News Releases

Satellite tracking informs maps of blue whale density off West Coast

SOLOMONS, MD (November 29, 2016)--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.

Abrupt changes in habitat could impact fish populations

SOLOMONS, MD (August 2, 2016)—Striped bass are known to have favorite summer swimming spots to which they return every year. They are creatures of habit. However, when a hurricane hits, everything can change very quickly. The water level rises rapidly. Runoff floods the river with sediment and chokes off the oxygen. Heavy rains create rushing currents and a sudden drop in water temperature. And the fish leave the area in a hurry. Scientists call it “evacuating” to better conditions.

Study explores role of methane release during dead zone and storm events

SOLOMONS, MD (June 21, 2016)--We all know by now that methane is bad for the environment. It’s one of those greenhouse gases that trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere and contribute to our warming climate. It’s regularly emitted during the production and transport of coal and oil, and sometimes even cows get the blame. However, a new study finds that estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay could be contributing significantly more methane to the atmosphere than once thought. Estuaries and coastal systems are thought to be a relatively small source of atmospheric methane, as little as 3%. However, a new study from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) found that the methane building up in the Chesapeake Bay alone, if released, would be equal to the current estimates for all the estuaries in the world combined.

SOLOMONS, MD (MAY 18, 2016) – 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.

SOLOMONS, MD (May 10, 2016)--The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s third annual Commencement ceremony was held on May 10 at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and featured Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles as keynote speaker. He told graduates, “Don’t ever get tired for searching for finding innovative, cost effective, surprising solutions that really do save us from ourselves and provide for a brighter future.”