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February 27, 2017

Ecodrought on the east side of the Pacific Northwest

Simon Costanzo, Brianne Walsh and I traveled to Boise, Idaho for a second workshop with scientists from the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Center. Our first workshop, held in Portland, Oregon, focused on the issues west of the Cascades, and this second workshop focused on issues east of the Cascades. We heard about the three ‘W’s […]

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February 23, 2017

Speaking (scientific) truth to power through storytelling: using lessons from the past and examples from the present to plan for the future

Kavya Pradhan and Alterra Sanchez Like King Arthur’s resolute knights, Environmental Scientists are constantly in their own legendary saga. In our case, instead of the Holy Grail, we are looking for viable strategies for environmental management while taking into consideration the socio-economic and political facets of environmental issues. We strive to find multiple methods that might […]

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February 22, 2017

The Triumph of the Commons: No actually, it can happen!

Rachel Eberius, Krystal Yhap, Suzi Spitzer Man’s tendency to overharvest and exhaust communal goods was first recognized in Garret Harding’s classic 1968 article The Tragedy of the Commons. It is our nature, Harding believed, to act in a rational, self-serving manner and because of this tendency we will inevitably deplete communal environmental resources. In preparation […]

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February 20, 2017

Talking ecodrought in Portland, Oregon: food trucks, beer and the Benson Hotel

Brianne Walsh, Simon Costanzo and I traveled to Portland, Oregon to talk about climate change with the USGS Northwest Climate Science Center. This workshop was the sixth in our series of eight workshops we are conducting across the entire United States. The one difference with this regional workshop is that we are breaking it up […]

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February 16, 2017

Science for science, for environment, or society?: The role of science in environmental management

Alterra Sanchez and Stephanie Barletta Environmental management is much more than using science to solve a problem, if only it were that easy! If a lake is becoming eutrophic because of nutrient input due to nearby farming, the answer would be to not allow the farmers to use as much fertilizer; easy, problem solved, right? […]

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February 15, 2017

One fish, two fish, one fish—wait, where did all the fish go?

Noelle Olsen Last week for class, we traveled near and far (UMES students) to the new UMCES office in Annapolis. Dr. Hubacek gave us an interactive, crash-course lesson in natural resource management and economics by playing the game, Fish Banks. Fish banks originated from the minds of scientists at the MIT Sloan School of Management […]

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February 9, 2017

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Balancing the needs of scientific management and public stakeholders in Ecosystem Based Management

Jake Shaner and Dylan Taillie Scientists have long been trained to adhere to the scientific process of identifying a problem or question and testing hypotheses in an attempt to find an answer. Conventionally, this process informed management by creating a compartmentalized management scheme of the planet’s natural resources. The advent of Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) […]

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February 8, 2017

Greater than the sum of its parts: What is a coupled human and natural system?

Suzi Spitzer and Noelle Olsen This semester, we will be publishing a series of synthesis blogs written by graduate students enrolled in a new course called “Coupled Human and Natural Systems.” The class is the foundation-level course of Environment and Society, a new academic track within the MEES graduate program at UMCES. The MEES curriculum […]

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February 6, 2017

Lessons on how to synthesize science

We recently completed our third SAV SYN workshop, which is an effort to synthesize (SYN) data related to the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) of Chesapeake Bay. We have been analyzing a variety of data sets to better understand how SAV are responding to changes in the Bay and to understand what we can infer about […]

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January 31, 2017

Ecological drought in the Southeast U.S.: Forest fires, supermoon and new age libraries

Simon Costanzo, Brianne Walsh and I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to meet with scientists associated with the USGS Southeast Climate Science Center to talk about ecological drought on 16-17 November 2016. Fittingly, there were forest fires raging in the Great Smoky Mountains as a result of a prolonged drought as we held the workshop. […]

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