Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Science for Citizens

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At the oldest state-supported marine lab on the East Coast, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - Chesapeake Biological Laboratory faculty, staff, and student scientists are developing new approaches to solving the environmental management problems facing Maryland, our nation, and our world.

Though our doors must remain closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Science for Citizens seminar series invites you to learn about innovative research that continues to be pioneered at our lab from the comfort of your own home.

Pre-registration is now required for participation in these events. Participants will receive Zoom login information after their registration is received.

You're Invited

Fall Dates: Every Tuesday between September 29th October 27th
Spring 2021 Dates: TBD
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted
Where: Zoom Webinar
Pre-Registration Required: 
Cost: Free.
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

Fall 2020 Zoom Webinars

Please note that all seminars listed below will be hosted as Zoom Webinars only. Out of an abundance of caution related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, there will be no in-person attendance opportunity.

Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00pm
Oyster Aquaculture: A boon, competition or neutral for restoration and fishing
Presented by Dr. Tom Miller
The Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions have committed to restoring 10 Bay Tributaries by 2025 - and seem to be on a path to achieve this goal.  During this time oyster aquaculture in the Chesapeake has quietly expanded to a point where its yield will soon rival natural harvests.  But this growth has not been without concern and controversy, sometimes pitting different stakeholder groups against one another.  This talk will explore what is involved in aquaculture, examine opportunities and conflicts and examine possible future trajectories.

Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00pm
Striped Bass are Built for Success:  Weathering pollution, climate change, and their own charismatic stripes
Presented by Dr. David Secor
Chesapeake Bay striped bass move up and down the Atlantic coast from their estuarine birthplace. Until recently we have only seen glimpses of this movement when tagged fish are caught by anglers or scientists. Now with electronic transmitters embedded in the tummies, or chemical tracers in bones in their ears we can follow them along on their journey - learning why and when they move and how these migrations affect their growth, survival and reproduction.  Hear internationally recognized expert, Dr. Dave Secor talk about his most recent work on this striped nomad of the Bay.

Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00pm
Patuxent River Research Cruises: Building on a scientific & educational legacy
Presented by Dr. Ryan Woodland
As natural and human pressures in the Chesapeake Bay region evolve, understanding how these conditions affect the Bay’s ecosystems is critical for proper management of this unique estuary. In 2018, CBL developed the Patuxent River Research Cruise Program (PAX) to build our scientific knowledge of the Patuxent River ecosystem while helping to train the next generation of coastal scientists. This seminar will highlight the history of estuarine research and education on the Patuxent, describe how PAX builds on this legacy, and present preliminary findings generated since the start of the program.

Tuesday, October 20th at 7:00pm
Decades of Change in the Patuxent River and its Tributary Companions
Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa
The Patuxent River estuary has been changing for centuries, but we only have relatively detailed information on the ecology of the river over the most recent decades. In annual reports of the overall ‘health’ of the River, the Patuxent consistently receives poor grades, despite extensive restoration efforts. During this seminar, discover how recent monitoring in the Patuxent and its many small tributary companions has helped to reveal some of the mysteries of this river estuary.

Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00pm
Reducing Plastic Waste and Pollution
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 partnered with restaurants on Solomons Island and with the Calvert and St. Mary’s County Public Middle Schools to work together on reducing plastic waste and pollution. In this talk, Dr. Bailey will explain how businesses are “making the switch” from common single-use, petroleum-based plastics to alternative products, how scientists are working with schools, 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.

Science for Citizens seminars are graciously sponsored by:

PNC Bank

Toyota of Southern Maryland