Press Releases

Media Contact:
Amy Pelsinsky
apelsinsky@umces.edu
410-330-1389

CAMBRIDGE, MD (August 25, 2016)—The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, a leading research and educational institute dedicated to understanding and managing our natural resources, recently appointed Joe Suarez, Executive Advisor with Community Partnerships for Booz Allen Hamilton, to its Board of Visitors.

Analysis of paleoclimate records shows a rapid response of climate to fossil fuel burning

SOLOMONS, MD (August 25, 2016)—Close to 200 years ago, the Industrial Revolution drove thousands away from working the land to toil in factories in cities, where machine production changed our entire way of life. A new study shows that this major societal shift also triggered simultaneous changes in our climate. An international research project has shown that the increases in temperatures we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago and confirms previous findings that human activity is the cause of modern global warming.

CAMBRIDGE, MD (August 11, 2016)--The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Maryland’s leading research institution aimed at advancing scientific knowledge of the environment, recently welcomed Peggy Derrick, Vice President at EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC, to its Board of Visitors. 

Abrupt changes in habitat could impact fish populations

SOLOMONS, MD (August 2, 2016)—Striped bass are known to have favorite summer swimming spots to which they return every year. They are creatures of habit. However, when a hurricane hits, everything can change very quickly. The water level rises rapidly. Runoff floods the river with sediment and chokes off the oxygen. Heavy rains create rushing currents and a sudden drop in water temperature. And the fish leave the area in a hurry. Scientists call it “evacuating” to better conditions.

Clean Air Act triggered decline in nitrogen pollution in Potomac watershed

FROSTBURG, MD (July 26, 2016)—A new study suggests that improvements in air quality over the Potomac watershed, including the Washington, D.C., metro area, may be responsible for recent progress on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have linked improving water quality in streams and rivers of the Upper Potomac River Basin to reductions in nitrogen pollution onto the land and streams due to enforcement of the Clean Air Act. 

Clean Air Act triggered decline in nitrogen pollution in Potomac watershed

FROSTBURG, MD (July 26, 2016)—A new study suggests that improvements in air quality over the Potomac watershed, including the Washington, D.C., metro area, may be responsible for r

Study explores role of methane release during dead zone and storm events

SOLOMONS, MD (June 21, 2016)--We all know by now that methane is bad for the environment. It’s one of those greenhouse gases that trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere and contribute to our warming climate. It’s regularly emitted during the production and transport of coal and oil, and sometimes even cows get the blame. However, a new study finds that estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay could be contributing significantly more methane to the atmosphere than once thought. Estuaries and coastal systems are thought to be a relatively small source of atmospheric methane, as little as 3%. However, a new study from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) found that the methane building up in the Chesapeake Bay alone, if released, would be equal to the current estimates for all the estuaries in the world combined.

Hypoxic zone size affected by low river flow and nutrient loading

Scientists expect that this year’s mid-summer Chesapeake Bay hypoxic low-oxygen zone or “dead zone” – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and aquatic life – will be approximately 1.58 cubic miles, about the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools. This is close to the long-term average as measured since 1950. The anoxic portion of the zone, which contains no oxygen at all, is predicted to be 0.28 cubic miles in early summer, growing to 0.31 cubic miles by late summer. Low river flow and low nutrient loading from the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers this spring account for the smaller predicted size of the anoxic portion.

Study of Susquehanna Flats shows resilience in the face of major storms

CAMBRIDGE, MD (May 26, 2016)—An expansive bed of underwater grass at the mouth of the Susquehanna River has proven it is able to “take a licking and keep on ticking.” A recent study has found that the submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) bed at Susquehanna Flats, which only recently made a comeback in the Chesapeake Bay, was not only able to survive a barrage of rough storms and flooding, but it has proven a natural ability to protect and maintain itself. 

SOLOMONS, MD (MAY 18, 2016) – 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.

One of three highest scores recorded since 1986

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 17, 2016)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. 

SOLOMONS, MD (May 10, 2016)--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.”