Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Science for Citizens

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.

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Spring Dates: March 27, April 3, April 10, April 17, April 24
Fall Dates: September 25, October 2, October 9, October 16, October 23
Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., unless otherwise noted
Where: CBL’s Bernie Fowler Lab, 142 Williams Street, Solomons, MD 20688. View a campus map.
Cost: Free. No pre-registration necessary. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served 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

Spring 2018

March 27, 2018

Septic Detectives: Tracing Septic System Wastewaters in Calvert County Neighborhoods
Presented by Dr. Michael Gonsior
While there is widespread evidence supporting our understanding of how traditional septic systems transmit nitrogen to groundwater, very little of this work has occurred in Maryland and how much of nitrogen is released by septic systems to the stream network and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay remains a challenging question to answer. Dr. Gonsior will discuss methods for source tracking of pollutants arising from septic systems using innovative modern analytical approaches.

April 3, 2018

OysterFutures: A Collaborative Process for Developing Oyster Management Recommendations
Presented by Dr. Mike Wilberg
What happens when oyster stakeholders, including commercial watermen, aquaculturists, buyers, environmental advocates, recreational anglers, and agency and academic scientists work together to develop recommendations for oyster restoration and management in the Choptank River complex? Dr. Wilberg will discuss collaborative resource management, the development of a computer model that can forecast the effects of alternative management or restoration options, and its use to inform workgroup recommendations.

April 10, 2018

Sea Level Rise, Changing Tides and Stronger Storm Surges in the Chesapeake Bay
Presented by Dr. Ming Li
Climate change, sea level rise, and associated storms are putting Maryland’s people, property, natural resources, and public investments at risk. Sea level rise and ocean warming may produce unexpectedly high sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay and cause extensive flooding in Maryland. Dr. Li will describe his current research into the regional impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the Chesapeake Bay. He will also show how different coastline management options lead to dramatic differences in the response of tidal ranges and storm surges to sea level rise.

April 17, 2018

Solomons Island Bay Grasses
Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa
In the summer of 2017, Bay grasses appeared in front of CBL on Solomons Island for the first time in over four decades. Often considered a ‘canary in a coal mine’, Bay grasses are often an indicator of improving or degrading water conditions and their appearance off Solomons reflects a recent improvement in Chesapeake Bay water quality. Dr. Jeremy Testa will tell the story of Bay grasses in the Patuxent, and will describe how it plays into a wider picture of change in Chesapeake Bay over the past several decades.

April 24, 2018

Seminars from 2:00-3:00pm & 7:00-8:00pm
DolphinWatch: Dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay
Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey
Little is known about how often dolphins come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend there, what areas they are using and why. Dr. Bailey and her team have been frequently detecting dolphin calls in the Bay and last summer, citizen scientists reported more than 900 dolphin sightings on Dr. Bailey’s newly launched DolphinWatch website. In this talk, Dr. Bailey will present what she has learnt about the Bay’s dolphins so far, describe upgrades to the sighting app, and explain how you can participate in this research effort.

Watch our Science for Citizens videos

Couldn't make it to a seminar you were interested in? Want to revisit a seminar you attended to learn more? You can watch most of our past seminars on our video page.