Collaborative Science for Estuaries Webinar Series

Join us for monthly webinars featuring project teams supported by the NERRS Science Collaborative. Speakers share their unique approaches to addressing current coastal and estuarine management issues. Learn about new methods to integrate technical experts and users of project outputs into the research process, and how their research results and products might inform your work.

Be sure to check back periodically for session recordings and other relevant products, or sign up (Mailing List | RSS) to receive notifications about new resources and upcoming webinars.

Upcoming Webinars

Fri 2/17/2023 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EST - Speaker(s): Lea Anne Burke, Tehani Malterre, Alice Yeates, Ashley Russell, Deanna Erickson, and Bree Turner

As highly productive social-ecological systems, estuaries have continuously been central to Indigenous lifeways. Indigenous science, stewardship practices, and co-management can strengthen well-being for lands, waters, and people. This session advances understanding of the concerns of Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations to help coastal practitioners address social and environmental justice with a focus on Pacific Northwest coastal systems. Presenters share ways that land stewards can support thriving relationships with estuaries, sustaining cultural knowledge and practices.

Tribal Nations are sovereign governments with needs distinct from other coastal stakeholders. Estuarine lands and waters in the US may have been ceded via treaties, remain unceded, or ceded with important rights retained. While formal government-to-government consultation with Tribal governments or Indigenous governance organizations is required by certain state or federal policies, other types of tribal engagement can still be rigorous, productive, and supportive of conservation and restoration goals. Learn from examples at the South Slough Reserve, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw, the NOAA EPP/MSI program, and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Learn more about the speakers:

Lea Anne Burke is the Tribal Affairs Manager for the Puget Sound Partnership, the agency's first point of contact for tribal governments. She works to maintain and improve intergovernmental relations, develop protocols, create engagement opportunities, and build deep relationships with tribal nations. A graduate of The Evergreen State College and the University of Washington, Lea Anne has a background in tribal land use planning, landscape architecture, city governance, natural resources management, environmental restoration, and Native community development. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.

Tehani Malterre is a senior undergraduate student studying Global Environmental Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Tehani is in her second year as a NOAA EPP/MSI (Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions) scholar. After graduating, she hopes to study ecosystems ecology or conservation biology in graduate school. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.

Alice Yeates is the Stewardship Coordinator at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Alice has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Queensland and one of her primary roles at the Reserve is to coordinate restoration projects. Alice works closely with Tribal partners to practice co-stewardship at the Reserve and her role in this project was to communicate about one of these partnerships. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.

Ashley Russell is an Oregon State University (OSU) graduate of Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on Fisheries and Wildlife Science and recently completed her Herbal Immersion Program through the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. She is also a Miluk Coos Tribal Member and enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Coos Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw and Indians (CTCLUSI). She has worked for her Tribe in many capacities over the last 8 years and was recently promoted to Assistant Director of the Culture and Natural Resources Department on Summer Solstice of this year. Her personal goal is to help Tribal members reclaim their medicine. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.

Deanna Erickson is the director (and previously, the first education coordinator) at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. She leads a dedicated team who conducts research, education, outreach and stewardship along Lake Superior estuaries, focusing on the St. Louis River in Superior within the 1842 and 1854 Ceded Territory of the Ojibwe. She coordinated, moderated and sought funding for a dedicated session focused on Indigenous leadership in estuary stewardship at the 2022 Restore America’s Estuaries Summit, from which this presentation is derived.  

Bree Turner is a Senior Coastal Management Specialist on contract with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management to support the National Estuarine Research Reserves. She has 20 years of diverse experience working in the coastal management sector with federal governments, non-profits, state agencies, Tribal governments and universities. She has a Bachelor of Science from The Evergreen State College and a Master's degree from University of California - Davis. Bree was a co-coordinator and advisor on this project.

Past Webinars

Tue 1/17/2023 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EST - Speaker(s): Samantha Chapman, Kaitlyn Dietz, and Tess Adgie

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. samantha.chapman@villanova.edu

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. 

Wed 11/2/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Soupy Dalyander, George Ramseur, Aimee Good, and Stuart Siegel

         

Ecosystems don’t care about political boundaries, even if the natural resources within them are managed by multiple entities. Research projects that span political boundaries can often be sticky – decisions are made on long timelines, changes in policy and staff can derail implementation of projects and the tools they produce, and it can be difficult to effectively engage diverse stakeholders so that their perspectives inform the work. Enter: collaborative science. In situations with complex and competing interests, there is a higher likelihood that science will be applied to decision making when problems are tackled with a collaborative science framework. In this webinar, collaborative science project teams discuss how to work across political boundaries and with different partners to develop shared tools, models, and action plans that will improve ecosystem management.

Collaborative Science Conversations
The NOAA RESTORE Science and NERRS Science Collaborative programs team up to bring you the voices of project teams from the field through our Collaborative Science Conversations webinar series. These sessions dig into the unique value of collaborative science, what it feels like in practice, and tips and strategies for success. 

Next year: Spring 2023 | Hear more about what the development of a collaborative science project entails and what the co-production process means for the science and the products.

About RESTORE: The NOAA RESTORE Science Program was authorized by Congress in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to carry out research, observation, and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries. The Science Program supports teams of resource managers, researchers, and stakeholders committed to working together to produce science that helps answer the questions resource managers are facing.

Panelists:

Soupy Dalyander, Senior Research Scientist, Water Institute of the Gulf

Patricia “Soupy” Dalyander is a Senior Research Scientist with the Water Institute of the Gulf, where she has worked since 2019. She has over 20 years of experience in oceanography, water quality modeling, and decision support, predominantly with federal science and engineering agencies. Soupy’s professional experience in researching coastal processes and informing decisions in resource management includes working with the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program of the U.S. Geological Survey at the St Petersburg and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Centers. She has also worked on sediment management, water quality, and decision-support projects as a research physical scientist for the Engineering Research and Development Center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

George Ramseur, Senior Coastal Scientist, Moffatt & Nichol

George Ramseur Jr. has recently extended his career in coastal restoration by joining Moffatt & Nichol as a senior coastal scientist in the Mobile, AL office. He recently retired from a 15+ year career at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources culminating as the Director of Ecological Restoration. He has been implementing ecological restoration in coastal Mississippi for the last 25 years, beginning with The Nature Conservancy in 1997 and after 2006, with the MDMR. In 2017, after a decade of GOMA partnerships, he initiated the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Coastal System “co-productive” science planning domain, which is now developing thanks to a grant from the NOAA RESTORE Science program.

Aimee Good, Wetland Science & Coastal Training Program Coordinator, San Francisco Bay NERR

Aimee Good has over two decades of experience leading training programs in the San Francisco estuary, including an innovative bottom up stakeholder engagement project to address coastal flooding at the research reserve. Her work utilizes a collaborative approach to enhancing capacity and partner engagement on all levels to address issues of climate change, marsh resilience and coastal intelligence. She finds any excuse to be out at reserve sites working with decision makers, stakeholders, partners and neighbors. Never one to shy away from new initiatives, her work ranges from adaptation planning & nature based solutions, wetland monitoring  & delineation to migratory bird tracking.

Stuart Siegel, Manager, San Francisco Bay NERR

Stuart's interests are in how to guide the adaptive management process meaningfully and cost effectively. His current collaborative research project combines state and local agencies, recreation and conservation groups, and a federally recognized tribe on an adaptation project. These efforts can include bringing “lessons learned” to bear, cost-effective assessment methodologies, systematic integrative synthesis, regional assessment strategies, and the incorporation of outcomes into effective governance structures. 

Moderators:

Doug George, NERRS Science Collaborative Program Manager, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Doug George is a geological oceanographer and the program manager for the NERRS Science Collaborative. He has worked throughout the West Coast as a federal scientist, state resource manager, and environmental consultant with projects ranging from estuary restoration and living shorelines to regional sediment management and climate change adaptation. Doug’s educational background includes a B.S in Oceanography from Humboldt State University, a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, a M.Sc. in Oceanography from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

Caitlin Young, Science Coordinator, NOAA RESTORE Science Program

Caitlin Young is the Science Coordinator for the NOAA RESTORE Science Program. She leads the Science Program’s efforts to synthesize environmental and human dimension research data available for the Gulf of Mexico to design funding competitions. She has a background in geochemistry and has researched the impacts of submarine groundwater discharge on coastal ecosystems. Caitlin has a BS in Geology from Tulane University and a PhD in Geosciences from Stony Brook University.

Wed 10/12/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Andrew Tweel

Shorebird populations are declining globally in the face of sea level rise, increasing coastal development, and shoreline modifications. The piping plover and red knot have exhibited population declines in recent years, particularly in the intertidal habitats of South Carolina. Recent research has established linkages between benthic prey abundance and foraging activity along South Carolina beaches; however, most of these projects focused on determining impacts from shoreline modification, rather than quantifying habitat characteristics. Identifying characteristics associated with optimal foraging habitat can help inform state and federal permitting and habitat management activities in areas these shorebirds inhabit. 

A project team at the ACE Basin Reserve worked with the SC Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a habitat assessment tool for the piping plover and red knot. In this webinar, project lead Andrew Tweel shares methods and outcomes of the project, including a refined list of preferred prey species for piping plovers and a preliminary list for red knots. Tweel discusses what prey species are important, what makes certain areas foraging hotspots for the piping plover and red knot, and how this information can inform management decisions within South Carolina and across the U.S.

About the speaker:

Andrew Tweel is a landscape ecologist and leads the Environmental Research Section at the Marine Resources Research Institute. His research combines field studies and GIS-based analyses to help understand how coastal ecosystems are affected by development, stormwater runoff, and shoreline modification. Andrew served as project lead, coordinating integration of technical and collaborative elements of the project.
Thu 9/8/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Puaʻala Pascua, Eleanor Sterling, and Rachel Dacks

Ecosystem service assessments are a top priority at many reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. However, within ecosystem services research, there is a critical gap surrounding the equitable representation of cultural ecosystem services (CES) — one of four main categories of ecosystem services. The inclusion of CES in natural resource planning is critical, as they encompass the diverse suite of interactions between humans and the environment that maintain place-based values, worldviews, cultural identity, and well-being.

Through a catalyst grant, a project team worked with two sites in the Pacific – Heʻeia Reserve in Hawaiʻi and Kachemak Bay Reserve in Alaska – to advance the equitable representation of CES in estuary stewardship. In this webinar, three project team members discuss strategies implemented to deepen and expand the meaningful inclusion of CES in estuary stewardship and management. They share lessons learned in identifying and implementing CES in reserve management and in co-designing deliverables and approaches for end user needs.

Learn more about the speakers:

Puaʻala Pascua specializes in locally and culturally attuned approaches to natural resource management. In her current role as a Program Coordinator with the Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance Foundation, she works alongside a network of community partners to advance community-centered stewardship and restoration efforts that honor place-based knowledges, practices, relationships, and processes.

Eleanor Sterling is the Director of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. A scientist with interdisciplinary training, she currently focuses on the intersection between biodiversity, culture, and languages; the factors influencing ecological and social resilience; the development of indicators of well-being in biocultural landscapes, and engaging with Indigenous marine management approaches.

Rachel Dacks is a researcher at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. She is an interdisciplinary scientist, whose research, guided by local values and perspectives, explores place-based solutions to pressing problems involving the human dimensions of natural resource management in marine and terrestrial systems in Hawaiʻi and across the Pacific Islands. She uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, some of which she has shared (and learned) as part of the Catalyst Project.
Thu 7/14/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Christopher Biggs and Philip Souza

Soundscape ecology is a promising new field that studies the sounds produced above and below water using a variety of acoustic sensors. Passive acoustic monitoring records sound produced over multiple levels of biological complexity which can be used to investigate and monitor biodiversity, behaviors such as feeding and spawning, and anthropogenic noise. By implementing acoustic monitoring, scientists and managers can identify key habitats for protection and measure how ecological communities respond to environmental changes (e.g. storm events, coastal development, eutrophication) in a cost-effective and low-impact manner. 

This project brought together academic leaders in bioacoustics, estuarine ecology, and fisheries ecology with managers and staff from the Mission-Aransas, Rookery Bay, and North Inlet-Winyah Bay reserves. The goal was to develop a framework for a new acoustic monitoring program that could be integrated with reserve programs throughout the region, including: long-term system monitoring; targeted research, e.g. oyster reefs; stewardship applications, e.g. visitor use and anthropogenic noise; and education programs such as TOTE. In this webinar, project lead Chris Biggs talks about the project approach and management context, shares lessons learned from the project, and discusses the value of active acoustic monitoring as a component of ecosystem stewardship.

Learn more about the speakers:

Christopher Biggs is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute. His research expertise is in the reproductive behavior of fishes and passive acoustic monitoring of estuarine systems. His work utilizes hydrophones to monitor sound production in marine organisms to understand behavior, productivity, and habitat utilization along with the impacts of anthropogenic noise. Chris was the project lead of the Science Collaborative Catalyst Grant on Acoustic monitoring.

Philip Souza is a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute. His research uses passive acoustic techniques to monitor soundscapes in the Mission-Aransas Estuary, with a focus on biological sound production. Specific projects include monitoring sciaenid fish spawning activity, tracking restored oyster reef soundscape development, and investigating the relationships between biological sound production and community measures (e.g., fish abundance and biodiversity).

Wed 6/29/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Brandon Puckett, Whitney Jenkins, Cristiana Falvo, Justin Ridge, Brittany Morse, Allix North, and Erik Smith

Tidal wetland monitoring is critical for detecting changes and managing these vulnerable coastal ecosystems. Wetland monitoring programs typically use ground-based measurements or satellite observations to track changes at small and large scales – but these approaches may miss important processes that occur at intermediate spatial scales or result from discrete events such as extreme storms. Mounting sensors on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) - commonly known as drones - offers an opportunity to radically improve tidal wetland monitoring programs by providing high spatial resolution, coverage, and customization on the operator’s schedule.

This project team worked with the six National Estuarine Research Reserves in the Southeast and Caribbean to develop, assess, and collaboratively refine a protocol for drone operation, data management, and data analysis. In this webinar, which consists of a presentation and panel discussion, members of the project team talk about their approach which included ground-based validation and drone-based observation to estimate common wetland monitoring parameters and a collaborative process for developing the protocols. They also share lessons learned, products developed, and benefits that have emerged from this work.

Learn more about the speakers:

Brandon Puckett served as Research Coordinator at the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NC NERR) for the last seven years before recently transitioning to a Research Biologist position with NCCOS. His research interests, broadly speaking, center around the ecology of coastal habitats—focusing primarily on oysters, tidal marshes, and, to a lesser degree, seagrasses. Some of his recent research has focused on advancing the use of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (i.e., drones) for monitoring and, ultimately, assessing coastal habitats to inform management and improve restoration outcomes. Brandon received his Ph.D. in marine science from North Carolina State University and his M.S. in fisheries science from the University of Maryland. 
Whitney Jenkins has been the coordinator of the North Carolina Coastal Training Program since 2002. The goal of the program is to promote informed coastal decisions through science-based training for professionals. Training programs focus on sustainable development, water quality protection, and coastal hazards. Whitney is also responsible for developing and facilitating Collaborative Learning processes for groups such as the N.C. Sentinel Site Cooperative. Whitney has a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a B.S. from the University of Florida. Whitney is based at the Coastal Reserve’s headquarters in Beaufort, but coordinates training across North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties.
Cristiana Falvo is a drone pilot and research technician in Duke's Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab and holds a Master of Coastal Environmental Management (CEM) degree from Duke University. With a background in data management from the U.S. Geological Survey and slew of data science and communication skills acquired from the CEM program, Cristiana supports the drone lab’s various projects by helping to collect, process, analyze and manage aerial imagery. In addition to her data crunching duties, Cristiana has a growing interest in making our coasts more resilient to climate change and finds value in engaging with her surrounding community.
Justin Ridge leads the Duke University Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing (MaRRS) Lab’s coastal mapping research, advancing multiscale remote sensing applications for coastal science and management. His research in estuarine systems has involved master’s work in Florida, doctoral work in North Carolina, and postdoctoral work with the MaRRS Lab since 2017 with a heavy focus in the NERRS. His research activities include the application of novel methods (e.g., drones, deep learning, etc.) for coastal resource management in the face of human and climatic driven changes, taking him all along the US East and Gulf Coasts and down to Belize. 
Brittany Morse is a Research Specialist at the North Inlet – Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NI-WB NERR) where she assists with long term monitoring projects, as well as processes and analyzes UAS imagery. She holds a B.S. in Marine Science and Geography from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, estuarine ecology, and remote sensing. 
Allix North serves as the Stewardship Coordinator for Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR in NE Florida. She leads the UAV program, GIS and Spatial ecology program, and the prescribed fire program. She collaborates with other sectors providing drone imagery and GIS products. Allix has a Bachelors Degree for UF in Natural Resource Conservation and two Masters Certificates in Geospatial Analysis and Unmanned Air System Mapping from UF.
Erik Smith is the Manager of the North Inlet – Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NI-WB NERR) and has previously served as its Research Coordinator. He received a Ph. D. from the University of Maryland and has active research interests in estuarine ecology and biogeochemistry. Erik is a FAA Part 107 certified pilot and leads the NI-WB NERR’s Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) program, which is operationalizing the use of UAS to expand the temporal and spatial scope of the reserve’s marsh monitoring efforts through standardized repeated sampling of UAS-collected multispectral reflectance indices.
Wed 5/25/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Catherine de Rivera, Melissa Haeffner, Julie Gonzalez, Vanessa Robertson-Rojas, and Sabra Comet

Understanding why habitat restoration is, or isn’t, viewed as successful is a critical piece of evaluating completed projects and garnering support for future projects. Ecological measures alone may not fully describe the success or shortcomings of restoration projects, and public perceptions of success may be based on an entirely different set of metrics. In fact, restoration metrics rarely include human dimensions even though community support for restoration can make or break potential future projects, and affect long-term success of completed ones.

Using South Slough NERR (Oregon) and other restoration projects in the region as case studies, this project deployed a three-pronged approach to understand and improve estuarine restoration outcomes, which includes synthesis of long-term monitoring data, comparisons between manager and public perceptions, and interviews to understand efficacy of ecological metrics. In this webinar, the project team talks about their approach to understanding restoration success, summarizes their findings on the values and perceptions associated with estuarine restoration, and shares recommendations for including social and ecological metrics in future restoration projects.

Learn more about the speakers:

Cat de Rivera is a professor of Environmental Science & Management at Portland State University. She studies how anthropogenic changes in habitat connectivity – whether because of biological invasion, the built environment, or sea level rise — affect animal populations and communities and ecosystem function. Her collaborative research addresses questions about invasions ecology, climate change ecology, ecology of the built environment, and restoration ecology. As project lead, she coordinated the transdisciplinary research of this project and engaged stakeholders to ensure useful, relevant products and outcomes.

Melissa Haeffner, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science and Management department at Portland State University. Her specialization is in human-environmental interactions and consensus building. Her research unifies several research domains that contribute to the knowledge of local politics in watersheds and how they shape urban water infrastructure development in the past, in the present, and under future predictions. As social science lead for the project, she provided expertise for the focus groups, interview creation, and analysis.
Julie Gonzalez is a Ph.D. Candidate at University of California, Davis, and a current NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Fellow with the San Francisco Bay NERR. She is interested in estuarine community ecology, how to improve coastal habitat restoration and assessment, facilitating collaborative co-development of research projects and considering multiple stakeholder perceptions in the process. For this project, Julie served as a technical lead for salt marsh restoration ecology, providing knowledge of on-the-ground restoration techniques and metrics
Vanessa Robertson-Rojas has seven years of restoration project experience. Her work focuses on project design and implementation for mitigation banking and the nonprofit sector. Her work has included vegetative, hydrologic, pedologic, and topographic monitoring, implementation of restoration, and project data management and analysis. For the project, Vanessa provided support developing map deliverables, collecting data, and connecting with restoration practitioners in the private and public sectors.
Sabra Marie TallChief Comet is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), where she works to increase the use of science-based information by coastal managers and decision makers by identifying needs within the community, focusing training around these needs, and providing technical assistance when needed. In addition to working as a wildlife biologist, she has served as the marine planner and an emergency services planner at a Tribe in northern California. Sabra is also a former Malouf Scholar and Knauss Fellow. As an end user and partner in the project, Sabra has helped shaped the work, ensuring a strong connection with the broader community.
Tue 4/19/2022 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm EDT - Speaker(s): Nikki Dix, Erik Smith, Hannah Ramage, and Dwayne Porter

Many estuaries across the country experience nutrient pollution and algal blooms, which degrade water quality for people and other aquatic life. Carefully tracking chlorophyll ɑ concentrations - a proxy for phytoplankton biomass - can help managers track the patterns and drivers of algal blooms and eutrophication in estuaries but, to date, technological barriers have limited monitoring to monthly measurements, which may not be enough to track plankton dynamics that fluctuate hourly.

Last year, a catalyst project enabled 13 reserves nationwide to develop, test and share standardized protocols for using new YSI EXO Total Algae fluorometric sensors mounted on existing monitoring stations. In this webinar, team members share how they: 1) assessed the performance of the new sensors; 2) identified sources of sensor interference and developed correction equations; and 3) created and shared tested protocols and recommendations for the Reserve System.

Learn more about the speakers:

 

Nikki Dix, Research Coordinator, Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR

Nikki Dix has served as Research Coordinator at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR) since 2013. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida where she was supported by a NERR fellowship to study responses of plankton and oysters to eutrophication in the GTM estuary. As Research Coordinator, Nikki establishes research priorities and oversees long-term monitoring in the context of regional, state, and national objectives. Nikki also facilitates activities of visiting researchers and works to develop collaborations between scientists, managers, educators, and the public.

 

Erik Smith, Manager, North Inlet-Winyah Bay NERR

Erik Smith is the Manager of the North Inlet – Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NI-WB NERR) and has previously served as its Research Coordinator.  He received a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and has active research interests in estuarine ecology, carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, and the influence of terrestrial runoff on coastal water quality.

Hannah Ramage, Monitoring Coordinator, Lake Superior NERR

Hannah Ramage is the Monitoring Coordinator at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (LKS NERR) where she oversees field operations, manages the Reserve’s laboratory, summarizes and analyses water quality data, and supports undergraduate researchers. She has served in this role since 2017 after receiving her MS in Integrated Biological Sciences from University of Minnesota, Duluth. She is particularly passionate about building and sustaining research and community collaborations around water quality issues in the St. Louis River Estuary. 

Moderator:

Dwayne Porter, Director, NERRS Centralized Data Management Office

Dwayne Porter directs the activities of the NERRS Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO), located in Georgetown, SC. His research interests include exploring and expanding the increasingly important roles that technology and technological innovations play in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our coastal environmental resources and associated environmental and public health issues.

Wed 3/30/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EDT - Speaker(s): Susi Moser

In 2020, Susanne Moser - with support from the NERRS Science Collaborative team - began a study to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted collaborative science projects. While initially focused on the shift to virtual engagement, the study eventually expanded to assess the broader implications of the ongoing pandemic, the conduct and outcomes of collaborative science, and stakeholder engagement under such unusual and strenuous circumstances. 

Given the continually and rapidly changing conditions from the onset of the pandemic until now, all projects have had to adjust – but some more substantially than others. Drawing on project check-in notes and in-depth interviews with project and collaborative leads, this webinar reports back from this study to share insights on:

  • How projects adjusted; 

  • Which techniques and technologies  were used and proved useful; 

  • What benefits and losses people experienced due to the shifts made during the pandemic;

  • Which successes and “failures” (or shortcomings in virtual engagement) projects experienced; as well as 

  • Lessons learned and good advice interviewees offered to their colleagues. 

Moser

Susanne Moser's work focuses on adaptation to climate change, science-policy interactions, climate change communication, and psycho-social resilience in the face of the traumatic and transformative challenges associated with climate change. She is a geographer by training, and has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in multiple capacities. Over the past five years, Susi has partnered with different reserves to develop indicators of successful climate adaptation. In 2020, Susi worked with project teams to identify and understand challenges and opportunities of virtual engagement techniques and tools. Learn more about Susi and her Science Collaborative work.

Thu 2/3/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm EST - Speaker(s): Kaitlyn Dietz, Aimee Good, and Doug George

If you’ve ever developed a user-driven research proposal, you know it takes a lot of conversations, coordination, and iteration — not to mention significant investment of time and resources. Partnerships are the heart of the collaborative science approach, and success depends on assembling the right team to engage, understand, design, and deliver results to meet users’ needs. When getting started with a new collaborative science project, it’s important to commit the time and resources necessary to foster relationships among team members, end users, and other partners, establish mutual understanding, and ultimately create a shared vision for what you want to accomplish.

In this webinar, two speakers from the NERRS shared how their successful collaborative science efforts started. Speakers discussed how small grants helped them explore ideas with partners that sparked future projects, and the importance of getting together, understanding one another’s needs, and fostering relationships to do science that makes a difference.

Learn more about the speakers:

 

Kaitlyn Dietz, Collaboration Coordinator, GTM NERR

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. Kaitlyn graduated from Georgia College and State University with a B.S. in biology and from Jacksonville University with a M.S. in marine science.
 

 

Aimee Good, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, San Francisco Bay NERR

Aimee Good has over two decades of experience leading wetland and coastal training programs in the SF estuary. She finds any excuse to be out at reserve sites working with decision makers, stakeholders, partners and neighbors. Never one to shy away from new initiatives, her work ranges from adaptation planning & nature based solutions, wetland monitoring  & delineation to migratory bird tracking.
 

Moderator:

Doug George, NERRS Science Collaborative Program Manager, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Dr. Doug George is a geological oceanographer and the program manager for the NERRS Science Collaborative. He has worked throughout the West Coast as a federal scientist, state resource manager, and environmental consultant with projects ranging from estuary restoration and living shorelines to regional sediment management and climate change adaptation. Dr. George’s educational background includes a B.S in Oceanography from Humboldt State University, a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, a M.Sc. in Oceanography from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

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