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Current Projects


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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  



Past Projects


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CLEAR: Louisiana Sea Level Rise Permanent Link
Coastal Louisiana is home to the nation’s largest port complex in both tonnage and infrastructure, and produces or transports nearly one-third of the nation’s oil and gas supply. In addition, the coastal Louisiana ecosystem provides nationally-important fish and wildlife habitat that supports the nation’s second-largest commercial fishery and over $1 billion per year in recreational fishing and hunting revenues. All of these activities are supported in Louisiana because of the close proximity of its skilled workforce to the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal land loss has placed these economic and natural resources at increased risk of loss due to the intense effects of waves and storm surges from hurricanes. Restoration of the coastal ecosystem can work synergistically with levees and floodgates to provide an integrated flood protection system that allows continued resource production and sustains the ecosystem services on which the nation relies.  Full Details  



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Conservation International: Adapting to climate change in the Verde Island Passage, Philippines Permanent Link
The Verde Island Passage (VIP) is an area in the northern Philippines that has a wealth of coastal marine resources, including highly diverse coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows. It also has ~7 million people whose livelihoods are suppported by those resources. Climate change will impact in varying ways and degrees both the ecological and coastal communities of the VIP.
A series of three science communication products (fact sheet, booklet, technical report), produced by IAN staff in collaboration with Conservation International (CI), assemble and synthesize the climate change vulnerability assessment study completed by CI and its partners in 2009 in this area.  Full Details  



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HPL: Chesapeake Bay SAV restoration Permanent Link
Chesapeake Bay has historically supported extensive bay grass (underwater grasses) meadows (>75,000 ha). However, water quality degradation from increased sediment and nutrient inputs has reduced the areal coverage and depth penetration of bay grasses, with one third of historical distributions remaining (21,648 ha; 1985-2004 mean). Chesapeake Bay underwater grasses are comprised of a variety of freshwater, brackish, and marine species. These various species form different communities, largely related to salinity, which have different environmental factors limiting their effective restoration.  Full Details  



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LOICZ: Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone Permanent Link
LOICZ is a core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)  Full Details  



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NCEAS: Global trajectories of seagrasses Permanent Link
A global assessment of seagrass gains and losses will be used to develop ecological forecasts. Includes constructing a global database of seagrass distributional changes, testing the perception that a contemporary crisis in seagrass ecosystems is occurring due to coastal human population pressures.  Full Details  



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NPS: Assateague Island National Seashore: 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 Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and Virginia, 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.  Full Details  



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NPS: Colonial National Historical Park: 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 Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia, 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.  Full Details  



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NPS: Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park: 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 Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii, 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.  Full Details  



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NPS: National Capital Region: science communication products Permanent Link
The National Capital Region Network (NCRN) of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program has identified 22 indicators of ecological condition within the National Capital Region (NCR), which are commonly called "vital signs". The NCRN is currently in the process of implementing vital signs monitoring within 11 NCR parks.  Full Details  



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NPS: Pacific Island Network: science communication products 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 product, to assess condition of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (KAHO) in the Pacific Island Network, is a synthesis product 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 of the park.

Additionally, through a series of PACN park site visits and workshops, IAN staff are collaborating with park and I&M staff to create science communication products that educate and engage locals or visitors for the three remaining parks in the NPS Pacific Island Network. For War in the Pacific National Historical Park (WAPA), a 8 panel park brochure will feature the many units of the park on Guam and their unique natural and cultural resources. For the American Memorial Park (AMME) on Saipan, a poster, designed for local audiences  and displayed outside on park grounds, will highlight both the natural resources often hidden from view and the cultural significance of AMME. And, for Haleakala National Park (HALE) on Maui, Hawaii, a brochure will attempt to entice visitors to explore HALE beyond the standard tourist destinations of the summit at dawn and the coastal pools for cooling off.  Full Details  



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NPS: Rock Creek National Park: Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link
Rock Creek Park (ROCR) is a forest and wetland oasis in the heart of Washington, D.C. A National Park Service natural resource condition assessment (NPS NRCA) was conducted using two synthetic frameworks: 1) an ecological monitoring framework, and 2) a habitat monitoring framework. Data metrics and thresholds were determined and monitoring data applied.  Full Details