WWF-UMCES Retreats Poetry

Bill Dennison ·
18 April 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science | Learning 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)

We have had two retreats with our WWF colleagues on the front porch of the DuPont House which serves as the Center Administration for UMCES. The DuPont House is on the Choptank River and we can enjoy the view while brainstorming and writing. We find that our retreats with WWF are very productive and immersive. The entire group is very focused and we have little time for emails or side projects as we have packed agendas, including activities during breaks and lunch. My UMCES colleagues are amazed at how little they see of us wandering around the building, as we are fairly sequestered during our retreats.

Our initial retreat was in October 2015, which included a boat ride from Horn Point to Cambridge for dinner, with a beautiful sunset and moonrise. To characterize this retreat, I wrote a poem called "Luminosity". Our second retreat was in April 2016, and my poem for this occasion was called "A unique partnership".


27 Oct 2015

WWF-UMCES Retreat in March 2015
WWF-UMCES Retreat in October 2015

hogWith Murray the Groundhog watching us closely

WWF and UMCES huddled together closely

Discussing the Basin River Card Initiative

In which both partners have a lot to give.


Luminosity, the measure of light people can see,

Is what we hope report cards will truly be.

sunsetProviding light though a River Basin report card

Allowing for all to see without straining too hard.


Watching sunset and moonrise over the Choptank River

Cruising to Cambridge with Ken the Boat Driver

To get ourselves to dinner at the High Spot

KenWhere we ate and drank a whole lot.


Storyboarding a report card practitioner's guide

Wallpapering the DuPont House porch--every side

Identifying what makes a river champion truly tangible

A person who is passionate, engaged and credible.


sanoSnapping up ideas, sharing our stories

Brainstorming to develop good strategies

Overcoming barriers and pushing ahead

Creating a new partnership that has real 'cred'.


A Unique Partnership
8 April 2016

The WWF-UMCES Partnership is unique
The WWF-UMCES Partnership is unique

pguideGathered on the Chesapeake Bay

Joining pandas and oysters

Creating new opportunities

Planning to create a better way


Co-writing a Practitioners Guide

And then drinking oyster stout beer

Checking out report card survey results
WWF-UMCES Retreat in Cambridge, MD
Planning the Orinoco release on the side


Combining science and conservation

Creating a unique partnership

A merging of our cultures

Creating a new blended conversation.


About the author

Bill Dennison

Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.

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