Appalachian Laboratory

Student Stories

Stephanie Siemek, evaluating natural protections for streams affected by runoff

Photo by Cheryl Nemazie

"The Chesapeake Bay started showing signs of degradation in the 1960s from sediments, nutrients, and toxicants from human activities. Since 1983, programs have been implemented with the goal of reducing nutrient runoff and improving the water quality of the Bay. Putting industrial regulations into place was successful, but nonpoint source pollution—which is pollution that cannot be easily attributed to a particular source, such as agricultural runoff—remains a challenge."


Andy Gougherty, understanding climate change impacts on trees

2014 Presidential Fellow 

“Climate change is going to have a variety of effects on the environment—some changes more intuitive than others. Intra-specific variation is likely to play an important role in how a species is able to cope with climate change over the long term. Developing a way to assess how intra-specific variation is related to current climates can give us insight into how the species may be affected by future climates.”


Joel Bostic, understanding sources of nitrate pollution in the Bay watershed

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and 2016 UMCES Presidential Fellow

"Nitrate pollution contributes harmful algal blooms and oxygen minimum zones and has been an ongoing issue for the Chesapeake Bay for a long time... If we can better understand the sources (atmospheric vs. terrestrial) of nitrate entering the Bay from different watersheds, it can help with management policies."