News from UMCES

Scientists partner with farmers and landowners to help reduce runoff

Professor Tom Fisher wades into the water just past his knees in a creek at South Forge. We’re below a bridge on the edge of a narrow two-lane road that winds past farms and houses in Caroline County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The shallow stream itself runs past a farm, through a patch of woods, and into a large metal outflow pipe that carries the water under the road and eventually into the Choptank River on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. 

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.

UMCES graduates next generation of science leaders

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.” 

Powell Tate’s Joe Farren joins Board of Visitors

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, a world-renowned research and educational institute dedicated to understanding and managing our natural resources, recently appointed Joe Farren, Executive Vice President with Powell Tate, a division of Weber Shandwick, to its Board of Visitors. 

Russell Hill receives Regents Award for Mentoring

Professor Russell Hill, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) faculty member and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), has received a 2016 USM Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring, the highest honor that the Board bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement.

UMCES granted accreditation by Middle States Commission

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The accreditation and earlier approvals by the General Assembly and the University System of Maryland Board of Regents authorize UMCES to award joint graduate degrees with the University of Maryland.

OysterFutures project kicks off discussions about fishing and restoration

Watermen, citizens, and government stakeholders meet to discuss the future of oysters in the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers

A collaborative project to develop consensus on recommendations for oyster fishing practices and restoration in the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers started off on the right foot at a kick-off meeting February 26-27 at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland.

Horn Point Lab offers 'Chesapeake Bay 101' science seminar for non-scientists

Horn Point Laboratory researchers will offer free, weekly talks about the science behind Chesapeake Bay on consecutive Thursdays from April 7-28. The 45 minute talks will not only shed light into the mysteries of the Bay, but also highlight Horn Point programs working to improve the health of the Bay and its aquatic life. Questions and participation by the audience will be encouraged.

Scientists track down origin of bats killed by wind turbines using chemical fingerprints

Study is step toward understanding how to help bats impacted by wind-energy development

Wind energy is a growing alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, one impact of large-scale wind energy development has been widespread mortality of bats. A new study from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science tracks down the origin of bats killed by wind turbines in the Appalachian region in hopes of better understanding the risks to affected populations.

Laying the groundwork: The science behind the decision-making

Since its founding, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s work has lead to groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the way we think about our environment. The pace continues today as cutting-edge research focuses on important issues—from turning algae into biofuel to predicting the impact of climate change—to provide a scientific foundation key to planning for our state and nation’s future.

Evergreen founder Janice Keene joins UMCES Board of Visitors

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Maryland’s leading research institution aimed at advancing scientific knowledge of the environment, recently appointed Janice Keene, founder and president of the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation in western Maryland, to its Board of Visitors.  

NAS Gulf Research Program Awards $504,000 grant to Horn Point Laboratory to study impact of oil spills on marine life

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of nine data synthesis grants, totaling more than $4.4 million, including a $504,000 grant awarded to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory to improve understanding of the responses of zooplankton and fish to stressors such as oil spills and low oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Pollution control policies effective in improving downwind air quality

Emissions controls on coal-fired power plants are making a difference in reducing exposure of mercury to people, especially in the western Maryland community. A study of air quality from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science found that levels of mercury in the air from power plant emissions dropped more than half over a 10-year period, coinciding with stricter pollution controls.  

Hungry planet requires more efficient use of nitrogen

The global population is expected to increase by two to three billion people by 2050, a projection raising serious concerns about sustainable development, biodiversity and food security. Given the world’s growing food demands, nitrogen fertilizer use is likely to increase. Using too much fertilizer, however, will lead to increased pollution of waterways and the air. What’s needed is a more efficient use of fertilizer, which will benefit both food production and the environment, according to a study published in Nature.

UMCES leads in commitment to action on climate change

These days, Dr. Donald Boesch is driving a plug-in hybrid car that when fully charged runs the first 20 miles purely on electricity. As president of the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science and Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland, he is leading the way in higher education’s commitment to take action on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming more resilient to climate disruptions.

UMCES appoints new Vice President for Administration

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science announces the appointment of Kent Island resident Lynn Rehn as Vice President for Administration. She joins the leadership team at Maryland’s premiere environmental research university, headquartered in Cambridge, Md., as the chief financial and operating officer.

White House recognizes innovations in nutrient pollution detection led by UMCES-based Alliance for Coastal Technologies

This week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recognized national efforts and innovations in environmental technologies, including the Alliance for Coastal Technologies’ (ACT) Nutrient Sensor Challenge based at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. 

UMCES celebrates 90 years at October 1 event

“Had it not been for their banks of data, proof and evidence, the Bay would’ve died 20 years ago,” said former Maryland Senator and environmental activist Bernie Fowler, famous for his white sneakers and his annual wade-in at the Patuxent River, of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.