Blog posts categorized by Applying Science
(top) The official banner of CommOCEAN 2016, credit: and (bottom) the historic Market Square of Bruges, credit: Vanessa Vargas.

IAN attends CommOcean 2016 in Bruges, Belgium

Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen ·
23 December 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | Learning Science | 

On December 6th to 7th 2016, Heath Kelsey and I represented the Integration and Application Network (IAN) at the 2nd International Marine Science Communication Conference (CommOcean) in Bruges, Belgium. The conference took place at the Provincial Court on the Market Square in the heart of the medieval Bruges, a historic UNESCO heritage site. It was my first trip to Europe, and my first conference to attend as both an IAN graduate student and session speaker.

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Flyer for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Raise the Grade Conference.

Raising the Grade for the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Heath Kelsey ·
8 December 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Applying Science | 

The 2016 Upper Mississippi River Basin Conference in Moline, Illinois had a special theme of “Raising the Grade” this year, which was shaped by the Mississippi River Watershed Report Card which UMCES developed with America’s Watershed Initiative last year. The Upper Mississippi River got a “C” grade in the report card, and although the grade was the highest of all the basins, it is not good enough in the eyes of the regional stakeholders.

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Using maps to prioritize monitoring.

Pursuing prioritization in Pennsylvania: The magic of more monitoring

Alexandra Fries ·
17 November 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science | Learning Science | 

On October 13th, Caroline Donovan and I traveled to Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA for the Prioritization Workshop. This workshop was held as part of the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (CMC) project that UMCES is a partner of as well as Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Izaak Walton League of America, and the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM). The workshop was hosted by ALLARM at Dickinson College.

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Participants at the ABMI Science communication course in Edmonton, Alberta. Photo: Caroline Donovan.

Communicating science effectively—working through environmental report cards

Brianne Walsh ·
3 November 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

In September, Simon Costanzo, Caroline Donovan, and I traveled to Edmonton, Alberta for a science communication course sponsored by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI). Participants had a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, including researchers, planners, GIS analysts, communicators, and managers.

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Halloween Google Maps costume. Credit: Google user Callatini

It’s alive! Tips for creating maps that take on a life of their own

Dylan Taillie ·
1 November 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science |     2 comments

Similar to a good Halloween costume, you want any map you create to convey a clear and understandable message that it doesn’t take long for the viewer to digest. Someone viewing your map should not need to take more than a minute or two to understand it’s purpose. Also similar to a Halloween costume, the big winners in map creation pay very close attention to detail. Halloween Google Maps costume. Credit:

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The UMCES-WWF partnership

The report card game “Get the Grade!” was launched in Stockholm, New Delhi and Honolulu

Bill Dennison ·
27 October 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science |     1 comments

The Basin Report Card Initiative, a partnership between the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the World Wildlife Fund, worked closely with game developers from the Engagement Lab at Emerson College to produce a fun, interactive and thought provoking game, “Get the Grade!” . “Get the Grade” was successfully launched at three signature events across the globe:

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Mekong Flooded Forest Landscape Report Card in Khmer

Mekong Flooded Forest – a sneak peek at a Future Card

Simon Costanzo ·
6 September 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Future Card: a report card that forecasts future ecosystem health grades based on alternate management strategies. The holy grail right? Well hopefully. This idea of a “future card” began 18 months ago while I was attending a meeting held by the Luc Hoffman Institute in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the LIVES’s project (Linked Indicators for Vital Ecosystem Services).

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From left to right: Rachel Felver (Chesapeake Bay Program), Rich Batiuk (Chesapeake Bay Program), Nicki Kasi (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection), Joel Blomquist (US Geological Survey), Mike Langland (US Geological Survey), Lewis Linker (Chesapeake Bay Program), Lee Currey (Maryland Department of the Environment), Jeff Cornwell (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Bruce Michael (Maryland Department of Natural Resources), Bob Hirsch (US Geological Survey), Scott Phillips (US Geological Survey); Not pictured: Jeremy Testa (UMCES). Credit: Jane Thomas

Great minds get together: A day spent discussing impacts of the Susquehanna River and the “Reservoir Reach”

Dylan Taillie ·
1 September 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science | 

On Wednesday, August 24th a group of technical experts, stakeholders and communicators met at the Chesapeake Bay Program in an attempt to make some sense of the current knowledge about the influence of the Susquehanna River reservoir system on Chesapeake Bay water quality. The group that gathered in Eastport on this temperate August day was a diverse one, although almost everyone in the room had been involved with Susquehanna River management and/or research for a number of years.

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The main library of the National Taiwan University. Credit: Tidus Lin, Flickr Creative Commons

Future Earth's Coasts

Heath Kelsey ·
23 August 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

I had the great opportunity to represent IAN and UMCES as the institutional representative to the Future Earth's Coasts Scientific Steering Committee meeting in Taipei, Taiwan last week. Hosted by JC Lin at the National Taiwan University, the meeting brought together 15 representatives from all over the world to discuss the scientific direction of the group for the next five years.

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