Enewsletter articles by Annie Carew

Now available: Verde River Watershed Report Card Newsletter

Andrew Elmore, Alex Fries, and Emily Nastase kicked-off the Verde River Watershed Report Card at the stakeholder workshop in Cottonwood, Arizona, November, 2018. Participants of the workshop worked together to conceptualize the watershed, create a shared vision, and determine potential indicators for the report card. The outcomes of the workshop are summarized in this newsletter.


Welcome, Annie!

Annie Carew is the new Science Communication intern at the Annapolis office, where she assists in the creation of various science communication products. Annie recently graduated from UMCES with a Master’s degree; her thesis focused on genetic identity in SAV restoration. In her spare time, Annie enjoys reading, board games, and exploring.


Louisville, KY

Annie Carew attended the annual Ecological Society of America conference. The conference theme was "Bridging Communities and Ecosystems: Inclusion as an Ecological Imperative." Annie presented on her thesis research, participated in a session on National Parks history, and met colleagues from across the country.


Society of Women in Marine Science

IAN staff members Bill Dennison, Katie May Laumann, Annie Carew, Nathan Miller, and Max Hermanson facilitated a science communication workshop at the first annual Delmarva Symposium of the Society of Women in Marine Science (SWMS), which was held at Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, MD. IAN staff gave presentations on storytelling, science visualization, and scientific poster design. Participants were encouraged to think about storytelling as a tool for science communication, and a poster design activity highlighted the importance of compelling visual elements.


IAN releases its self-appraising report card

IAN released its 2018 report card. In the annual IAN Report Card, IAN staff reflect back on accomplishments from 2018. The self-assessment is based on indicators in three categories: social impacts, ecological outcomes, and partner engagement. Overall, IAN received an overall grade of B (86%) which is an improvement from the 2017 score of B- (81%). Click here to read the full report card and learn more about the projects IAN Staff worked on in 2018!


Western Lake Erie Report Card

This year, we launched the first-ever report card for the western basin of Lake Erie and its associated watershed. The report is the culmination of nearly two years of work among partners and contributors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario. Based on 2018 data, the lake received a C and the watershed received a C+.


International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2020

In August 2020, IAN will be hosting the fourteenth biennial International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW14) in Annapolis, Maryland. The theme of the conference is "Signs of Success: Reversing the Course of Seagrass Degradation." Visit the ISBW14 website for more information.


Happy Holidays!

Our offices will be closed from December 25, 2019 to January 1, 2020. See you next year!


International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2020

In August 2020, IAN will be hosting the fourteenth biennial International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW14) in Annapolis, Maryland. The theme of the conference is "Signs of Success: Reversing the Course of Seagrass Degradation." Visit the ISBW14 website for more information.


Welcome, Tom!

This month, we welcome Tom Holloway to our Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) team. For the last nine years, Tom has been an application engineer and developer at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, looking after an application that supports the deck, engines, and other onboard mechanical systems. Tom's earlier career was in the music industry. An interest in digital electronics led to an electrical engineering degree with an emphasis in digital design and microprocessors.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


Congratulations, Dylan!

IAN science communicator Dylan Taillie is finishing his Master's degree at UMCES this year. On November 30, Dylan defended his thesis, which examined the effects of landscape management strategies on songbird habitat quality in western Maryland. Dylan has been with IAN and UMCES in various capacities since 2015. Unsurprisingly, his thesis presentation was filled with killer graphics. Great work, Dylan!


Join us for virtual workshops on coastal adaptation and disaster preparedness

Much of Maryland's population lives and works along the coast. Coastal communities are vulnerable to extreme weather events and sea level rise, which cause flooding. As climate change continues, flooding will become more frequent and severe, so it is vital that coastal communities adapt. Many communities have already undertaken action. But are these actions effective? And how can we measure adaptation progress in the face of ongoing change? The Maryland Coastal Adaptation Report Card seeks answers to these questions, and we are asking for community participation in workshops to develop the report card. Visit the project website for more information, or contact the project directly MDcoastaladapt@gmail.com


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


Welcome, Crystal!

The newest addition to our team is Crystal Nichols, who joins us as an intern working remotely from southern Oregon. Crystal attended Ball State University for her bachelor's degree in aquatic biology and fisheries, and Southern Oregon University for her master's degree in environmental education. She will work with IAN video team members to create and edit video modules for various exciting projects. When Crystal is not working, she spends as much time as she can outside, trail running, kayaking, and snorkeling in beautiful Oregon rivers.


The Hack-the-Bay Hackathon was a success

Hack the Bay, a hackathon led by Booz Allen Hamilton in partnership with the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative, was a rousing success! Participants represented skills, positions, and levels of expertise across data science, web development, and human-centered design. The hackathon helps the CMC reach its goals of analyzing and visualizing monitoring data. The incredible value of this previously unanalyzed, nontraditional water quality data was explored through four challenges. Four winning projects were selected as the top solutions in their categories and were showcased to a virtual audience. You can view all the hackathon entries and winners here.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


Welcome, Kelly!

At the end of September, Kelly Dobroski joined the IAN team as a Science Communicator. Her background includes a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, where she used drone technology to map coastal marshes and mangroves. During her masters, she studied environmental communications and geospatial analyses to convey technical information to broad audiences. Kelly worked with the North Carolina Coastal Federation to develop a state-wide action plan to implement nature-based stormwater strategies to reduce flooding and improve water quality. When she's not communicating science, you can find Kelly running, paddling, and baking.


First-ever Western Lake Erie Report Card now available

On August 14, IAN launched the first-ever report card for the western basin of Lake Erie and its associated watershed. The report is the culmination of nearly two years of work among partners and contributors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Ontario. The virtual release event was well-attended and features speeches from Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell. You can view the full report card here.


Farewell, Brianne!

This month, IAN said a very fond farewell to science communicator Brianne Walsh, who worked for IAN for eight years after completing her Master's degree at UMCES. Brianne worked on an impressive array of projects, including the recently published Western Lake Erie Report Card and the national-scale effort synthesizing the impacts of ecological drought at each of the eight regional USGS/DOI Climate Adaptation Science Centers, which can be viewed here. Brianne's next job will take her closer to home in Rochester, New York. Thank you so much for all of your hard work, Brianne. You will be missed, and good luck!


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


Farewell, Emily!

At the end of last month, IAN said a very fond farewell to science communicator Emily Nastase. Emily worked for IAN for almost three years on a broad range of projects and products. Whatever she was working on, Emily's artistic skills and work ethic were appreciated by all of us here at IAN. Emily is now starting her Master's degree at North Carolina State University, where she will study songbird ecology. Thanks for all you've done, Emily, and best of luck!


Congratulations, Suzi!

The National Sea Grant College administers one of the country's most prestigious marine policy fellowships, the Knauss Fellowship. Among 2021's fellowship class of accomplished graduate students is IAN's own Suzi Spitzer. As a Knauss Fellow, Suzi will spend a year working in the legislative or executive government on issues related to marine conservation and policy. Congratulations, Suzi, and best of luck!


Welcome, Joe!

This month, IAN welcomes science communication intern Joseph Edgerton. Joe has a B.S. in Biology from Oregon State University, where he assisted in research on bacterial biocontrols. Joe became interested in data visualization and is excited to bring those skills to IAN. Currently living in Tigard, Oregon, Joe enjoys volunteering at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and having "decent" hacky sack skills (his words).


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


IAN provides remote science communication course to IMET summer interns

Annie Carew, Emily Nastase, and Nathan Miller taught an introductory science communication course for this year's IMET summer interns. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has kept them from coming to IMET for the season, the interns will work together to analyze microbial data specific to Baltimore Harbor. The science communication course included storytelling strategies, designing theme statements, and a crash course in Adobe's Creative Cloud products, providing tools that the interns will use to promote their research this summer.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


IAN's staff continues to grow and evolve

IAN graduate student Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen was conferred with the first Ph.D. under the Environment and Society foundation of MEES during the virtual UMCES commencement ceremony. She is now a science integrator at IAN and will spearhead the upcoming COAST Card project. Science communication intern Annie Carew is joining IAN staff as a science communicator. She graduated from UMCES last year. IAN's program manager Alexandra Fries was promoted to FRA3. She was also nominated as the FRA representative to the UMCES faculty senate.


International Seagrass Biology Workshop POSTPONED

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022. We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


IAN is working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis

Consistent with UMCES guidelines, IAN staff are doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by working remotely. IAN will conduct workshops and meetings virtually where possible for the duration of the crisis. IAN staff are equipped to work from their homes, and will continue to make progress on ongoing projects through the use of teleconference and video conference tools. We sincerely wish everyone safety and health as we all work to contain the spread of this disease.


Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, ISBW14 and WSC2020 are postponed until summer 2022

We will update everyone as we have more information. Please discontinue abstract submission at this time, and stay safe and healthy. Visit the ISBW14 website for more details.


International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2020

In August 2020, IAN will be hosting the fourteenth biennial International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW14) in Annapolis, Maryland. The theme of the conference is "Signs of Success: Reversing the Course of Seagrass Degradation." Visit the ISBW14 website for more information.


International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2020

In August 2020, IAN will be hosting the fourteenth biennial International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW14) in Annapolis, Maryland. The theme of the conference is "Signs of Success: Reversing the Course of Seagrass Degradation." Visit the ISBW14 website for more information.


2018 Maryland Coastal Bays Report Card

We produced the annual Maryland Coastal Bays Report Card with our partners at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. The Bays received an Incomplete score for 2018 due to a lack of data.


Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Standards Attainment Indicator

We produced the latest Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Standards Attainment Indicator, which scored a record high (42.3%). Related research reported a positive trend in the indicator, which is statistically linked to nitrogen load reduction in the watershed.


Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Program's annual science-based snapshot reported encouraging signs of resilience throughout the ecosystem, but reminds us that we still have a long way to go in meeting our restoration goals.


ChesapeakeDecision

This tool promotes transparency and guides the Chesapeake Bay Program's Goal Implementation Teams and Management Board through the Strategy Review System, a structured process that applies adaptive management toward the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.


Upcoming meetings and conferences

IAN projects and employees will be attending and presenting at a variety of virtual conferences this spring and summer, including:


Check out our new website!

We are happy to announce the launch of our brand-new website at ian.umces.edu

The new website has functions to search our symbol and image libraries and peruse all of our publications, projects, and staff profiles. Check it out!


Teaching summer scicomm courses

This month, some of our science communicators (aka scicommers) taught multiple virtual classes to summer interns at IMET and Maryland Sea Grant. Each course consisted of two sessions focused on the basics of scicomm, principles of design, and an introduction to Adobe Creative software.

We like to emphasize the importance of science as storytelling. No matter your system, experiment, or situation, there is an intrinsic narrative that you can use to make your science engaging to any audience. Finding the narrative, and tailoring it to your audience, is the basis of good science communication. We use tools like ABT statements (And, But, Therefore) and conceptual diagrams to communicate science to a variety of audiences, and it is always enjoyable for us to pass on those skills to younger scientists.

We thoroughly enjoyed our students this summer, and we wish them luck in the rest of their internships!


Three IAN report cards received Hermes Creative Award

"The Hermes award is an international awards competition of approximately 6,000 entries for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals. The Platinum award is the highest-level designation, and the three UMCES campaigns reached over 700 million people in watershed communities." (Associated Press)

The three projects highlighted by this award are the Coral Reef Condition Status Reports, the 2019 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Report Card, and the Western Lake Erie 1st Report Card. We are proud to share this award with our partners at Yes& Agency, and are deeply grateful to all of our staff who made these projects possible.


We're hiring!

Come work with us! We're hiring for two positions.

  • The Science Communicator will use a variety of software (Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS, R Studio, etc.) to develop print and digital media as well as analyze large and complex datasets. Excellent communication and organizational skills are necessary. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with little supervision is a must. Self-directed work is a large portion of the work time. Ability to work both in-person and virtual or a hybrid is required. Bachelor's degree required, advanced degreee preferred.
  • The Science Communication Instructional Designer will support instructional design projects from start to finish under the guidance of the Project Manager in the socio-environmental science field. This includes managing the workflow of the development process by coordinating the input from subject matter experts and other team members. Six-month contractual, advanced undergraduate or recent graduates preferred. Experience creating and editing videos necessary.

Welcome, Logan!

This month, IAN welcomes science communication intern Logan Bilbrough. Logan has a B.A. in communication from Salisbury University, where he had concentrations in media studies and environmental studies. Logan is interested in communicating science through media and has experience in videography, photography, and social media content creation. Currently living in Centreville, Maryland, Logan enjoys filmmaking, wildlife photography, and fishing.


Updating the Texas Coast Report Card in workshops

The first round of stakeholder workshops for the updated Texas Coast Report Card are under way. Through the month of October, IAN staffers Heath Kelsey, Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen, and Annie Carew are attending virtual workshops hosted by the Harte Research Institute. The updated report card, which will include economic and social as well as environmental indicators, is divided into several smaller, regional report cards. Each region represents one or several of the small coastal bays along the southern Texas Coast.

Stakeholders from each region are gathering virtually to discuss what's important to their ecosystems, from bird populations to hotel revenue, and what threatens ecosystem health, including the various threats associated with climate change. Future meetings and workshops will define indicators, thresholds, and potential data sources for the report cards.


Farewell, Simon!

This month, we say a fond farewell to Simon Costanzo, who has been with IAN for ten years as a science integrator. Simon has worked a wide variety of projects, including the Kwando and Kafue River Report Cards, and the Darwin Harbour Report Card. One of Simon's future endeavors is continuing to work with IAN at DarwinIAN, an IAN-esque organization based in Brisbane, Australia. Thanks for all you've done, Simon, and good luck!


We were at the Inclusive Scicomm Symposium

IAN science communicators Nathan Miller and Annie Carew presented at the Inclusive SciComm Symposium, hosted by the University of Rhode Island's Metcalf Institute. "Inclusive science communication, or inclusive scicomm, is a global movement to shift the traditional paradigm of science communication toward an approach that centers inclusion, equity, and intersectionality. Although a growing number of people are committing themselves to inclusive scicomm, this movement is in its early stages, and is evolving rapidly." (The Metcalf Institute)

Nathan and Annie gave a presentation focused on the importance of equity in stakeholder engagement, and showed participants how to use stakeholder mapping to ensure inclusive engagement. We at IAN believe strongly that every voice deserves to be heard, and effective environmental decisions cannot be made without representation from all members of a community.


Happy Holidays from all of us at IAN!

Our offices will be closed from Friday, December 24 to Monday, January 3, 2022. Thanks to all our partners, collaborators, and staff for a great year!


Farewell, Caroline!

This month, IAN says a very fond farewell to program manager extraordinaire Caroline Donovan. Caroline has been with IAN since 2006 and has worked on a plethora of projects. Her experience with report cards, science communication, stakeholder engagement, and citizen science is invaluable. Caroline will be joining NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program as their Communications Director. Best of luck, Caroline, and thanks for all you've done!


Stakeholder engagement at CERF 2021

IAN was well-represented at CERF 2021, which was a fully virtual conference. Dr. Heath Kelsey and Dr. Bill Dennsion facilitated a workshop entitled "Engaging Stakeholders to Co-Design Waterway Health Report Cards." Identifying waterway restoration and conservation goals that are acceptable to all sectors requires meaningful engagement from all relevant stakeholders, but incorporating knowledge streams from these varied perspectives is challenging. The session introduced participants to the benefits of waterway health report cards and how they can be used to incorporate different values and knowledge of stakeholders, empowering all to better manage their local environment. Meanwhile, Dr. Katie May Laumann presented "Measuring Coastal Adaptation: Using where we are to inform where we're going" in a session entitled "Climate Change Resilience: the intersection of ecological shifts and societal impacts" alongside presenters from across the country. Both the workshop and presentation highlight IAN's strategies and leadership in stakeholder engagement for environmental decision-making.