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Experimenting with Elevation: Building a New Collaboration to Explore Management Options for Wetland Elevation Maintenance

Tue, Jan 17 2023, 3 - 4pm

Speaker(s): Samantha Chapman, Kaitlyn Dietz, and Tess Adgie

Location: Zoom

Portions of wetlands at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve in Northeastern Florida are predicted to collapse over the next century due to the onslaught of rising sea levels and major storms. To sustain these vulnerable wetland habitats, scientists and land managers must understand the complex relationships between plant and sediment inputs and surface elevation levels. This 2020 catalyst project developed a Coastal Vulnerability Index to assess what role particular habitats are playing in preventing coastal erosion at the GTM Reserve, and these data have demonstrated how management decisions can help increase or maintain wetland surface elevation. In this webinar, the project team will discuss key findings and share important implications the project will have on communal restoration planning addressing sea level rise in the region.

Learn more about the speakers:

Samantha Chapman, Co-director of Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova University

Samantha Chapman is the co-director of Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship at Villanova University. She heads the WETFEET project and was the lead investigator for the Experimenting with Elevation project. Samantha, her Villanova team, and collaborators at GTMNERR are taking a multifaceted approach (global change experiments, stakeholder engagement, field observation, remote sensing) to inform the restoration and conservation goals of the GTMNERR.

Kaitlyn Dietz, Collaboration Coordinator, Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve

Kaitlyn Dietz is the collaboration coordinator at the GTM Research Reserve where she helps to translate science into application and action.  Collaboratively, through a large network of local and regional partners, the GTM Research Reserve shares data, information, and expertise that allow stakeholders to quickly respond to changing local needs. 

Tess Adgie, Manager, Chapman-Langley Lab, Villanova University

Tess Adgie is the laboratory manager in the Chapman-Langley lab at Villanova University where she helps to organize, analyze, and apply experimental and spatial data to inform restoration and conservation projects within the GTMNERR. She has worked as a technician on the WETFEET Project and Experimenting with Elevation Project, focusing on wetland plant community dynamics in the context of climate driven ecosystem change.