Science for Citizens Seminar Series

Fall 2016 Science for Citizens Seminar Series

Join us at the oldest state-supported marine lab on the East Coast to learn about innovative research being pioneered by Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) scientists.  As a part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), CBL faculty and graduate students are developing new approaches to solving the environmental management problems facing Calvert County, our nation, and the world.

Science for Citizens seminars are split into a Fall and Spring series, each of which will include five seminars.  Each Science for Citizens seminar will be presented by an UMCES scientist and will inform the public about a featured research effort. Would you like to receive email notifications about upcoming Science for Citizens seminars and series? 


When: Tuesdays from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
September 27 - October 25, 2016
March 28 - April 25, 2017

Where: CBL’s Bernie Fowler Lab
142 Williams Street, Solomons, MD 20688
Cost: F R E E !
No pre-registration necessary. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis
Who: Members of the general public. No scientific background needed - everyone is welcome!
Why: Learn something new and interesting while celebrating science on scenic Solomons Island


September 27, 2016

Managing Fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
Presented by Dr. Tom Miller

The Chesapeake supports many species important to both commercial and recreational fisheries – including striped bass, menhaden, blue crab and oyster.  Currently each of these species is managed separately.  However, over the last 25 years CBL scientists have been advocating for a new approach to managing the Bay’s fisheries that explicitly recognizes interactions between species. This ecosystem-based approach presents challenges of its own – should people interested in striped bass have a say in how many menhaden or blue crab are caught?  This talk will look at the science behind ecosystem-based approaches and some of the societal issues it raises.

October 4, 2016

Mercury in Maryland: A Local or Global Problem?
Presented by Dr. Andrew Heyes

Did you know that because of high concentrations of mercury, many fish from all of Maryland’s lakes come with advisories limiting their consumption by humans? It’s true! But how does mercury get into our fish, and can citizens of Calvert County help solve the problem locally?  In this seminar, Dr. Heyes will explain the sources and severity of mercury contamination in Maryland’s fish and will discuss whether action within Maryland can alleviate this problem or if it is a global concern.

October 11, 2016

Coal Mining and the Death of Appalachian Streams
Presented by Dr. Margaret Palmer

Activities that are known to degrade streams are permissible under U.S. law if the natural resources that are lost in the process can be offset by undertaking environmental improvement projects elsewhere.  In this seminar, Dr. Palmer will describe how stream networks have been degraded by mountaintop mining, the offset projects (“mitigation actions”) that have been completed, and why those actions do not make up for the stream natural resources lost.

October 18, 2016

Manure Happens: The Consequences of Feeding Seven Billion Carnivores
Presented by Dr. Eric Davidson

Humans have profoundly altered the global nitrogen cycle in an effort to feed 7 billion people.  Dr. Davidson will discuss how food and energy production from agriculture, combined with industrial and energy sources, have more than doubled the amount of nitrogen circulating annually on land and how this has caused widespread effects on ecosystems, biodiversity, human health, and climate. Effective solutions for reducing nitrogen losses from agriculture to water resources exist, so what political and economic impediments to their adoption remain?

October 25, 2016

Fear For the Turtle? The Chesapeake's Diamondback Terrapin
Presented by Dr. Chris Rowe

Dr. Chris Rowe is peering into the future to see what it holds for Maryland’s state reptile and UMD College Park’s mascot: the diamondback terrapin. Terrapins reside throughout much of the Chesapeake and our coastal bays, but during their life cycle they rely on different types of habitats.  Learn about the diamondback terrapin and find out how sea level rise and climate change may impact these critical habitats and this iconic species.


Couldn't make it to a seminar you were interested in?  Videos of past seminars given as a part of this series have now been posted online! These videos are currently "live video quality," however we plan to have edited versions available in the near future.

Past seminar videos are available for viewing at: