Assessing watershed health in Pipe Creek and Old Woman Creek, Ohio

Group photos at the Ohio report card meetingHeath Kelsey, Caroline Wicks, and Alex Fries from IAN, and Katie Foreman of the Chesapeake Bay Program, traveled to Sandusky, Ohio, to conduct a two-day workshop on the development of two local report cards. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources works with volunteers to monitor water quality in Old Woman Creek and Pipe Creek to assess the ecological health of these watersheds that flow into Lake Erie. IAN is helping to develop two related, but stand-alone report cards for these watersheds.

Mike Douglas and Samantha Setterfield sabbatical with IAN

Michael Douglas and Samantha SetterfieldProfessor Michael Douglas and Dr. Samantha Setterfield from Charles Darwin University (Darwin, Australia) began their sabbatical at the Integration and Application Network in August and will stay until January 2013. Michael is the Director of TRaCK (Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Hub) and has been researching tropical rivers, fire ecology and indigenous knowledge. Samantha works on invasive weeds and floodplain biodiversity. They are supported by a Fulbright fellowship and will present seminars at Horn Point Laboratory and at the UMCES Annapolis Office.

Restoration of overwash processes creates piping plover habitat on a barrier island paper

Assateague island plover habitat mapsOn Assateague Island, an undeveloped barrier island, a foredune was constructed to protect the island from the erosion and breaching threat caused by permanent jetties. The foredune unexpectedly acted as near-total barrier to both overwash and wind, and the dynamic ecosystem underwent undesirable habitat changes including conversion of early-succession beach habitat to herbaceous and shrub communities, and diminishing availability of foraging habitat, thereby reducing productivity of the threatened piping plover. To address these impacts, multiple notches were cut through the constructed foredune. New overwash fans increased island stability by increasing interior island elevation. At every notch, areas of sparse vegetation increased and the new foraging habitat was utilized by breeding pairs.

Farewell to Dan Levey and welcome to Brianne Walsh

Dan Levey and Brianne WalshDan Levey, the Science Communication Intern with IAN for the past year, has begun his undergraduate studies at Catholic University in Washington D.C. While Dan was at IAN, he uploaded symbols and images to the IAN Image Library, edited and uploaded seminar videos, transcribed presentations, developed conceptual diagrams and edited draft documents. He made great contributions to the team and we wish him well at Catholic University. Brianne Walsh joined IAN in August as a Science Communicator, after completing her Master's degree in Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory.  Her graduate research focused on zooplankton community dynamics in relation to Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide dinoflagellate.  Brianne is a native of Rochester, New York, and completed her Bachelor's degree in Biology at Elmira College.  Prior to her time in Maryland, Brianne worked as environmental educator and naturalist intern at the Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit, NY, and as a research intern with the USDA Plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY.  In her free time, Brianne enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, and you can find her on the sidelines coaching high school field hockey.