Project Details - All Projects
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.
Ecocheck is part of the Integration and Application Network, with a focus on ecosystem health reporting. EcoCheck’s primary mission is to enhance and support the science, management, and restoration of Chesapeake Bay.
EcoCheck accomplishes its mission by focusing on integration of geographically detailed assessments and forecasts of Chesapeake Bay ecosystem health and creating timely and scientifically rigorous communication products through data and research synthesis. EcoCheck works with academic, federal and state regulators, and local community groups to develop tools and products to assist decision makers in achieving Chesapeake Bay restoration goals. Recently, EcoCheck’s expertise in report cards and ecological health assessments has been leveraged to develop similar assessments nationally and globally.
The primary objective of this project is to collate data, review indicators, and synthesize both to effectively report the health of the Georgia coastal zone in a report card. An ecosystem health report card approach synthesizes environmental data, so that citizens and decision makers can evaluate the overall effects of restoration, conservation, and management activities on water quality and ecosystem condition. This is an important component of conservation and restoration planning, as it is designed to clearly communicate the status of ecosystem health of the Georgia coastal zone to a broad audience.
The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, along with its partners Harwell Gentile & Associates, LC, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, proposes to develop a comprehensive framework for a Report Card on the health of the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The CoastSmart Communities Initiative (CCI), a program within the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Chesapeake and Coastal Service and staffed by IAN, is helping local communities identify and implement strategies to protect life, property, and natural resources vulnerable to coastal hazards such as storm surge, shoreline erosion, coastal flooding, and climate change. From hands-on training, planning tools, and online resources to a competitive grants program, CCI works to provide municipal and county governments with the tools that they need to identify vulnerabilities and take the necessary actions to become ready, adaptive, and resilient.
A partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has been formed to develop an effective monitoring strategy to evaluate and communicate the efficacy of the projects funded through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund (CBTF). This partnership, named Trust Fund Evaluation, will also engage scientists and resource managers from relevant institutions and agencies in the region to enhance input and guidance on non-point source monitoring and assessment methodologies that demonstrate reductions of nutrients and sediments and to maximize the leveraging of resources.
The Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition is a unique and growing group of watershed organizations interested in advancing the use of environmental data from local organizations and citizen scientists for use in report cards and assessments. Using data collected by concerned citizens, IAN has helped to generate multi-year report cards for nine rivers since 2007.
In a time of declining resources, field stations (including marine labs and nature reserves) are struggling to maintain and enhance their important contributions to scientific discovery, innovation, education, and public outreach. At a recent meeting of the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML) and the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) in Woods Hole, MA, Bill Dennison was asked by Jeff Brown, Director of UC Berkeley's Central Sierra Field Research Stations, to help create an OBFS/NAML publication, targeting legislators, government funding agencies, and educational institutions. The goal was to feature the scientific and social value of field stations, the need for their support, and their future plans for sustainability. Working from a 2014 National Academy of Science (NAS) report on future of field stations, IAN staff were asked to synthesize the NAS report and create a colorful brochure.
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 Prince William Forest Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and National Capital Parks-East in the National Capital Region, 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. The focus of this study has been to develop a habitat based framework to assess natural resource condition.
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.
The Marine Monitoring Program is a long-term water quality and ecosystem heath monitoring program carried out in the inshore region of the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. The program is an integral component of the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, that will help to assess the long-term effectiveness of Reef Plan in reversing decline in the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is responsible for the design, implementation and reporting of the monitoring program.
Seqwater is the Queensland Government Statutory Authority responsible for ensuring a safe, secure and reliable water supply for South East Queensland, Australia, as well as managing catchment health and providing recreational facilities to the community.
IAN has been contracted to produce conceptual diagrams of a multiple of dams and river systems that describe the water quality of the waterways and influences on the watershed. Each annual task entails participation in Seqwater workshops, in person or remotely, and an iterative process to produce the diagrams.
As the first project (2013), IAN was contracted to create conceptual diagrams for 6 dam and 2 river systems.
As the second project (2014) IAN is creating conceptual diagrams for 8 dam and 4 river systems.
This project will help facilitate, assess, and produce the America's Watershed Initiative Report Card. The report card will describe the health of the Mississippi River Basin based on six main goals (water supply, flood risk reduction, economies, ecosystems, recreational, and transportation). America's Watershed Initiative is working to bring a collaborative, basin-wide perspective to the Mississippi River Watershed's greatest management challenges while also supporting the many initiatives and work at multiple scales. In addition to the report card, six workshop newsletters, each representing the sub-basins of the Mississippi, will be produced.
The primary goal of the project is to educate and inform responsible stewardship of water resources between U.S. and Australian students through an interactive- virtual partnership. Our vision and motivation is to build an environmental education platform capable of implementing a robust and long-term cyber education program based on state of the art science with a global perspective. Whether high school students get “hooked” on science is critical to recruiting promising students to the environmental field. This is vastly important, as this generation will face unique environmental challenges of global significance, including the need to at least double water productivity. Generating interest at this level with an engaging project-based international cyber exchange will, we believe, pique the interest of a new generation of science students who are cyber-savvy “digital natives” in a transformational manner.
IAN has joined forces with the National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center. The NCCWSC was created by Congress in 2008 to provide scientific information to assist managers of the Nation's fish, wildlife, and their habitats in responding to climate change. The NCCWSC is a part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate and Land Use Change Mission Area (CLU) and acts as the managing entity for the eight Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) located throughout the country. IAN is to provide data compilation and synthesis services for climate change research activities operating through the NCCWSC’s Climate Science Center’s. This has begun by assisting in a pilot project for boreal forests in Northeastern United States led by the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the Northeast Climate Science Center and North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The project utilizes scenario planning to inform land and wildlife management on issues related to climate change, the boreal forest, and moose.
The primary objective of this project is to collate data, review indicators, and synthesize both to effectively report the health of the Orinoco River in Colombia, South America in a report card. The project will focus on three Columbian tributaries of the Orinoco River – the Meta, Bita and Guaviare Rivers. An ecosystem health report card approach synthesizes environmental data, so that citizens and decision makers can evaluate the overall effects of restoration, conservation, and management activities on water quality and ecosystem condition. This is an important component of conservation and restoration planning, as it is designed to clearly communicate the status of ecosystem health of the Orinoco River to a broad audience.
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.
The main goal of this project is to develop a web-based tool that allows users to explore time series of important bay health indicators, resources and influences. Users would be able to drag a slider across a series of years to see how status changes over time. A carousel of images, conceptual diagram, and videos could scroll through, regardless of where the slider is. Data would also be presented for inputs and overall bay status. An indicator would show what year was being shown. Some years would be highlighted on the slider and graphs, and users could click on them to see particular stories that are relevant to that year. These year stories can illustrate important processes in timing of storm events, weather extremes, management actions, etc. Themes to present include nitrogen, water clarity, seagrass, aquatic resources (crabs, fish, and oysters), climate, population, development pressure, and dissolved oxygen.
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.
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.
The first objective of the project is to produce a Nanticoke watershed/river report card in the format that is fast becoming the standard for reporting water quality information to the public. This report card will be used to inform and involve the public as part of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance's programmatic and mission effort to conserve the resources of this river. The second is to provide the Alliance with the training and ability- the capacity- to take complete ownership of the report card in subsequent years.
This report card provides grades for the three tidal regions of the Patuxent River estuary, located on the Western Shore of Chesapeake Bay. The grades are based on six ecological indicators: dissolved oxygen, water clarity, chlorophyll a, phytoplankton community, benthic community, and aquatic grasses.
This project seeks to establish a framework to coordinate efforts among watershed organizations using or planning to use report cards as outreach tools. This project also seeks to develop clear and consistent guidelines and protocols for the development and implementation of report cards by watershed organizations. Protocols will be developed and training provided for sampling and monitoring methodology, data analysis, and science communication. The overall objective is to allow comparability of results from volunteer-based monitoring programs and report cards, and increase the scientific validity of report cards as outreach tools.