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The State of Yucátan on the Gulf of Mexico is full of natural and cultural treasures, but it faces many of the same pressures to coastal zones found world-wide: pollution, increasing development, and overfishing. Dr. Paulo Salles Afonso de Almeida from the Laboratorio Nacional de Resiliencia Costera, Unidad Académica Sisal del Instituto de Ingeniería de la UNAM is leading an effort to create a data-based report card, by which the ecosystem health can be monitored. Dr. Heath Kelsey and Ms. Jane Hawkey from IAN were invited in August to join that effort and conduct a preliminary report card workshop in the port town of Sisal in the State of Yucátan, Mexico. Scientists from UNAM, other Mexican academic institutions, and Mexican and international non-profit groups attended the two-day workshop, as well as a representative from State government. In plenary and break-out groups, activities designed to engage all participants resulted in a broad, overview of the coastal ecosystem the "big picture". In addition, key values and threats were defined and locations mapped. While a qualitative assessment of the Yucatán coast was obtained during the workshop, participants agreed that the data-based report card planned for 2017 will be most useful for decision-makers and stakeholders alike.
On Wednesday, August 24th a group of technical experts, stakeholders and communicators met at the Chesapeake Bay Program in an attempt to make some sense of the current knowledge about the influence of the Susquehanna River reservoir system on Chesapeake Bay water quality. As summarized in Dylan Taillie's blog, the group was able to draw some conclusions about the effects of sediment and nutrients from the Susquehanna River on Bay Health. Topics at the meeting included:
- What do the water-quality trends reveal about the inputs and outputs of nutrients and sediment and the reservoirs?
- What is happening in the Conowingo reservoir to cause worsening water- quality trends to tidal waters?
- What are the effects of increasing nutrient and sediment loads on tidal water quality?
- What are the management implications and options that have been considered?
Andrew is the newest member of the modeling team working with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP). Andrew received undergraduate and masters degree from Michigan State University in Biosystems Engineering, and is finishing his PhD in the same discipline at Virginia Tech. Andrew studied watershed-scale pollutant transport and BMP auctions during his masters degree program and real-time hydrologic forecasts at Virginia Tech. Andrew's expertise is in hydrologic processes, physical modeling, machine learning, and decision support systems. Before arriving at CBP, he worked as a graduate researcher at Michigan State and Virginia Tech, and in electronics manufacturing with remote sensing technology.
Further information: www.ian.umces.edu