with Dr. Mark Castro during the spring 2019 semester on a project involving mercury in local produce. Over the summer, Scott McKinstry worked with UMCES Ph.D. student Joel Bostic in two watersheds in Baltimore County, trying to identify the source of nitrate found at the sites following major storm events.

Upcoming Events
Watershed Moments Community Learning Series
Bats- the "Myth Understood" Mammals

On Thursday, October 24, at 6:30pm, the Appalachian Laboratory’s Juliet Nagel and Dan Feller, Maryland DNR Western Regional Ecologist, will share facts about bats and provide an update on ongoing bat research in Maryland and beyond. This event, which will take place at the Appalachian Laboratory, is free and open to the public. No registration needed.

Lab After Hours: a Guided Tour

Join us on Thursday, November 7, starting at 6:30pm for Lab After Hours- a Guided Tour. During the tour, participants will be able to visit laboratories and learn about the research conducted there from the scientists and students who work in those facilities. This event is open to those 16 years of age and older. Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free, but to better coordinate tours, registration is required. Register using the button below or by calling 301-689-7102. 

Research Highlights
Climate of North American Cities will Shift Hundreds of Miles in One Generation
In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away—or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada.

UMCES-AL Scientists Lead Sustainable Agriculture Projec t
Scientists, policymakers, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders involved in agriculture from around the world came together at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis to continue a two-year SESYNC Pursuit project to develop a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix.

Appalachian Laboratory Welcomes Emily Cohen, Animal Ecologist, to Faculty
Dr. Emily Cohen has joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland. She comes to the Appalachian Laboratory most recently from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, where she served as a research ecologist with the Migratory Bird Center.   

Student News
Appalachian Laboratory Students Graduate in May
Four students completed studies at the Appalachian Laboratory this academic year, receiving degrees from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science through either the University System of Maryland's Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences program or Frostburg State University's Masters in Biology/Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology program.
ESA 2019 MEES Students Group Photo
Students Present at Ecological Society of America's 2019 Annual Meeting
Through a  Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units  (CESU) project funded by the  National Park Service  (NPS), students and faculty at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) recently collaborated with NPS staff to research and write original articles about national park sites that have played important roles in the history of various scientific disciplines. The articles are included on the “History of Science” public website on

Nine graduate students, led by UMCES-AL faculty member  Katia Engelhardt , completed their research during the fall 2017 semester, while enrolled in MEES 608W: Classic Readings in Ecology. Their findings were presented this summer at the Ecological Society of America's 2019 Annual Meeting. 

Help Support the Work of Appalachian Laboratory Students
Our October Watershed Moments event is made possible thanks to the work of Appalachian Laboratory graduate student Juliet Nagel. You can help support the work of students like Juliet by making a gift to the Appalachian Laboratory Student Support Fund.