Blog posts categorized by Applying Science
Participants at the Mississippi River Watershed Report Card release. Photo credit: Mike Smith

The Mississippi River Watershed Report Card is released

Heath Kelsey ·
30 October 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Applying Science | 

On October 14, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri, I unveiled the Report Card for the Mississippi River Watershed, a project that almost everyone on the IAN Science Communication team has worked on at some point since 2012. The event was on the roof top patio of at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch in Downtown St. Louis, with great views of the river and the St. Louis Arch.

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The final Long Island Sound Report Card. – inner spread of LIS report card

Lessons learned during the Long Island Sound report card process

Alexandra Fries ·
20 October 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Caroline Donovan and I were invited to speak at the joint meeting of the Long Island Sound’s Citizens Advisory (CAC) and Science and Technical Advisory Committees (STAC). After completing the Long Island Sound Report Card in June, they asked us to give some wrap up and next steps information for where the report card is going in the future. Overall, the Long Island Sound report card included water quality, human health, and ecosystem/habitat indicators.

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Miami is one of the cities most at risk from rising sea level. (photo credit: ”Venetian Causeway South Beach” by Marc Averette Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons)

Building coastal resilience through stories

Bill Nuttle ·
18 September 2015
Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Coastal scientists have an important role helping communities become more resilient by telling people what changes can be expected from climate change and sea level rise. But, how can you tell people about change that is coming, in a way that makes it tangible for people and motivates them to act, when the extent of that change goes beyond what many can even imagine.

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Three rivers meet in Puerto Carreño, from left to right, the Meta, Orinoco, and Bita Rivers.

Bita River Report Card Workshop - The Orinoco River Basin, Colombia

Alexandra Fries ·
16 September 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

This blog is part of the Basin Report Card Initiative: a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) On August 9th, 2015, Simon Costanzo and I traveled from Bogota, Colombia to Puerto Carreño, Vichada, Colombia for the Bita River Report Card Workshop. This was the second of three workshops that will occur in Colombia, to develop report cards for three tributaries of the Orinoco River.

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The mill. Photo by Caroline Donovan.

Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference

Alexandra Fries ·
10 September 2015
Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Caroline Donovan and I participated in the Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference in Winchester, Virginia last month. This conference focused on volunteer monitoring efforts in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. The theme was bridging the water quality data gap, and the way to do this proposed as expansion and improvement of volunteer monitoring efforts.

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Participants of the first workshop, December 12-13 2013, Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City

Development of an Ecosystem Health Report Card for Laguna de Bay, Philippines

Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen ·
16 July 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

This summer, I was given the great opportunity to be involved in the development of the first IAN report card in my home country. Last June 1-3 2015, Dave Nemazie and Simon Costanzo joined me in the Philippines to help facilitate the Second Workshop on the Development of Ecosystem Health Report Card for Laguna de Bay.

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Charles Darwin’s 1842 map of coral reef distribution.

Diving into NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program

Caroline Donovan ·
14 July 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Even before Charles Darwin wrote about coral reef atolls in his 1842 “The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs,” humans have been fascinated by coral reefs. Corals and coral reefs are connected to the spiritual rituals of indigenous populations. They also provide food, shelter, and support livelihoods (through fishing and ecotourism) of many people around the world. Charles Darwin’s 1842 map of coral reef distribution. Current coral reef distribution. Credit:

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The pilot's job was as glamorous as it was essential. Image from Life on the Mississippi

Learning to operate the Mississippi River

Bill Nuttle ·
9 July 2015
Applying Science | Learning Science | 

Re-engineering the Mississippi River presents political as well as technical challenges. Advances in technology since the beginning of the industrial revolution have transformed both transportation along the Mississippi River and the river itself. The invention of the paddlewheel steamboat in the early 1800s offered a radical advance over previous, more primitive modes of river transportation. By the 1830s, steamboats regularly moved people and goods along the Mississippi and its tributaries.

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The report card press conference was held in the Sherwood Island State Park Nature Center overlooking the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Credit: Suzi Spitzer

Long Island Sound Report Card release in Westport, Connecticut

Suzanne Webster ·
17 June 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

On June 8, 2015 the Integration & Application Network and its many partners held two simultaneous press conferences to announce the first report card about the health of Long Island Sound. Bill Dennison and Alex Fries traveled to Glen Cove, New York, on the south shore of the Sound, while Caroline Donovan and I headed north to the Sherwood Island State Park Nature Center in Westport, Connecticut.

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