News from UMCES

Citizens Restoring American Chestnuts to give seedlings to citizen scientists at Appalachian Laboratory Open House

For a third year in a row, Citizens Restoring American Chestnuts (CRAC) will be giving away American chestnuts to individuals who are interested in contributing to science while at the same time learning something about the environment. The give-away will be held at the Appalachian Laboratory Open House (301 Braddock Road in Frostburg) on May 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Open House will also have many other hands-on activities to explore science research at the Appalachian Laboratory.

Streams, bats, bugs & more at Appalachian Laboratory Open House May 2

Did you know there could be something other than water in the rain? Have you ever seen a tree breathe? Did you know that not all scientists wear lab coats? Visit the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory for a free Open House on Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. to find out. Learn about Maryland’s flying mammals, what lurks in pond scum, and more. 

Appalachian Laboratory honors environmental champion and Evergreen Founder Janice Keene

In honor of outstanding contributions to environmental management in Western Maryland, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory has selected Janice Keene, president of the Evergreen Heritage Center Foundation, as recipient of its 2015 Richard A. Johnson Environmental Education Award. Since 2008, Ms. Keene has led the Evergreen Heritage Center in Frostburg, a public charity dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities for children and adults while teaching them to be good stewards of the environment.

Professor Tom Miller receives highest university award for public service

When Professor Tom Miller first arrived at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s historic Chesapeake Biological Laboratory 20 years ago, he knew little about blue crabs. Today, he knows more than most people in Maryland and has been at the forefront in advances in blue crab management in the Chesapeake Bay. This Friday, the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents honored Dr. Miller the 2015 USM Regents’ Faculty Award for Public Service, the highest honor that the Board bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement.

More food, low pollution effort gains traction

Nitrogen fertilizers make it possible to feed more people in the world than ever before. However, too much of it can also harm the environment. Professor Eric Davidson, director of the UMCES Appalachian Laboratory, has been leading a group of scientists, economists, social scientists, and agriculture experts in figuring out how to produce more food while lowering pollution at the same time. He calls it a “Mo Fo Lo Po”: more food, low pollution.

New tech transfer projects could lead to smarter fish feed, turn algae to biofuel

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Maryland Industrial Partnerships program brings science and business together

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program has approved more than a dozen collaborative technology product development projects, teaming Maryland companies with university researchers to foster tech transfer and new technologies. Three of those projects are underway at the Univesrity of Maryland Center for Envrionental Science (UMCES):

Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier awarded IASC Medal

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Recognized for 30-year career working to understand how Arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental change

Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier, research professor and a biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), has been recognized for exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), an international scientific organization that supports leading-edge research through coordination by 22 member countries with Arctic research programs.

Dr. Russell Hill elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Dr. Russell Hill, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science americaprofessor and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences, and election to this group is a mark of distinction. Academy Fellows are eminent leaders in the field of microbiology and are relied upon for authoritative advice and insight on critical issues in microbiology.

Dr. Russell Hill Chosen for Leadership Maryland Class of 2015

Dr. Russell T. Hill, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science professor and director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, has been chosen by Leadership Maryland to participate in the prestigious professional development program dedicated to building a stronger Maryland by educating, cultivating and connecting our state’s brightest leaders. Professor Hill is one of 50 Maryland leaders chosen for Leadership Maryland’s 23rd class – the Class of 2015 – who will complete the eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues.

Alyson Santoro Awarded Sloan Grant for Archaea Research

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York announced on February 23 that Dr. Alyson Santoro, a faculty member of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Laboratory, was among the winners of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships. Santoro’s research focuses on archaea—microbes in the ocean about which very little is known.

Bacteria in marine sponges harvest phosphorus for the reef community

Did you ever wonder why the water is so clear around coral reefs? Scientists have known for years that sponges can filter water and gather nutrients from the ocean, making it appear crystal clear. For the first time scientists at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology have identified that bacteria on sponges are harvesting phosphorus from the water for the reef ecosystem to use for nourishment. The findings were published in the February 23 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

UMCES welcomes Charles O. Monk as new Chair of Board of Visitors

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the premier research and educational institution working to understand and manage our world’s natural resources, welcomes Charles O. Monk II as Chair of its Board of Visitors. Monk is managing partner of the Baltimore office of the national law firm Saul Ewing. An avid sailor, Monk is devoted to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and ensuring that Maryland’s environment is preserved for decades to come.

UMCES Scientists to Study Water Quality Consequences of Susquehanna River Sediments and Nutrients

A team of scientists at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) is beginning a two-year study to quantify the amount of sediment and associated nutrients present in major entry points to the Lower Susquehanna River Reservoir System and the upper Chesapeake Bay. UMCES scientists are building on a recent assessment led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that analyzed the movement of sediment and associated nutrient loads through the lower Susquehanna River watershed to the upper Chesapeake Bay. Although the entire Lower Reservoir System will be investigated, special emphasis will be given to sediment and nutrient loads into and out of Conowingo Pond during high flow events. This study will help policymakers determine the best management options to reduce this effect.

Bay experts Boesch and Boynton earn rank of Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay

Award recognizes the lifetime achievement and is the highest honor the governor can bestow on a person for their environmental contributions. University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Donald Boesch and Professor Walt Boynton were recognized as an “Admiral of the Chesapeake” by outgoing Governor Martin O’Malley during his final days in office.

Arctic scientists receive marine research award

Biologists Jacqueline Grebmeier and Lee Cooper received an Alaska Ocean Leadership Award from the Alaska SeaLife Center in January. The awards are given annually to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources.

Presidential Fellowships – 2014

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science congratulates the recipients of the 2014 Presidential Fellowships. The merit-based fellowships support incoming Ph.D. students and are designed to support recruitment of outstanding students into UMCES graduate programs. Students receive up to three years stipend, health benefits, and tuition.

New director takes reins of Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg

Dr. Eric Davidson joins the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Laboratory as its new director in the new year. An ecologist, soil scientist, and biogeochemist, Davidson was formerly Executive Director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, where he had worked as a scientist since 1991. 

Entrepreneurs Fellowship Program helps young scientists

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Environmental entrepreneurs complete first semester of program that brings students and business leaders together at Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

Graduate students at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor recently completed the first semester of an entrepreneurial boot camp focusing on basic business principles, venture capital and entrepreneurism. The Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneurs Fellowship Program was established in June 2014 with funding from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation to help young scientists cultivate the leadership and business skills necessary to bring their bench research into commercial markets.

Nutrients that Feed Red Tide in Gulf of Mexico “Under the Microscope” in Major Study

The “food” sources that support Florida red tides are more diverse and complex than previously realized, according to five years’ worth of research on red tide and nutrients published recently as an entire special edition of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. Study partners documented 12 sources of nutrients in southwest Florida waters—including some never before associated with K. brevis. Results supported the consensus that blooms start 10-40 miles offshore, away from the direct influence of land-based nutrient pollution, but once moved inshore blooms can use both human-contributed and natural nutrients for growth.

Oyster restoration team gets national attention

The oyster culture facility at Horn Point Laboratory has been gaining national attention for its work to grow oyster for Chesapeake Bay restoration. Kudos to Hatchery Manager Mutt Meritt and his team, who were featured on Mike Rowe's Somebody's Gotta Do It on CNN, as well as a National Geographic feature on oyster gardening and a hope for a cleaner Bay.