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A Look Inside New York Harbor Permanent Link

New York Harbor is a large, iconic and complex body of water. The harbor is an important part of New York City and its millions of residents, and has been massively changed by human activities. These changes have altered the shorelines, water flow, plants and animals of the harbor. These drawings of New York Harbor help explain what is happening below the water surface—a look inside.

Integrate your data into a watershed-wide project Permanent Link

EPA-funded nontraditional monitoring integration project

This poster outlines the project objectives and goals, three areas of focus, and requests input from nontraditional monitoring groups.

Coastal wetlands will become less resilient Permanent Link

This poster illustrates some results from work on a climate change resilience index for Chesapeake Bay. One aspect analyzed in the index was coastal wetland resilience to sea level rise. Overall, coastal wetlands currently have good resilience but under future sea level rise rates coastal wetlands will have moderate to very poor resilience.

New Behavior Survey Tackles Seven Key Stewardship Behaviors in Your Watershed Permanent Link

Displayed at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum

This poster highlights features of the new behavior change survey by the Integration & Application Network, OpinionWorks, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. We all care about the health of our local creeks and rivers. Small actions by all of us add up to healthier water. Help us understand how to make a bigger impact on the health of the waters by taking the survey online now at baysurvey.org.

Integration and Application Network: based in Maryland, working globally 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.

Assessing the ecological and human health status of Baltimore's Inner Harbor Permanent Link

Presented at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation's Biennial Conference

Baltimore's Inner Harbor and its watershed is a highly urbanized area in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This study assessed water quality and biotic parameters as ecological health indicators. Bacteria and trash were assessed as human health indicators. Most water quality indicators were either poor (D) or very poor (F) in the Inner Harbor. Bacteria and trash levels in the Inner Harbor were rated as poor (D). Middle Branch region: Bacteria levels were rated as fair but no water quality data available. The watershed health was better, with water quality indicators and bacteria scoring from good (B-) to poor (D). This study is a component of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore's Healthy Harbor Initiative, which includes a set of goals and implementation actions to make the Harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020.

Application of a new monitoring and analysis protocol to assess the health of Baltimore's Inner Harbor Permanent Link

Presented at the 2011 Watershed Forum

Wicks EC, Kelsey RH, Powell S, Schwartz L, Stack B, Dennison WC

The Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition (MTAC) was formed to foster collaboration among watershed organizations and to fully develop the potential of region-specific environmental report cards. A protocol document that describes the standardization of monitoring procedures and data analysis for six core indicators was developed in 2009 and is currently being used by several watershed organizations. Concurrent with development of the protocol, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore partnered with EcoCheck on a baseline conditions assessment of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Baltimore's Inner Harbor and its watershed are highly urbanized areas in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Using the steps established in the MTAC protocol, the ecological health of Baltimore's Inner Harbor was assessed. The study found most water quality indicators to be either poor or very poor in the Inner Harbor. Lack of basic water quality data was a major hindrance to accurately assessing Inner Harbor ecological health.

Lessons learned from the Natural Resource Condition Assessment program Permanent Link

Thomas JE, Carruthers TJB and Dennison WC

This poster presents a five-step process to achieving environmental reporting in the context of the National Park Service's Natural Resource Condition Assessments.

Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Hotspots Permanent Link

Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone

LOICZ is working to support sustainability and adaptation to global change in the coastal zone. This poster outlines global hotspots at risk: a) urbanization in coastal zones - urbanization and climate change are intensely linked in the coastal zone; b) islands at risk - small island states are threatened by coastal development and climate change; c) river mouth systems, including deltas and estuaries - large estuarine systems are "hotspots" of fluxes of water and dissolved substances, as well as particulate matter and sediments; and d) the arctic - arctic coastal societies are facing a combination of rapid changes involving environmental processes, cultural developments, economic changes, industrial developments, and political changes.

Expanding the diversity of the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition Permanent Link

Poster presented at the 2010 Maryland Water Monitoring Council (MWMC) conference in North Linthicum, Maryland

Since the 2006 release of the first EcoCheck Chesapeake Bay report card, environmental report cards have gained increasing popularity and recognition as a public-friendly and scientifically sound method for reporting the health of a waterway. Recently, a number of watershed organizations in the Mid-Atlantic region have begun producing their own tributary-specific report cards. In 2009, the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition (MTAC) was formed to foster collaboration among watershed organizations and to fully develop the potential of region-specific environmental report cards. This can be accomplished through the standardization of indicators, monitoring and sampling protocols, data analysis methods, and science communication techniques.

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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.