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Marine Protected Areas (Arabic) (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Guiding Principles and Benefits

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are slices of the sea and coastline set aside because of their ecological importance. Creating an MPA requires a holistic approach that includes and integrates ecological, biological, social, and economic considerations. This approach cannot be successful without proper legislation, a functional institutional framework, financial resources, and active engagement of stakeholders. The WWF MedPAN South Project is a 4-year collaborative project aimed at improving the management effectiveness of MPAs in the south and east of the Mediterranean and supporting the creation of new ones. A partnership with IAN was formed to create two documents (this newsletter and Making Marine Protected Areas Work — Lessons Learned in the Mediterranean) which summarize the lessons learned from case studies in four countries with MPAs—Algeria, Croatia, Tunisia, and Turkey—currently in various stages of development and provide key actions needed to achieve success.

Measuring effectiveness of Best Management Practices (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund was created in 2007 in an effort to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to these bays. The Trust Fund has focused its financial resources on the implementation of effective non-point source pollution control projects using best management practices (BMPs) in high priority watersheds. Examples of projects supported by the Trust Fund include stream channel restorations, stormwater retrofits, and cover crops. Evaluating BMP effectiveness is necessary for demonstrating whether projects actually reduce pollutant yields. The current monitoring strategy indicates that BMPs implemented in Trust Fund projects must demonstrate a water quality response within three years of completion. This document provides an overview of the challenges facing Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays and provides guidance to potential and current Trust Fund recipients in determining suitable approaches for measuring BMP effectiveness.

Integration and Application Network: based in Maryland, working globally (Poster) Permanent Link

Displayed at the 2012 Horn Point Laboratory Open House

This poster highlights some of the local and global activities of the Integration and Application Network. IAN has conducted environmental assessments, report cards, and science communication courses in places like Palau, Fiji, Tanzania, Thailand, Philippines, and Australia.

Healthy Harbor Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

This report card was developed to help lead private citizens, government, and businesses toward a healthy Baltimore Harbor, which is swimmable and fishable by 2020. The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, and Blue Water Baltimore, published this Healthy Harbor Report Card to help work toward clean, safe, and accessible streams and Harbor for everyone. Using water quality indicators, and human health indicators, the health condition of the Harbor was determined for 2011. This newsletter provides the overall results, and describes how the public can help as well.

A vision for America's Great Watershed Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

Report cards can be part of a tiered approach to communicating results with varying technical detail. Our vision for this report card framework is based on goals identified in America’s Great Watershed Initiative and derived from principles of Integrated River Basin Management. The framework includes balanced information from Social, Economic, and Environmental sectors, and is intended to be transparent and clear. This example report card is intended to present one vision of a possible framework and communications tool. We enthusiastically seek feedback on how to improve the framework and values associated with the larger goals of America's Great Watershed Initiative. The general process for establishing the report card may follow the process as outlined in this document.

2011 Nanticoke River Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

Publisher: Nanticoke Watershed Alliance

The 3rd annual Nanticoke River report card scores five indicators, using data collected by state agencies and Nanticoke Creekwatchers volunteers. It summarizes ecosystem health of both the tidal river and non-tidal creek areas within the Nanticoke watershed, as well as the Fishing Bay watershed. The report card also provides information to help local residents make healthier choices for the Nanticoke.

A vision for effective and streamlined reporting in the Pacific (Newsletter) Permanent Link

The burden of global, regional, and project reporting has been a longstanding concern of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), particularly on Smaller Island States (SIS). This newsletter uses an environmental case study to showcase how a simple, targeted, and strategic monitoring and reporting framework can facilitate streamlined reporting by allowing data and information to be used for multiple reporting requirements.

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Tropical Connections: South Florida's marine environment (Book) Permanent Link

Author(s): Kruczynski WL and Fletcher PJ

This book summarizes information on the south Florida marine ecosystem in a manner that is easy to read and understand. The book covers physical and biological oceanography, ecology, human impacts, and climate change. This book is unique in that it consists of fact pages that were prepared by 162 experts in their scientific disciplines. Filled with rich graphics and photos, it is appropriate for students, educators, scientists, and stakeholders.

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Colonial National Historical Park natural resource condition assessment (Report) Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/COLO/NRR—2012/544

Author(s): Lookingbill T, Bentsen CN, Carruthers TJB, Costanzo SD, Dennison WC, Doherty C, Lucier S, Madron J, Poppell E and Saxby TA

Colonial National Historical Park offers a vast array of cultural resources, notably the site of the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 that proved to be the last major campaign of the American Revolution. Four dominant habitat groupings are present within the Park, including forest, grassland, non-tidal wetland, and tidal wetland. Threats to Colonial NHP have been categorized into: internal (within the park), watershed (outside and around park boundaries), and regional (threats that impact the entire region). The combined natural resources of Colonial NHP were assessed as on the border between "degraded" and "fair", attaining 40% of desired threshold scores.

2012 July hypoxia forecast (Report) Permanent Link

Produced by EcoCheck in collaboration with University of Michigan and USGS

Researchers at the University of Michigan have forecasted the July hypoxic volume of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay for the sixth year. The July 2012 hypoxic volume is forecasted to be 6.4 km3, which is considered slightly below average. Unusual patterns in streamflow meant there were lower than normal total nitrogen loads from the Susquehanna River in the spring. Loads are the main driver of the forecast model.

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"Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action." Paul J. Meyer


A goal of IAN Press is to empower scientists to directly communicate their ideas and concepts. Publications from IAN Press are designed to transform the uninterested to interested; the interested to involved and the involved to engaged.

IAN Press products are designed to be examples of good science communication principles, and the hope is that others will employ these principles so that scientific understanding can be disseminated widely as possible. The production of IAN Press communication publications involves experimentation with communication techniques and, as such, provides various ideas for science communication that can be emulated.

The comparisons and contrasts that IAN Press provides on environmental subjects intend to stimulate scientists, managers, practitioners, policy makers, students and other readers to think more broadly and expansively about the region and issues that they face. The extensive use of visual elements accesses a broader cultural diversity as well, which allow for more global perspectives.

The conclusions and recommendations presented in IAN Press publications are crafted to empower actions, plant seeds of ideas and provide justification for people to take appropriate action to find solutions to environmental problems. The conclusions are made as explicit as possible by employing active titles and featuring them prominently (e.g., front section of books or back cover of newsletters).

On costs

IAN Press does not provide author royalties and the design and layout of the publications conducted by a talented team of Science Communicators is underwritten by various grants and contracts. Marketing is limited to the internet and word-of-mouth, also reducing costs. Thus, the price of IAN Press publications is solely to reimburse the actual printing costs entailed. The intent is to provide the broadest possible readership, thus keeping costs as low as possible is paramount. Typically, full color is used, virtually on every page, which does increase print costs, however, the use of color is a key element in providing accessible information to a wide audience and the lack of author royalties or design/layout charges.

Peer review

IAN Press undertakes a rigorous review process by both peer scientists and resource managers. In addition, Integration and Application Network Science Integrators and Science Communicators read, edit and review all aspects of IAN Press publications, including text, conceptual diagrams, photographs, maps, figures and tables. Many IAN Press publications are multi-authored, and each author contributes to the review and editing of the entire publication. This is not the classical peer review system of a limited number of anonymous reviewers working with an editor to recommend changes, rather a larger number of non-anonymous reviewers that develop consensus on each word, visual element and recommendation. The review process is often accelerated by IAN Press to accommodate timely publication.


IAN Press attempts to be as authorship inclusive as possible and to provide attribution to each visual element. Authorship is not ranked or ordered, and the credibility of the IAN Press product should be based on the scientific data presented and the collective effort of a multiple of contributors, both with and without formal academic training.

Science Communicators are the key element in the production of IAN Press documents. They design the layout of the document, obtain and edit the visual elements, designate the amount and style of text, and orchestrate the review and editing process. IAN Press documents are produced using a 'storyboard' approach, in which the central message(s) are identified and various visual elements selected to support the central message(s). This is in contrast to the more traditional method of writing text and adding in visuals subsequently. In video and film production, storyboards are used and the producer is key to assembling the visual elements. Science Communicators serve in an equivalent role in terms of assembling all the pieces that go into the publication.


IAN Press relies extensively on color for photographs, maps, conceptual diagrams, figures and even text and tables to a limited degree. The use of color allows for an increased data density and provides a bigger visual impact considering the amount of the human brain devoted to visual discrimination of colors. Color allows for greater discrimination of visual elements and in data presentation, a closer juxtaposition of different elements and greater comparative utility. The preponderance of color printers and the ability of electronic versions to be displayed in color promote the inexpensive dissemination of full color documents. In order to help color-blind people compensate, an effort is made to provide other visual clues in graphics, such as symbols with different shapes or map delineations with different shading or texture, but some of the visual impact will be compromised.


IAN Press does not target a narrow, specific audience, rather attempts to be as inclusive as possible. As the world becomes more specialized, with marketing forces that promote highly targeted advertising campaigns, IAN Press products attempt to reach the broadest audience possible. IAN Press attempts to raise the bar rather than dumb down the message by using non-technical language, defining all terms and reducing acronym use. By providing synthesis, visualizations and context, we feel that relatively sophisticated concepts can be grasped by a non-technical audience. In fact, science has become highly specialized and often the language, tools and approaches used in various scientific disciplines are relatively incomprehensible to specialists in other disciplines. Thus, one audience of IAN Press is scientists from other specialties to encourage inter-disciplinary thinking and approaches.

Why use print media?

With the growing popularity of electronic media, the carbon footprint involved in producing and distributing paper products, and the ability to provide infinite resources via the web, it could be argued that IAN Press should disseminate entirely via electronic means. While IAN Press provides downloadable, web accessible materials, IAN Press continues to produces written products for the following reasons:

  1. There is rigor and discipline required in producing science communication products that have limited 'real estate', that, is limited amounts of space to convey a message. A paper product maintains focus, while web links can lead to tangential issues. The priority setting required to establish the final layout and include various communication elements is important in conveying information. Fixed 'real estate' forces condensation, synthesis and integration. Every visual element is uniquely created for the purpose of conveying the specific information intended, rather than repurposed from other sources.
  2. The written product invites non-linear reading, and a quick scan allows readers to delve into the visual elements most interesting to them. If a reader is most attracted to photographs, maps, conceptual diagrams, or figures, they can migrate to these elements and the figure legends should be self explanatory. Alternatively, if reading text is the preferred way of obtaining information, the text is designed to be self sufficient. The juxtaposition of text and various visual elements also conveys important information, something that can be lost via hyperlinks on the web. In addition, electronic books with the current technology do not support color graphics.
  3. Since various IAN Press products are intended to inform a broad community from policy makers to the general public, the weight of scientific support that can be marshaled can be a factor in empowering people to action. In order to make an impact, the difference between hundreds of web pages and hundreds of printed pages is one reason to provide print versions of IAN products. In addition, internet access is not equally applied globally or socially, and in some societies and sectors of society, a written product provides a more accessible source, particularly through libraries and schools.
  4. Printed materials provide a 'time stamp', a fixed point of time when the data are assembled and the conclusions are reached. Rather than constantly updating the data and conclusions, drawing the line in the sand as to what is known at a particular time point is what printed products do. The shelf life of science communication products should be somewhat limited due to the increased scientific understanding based on ongoing research, yet the record of what is known, and when it is known, provides an important archival body of information.
  5. "The product drives the collaborative process"; in that the science communication product forces an intensely collaborative process of obtaining and refining visual elements, drafting and editing text, and experimenting with layout and design. While this collaborative process can be conducted with the production of web materials, print deadlines are a good way to insure timely delivery. In addition, to obtain buy-in from many scientists whose training and experience are in producing printed papers and books, printed copies are often necessary.