Enewsletter articles by Lili Badri

The Potomac River workshop was a success

The COAST Card project made great progress in June with a small workshop held at Hood College in Frederick, MD. The project will focus on assessing the Potomac River Watershed through the lens of the COAST Card framework, which combines environmental report cards, social network analysis, and system dynamics modeling. The trip also consisted of meetings with scientists at the Appalachian Laboratory and field visits across different areas of the Potomac River Watershed. In hopes of engaging more stakeholders, there will be an open house workshop on July 21st from 12–8 pm at the Whitaker Community Commons building at Hood College. If you are interested in attending, you can register here.

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.

Welcome, Nani!

Veronica (Nani) is a new Graduate Research Assistant with IAN in Annapolis, Maryland where she will be working on visually representing indicators for the 2023 Chesapeake Bay Report Card. She got her B.A. in Marine Affairs, Geology, and Anthropology with a minor in Art from the University of Miami. A Plus One recipient, she was funded for a year to study Journalism and Film. From 2019-2022, Veronica worked as a NOAA contractor for both the Northeast and Southeast Fisheries Science Centers. During this time, her work focused on science communication. She pioneered projects such as video creation and outreach projects for underserved communities. Currently, she is a first year PhD student studying Environment and Society at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science.

Upcoming travel

This month, both the PacPath and COAST Card Projects will be traveling abroad!

For PacPath, Annie Carew and Heath Kelsey will be traveling to Suva, Fiji to hold a 3-day workshop at the University of the South Pacific. This workshop will include discussions about the effects of climate change on key environmental resources with important stakeholders. This will be the second PacPath workshop, with the first taking place in Noumea, New Caledonia in October 2022.

The US COAST Card team (Sidney Anderson, Veronica Lucchese, Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen, and Bill Dennison) will be traveling to Manila, Philippines to hold their first in-person meeting with other global members of the COAST Card project and with key stakeholders to focus on sustainability issues of Manila Bay.

Farewell, Sky!

Last month, we said goodbye to our assistant science communicator, Sky Swanson. Sky has worked with IAN for the past 4 years on many projects, including the USGS Chesapeake Bay Science Strategy, the Chesapeake Bay SAV Watchers program, the NPS Assateague Island videos, and report cards for the Chesapeake Bay and Mississippi River Watershed. Sky was a great, very talented colleague to work with. We will miss him greatly and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Welcome, Stacy!

Stacy Schaefer is the new executive director of the Resilience Authority of Charles County, which has partnered with UMCES and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Coastal Service. Stacy Schaefer holds a bachelor's degree in business, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the George Washington University National Law Center. After ten years of practicing law in Washington, D.C., Ms. Schaefer transitioned to a career as the Associate Director for Land Conservation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources from 2009 to 2021. Most recently, Ms. Schaefer served as the Maryland Land Conservation Liaison for Resource Environmental Solutions (RES), an ecological restoration firm that works across the country. She is also a current Board member of the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Resilience Authority and a lead team member of The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resiliency Framework project.