News from the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Walter Boynton honored with the 2017 Ruth Patrick Award

The Ruth Patrick Award is given to scientists who have made outstanding contributions towards solving environmental problems. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) has awarded Dr. Walter R. Boynton of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory this distinguished honor in recognition of his research to solve environmental problems and shape policy with long-lasting impacts on estuarine ecosystems. The award will be presented at the Aquatic Sciences Meeting (ASM) in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 26- March, 2017.

New forecast tool helps ships avoid blue whale hotspots

Satellite tracking informs maps of blue whale density off West Coast

Scientists have long used satellite tags to track blue whales along the West Coast, learning how the largest animals on the planet find enough small krill to feed on to support their enormous size. Now researchers from NOAA Fisheries, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and Oregon State University have combined that trove of tracking data with satellite observations of ocean conditions to develop the first system for predicting locations of blue whales off the West Coast.

OysterFutures project brings industry, managers together to discuss future

Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are part of a unique project designed to strategize new ways to manage an old industry. With the fate of the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster population in question, stakeholders ranging from watermen to environmentalists hope to look past any differences to reach a common goal—enhance the shellfish resource and fishery.

New research facility honors legendary Maryland environmental scientist Reginald Truitt

In 1918, not long after the Wright brothers’ first flight, a scientist named Reginald Truitt was the first person to fly over Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay and discover from above that the magnificent estuary was all truly connected. It inspired him to borrow a microscope and set up a modest laboratory to study the oysters, crabs and fish that were so plentiful in the Bay. In 1925, it would become the first publically supported marine laboratory on the East Coast. 

Mobile laboratory helps keep invasive species out of Chesapeake Bay

Test platform anchored in Sharptown, Eastern Shore in September

If you’ve driven across the bridge across the Nanticoke River on the Eastern Shore at Sharptown, you might’ve noticed a strange looking vessel moored to shore. One hundred and fifty feet long and fifty feet wide, it’s a one-of-a-kind barge outfitted with two, large white holding tanks and a tangle of red and blue pipes. It is actually a floating laboratory with a staff of about a dozen scientists responsible testing technologies that treat ballast water on ships to reduce the risks associated with the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Study finds human-caused global warming began earlier than expected

Analysis of paleoclimate records shows a rapid response of climate to fossil fuel burning

Close to 200 years ago, the Industrial Revolution drove thousands away from working the land to toil in factories in cities, where machine production changed our entire way of life. A new study shows that this major societal shift also triggered simultaneous changes in our climate. An international research project has shown that the increases in temperatures we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago and confirms previous findings that human activity is the cause of modern global warming. 

Legendary Chesapeake Bay scientist Walt Boynton to receive Mathias Medal

Walter Boynton, longtime professor and estuarine ecologist at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and a fixture in the world of Chesapeake Bay science for more than 40 years, has been chosen to receive the Mathias Medal to recognize his distinguished career of scholarship and public service.

Open innovation challenge brings new approaches to reduce nutrients in waterways

A technology challenge to developing better and cheaper nutrient sensors made the White House's Top 100 list of projects making an impact in American science, technology, and innovation. Mario Tamburri, director of the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) at the UMCES' Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, has been a key member of the Challenging Nutrients Coalition, a national inter-agency initiative working to improve our ability to measure and understand nutrient pollution.

Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier honored with President’s Award for Science Application

Dr. Jaqueline Grebmeier has seen the impact of climate change on the Arctic first-hand. A research professor and biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, she has been working for more than 30 years to understand how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental changes. This spring, she was given the President's Award for Excellence in Application of Science for her exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic.

Chesapeake Bay health improves in 2015

One of three highest scores recorded since 1986

The overall health of Chesapeake Bay improved in 2015, according to scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. The largest estuary in the nation scored a C (53%) in 2015, one of the three highest scores since 1986. Only 1992 and 2002 scored as high or higher, both years of major sustained droughts.