The Chesapeake Garden Club has donated $1,200 to the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) in support of a mentoring project created by Laura Lapham, Assistant Professor.
Lapham created the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program with funding from a L’Oréal Changing the Face of STEM mentoring grant, and a partnership between the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and the College of Southern Maryland. This past spring, Lapham, a 2008 L’Oréal USA Women in Science Fellow, gave a lecture on methane biogeochemistry to students in Assistant Professor Lori Crocker’s biology class at the College of Southern Maryland. Then several of the students boarded the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science research ship, the R/V Rachel Carson, to get a hands-on experience as a marine scientist. Students were able to collect water and sediment samples on the ship, and process them in the laboratory back at CBL. Finally, Lapham chose an intern to analyze the samples collected on the research cruise and report the findings. The Garden Club's generous donation will allow the intern to continue their work at CBL beyond the original grant.
Lapham’s work includes understanding the impact of environmental changes on emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into aquatic environments like the Chesapeake Bay estuary, Arctic freshwater lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seeps.
Located where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory is the oldest publicly supported marine laboratory on the East Coast. Founded in 1925, it has been a national leader in fisheries, estuarine ecology, environmental chemistry and toxicology for more than 90 years.