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. 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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Spring Dates: March 26, April 2, April 9, April 16, & April 23
Fall Dates: September 24, October 1, October 8, October 15, & October 22
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-served 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


Upcoming Seminars

March 26, 2019

Diversifying the Geosciences: Lessons in culture, inclusion, and community engagement

Presented by Dr. Lora Harris

Despite efforts to increase recruitment, the geosciences lag behind other STEM fields in gender and minority representation. The disconnect between recruitment and retention has motivated national efforts to consider why our field has failed to reflect the communities we serve. Dr. Harris will present an overview of this challenge along with her efforts to tackle the problem through basic research into the mechanisms and barriers affecting representation and specific programs designed to make progress towards diversifying our field.

April 02, 2019

Tiny Bubbles Mentoring: A hands-on research experience for community college STEM students

Presented by Dr. Laura Lapham

Did you know that STEM students at community colleges are less likely to finish a 4-year STEM degree than STEM students who start at a 4-year college?  The good news is that exposure to STEM activities in the students’ first year could increase their chances of finishing this STEM degree by 59%!  Come hear about an exciting new program that encourages students at the College of Southern Maryland to get involved in STEM. 

April 09, 2019

Sea Level Rise in Maryland: Preparing for future and current changes

Presented by Dr. Hali Kilbourne

Sea levels are rising globally with warming temperatures. Our state has been proactive in preparing for future sea level by requiring UMCES to submit a report on Maryland sea level projections every five years. Dr. Kilbourne, who collaborated on the December 2018 report, will explain the latest projections and the importance of citizens who understand STEM enough to prepare for changes to our environment that will happen in the near future, and prevent worse from happening to our children and grandchildren.

April 16, 2019

Embracing Uncertainty: From scientist to entrepreneur

Presented by Dr. Suzan Shahrestani

Taking science innovation to the global market  can be highly rewarding but also incredibly challenging. While scientists are welcomed into the entrepreneurial world as subject matter experts, they face a steep learning curve when it comes to understanding commercialization. Dr. Shahrestani, a recent graduate of UMCES CBL, will discuss her journey from student to start-up founder, and how her education gave her skills well suited for the aquaculture industry and opportunities for innovation.

April 23, 2019

PlasticWatch: Reducing plastic waste on Solomons Island

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey

We’re all used to disposal plastic, but some of it ends up in our streams, rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately the ocean, harming the wildlife and sealife. CBL scientists are partnering with restaurants on Solomons Island to work together on reducing plastic waste. In this talk, Dr. Bailey will explain how these businesses are “making the switch” from common single-use, petroleum-based plastics, such as straws and take-out containers, to compostable and biodegradable products, and how YOU can help!


Watch Videos of Past Science for Citizens Seminars

Couldn't make it to a seminar you were interested in? Want to revisit a seminar you attended to learn more? You can watch live-quality videos of most our past seminars on our Science for Citizens video page.