A vision for the Gulf of Mexico Report Card

Newsletter coverThe Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has partnered with IAN and Harwell Gentile & Associates, LC, to develop a vision for a report card on the health of the Gulf of Mexico. The report card will be a graphical representation of the environmental condition of the Gulf that is scientifically based, widely accessible, and readily understandable by policy-makers, stakeholders, scientists, and, most importantly, the general public. The vision document uses birds and seagrass ecosystems as prototypes for two components of the report card. The Report Card prototype was unveiled on December 7 at the Gulf of Mexico Summit in Houston, TX. Next steps include engaging the science community to divide the Gulf into manageable components based on habitats, geographical and/or political boundaries, and develop metrics to assess each component.

New UMCES Annapolis Office

Park Place buildingThe Annapolis Synthesis Center office has re-located from Cathedral St. The newly named UMCES Annapolis Office is adjacent to the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at One Park Place. We are excited about the opportunities for collaboration with SESYNC. The UMCES facility has a state-of-the-art electronic conference room with interactive video and voice conference capabilities as well as high-speed wireless connectivity and projection capabilities. It is available for meetings, training courses, and workshops pending scheduling availability.

UMCES researchers attend biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference

Jane Thomas, Heath Kelsey, and Liza HernandezIAN and UMCES researchers attended the biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation's conference in Daytona Beach, Florida in early November 2011. This international conference brings together all the diverse disciplines within coastal and estuarine science, such as geochemistry, physical oceanography, biological systems, management, and education. Several IAN researchers presented on their integrated assessments of Baltimore Harbor, National Park Service parks, and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as attended plenary and poster sessions.

Department of Natural Resources partnership

Jeff Allenby and Marcus GriswoldJeffrey Allenby and Marcus Griswold joined IAN/UMCES through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Jeff has been working with local communities to help realize and proactively adapt to climate change and coastal hazards, updating Maryland's Coastal Atlas, partnering with Maryland SeaGrant and the Coastal Training Program, and serving as an expert for the Assateague Island project. Previously, he worked at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation managing a field education program throughout the state. In his free time he enjoys running, mountain biking, photography, and trying out new recipes. Marcus is assisting with a multi-university climate change education initiative (MADE CLEAR) and works to move forward state and local climate adaptation practices and policies. He comes from the non-profit, private, and academic sector with a focus on evaluating the impacts of watershed degradation on aquatic ecosystems and the role of restoration and best management practices in enhancing biodiversity and water quality. Marcus enjoys most anything outdoors, from kayaking and hiking, to photography and urban vegetable gardening.