Project Details - All Projects > Contact - Suzanne Spitzer
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.
For over 30 years, citizen science organizations have been a trusted voice and advocate for the health of tributary watersheds to Chesapeake Bay. By engaging citizens in promoting specific Bay friendly actions, these clean water advocates have hoped to improve Bay water quality. However, no comprehensive assessment had been conducted to establish a baseline of current behaviors or measure behavior change. The probability that key stewardship behaviors are occurring and the likelihood that those behaviors will be adopted in the future was the focus of the last year's work. The current project will expand the survey tool that clean water advocates can tailor as needed in order to quantify the use of specific behaviors in their audience. The expansion will increase the reach of the survey, increase the number of key behaviors included in the survey, evaluate the impact of these key stewardship behaviors on Chesapeake Bay restoration, and provide in-depth analysis of the results of the survey. In partnership with OpinionWorks, LLC and other key organizations, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Integration and Application Network (IAN) is pleased to present this proposal to expand a behavior survey tool that will help evaluate the impact of behaviors on Chesapeake Bay restoration and analyze key behaviors in the watershed currently and in future years.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Fund has funded IAN to develop the Long Island Sound Ecosystem Health Report Card project. The project will involve developing a report card for the Long Island Sound itself, as well as report cards for Hempstead Harbor in New York and the Westport/Fairfield embayment in Connecticut. IAN will host a series of workshops and the final products will include a printed report card and an interactive website.
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 Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, is a synthesis project aimed at collating and synthesizing all available data to assess current status and trend for key indicators, 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 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.
Our goal is to develop a suite of indicators that will reflect resource resilience to impacts related to sea level rise, increased water temperature, changed precipitation patterns, and increased storm intensity and frequency. The suite of indicators will be integrated into the Chesapeake Bay Report Card. We estimate that this process will be achieved over a two-year period and will be an important evolution in the Chesapeake Bay Report Card, and for environmental reporting globally. One key objective is to develop a suite of indicators that will: i) reflect natural resource resilience to climate change impacts in Chesapeake Bay; ii) assist natural resource managers in ensuring the sustainable future of Chesapeake Bay; and iii) increasing awareness of potential climate change impacts to the natural resources and stakeholders of Chesapeake Bay and increasing awareness of measures to reduce these impacts.
This report card was produced in December 2015 by The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and represents a joint effort of graduate students and faculty in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences program at the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg and the Integration and Application Network. The report card provides an assessment of stream health in the Upper Potomac Headwaters region upstream of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.