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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You're Invited

Spring Dates: Tuesday nights from March 28 to April 25
Fall Dates: Tuesday nights from September 26 to October 24
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-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


2017 Spring Seminar Schedule

DolphinWatch: Dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey
on March 28, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Little is known about how often dolphins come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend there, what areas of the Bay they are using and why. Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory have been frequently detecting dolphin calls in the Bay. They are now working to develop an observation network that will provide information on dolphin distribution and encourage local residents to report their sightings and learn more about these animals.

A View into the Secret Lives of Animals on the Swim

Presented by Dr. Dave Secor
on April 4, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

As gravity-bound, flat-land primates, we struggle to fully imagine the fluid lives of fish, marine mammals, and birds as they push and pull their way through a three-dimensional aqueous realm.  Through observing systems and telemetry, scientists are discovering marvelous adaptations in how marine animals contend with seawater, which both opposes and leverages locomotion as animals swim, dive, lunge, or simply stay put. In this talk Dr. Dave Secor will review the mechanics and behaviors of marine animals as they school, feed, migrate, and persevere.

A Plastic Ocean film screenings

Followed by Q&A with Dr. Michael Gonsior
First screening on April 11, 2017 from 2 - 4 p.m.
Second screening on April 11, 2017 from 6 - 8 p.m.

In A Plastic Ocean, an international team of ocean ambassadors, adventurers, and researchers, including CBL’s own Dr. Gonsior, go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine Ocean. After viewing this documentary and its never-before-seen images of marine life, plastic pollution, and its ultimate consequences for human health, Dr. Gonsior will answer questions from audience members. View the film trailer.

Raising the Grade: Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay Report Cards

Presented by Dr. Bill Dennison
on April 18, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Every year we produce a data-driven report card for the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. We are learning what causes the report card grades to degrade and to improve, and have instituted a suite of activities to raise the grades. But the rigid nutrient diet, changes to fisheries practices and work to preserve intact habitats will not be enough to restore these bodies of water. So Dr. Dennison will talk about how to account for climate change, land use development and population pressure (both human and animal) so that we can raise the report card grades.

Foraging in the Chesapeake

Presented by Dr. Ryan Woodland
on April 25, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Where do the clams, worms, small fish and other forage base that support top predators live in Chesapeake Bay, and under what environmental conditions are they found? In this seminar, Dr. Woodland will discuss some of the most important forage species in the Bay and how knowledge of forage dynamics can inform the management of iconic fisheries species such as rockfish, summer flounder and weakfish.


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.