The inception of IAN can be traced back to a University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science faculty convocation in which the IAN concept was developed, expressed in the 2000 UMCES strategic plan. Funding for a new position, Vice President for Science Applications, along with operating funds was obtained by UMCES President Don Boesch. In 2002, Dr. William C. Dennison from the University of Queensland, Australia became the VP Science Applications and along with Dr. Tim Carruthers, also from Univ. of Queensland, initiated IAN activities.
The IAN initiation phase (2002-2004) involved the first IAN grants and contracts, and we developed some initial partnerships in Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland Coastal Bays. The IAN website was launched and the first round of symbol libraries was posted. The small IAN staff size was accommodated within Horn Point Laboratory.
The IAN partnership phase (2005-2007) involved the creation of the EcoCheck partnership with NOAA at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, the Annapolis Synthesis Center was launched in historic downtown Annapolis, and the increased IAN staff size was accommodated in the IAN building (renovated bathhouse from a former Dupont estate). An important and long-standing partnership was started with the National Park Service. The Chesapeake Bay annual communication cycle was initiated (summer ecological forecasts, review of summer conditions, annual report cards).
The IAN accountability phase (2008-2010) involved the creation of the IAN administrative functionality (Program Manager, Dr. Tim Carruthers; Business Manager, Ken Barton; Administrative Specialist, Dottie Samonisky), IAN Press was launched and the IAN image library was added to the IAN website. Environmental report card activities expanded geographically and a partnership with Conservation International initiated.
The IAN technology phase (2011-present) began with the expansion of the IAN image library by adding all IAN symbols and IAN conceptual diagrams. The IAN blog became active and the development of apps initiated. The UMCES Annapolis Office, co-located with the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SeSynC), replaced the Annapolis Synthesis Center. Dr. Heath Kelsey became the IAN Program Manager and a new partnership with Maryland Department of Natural Resources was launched.