Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Science for Communities Videos

The Science for Communities Video Archive

With our video archive, you never have to miss a Science for Communities seminar.

You can find live-quality videos from our past events below.  Videos in our archive are organized first by topic, then by date. If you are searching for a particular video, first locate the topic under which it is likely to be located. Webinar topics include:

  • The Chesapeake Bay
  • Fisheries - Oysters
  • Fisheries - Crabs
  • Fisheries - Fish
  • Climate Change & Its Impacts
  • Marine Conservation
  • Chemicals In The Environment
  • Technologies, Innovations, & Discoveries
  • Our Choices, Our Impacts
  • Diversifying STEM

The Chesapeake Bay

Stream Restoration: Is it Helping Our Streams and the Chesapeake Bay?

Presented by Dr. Solange Filoso on April 20, 2021
Healthy streams are dynamic, diverse ecosystems that provide society with many benefits. Since many streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are severely degraded, stream restoration is increasingly used to improve their water quality. Yet, the effectiveness of projects implemented is still questionable, and recovery is a slow, complex task. Dr. Solange Filoso has monitored restored streams in Maryland for over a decade. In this seminar, she will share her assessment of restoration effectiveness, and discuss the importance of monitoring data to policy and management decisions in the region.


The US Ocean Decade - Messages for the Chesapeake Bay and CBL

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
This year marks the start of the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.  This exciting program seeks to conduct the science we need for the oceans we want. Involvement of government, academic and citizen scientists is strongly encouraged - and we are seeing involvement of groups who have not been traditionally represented in these discussions.  This talk will review initiatives the US is considering as its contributions and evaluate whether we are doing the science we need for the Chesapeake Bay we want.  WATCH THE VIDEO

Decades of Change in the Patuxent River and its Tributary Companions

Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa on October 20, 2020
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.   WATCH THE VIDEO

Patuxent River Research Cruises: Building on a scientific & educational legacy

Presented by Dr. Ryan Woodland on October 13, 2020
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.   WATCH THE VIDEO

Solomons Island Bay Grasses

Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa on April 17, 2018

In the summer of 2017, Bay grasses appeared in front of CBL on Solomons Island for the first time in over four decades. Often considered a ‘canary in a coal mine’, Bay grasses are often an indicator of improving or degrading water conditions and their appearance off Solomons reflects a recent improvement in Chesapeake Bay water quality. Dr. Jeremy Testa will tell the story of Bay grasses in the Patuxent, and will describe how it plays into a wider picture of change in Chesapeake Bay over the past several decades. 


Economic Benefits of a Healthy Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Lisa Wainger on September 26, 2017

A healthy environment supports economic vitality in many ways. Using the Chesapeake Bay as an example, Dr. Lisa Wainger will discuss how economists connect environmental quality to economic gains and use that information to help design balanced environmental policies. She will describe how many of our iconic industries and communities could actually financially benefit from a healthy Chesapeake Bay.


Raising the Grade: Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay Report Cards

Presented by Dr. Bill Dennison on April 18, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Every year we produce a data-driven report card for the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay. We are learning what causes the report card grades to degrade and to improve, and have instituted a suite of activities to raise the grades. But the rigid nutrient diet, changes to fisheries practices and work to preserve intact habitats will not be enough to restore these bodies of water. So Dr. Dennison will talk about how to account for climate change, land use development and population pressure (both human and animal) so that we can raise the report card grades.


Hold Your Breath and Keep Swimming: Advances in our Understanding of the Chesapeake Dead Zone

Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa on October 20, 2015
Low-oxygen areas, often referred to as “Dead Zones” in the popular media, are unwelcome yet common features of estuaries worldwide that have generally expanded in space and time during the past century. In this presentation, Dr. Jeremy Testa describes the rich history of research related to the “Dead Zone” in Chesapeake Bay, with an emphasis on new insights into what controls the size of the dead zone, how its size has varied in past, and what we should expect in future decades. 


What Happens When We Do The Right Thing?

Presented by Dr. Walter Boynton on April 28, 2015
So, what does happen when we "do the right thing" regarding nutrient pollution in the Bay?  Exactly that was done in Mattawoman Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River.  The results were stunning but it took patience for the results of this clean-up effort to emerge.  This talk provides details about how we pieced this success story together.


A Short History of a Long Study in CBL's Backyard:  Our local water quality

Presented by Dr. Lora Harris on April 21, 2015
The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory has studied the water quality of Solomons Harbor since 1987.  This talk provides an overview of this work and the patterns and change scientists have documented over the past twenty-seven years of monitoring. 



Fisheries - Oysters

Oyster Aquaculture: A boon, competition or neutral for restoration and fishing

Presented by Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on September 29 2020
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.   WATCH THE VIDEO

OysterFutures: A Collaborative Process for Developing Oyster Management Recommendations

Presented by Dr. Michael Wilberg on April 3, 2018

What happens when oyster stakeholders, including commercial watermen, aquaculturists, buyers, environmental advocates, recreational anglers, and agency and academic scientists work together to develop recommendations for oyster restoration and management in the Choptank River complex? Dr. Wilberg will discuss collaborative resource management, the development of a computer model that can forecast the effects of alternative management or restoration options, and its use to inform workgroup recommendations.


Oysters in the Potomac: Harvesting what you plant

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on September 29, 2016
Oysters are iconic of both the Chesapeake Bay and our efforts to restore it to a healthy state.  Efforts have focused on aquaculture, restoring entire reefs, establishing reserves to restore their ecological function and to support fisheries. An alternative being explored in the Potomac River is to use waterman cooperatives who buy “shares” in an oyster program that will plant oysters in the river that will be available for harvest by shareholders after two years.  Could this be the future of the oyster fishery?  This seminar describes how CBL scientists are advising the waterman and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission on the feasibility of this approach.


Oyster Restoration in Maryland

Presented by Dr. Kennedy Paynter on April 5, 2016
Oysters are a “keystone” species in the Chesapeake – they play a key role in the creation of reef habitat and the biogeochemical processing of nutrients and sediment in the water column.  Over the last 4 years, the bulk of restoration resources has been focused into one tributary: Harris Creek. Hundreds of millions of baby oysters, called spat-on-shell, have been produced by the UMCES oyster hatchery and deployed in Harris Creek covering about 350 acres. The exciting results are discussed in this seminar.


Oysters in Maryland: Where we've been & where we're going

Presented by Dr. Michael Wilberg on April 14, 2015
Maryland once supported one of the largest oyster fisheries in the world, but their abundance is now much lower than it was 50-100 years ago.  Dr. Michael Wilberg describes how and why oyster abundance has changed, how management of the fishery has changed, and what might be in store for the future.



Fisheries - Crabs

Crabs in Crisis Again? Current and Future Challenges in Managing Blue Crab

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on October 18, 2022
The 2022 surveys for blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay continue to give cause for concern. In this lecture we will explore what we know about blue crab in the Chesapeake, what might be causing the patterns we observe and what we can do in response


Why Does Blue Crab Abundance Change Year to Year?

Presented by Dr. Eric Schott on April 12, 2016
Blue crabs support vital fisheries and play a crucial role in the coastal and estuarine ecosystems of Maryland as well as throughout the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North and South America. In the Chesapeake Bay, the number of crabs varies from year to year, and this fluctuation is only partly understood by scientists. This presentation will discuss some of what scientists know and don’t know about crab abundance and mortality, and a new factor that may help explain some of the variation.


90-years of Beautiful Swimmers at CBL: Blue crabs

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on March 31, 2015
This seminar explores the biology, ecology and fisheries for blue crab based on 90-years of research conducted at CBL since our founding in 1925.  The seminar shows how the life cycle of blue crab determines the timing of fisheries and how climate change may disrupt that pattern.



Fisheries - Fish

Hanging On by a Scute: Maryland’s Sturgeon up a Creek

Presented by Presented by Dr. David Secor on October 25, 2022
Sturgeons coexisted with dinosaurs, and survived asteroid blasts and glacial eras. The conundrum of sturgeon is that despite their evolutionary resilience, they are particularly sensitive to human impacts. In this seminar, Dr. Dave Secor will introduce how Atlantic sturgeon, once thought to be extinct in Maryland, were re-discovered as a small relict population in the Marshyhope Creek (Eastern Shore). He will also discuss the threats, such as a large salmon factory, that jeopardize the recovery of this endangered species.   WATCH THE VIDEO

Striped Bass are Built for Success:  Weathering pollution, climate change, and their own charismatic stripes

Presented by Presented by Dr. David Secor on October 06, 2020
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.   WATCH THE VIDEO

The Science Behind Sustainable Seafood

Presented by Dr. Genny Nesslage on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

As global demand for seafood grows, fisheries scientists are challenged with the task of estimating sustainable fishing levels.In this seminar, Dr. Nesslage will review current global trends in seafood production and describe how science is used to inform sustainable fisheries management. Resources will be provided to help you determine if your seafood is sustainably caught.


Foraging in the Chesapeake

Presented by Dr. Ryan Woodland on April 25, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Where do the clams, worms, small fish and other forage base that support top predators live in Chesapeake Bay, and under what environmental conditions are they found? In this seminar, Dr. Woodland will discuss some of the most important forage species in the Bay and how knowledge of forage dynamics can inform the management of iconic fisheries species such as rockfish, summer flounder and weakfish.



A View into the Secret Lives of Animals on the Swim

Presented by Dr. Dave Secor on April 4, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

As gravity-bound, flat-land primates, we struggle to fully imagine the fluid lives of fish, marine mammals, and birds as they push and pull their way through a three-dimensional aqueous realm.  Through observing systems and telemetry, scientists are discovering marvelous adaptations in how marine animals contend with seawater, which both opposes and leverages locomotion as animals swim, dive, lunge, or simply stay put. In this talk Dr. Dave Secor will review the mechanics and behaviors of marine animals as they school, feed, migrate, and persevere.


Managing Fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on September 27, 2016
The Chesapeake supports many species important to both commercial and recreational fisheries – including striped bass, menhaden, blue crab and oyster.  Currently each of these species is managed separately.  However, over the last 25 years CBL scientists have been advocating for a new approach that explicitly recognizes interactions between species. This ecosystem-based approach presents challenges of its own – should people interested in striped bass have a say in how many menhaden or blue crab are caught?  This talk will look at the science behind ecosystem-based approaches and some of the societal issues it raises.


Atlantic Menhaden: Stories from Early Life

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on March 29, 2016
Atlantic menhaden is a critical component of estuarine and marine ecosystems all along the Atlantic coast of the US.  It supports important commercial fisheries and serves as food for many fish and bird predators.  Yet, it begins its life as a 3 mm, transparent lava far out to sea that can barely swim or eat.  Before it can end up in the stomach of striped bass or an osprey, or survive to produce the next generation, it must “recruit” to nursery areas.  This talk explores factors that influence its survival, growth and distribution by combining computer modeling, laboratory experiments and statistical analyses. 


Little Fish, Big Impacts: Forage Fish and Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Presented by Dr. Ed Houde on October 27, 2015
Forage fishes are small, but abundant, fishes in Chesapeake Bay and other coastal waters. They are food for a multitude of predators, including striped bass, ospreys, and dolphins. The most abundant forage fish in the Bay is the Atlantic menhaden, which supports the Bay’s biggest fishery. CBL scientist Ed Houde discusses forage fishes, their management, and implications for ecosystem-based management of fisheries.


Maryland's Highly Migratory Fishes

Presented by Dr. Dave Secor on June 2, 2015
We are witnesses to an unprecedented era of digital-age discoveries arising from advances in ocean observing systems, methods to track fish movements, and computing systems designed to detect, summarize, and simulate migrations. Dr. Secor presents his lab's work on the migrations of Maryland’s striped bass, sturgeon, and bluefin tuna.



Climate Change & Its Impacts

Risk Assessment in the Face of Climate Change

Presented by Dr. Slava Lyubchich on November 02, 20121

Traditionally, long-term observations have been a key component in assessing the risks of weather-induced losses. However, most recent climate trends require the inclusion of future climate projections into the methods and models used to assess the risks. In this seminar, Dr. Slava Lyubchich will discuss how this step has important implications for building codes, pricing agricultural and home insurance. 


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:  Ins, Outs, Demands & Frustrations of Serving as Lead Author of Working Group II

Presented by Dr. Libby Jewett, NOAA, on October 26, 2021
As part of a multi-year global climate change assessment process, Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seeks to assess the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive impacts of climate change, and options for adapting to it.... But why should we believe what these scientists tell us? As lead author of Working Group II, Dr. Libby Jewett can shed light on the integrity and hard work, as well as the challenges, that are key to developing this high-profile report.  In this seminar, Jewett will discuss the rigorous process and extensive scientific review through which Working Group II’s report must pass prior to its expected release in 2022.


Climate Warming and the Changing Pacific Arctic Marine Ecosystem

Presented by Dr. Jackie Grebmeier on October 19, 2021
The Bering and Chukchi Seas are undergoing dramatic sea ice reduction and warming conditions that are shifting the composition of bottom-dwelling prey for marine mammals, seabirds and commercial fish in the region. Field studies by CBL scientists are tracking ecosystem status and trends within the international Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) network. In this webinar, internationally recognized Arctic expert Dr. Jackie Grebmeier will share highlights of scientific findings from the rapidly changing Arctic.


Climate Impacts on Golden Tilefish: Past and Present

Presented by Dr. Genny Nesslage on October 12, 2021
Golden tilefish is a large, bottom-dwelling marine fish that is particularly susceptible to climate change because it can tolerate only a very narrow range of temperatures. In 1882, millions of golden tilefish died in a sudden mortality event caused by an unusually strong influx of arctic water into the Mid-Atlantic. Since then, scientists have been fascinated with the relationship between ocean conditions and tilefish dynamics. In this seminar, Dr. Genny Nesslage will describe past and present research on the linkage between climate and trends in the golden tilefish fishery.


Wildland Fire: Land Management and Climate Change

Presented by Dr. Mark Cochrane on October 05, 2021
Every year we seem to hear of more and more catastrophic wildfires burning here and abroad. The trend is real but the predicament that we face with future wildland fires is the result of both earlier land management actions and the growing influence of climate change. To adapt to changing conditions and mitigate the threats posed by future wildfires, a paradigm shift is needed in how societies view and manage wildfire.


Climate Change 101

Presented by Dr. Hali Kilbourne on September 28, 2021
You’ve heard the term climate change, but have you ever wondered how our climate is actually changing? How do we know humans are causing it? And, so what? Earth’s climate has always changed. If it is a serious problem, what do we do now?  Dr. Kilbourne will start with the basics and lay out the facts to help you better understand this growing issue.


Changing Weather, Changing Farms, Opportunities to Reduce Chesapeake Harm

Presented by Dr. Lisa Wainger on April 27, 2021
Future Chesapeake Bay health will depend on the combined influence of environmental changes and peoples' responses to those changes. Dr. Lisa Wainger will describe research into these combined effects that found that adaptations that farmers are already making to improve crop growth under changing weather are likely to prevent some harm to Chesapeake Bay water quality. This beneficial effect could be enhanced by looking for additional opportunities to change the timing of nutrients to water bodies.


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

Presented by Dr. Hali Kilbourne on April 09, 2019

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.


Chesapeake Bay at the Forefront of Addressing Climate Change

Presented by Dr. Donald Boesch on September 25, 2018
It’s difficult for people to accept and adjust to the new realities of the future we are facing with global climate change. The dual challenges of limiting climate change and adapting to the changes that can’t be avoided means status quo isn't an option. In this seminar, Dr. Boesch discusses the need improve our ability to communicate the scale and urgency of the changes that Maryland and its citizens will face. While there is no quick fix to climate change, Dr. Boesch shares how science-informed policies are giving the Chesapeake Bay a head start, greater capacity, and better options for adapting to this future.


Sea Level Rise, Changing Tides and Stronger Storm Surges in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Ming Li on April 10, 2018

Climate change, sea level rise, and associated storms are putting Maryland’s people, property, natural resources, and public investments at risk. Sea level rise and ocean warming may produce unexpectedly high sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay and cause extensive flooding in Maryland. Dr. Li will describe his current research into the regional impact of climate change and extreme weather events on the Chesapeake Bay. He will also show how different coastline management options lead to dramatic differences in the response of tidal ranges and storm surges to sea level rise.


The Gathering Storm: Flooding the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. William Boicourt on April 26, 2016
The enclosed nature of Chesapeake Bay protects us from most hurricanes moving from the tropics up the east coast.  But for certain storms, such as Isabel in 2003, the Bay area is especially vulnerable. Recognizing that hurricanes are heat engines that feed off warm ocean temperatures is leading toward improvements in forecast warnings.  As our surface waters in the ocean warm, the present understanding leads scientists to predict fewer hurricanes in the coming years.  But when they come, they are going to be intense.


Can We Climate Proof Our Insurance?

Presented by Dr. Slava Lyubchich on October 13, 2015
One of the many aspects of climate change is the escalating frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. CBL scientists have been studying precipitation thresholds that trigger an increased number of house insurance claims, and how many more days with such extreme precipitation we can expect to see in the future. In this seminar, Dr. Slava Lyubchich shows the results from statistical models that forecast how the future insurance risks might change based on alternative climate scenarios.


Corals and Climate Change: Reconstructing the past to understand the future

Presented by Dr. Hali Kilbourne on October 6, 2015
Corals not only support beautiful coral reef ecosystems, they also record environmental conditions on reefs within their skeletal chemistry.  In this seminar, Dr. Kilbourne explains how she extracts climate records from corals, what she has learned about our climate system from corals, and how that information can improve projections of future climate change.  


How are North America’s Arctic Ecosystems Responding to Sea Ice Loss?

Presented by Drs. Lee Cooper and Jackie Grebmeier on April 7, 2015
CBL scientists with long-term field experience in the Arctic discuss their research and related work that is addressing how arctic ecosystems and organisms are responding to the loss of seasonal sea ice and other environmental changes.



Marine Conservation

Long Time, No Sea: Bottlenose Dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Jamie Testa on November 8, 2022

Chesapeake DolphinWatch launched its app in 2017 to engage Bay residents and visitors in a research program studying when dolphins visit Chesapeake Bay and where they go. Since then, the DolphinWatch team has gathered incredible information on dolphin presence, distribution, and behavior in our estuary. In this seminar, Project Coordinator Jamie Testa will discuss the research findings from the first 5 years of DolphinWatch, how graduate students at UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory are advancing dolphin research in Chesapeake Bay, and future plans for the research.  WATCH THE VIDEO - COMING SOON

Fear for the Turtle? Climate Change and Maryland’s Diamondback Terrapins

Presented by Dr. Chris Rowe on November 1, 2022

Come hear about Maryland’s state reptile and the challenges it faces as the climate continues to warm. Based on recent and ongoing studies, Dr. Chris Rowe will discuss how nest temperatures affect terrapins during development and how sea level rise is threatening the critical habitats that terrapins depend on throughout their lives.  WATCH THE VIDEO - COMING SOON

World Harbour Project: Linking Urban Ocean Initiatives Around the Globe

Presented by Dr. Judy O'Neil on March 29, 2022

The “World Harbour Project” has created a global network of cities and linked research programs to investigate urban harbor health and ecosystem functioning. Launched in 2014 by Australia’s Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the program now includes 31 partners across the Pacific, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, including the U.S. In this talk, Dr. Judy O’Neil will explore UMCES’ role in the project in both Baltimore Harbor and New York. She will discuss how innovation and an increased understanding of shared values and threats are helping to achieve the project vision of building resilient and productive global ports and harbors.

Protecting Sea Turtles and Their Habitat

Presented by Ms. Verónica Cáceres Chamorro (M.S. 2001) on October 15, 2019

In order to be successful in protecting sea turtle species from extinction, global collaboration and conservation measures implemented by many nations is necessary. This presentation will discuss the many threats facing sea turtles and how these threats are being addressed by government agencies, scientists, NGOs, and civil society. Chesapeake Biological Laboratory alumna Ms. Cáceres Chamorro will also highlight how the IAC is coordinating the international collaboration needed to protect sea turtles.


DolphinWatch: Dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey twice on April 24, 2018

Little is known about how often dolphins come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend there, what areas they are using and why. Dr. Bailey and her team have been frequently detecting dolphin calls in the Bay and last summer, citizen scientists reported more than 900 dolphin sightings on Dr. Bailey’s newly launched DolphinWatch website. In this talk, Dr. Bailey will present what she has learnt about the Bay’s dolphins so far, describe upgrades to the sighting app, and explain how you can participate in this research effort.


DolphinWatch: Dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey on March 28, 2017 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Little is known about how often dolphins come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend there, what areas of the Bay they are using and why. Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory have been frequently detecting dolphin calls in the Bay. They are now working to develop an observation network that will provide information on dolphin distribution and encourage local residents to report their sightings and learn more about these animals.


Fear For the Turtle? The Chesapeake's Diamondback Terrapin

Presented by Dr. Chris Rowe on October 25, 2016
Dr. Chris Rowe is peering into the future to see what it holds for Maryland’s state reptile and UMD College Park’s mascot: the diamondback terrapin. Terrapins reside throughout much of the Chesapeake and our coastal bays, but during their life cycle they rely on different types of habitats.  Learn about the diamondback terrapin and find out how sea level rise and climate change may impact these critical habitats and this iconic species.


Whales & Wind Farms

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey on May 12, 2015
Offshore wind farms allow renewable energy to be generated with few carbon dioxide emissions, however habitat loss and harmful effects of increased noise may impact whales. This seminar describes ongoing studies to understand the distribution of marine mammals in the proposed Maryland Wind Energy Area, and how they may be impacted.



Chemicals in the Environment

The Keystone Molecule: What Oxygen and its Depletion Tells Us About Coastal Ecosystems

Presented by Dr. Jeremy Testa on April 19, 2022

Dissolved oxygen is a keystone molecule in aquatic environments. It is produced by photosynthesis to support food webs, it controls the recycling of key nutrients, and it is essential to the health and survival of most animals.  As a consequence, our understanding of oxygen is central to our understanding of coastal ecology. This presentation explores the role of oxygen in estuaries worldwide, and how its depletion due to pollution and climate change is expected to change in the future.

Metals in Urban Estuaries

Presented by Dr. Andrew Heyes on April 12, 2022

Contamination of the Chesapeake Bay and its waters extends beyond nutrients. Organic chemicals, “heavy metals” and trace elements once readily flowed into our urban waters unfettered, a practice clearly evident in our coastal sediments. While at lower concentrations than in the past, heavy metals continue to enter our coastal waterways, and urban expansion and climate change further compound this problem. In this presentation, Dr. Andrew Heyes will explore how metals such as mercury, chromium, copper and zinc have, and continue, to enter our urban waters. Through an understanding of the behavior of these elements upon arrival in the Bay waters, he will discuss how they may or may not impact wildlife and how we utilize this resource.

What's in Our Water: A Chemical Perspective of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly  

Presented by Dr. Michael Gonsior on April 13, 2021
Have you ever wondered what’s in your drinking water? We use chemicals in our daily lives, but which ones might end up in a local stream or the Chesapeake Bay? How efficient can wastewater treatment be, and what chemicals are unintentional made in the process? Water is the foundation of life, but it carries a staggering diversity of chemicals that are naturally derived and manufactured by humans, both intentionally and made by accident. In this seminar, Dr. Michael Gonsior will give an overview of the invisible chemical world that defines our local waters as he answers these important questions.


Are PFAS the Environmental Contaminant Issue of Our Times?

Presented by Dr. Chris Salice (PhD 2002) on October 1, 2019

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS) are chemicals that have been used in a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications for many decades. Characterized by very strong chemical bonds, PFAS have been used in everything from non-stick cookware and waterproofing to fire suppression. As a result of widespread and unregulated use, PFAS are global contaminants and have been measured in a wide variety of wildlife. But there are significant uncertainties regarding the risks of these chemicals to ecological systems. Dr. Chris Salice, CBL alumna now at Towson University, has been working for several years to better understand how these chemicals may be affecting ecological systems but there is still much to learn. 


Septic Detectives: Tracing Septic System Wastewaters in Calvert County Neighborhoods

Presented by Dr. Michael Gonsior on March 27, 2018

While there is widespread evidence supporting our understanding of how traditional septic systems transmit nitrogen to groundwater, very little of this work has occurred in Maryland and how much of nitrogen is released by septic systems to the stream network and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay remains a challenging question to answer. Dr. Gonsior will discuss methods for source tracking of pollutants arising from septic systems using innovative modern analytical approaches.


Can Seaweed Clean Up The Mess Left By Your Cell Phone?

Presented by Dr. Johan Schijf
As the demand for high-tech devices has exploded worldwide, so has the need for the exotic metals that are used to make them. When we throw these devices away, we also release elements that were once extremely rare into the environment, creating many questions about their ecological impacts and ultimate fate. This seminar gives an overview of some of these impacts, the challenges of complete end-of-life recycling, and how plants might be used for metal contaminant monitoring and possibly remediation.


Mercury in Maryland: A Local or Global Problem?

Presented by Dr. Andrew Heyes on October 4, 2016
Did you know that because of high concentrations of mercury, many fish from all of Maryland’s lakes come with advisories limiting their consumption by humans? It’s true! But how does mercury get into our fish, and can citizens of Calvert County help solve the problem locally? In this seminar, Dr. Heyes will explain the sources and severity of mercury contamination in Maryland’s fish and will discuss whether action within Maryland can alleviate this problem or if it is a global concern.



Technologies, Innovations, & Discoveries

Solutions to Ship Introductions of Invasive Species

Presented by Dr. Mario Tamburri on April 05, 2022

Commercial ships transport over 80% of the world’s goods and materials and are fundamental to global economies. Unfortunately, large ocean-going ships are also, by far, the largest vector for the introduction and establishment of aquatic invasive species in coastal waters around the world, including the Chesapeake Bay. Invasive species, transported and released through both ships' ballast water and as biofouling organisms attached to ships’ submerged surfaces, can have significant impacts on various local economic, ecological, societal, and cultural resources. This presentation will discuss ships and invasive species, as well as CBL efforts to support wise regulations and effective innovations to solve the problem.

Integration of Habitat Mapping & Acoustic Technologies to Advance Ecosystem Based Management

Presented by Dr. Mark Monaco (PhD 1995) on September 24, 2019

NOAA’s Marine Spatial Ecology Division and partners couple remote sensing with ship-based technologies to map coastal and ocean bottom habitats. These maps help monitor fish distribution and abundance, and help to define species’ habitat utilization patterns and movements. The integration of these bio-physical data advances our ability to define ecological connectivity of marine ecosystems. Discover how, ultimately, this is a key component to advance the ecosystem-based management of marine resources.


High-Tech in the High Sea: Innovative Technology Helps Scientists Study the Bering Sea Food Web

Presented by Dr. Hongsheng Bi on October 23, 2018
If you’ve ever had a fish sandwich from a fast food chain, you’ve probably eaten Alaskan pollock. These fish come from the eastern Bering Sea, located along Alaska’s western coast, which is famous for its bountiful fisheries. But how do interactions between plankton, fish, and jellyfish in the open ocean of the Bering Sea, and changes in their food web, affect important U.S. fisheries? Dr. Bi will discuss how he and his team are deploying high resolution sonar and advanced optical imaging systems to discover answers.


Ballast Water Invasive Species: The Science of Environmental Regulations

Presented by Dr. Mario Tamburri on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Invasive species introductions, through the release of ship’s ballast water, have enormous ecological and economic impacts on coastal waters around the world, including the Chesapeake Bay.  While national and international ballast water discharge regulations have been established to minimize risks, rigorous implementation of these rules is needed if we are to meet their goals.  Dr. Tamburri will discuss how CBL research is addressing the issue of ballast water invasive species and the successful implementation of complex environmental regulations.


Drug Discovery from the Marine Environment

Presented by Dr. Russell Hill on Tuesday, October 03, 2017

For more than half a century, scientists have been exploring the marine environment to find new drugs.  Some groups of marine organisms, in particular sponges, have been prolific sources of new bioactive compounds. The marine environment has provided us with new drugs, including anti-cancer drugs, analgesics and antibiotics. Dr. Hill will give an overview of the drug discovery process and talk about some important new drugs from the marine environment, including promising compounds that are still in the “discovery pipeline.”


Innovations in Environmental Technology

Presented by Dr. Mario Tamburri on May 26, 2015
From sensors that can monitor dissolved oxygen and nutrients in freshwater and oceans to our ability to remove invasive species from the ballast water of ships, Dr. Tamburri will be describing two programs based at CBL that facilitate the development and adoption of new innovations to better understand and protect our environment.



Our Choices, Our Impacts

Chesapeake Reflections: What We’ve Learned During the Past 50 Years and Where We Need to Go in the Future

Presented by Dr. Walter Boynton on November 15, 2022

Dr. Walter Boynton, Professor Emeritus at UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, is an internationally recognized expert in estuarine science and restoration. Throughout his career, he has experienced the pleasures and challenges of trying to better understand how these wonderful estuaries work, what causes serious degradation to water quality and habitats and what we might expect from past and continuing restoration efforts. In this seminar, Dr. Boynton will use examples from the past 50 years of his career to bring these important issues to life.   WATCH THE VIDEO - COMING SOON

Urban Seascaping: Principles and Practices for Co-Developing Cities with Shared Waters

Presented by Dr. Samia Rab Kirchner on April 26, 2022

Climate adaptation science focuses on the assessment of sea force versus community values. In this webinar, Dr. Kirchner will present indigenous practices of managing land for water and heritage conservation from the Pacific Ocean, Arabia, and Persia. Dr. Kirchner will discuss the need to widen the approach taken by resource managers and scientists beyond individual discipline and expertise to work collaboratively in the nexus between Climate, Culture, and Civics.

Depleting the Immense Protein Factory that was Chesapeake Bay

Presented by Dr. Victor Kennedy on April 6, 2021
In 1940, H.L. Mencken referred to Chesapeake Bay as "the immense protein factory." In the late 1800s, its oyster and shad fisheries led the world in harvests and economic value. Waterfowl rafts covered miles of its winter surface. Sturgeon and terrapins were everywhere. Dr. Victor Kennedy, author of Shifting Baselines in the Chesapeake Bay, will use eyewitness reports by early colonists, newspaper articles, and management reports from the 1800s to describe a cornucopia that we can now only imagine.


Reducing Plastic Waste and Pollution

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey on October 27, 2020
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 THE VIDEO

Seafood Swapping: What Is It and What Can We Do About It?

Presented by Dr. Kimberly​ Warner (Ph.D. 1999) on October 8, 2019

Seafood mislabeling, where cheaper or less desirable seafood is substituted for the one you bought, has been uncovered locally and globally. This talk by Oceana senior scientist and Chesapeake Biological Laboratory alumna Dr. Kimberly Warner will define seafood fraud and mislabeling, how it happens, the scope of the problem and the consequences. Dr. Warner will also highlight how citizen science “seafood sleuths” contributed to Oceana’s seafood fraud studies and new policies to help address the problem.


Making Environmental Science Effective

Presented by Dr. Tom Miller on October 24, 2017

CBL has been conducting environmental science for more than 90​ year​s. It was founded in large part to understand declines in crabs and oysters, but these problems are still challenges today. Since the 1970s and 1980s, we have known that there are too many nutrients in the Chesapeake, but we have yet to control these problems. Is the fact that we are still debating these issues a sign of the failure of the environmental science that was conducted, the way in which science informs policy, the policy makers or something else? Using local examples, Dr. Miller will discuss how the environmental sciences differ from the physical sciences and how that changes the nature of scientific advice. Dr. Miller will also discuss, based on personal experience, how we can improve how we teach, how we conduct, and how we can communicate environmental science to increase the likelihood that we make progress.


PlasticWatch: Reducing plastic waste on Solomons Island

Presented by Dr. Helen Bailey on April 23, 2019

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!


Are Sunscreens Killing Our Coral Reefs?

Presented by Dr. Carys Mitchelmore on October 16, 2018
Is your sunscreen poisoning the ocean and killing the coral reefs? This is a question currently being asked in Hawaii, where legislation has been introduced to ban two common sunscreen chemicals; oxybenzone and octinoxate. Researchers at UMCES and UMBC recently measured the concentrations of these chemicals in seawater from Hawaii. In this seminar, Dr. Mitchelmore will share what they’ve found.


Are Biofuels Worth the Costs in Brazil?

Presented by Dr. Solange Filoso on October 9, 2018
As the demand for high-tech devices has exploded worldwide, so has the need for the exotic metals that are used to make them. When we throw these devices away, we also release elements that were once extremely rare into the environment, creating many questions about their ecological impacts and ultimate fate. This seminar gives an overview of some of these impacts, the challenges of complete end-of-life recycling, and how plants might be used for metal contaminant monitoring and possibly remediation.


Manure Happens: The Consequences of Feeding Seven Billion Carnivores

Presented by Dr. Eric Davidson on October 18, 2016
Humans have profoundly altered the global nitrogen cycle in an effort to feed 7 billion people.  Dr. Davidson discusses how food and energy production from agriculture, combined with industrial and energy sources, have more than doubled the amount of nitrogen circulating annually on land and how this has caused widespread effects on ecosystems, biodiversity, human health, and climate. Effective solutions for reducing nitrogen losses from agriculture to water resources exist, so what political and economic impediments to their adoption remain?


The Plastic Oceans: The distribution of marine debris

Presented by Dr. Michael Gonsior on May 5, 2015
Dr. Gonsior has traveled aboard three major expeditions to evaluate the extent of marine debris (mainly plastics) in our World’s Oceans.  Drawing on his experiences from these cruises, he will introduce seminar attendees to the problems created by plastic pollution in the offshore environment and what researchers know about its distribution.



Diversifying STEM

Embracing Uncertainty: From scientist to entrepreneur

Presented by Dr. Suzan Shahrestani  on  April 16, 2019

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.


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

Presented by Dr. Laura Lapham on April 02, 2019

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. 


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

 Presented by Dr. Lora Harris on March 26, 2019
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.

Dr. Harris features in episodes 5 & 7 of this podcast, referenced in her talk.