Project Details - All Projects


Current Projects


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Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: Integrating Citizen-based and other nontraditional monitoring into the Chesapeake Bay Program monitoring framework Permanent Link

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc. (Alliance) in partnership with the Izaak Walton League of America (League), the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) at Dickinson College, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Integration and Application Network (UMCES IAN) will provide technical, logistical, and outreach support for the integration of citizen-based and non-traditional monitoring networks into the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. The Alliance will serve as overall partnership coordinator, manage the cooperative agreement, serve as liaison to the Chesapeake Bay Program and STAR workgroups, and collaborate with the project partners on citizen volunteer recruitment, training, and tool and resource development. This Coordinator will provide day to day leadership on the many technical activities of the work with input of the project partners. The League will also provide support for recruitment, training, and tool and resource development with a focus in Maryland and Virginia. ALLARM will provide this same support with a focus on the Pennsylvania and New York portions of the Bay watershed. UMCES will focus on data analysis and synthesis. The Alliance will contract with a private firm with IT and database experience to develop an online database and data entry tool.  Full Details  




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Chesapeake Bay Program: UMCES/CBP partnership Permanent Link

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has a well developed partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP). Environmental assessment and science communication of restoration projects is a topic in which the Integration and Application Network (IAN) has been actively involved, including in its partnership with CBP. UMCES scientists are particularly knowledgeable about watershed and estuarine processes and provide technical assistance and training opportunities for CBP activities. In addition, UMCES scientists have experience with innovative approaches in restoration ecology. UMCES uses its Annapolis Synthesis Center for much of the project management, coordination, and administration of the UMCES/CBP partnership.  Full Details  




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HPL & NSF Coastal SEES: OysterFutures Permanent Link
The goal of OysterFutures is to develop recommendations for oyster policies and management that meet the needs of industry, citizen, and government stakeholders in the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers.  Full Details  



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IAN: Environmental Science Films on YouTube.com Permanent Link
We strive to inspire future scientists and increase awareness about environmental issues. We believe that new media is a integral part of achieving these goals. Therefore, we have launched an IAN/EcoCheck channel on YouTube. This channel hosts environmental science videos created by UMCES faculty, staff, and students.  Full Details  



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IAN: Science Communication Courses Permanent Link
A keystone of the Integration and Application Network is effectively communicating science to a broad audience. This one- to three-day course provides participants with a science communication toolbox for effectively communicating their data. At the close of the course, participants will have learned the principles of effective science communication, used hands-on sessions to create their own products (symbols, conceptual diagrams, presentations, newsletters, posters), and gained experience in relevant software programs. These courses are made up of modules and can be tailored to meet the needs of any interested funding agency.  Full Details  



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IAN: Symbol Libraries Permanent Link
This free, downloadable symbol library has been providing users with symbols crafted by IAN science communicators for use in constructing conceptual diagrams. This project involves getting the symbols uploaded individually to our searchable image library, adding many new symbols, and making them all available through our online diagram creator.  Full Details  



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Maryland Coastal Bays: science communication products and report cards Permanent Link
Maryland's Coastal Bays, the shallow lagoons nestled behind Ocean City and Assateague, comprise a complex ecosystem. These estuarine bays, at the interface between fresh and saltwater, provide habitat for a wide range of aquatic life. But like many coastal systems, they face threats from intense development, nutrients, sediments, and other stresses associated with human activities. IAN has been working with the Coastal Bays Program on various products and studies, including the annual Coastal Bays report card, the book Shifting Sands, and using stable isotope techniques to identify nitrogen sources in the Maryland Coastal Bays.  Full Details  



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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Coral Reef Ecosystem Status and Trends Report Cards Permanent Link
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA-CRCP) is investing significant funding to support a National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan (NCRMP) throughout the U.S. Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean coral reef areas. The Integration and Application Network at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (IAN-UMCES) understands that a key component of this plan is periodic national-level status and trends reporting. Such reporting will be required to communicate and evaluate the efficacy of place-based investments in coral reef conservation, and the aligned goals and objectives of the NCRMP (as per the NOAA-CRCP NCRMP, 2014). This grant will fund IAN-UMCES to collaboratively develop and implement this status and trends reporting framework with NOAA-CRCP for two pilot areas, American Samoa and the Florida Keys that will be used to develop and pilot the new reporting framework based on biological, physical and socio-economic monitoring data. Report cards for the remaining Pacific jurisdictions will be undertaken during 2017-2018.  Full Details  



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NOAA: Beach water quality prediction mobile app development Permanent Link
In partnership with the University of South Carolina and SECOORA, we first developed a mobile app that displays predictions of water quality at 31 locations along the beach at Myrtle Beach, SC. Daily predictions are created using statistical models that incorporate data from remote sensing and ocean observing system sensors. The tools for developing these statistical models have been improved by merging our efforts with the EPA's Virtual Beach model development software, which was intended to automate the laborious process of statistical model generation for non-statisticians. These tools have been implemented in Sarasota FL and are being modified for recreational and shellfish harvest area water quality in Charleston Harbor, SC.  Full Details  



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NOAA: Statistical Hypoxia Models & Forecast in the Gulf of Mexico & Chesapeake Bay Permanent Link
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) in collaboration with the University of Michigan and funded by NOAA will produce a summer dissolved oxygen forecast for Chesapeake Bay. An annual anoxia forecast will be produced for two periods (early and late summer) and a hypoxia forecast will be produced for the month of July. The results of this forecast will be published on an interactive website and included in a press release. A website will be maintained with communication tools to interpret and illustrate the expected outcomes of the forecast. Additionally, we will participate in the production of a report by summarizing the methodology for calculating the forecasted anoxic volumes.  Full Details  



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NPS NCR Resource Stewardship Strategy Tool Permanent Link
  Full Details  



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NPS: HATU Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link
The National Park Service is carrying out assessments of the natural resource condition (NRCA) for nearly 300 of the National Parks throughout the country deemed to have significant natural resources. This project, to assess condition of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park in Maryland, is a synthesis project aimed at collating and synthesizing all available data to assess current status and trend for each metric, combining these into an overall framework.  Full Details  



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NY Harbor- Billion Oyster Project Permanent Link
IAN is part of a successful National Science Foundation project underway in New York Harbor as part of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP), aimed at delivering environmental restoration education to New York City public schools. The three-year, $5 million grant project, entitled "Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools," was officially launched on New York Harbor will be led by Pace University's School of Education and implemented by a consortium of partners including New York Harbor Foundation, New York City Department of Education, Columbia's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, New York Academy of Sciences, University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, Good Shepherd Services, New York Aquarium, The River Project, SmartStart ECS, and others. The grant will create an accredited math and science teacher training program at Pace University, an interdisciplinary Harbor Literacy and marine STEM-C curriculum for NYC schools, and develop afterschool STEM mentoring through the New York Academy of Sciences, museum and aquarium. IAN's role in the project is to develop a state of the art digital platform that will provide a portal for students and teachers to access and analyze real time water quality data, view progress of restoration efforts via underwater cameras, and access the newly developed curriculum.  Full Details  



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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Evaluation of Multi-Year Data Sets to Establish Status and Trends of Environmental Restoration Success in the Everglades Permanent Link

The purpose of this project is to evaluate recent scientific findings that demonstrate progress towards restoration goals for the Everglades, identify research gaps related to the function of the Everglades ecosystem, and to make recommendations for management decisions based on those findings. This system status assessment will be used to convey these findings for the system as a whole and regions of the Everglades to public resource managers and stakeholders. Findings from this assessment will be evaluated for inclusion in the 2017 System Status Report and the 2020 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Report to Congress.   Full Details  




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UNAM State of Yucatan Report Card Permanent Link
The Yucatan coast of NE Mexico that borders the Gulf of Mexico supports a high biodiversity of plants and animals, as well as important fisheries and tourism activities. However, the region's rapid growth in terms of coastal development is putting immense pressure on these natural resources. IAN staff, Dr. Heath Kelsey and Jane Hawkey will develop an ecosystem health report card with Dr. Paulo Salles Afonso de Almeida and Irina Ana Rosa Ize Lema, both of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). A report card workshop was held at the National Coastal Resilience Laboratory (LANRESC) in Sisal, Mexico, assembling stakeholders and scientists interested in ensuring the sustainability of these coastal resources, and to begin the process of creating an ecosystem health report card.  Full Details  



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USGS: Climate Change Research Activities Synthesis Permanent Link
The Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs), and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, have chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. This project aims to conduct synthesis and dissemination of the state of knowledge, research activities, and information gaps that exist within the eight Climate Science Centers (CSC). The Integration and Application Network (IAN) has developed a three-year Science Delivery Strategy to achieve this goal, aimed at supporting the first goal: to assess and synthesize our state of knowledge about climate change impacts to DOI lands. The eight CSCs provide a fantastic opportunity to compare the ecological effects of drought, related research activities, and management options at different regions, spatial scales, and biomes.  Full Details  



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WWF UMCES Partnership Permanent Link
WWF and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences seek to empower stakeholders around the world to develop and effectively use credible, locally owned report cards in their basins, fostering sustainable water management across basins around the world. We are developing, packaging, and sharing a process that helps stakeholders create science-based report cards in their own basins with the right buy-in on-the-ground and credibility globally, so they can better manage resources for the protection of fresh water they depend upon.  Full Details  



Past Projects


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Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Layout and design of factsheets and final report Permanent Link

The primary objective of this project is to layout and design one 4-page factsheet, four 2-page factsheets, a final report, and to provide web-ready graphics to the Rookery Bay NERR. This includes designing colors, font, and design elements within each document. A common “branding” will be applied throughout the products so they are separate but related products. To achieve this, the following tasks have been identified and are outlined below. UMCES ability to complete this work within the tasks outlined in these objectives is contingent on frequent contact with Rookery Bay NERR staff.  Full Details  




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Florida Department of Environmental Protection: Rookery Bay NERR Permanent Link
The primary objective of this project is to collate data, review indicators, and synthesize both to effectively report the health of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in southwest Florida. Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. The Reserve covers 110,000 acres of mangrove forest, uplands, and open water that hosts hundreds of fish, birds, reptiles, and many other species.  Full Details  



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A symposium for Maryland’s oyster industry: Innovative ideas from around the country Permanent Link
Oysters are a keystone of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, healthy coastal ecosystems, and resilient communities in the Chesapeake Bay region. Bringing new knowledge of different types of fishery management and aquaculture techniques to fishing communities in this region is a vital part of developing thriving coastal communities, yet communicating these techniques and strategies is not straightforward and may not be effective without prior stakeholder engagement. This half‐day OysterFutures Sea Grant Symposium will fill this need by communicating diverse techniques in oyster aquaculture and public fisheries management to both the broad community on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay and the local community in Maryland’s Choptank and Little Choptank River regions, a NOAA Habitat Focus Area.  Full Details  



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Chesapeake Bay Trust: Deep Creek Lake Report Card Permanent Link
Deep Creek Lake is currently experiencing a host of environmental problems related to nutrient and sediment input from the surrounding watershed. The nonprofit organization Friends of Deep Creek Lake (FODCL) is collaborating with EcoCheck to design and produce an environmental report card for Deep Creek Lake. This project is especially important to the evolution of environmental assessment, communication, and reporting for aquatic systems in Maryland. Lake systems form an important ecologic and hydrologic feature of state upland areas. Deep Creek Lake, while not in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, probably serves as a sentinel for future issues with other Maryland lakes. Deep Creek Lake is the oldest lake in Maryland, having been formed for hydropower in the 1920’s. The ecologic and hydrologic problems that Deep Creek Lake is currently experiencing may very well reflect the future of many other Maryland lakes.  Full Details  



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Chesapeake Bay Trust: Development of an adaptive survey tool to measure behavior change within watersheds Permanent Link
This project seeks to develop a tool to help watershed organizations evaluate the prevalence of specific desired behaviors in watershed organization audiences. While public engagement and environmental education efforts have been ongoing by members of the Mid-Atlantic Tributaries Assessment Coalition (MTAC) for the last three decades, it remains unclear if positive behaviors (e.g., reduced use of fertilizer, upgrading septic systems, etc.) are increasing, and if they are, what influences decision-making about adoption of the behaviors. This work will rely on voluntary participation in a web-based survey that will make for cost effective data collection and analysis. The survey tool would continue to be available for watershed organizations in subsequent years, allowing continual message adjustment to achieve specific behavior changes.  Full Details