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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Fall Dates: September 24, October 1, October 8, October 15, & October 22
Spring Dates: TBA
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 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

Fall 2019 Seminar Series

September 24, 2019

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

Presented by Dr. Mark Monaco (PhD 1995)

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is an integrated management approach that considers the full array of interactions within an ecosystem, including humans, rather than considering single issues, species, and use of ocean space in isolation. The current and future environmental challenges facing ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems benefit from EBM by utilizing a broad management approach that considers cumulative impacts on marine environments; an approach that works across sectors to manage species and habitats, economic activities, conflicting uses, and the sustainability of resources.  NOAA’s Marine Spatial Ecology Division and partners couple satellite-based and air-borne remote sensing (e.g., photographic imagery) and ship-based (e.g., sonar soundings) technologies to map coastal and bottom habitats. The map products are key components in where and when to monitor fish distribution and abundance through visual, fishing gear, and fishery acoustic surveys. The habitat maps and fish monitoring data support locating the placement of underwater listening devices to define species’ habitat utilization patterns and movements through acoustic telemetry.  The integration of these bio-physical data advances our ability to define ecological connectivity of marine ecosystems based on species’ distribution patterns and is a key component to advance EBM through spatial management of marine resources.

October 1, 2019

Are PFAS the Environmental Contaminant Issue of Our Times?

Presented by Dr. Chris Salice (PhD 2002)

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.

October 8, 2019

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

Presented by Dr. Kimberly​ Warner (PhD 1999)

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 Dr. Kimberly Warner (and CBL aluma), 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.

October 15, 2019

Protecting Sea Turtles and Their Habitat:   

The Inter-American Convention for the Protection & Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)

Presented by Ms. Verónica Cáceres Chamorro (MS 2001)

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. CBL alumna, Ms. Cáceres Chamorro will also highlight how the IAC is coordinating the international collaboration needed to protect sea turtles.

October 22, 2019

Flame Retardants: Friend or Foe?

Presented by Dr. Heather Stapleton (PhD 2000)

To reduce their flammability and the risk of fire-related deaths and injuries, a number of building materials, furniture, and electronics in our homes are now treated with chemical flame retardants.  However, this has led to a significant increase in our exposure to these chemicals, and research suggests that these exposures are associated with neurodevelopment deficits in children, thyroid disorders, and potentially cancer.  Please join UMCES-CBL alumna and Duke University Associate Professor Heather Stapleton as she discusses the good, the bad and the ugly of flame retardant chemicals in our home.


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