World Seagrass Conference and International Seagrass Biology Workshop
Starting on August 7, we will be hosting the World Seagrass Conference and International Seagrass Biology Workshop in downtown Annapolis, MD. This biennial conference brings together seagrass scientists, students, and enthusiasts from around the world. The Chesapeake Bay is uniquely suited to such a conference because of its long history of seagrass growth and conservation, especially in light of this year's theme, "Signs of Success."
The conference will last until Friday, 12 August, and features a half-dozen field trips. Participants will visit iconic Chesapeake Bay locations such as:
- Susquehanna Flats: the largest and most iconic seagrass meadow in the Chesapeake region, featuring a high diversity of seagrasses but dominated by wild celery (Vallisneria americana).
- Jug Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: one piece of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, featuring tidal freshwater marshes and forested wetlands.
- Assateague Island and National Seashore: a barrier island home to iconic wild horses and nesting seabirds as well as the seagrass beds of Sinepuxent Bay.
In addition, attendees will participate in a suite of workshops covering a variety of topics, including:
- Promoting underrepresente voices in seagrass science
- Seagrass nurseries
- Science communication
- Stakeholder engagement
João Coimbra is a new Science Communicator at IAN. He is originally from Brazil where he graduated from Federal University of São João del-Rei with a B.S in Chemical Engineer. He has a Master’s degree in Environmental Analysis and Decision Making from Rice University. João previously worked in an initiative to facilitate the partnership between Chesapeake Bay and Guanabara Bay to enhance management and accelerate restoration, which included the development of an Environmental Health Report Card. Over the last two years he was working with the Guanabara Bay Watershed Committee. He enjoys photographing, cooking, visiting restaurants, and being outdoors.
The Potomac Open House was a success
The COAST Card team held their first open house event for the Potomac River Watershed on July 21st at Hood College in Frederick, MD. Over 40 stakeholders dropped in throughout the day to engage with the key features of the COAST Card project. Stakeholders identified recreation as their top value of the watershed and populated maps of the Potomac Watershed and Frederick County with stickers indicating all the places they “play.” Participants also identified important indicators and potential future stakeholders they would like to work with. Additionally, stakeholders thought about cause and effect relationships within the watershed and built their vision of a sustainable Potomac.
Farewell, Global Sustainability Scholars!
Our four Global Sustainability Scholars (GSS) completed their summer program at UMCES IAN at July end. During their time with us, they had the opportunity to travel throughout Maryland and helped with the COAST Card project in an impactful way. They played a large part in the Potomac Open House and completed their respective projects in specific sustainability topics. It has been such a pleasure to work with these bright individuals and we are grateful for all that they have done. We hope they go on to do amazing things.