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March 15, 2017

Fresh fruit, virtual land, and conference ribbons: what can we learn from a network perspective?

Kelly Hondula, Natalie Yee After learning about how to construct and interpret social network data sets the previous week, the MEES Coupled Human and Natural Systems class spent a week delving into understanding the types of questions that social and natural scientists investigate using network analysis. We explored social networks of communication, global trade networks, […]

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March 8, 2017

Social Networking: Beyond the Likes and Shares

Natalie Yee and Rachel Eberius Social networks are not just places where we post photos or share updates on our lives. They can be described more broadly to include a series of social interactions and personal relationships. We explored this other definition in class as it related to our work and personal interactions within the […]

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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 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 13, 2017

The Chesapeake Sentinels

A new paper on Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) was published last week by colleagues from the Virginia Institute of the Marine Science (VIMS) and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, led by Jon Lefcheck (VIMS). This paper, entitled “Multiple stressors threaten the imperiled coastal foundation species eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Chesapeake Bay, […]

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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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February 2, 2017

Carolina in my Mind

At the end of the Ecodrought workshop in Raliegh, North Carolina, I sang the song ‘Carolina in my Mind‘, adapted from song of the same name written by a North Carolina native, James Taylor. The people named in my version of the song are Cari Furiness, North Carolina State University, Ryan Boyles and Jerry McMahon, […]

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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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January 24, 2017

New York Harbor water quality

On 12 January 2017, I visited Beau Ranheim, the Section Chief of Marine Sciences, New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Beau was a graduate student in the Ed Carpenter/Doug Capone laboratory at Stony Brook University when I was a postdoc in the same laboratory. After Beau finished his Master’s program at Stony Brook, he […]

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