Report card on the health of the Mesoamerican Reef

Mesoamerican Reef report cardThe Integration and Application Network worked with the Healthy Reefs Initiative to produce a report on the health of the Mesoamerican Reef. The report evaluates the health of the reef using key indicators and calculating an Integrated Reef Health Index. The report also evaluates the human footprint and social well-being of the local community. Finally, it provides recommendations for government, NGOs, private, and research sectors for future work.

National Estuarine Research Reserves System Conference

Ben Fertig and his posterBen Fertig presented a poster entitled, Oyster δ15N as a bioindicator of waste nitrogen and degraded water quality in a sub-estuary of Chesapeake Bay, and Bill Dennison gave a plenary talk at the annual conference of the National Estuarine Research Reserves System (NERRS) in Pacific Grove, CA in early November. Ben Fertig presented some of his thesis results from the Chesapeake Bay Reserve on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Monie Bay. Ben has been partially supported by a NERRS fellowship and has been investigating the use of stable isotopes in oysters to detect nutrient sources. Bill presented a talk on the application of science communication for NERRS scientists.

Science communication course for Riverkeepers

Participants playing TRADE OFF!IAN has just finished teaching a course in science communication to a group of local riverkeepers and other environmental professionals. Participants represented organizations from areas such as the Sassafras River, the Rappahannock River, and Maryland's Coastal Bays. Many of the groups are developing their own ecosystem report cards so there was a special emphasis on synthesizing and integrating data. An addition to the course was the playing of the new IAN/SeaWeb board game TRADE-OFF!, teaching students about balancing conservation and real-world pressures, and the power of negotiation. We announce future courses via this eNewsletter, or you can email us to inquire about running a custom course.

New business manager - Ken Barton

Ken Barton on his old boatKen joins IAN after a 25-year career with NOAA. He retired as a Captain in the NOAA Commissioned Corps and was most recently Acting Director of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration. He also had the good fortune to command three NOAA ships conducting fisheries research and working in New England, Southeast Alaska, and tropical Pacific waters. Many years ago he graduated from New York State Maritime College with a USCG license to drive ships and a BS in Meteorology and Oceanography. He received his Masters Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 1990. If IAN will allow him any free time, he will likely spend it exploring the creeks of the Bay on his (new to him) 44-foot sailboat or working on his house in Vermont.