Collaborative Science for Estuaries Webinar Series

Chesapeake Bay Virginia - Photo credit: David Walters

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

09/29/2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm - Speaker(s): David Sutherland and Emily Eidam

Designated one of Oregon’s three “deep draft development” estuaries, the Coos estuary has many diverse users who share a need for better information about water and sediment flows through the estuary under current and future conditions. Working closely with the South Slough NERR and the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds, a local stakeholder group, researchers from the University of Oregon and the University of North Carolina helped to address some of these informational needs. The team collected new data, including the first bathymetric dataset to cover the entire Coos estuary, and developed a hydrodynamic model to better understand and predict estuarine water and sediment flows. They then worked with end users to develop data and modeling products of interest, including two perturbation experiments analyzing a proposed deepening and widening of the estuary’s main navigation channel. 

In this webinar, members of the project team will discuss the end-user engagement approach used in their collaborative research project, present highlights from the model experiments, and share observations from an examination of historic estuary conditions prior to human impacts. 

Learn more about the speakers:

David Sutherland is a coastal physical oceanographer at the University of Oregon, studying estuarine dynamics in Oregon, as well as glacial fjords in Alaska and Greenland. Dave served as the project and collaborative lead, coordinating the many aspects of the project and end user engagement. He also co-led the technical elements, including fieldwork and model development.

Emily Eidam is a fluvial and coastal sedimentologist at University of North Carolina, studying sediment transport and accumulation in diverse environments (primarily in the Arctic). Emily began with the project as a postdoctoral scholar, contributing significantly to model development. She then transitioned to a co-PI when she moved to UNC.

Jenni Schmitt is the Watershed Monitoring Coordinator at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Her research interests include understanding wetland ecosystems with a focus on how climate change influences habitats and species. Jenni also organizes and chairs the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds, a collaborative stakeholder group whose members are currently working to guide improved estuary management by using tools such as the hydrodynamic model.

Past Webinars

07/29/2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Christine Angelini, Mike Langston, Eric Sparks, Jeanne Bloomberg, and Doug George

Collaborative science and the co-production of science involve working closely with partners at every stage - from conceptualizing a new project, to conducting the research, to refining tools to best meet a management need. The goal is to encourage mutually beneficial exchanges between researchers and resource managers. Essential to collaborative science is building relationships and engendering trust among the partners. NOAA’s NERRS Science Collaborative and RESTORE Science programs support collaborative science through funding and partnerships around protected and at-risk coastal and ocean areas. 

This webinar, the first jointly hosted event between the NERRS Science Collaborative and RESTORE Science programs, featured a panel discussion among three contributors to the programs, highlighting important lessons learned and experiences on how to become effective co-producers of science.

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 and researchers committed to work together to produce science that helps answer the questions resource managers are facing.

Panelists:

Christine Angelini,  Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida

Christine Angelini is an Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering Sciences and Director of the UF Center for Coastal Solutions. She is an ecologist with expertise in wetland, reef and dune systems, and has participated in multiple collaborative research projects related to living shorelines, habitat restoration, and water quality as a project and technical lead. She received her PhD in Biology from the University of Florida in 2014 and her BSc in Marine Biology from Brown University in 2009.

Mike Langston, USGS Deputy Director, South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center

Dr. Mike Langston currently serves as the Deputy Director of the South Central CASC. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Center, conducting an annual actionable-science grants competition, incentivizing co-production of that research, and developing relationships with resource managers and other end users of the resulting information. When Dr. Langston isn’t working, he can be found weightlifting, fishing, backpacking and spending time with his wife,  their five children, and ten grandchildren.

Eric Sparks, Director, Coastal and Marine Extension for Mississippi State University

Eric Sparks currently serves as the Director of Coastal and Marine Extension for Mississippi State University and dually as the Assistant Director of Outreach and Coastal Ecology Specialist for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. In these roles he conducts a variety of research and extension activities across a variety of topics, but specializing in living shorelines, coastal ecology, marine debris, and environmental stewardship. He received a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of South Alabama/Dauphin Island Sea Lab in 2014 and a B.S. in Marine Biology from Troy University in 2008.

Moderators:

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.

Jeanne Bloomberg, National Academies Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellow, NOAA RESTORE Science Program

Jeanne Bloomberg is a Science Policy Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program. She holds an M.S. in oceanography and coastal sciences from Louisiana State University and a B.S. in marine biology from Northeastern University, where she participated in the Three Seas Program. She is interested in continuing to work at the intersection of science and policy by bridging the gap in communication and research goals between science, management, and local communities.

06/29/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - Speaker(s): Jessica Brunacini, Edgar Guerron Orejuela, Marae Lindquist, and Chris Katalinas

The Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship is a two-year fellowship program that places one graduate student at each of the 29 national estuarine research reserves. Through a research project, fellows work with a mentor, fellow scientists, and local communities to address a key coastal management question to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies. The fellowship includes networking opportunities and career-readiness training.

This webinar featured a panel discussion among fellows, highlighting their experiences and lessons learned working collaboratively with reserves and end users to design and complete their research.

Learn more about the Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship

Panelists:

Jessica Brunacini, Wells NERR, Michigan State University

Jessica’s research explores the social dimensions of climate change adaptation, including how people are connected to place and why that matters for decision-making. Her work seeks to build knowledge around effective approaches for broadening participation in policy and planning processes that respond to sea level rise.

Edgar Guerron Orejuela, Kachemak Bay NERR, University of South Florida

Edgar is an ecohydrologist with interest in natural resources management, vulnerability analysis, and decision-making. His research, broadly, focuses on understanding the influence that hydrological processes have on social-ecological systems, and the way anthropogenic actions affect these processes and systems.

Marae Lindquist, North Carolina NERR, University of North Carolina - Wilmington

Marae’s research strives to provide essential information for the management and conservation of vulnerable marsh birds in the face of sea level rise. To develop effective conservation plans, managers seek estimates of population dynamics and predictions of how sea level rise could influence habitats and bird populations; and so Marae is working to fill these knowledge gaps.

Moderator:

Chris Katalinas, Grants Specialist, Lynker at the NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Chris is employed by Lynker as a grants specialist at the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. In addition to supporting the office's grant programs, Chris delivers training opportunities on project design and evaluation, provides meeting facilitation services, and helps coordinate the Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship program.

05/25/2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Dan Rogers, Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers, and Paraskevi (Vivian) Mara

Excess nitrogen in coastal waters can lead to a variety of problems, including algal blooms, fish kills and beach closures, but there aren’t easy solutions. In Massachusetts, towns along Cape Cod have been exploring the use of non-traditional methods for meeting nitrogen reduction requirements, such as establishing shellfish aquaculture operations in coastal waters. This webinar featured a recently completed research project that addressed critical information gaps identified by water quality managers and regulators - specifically the needs to quantify the nitrogen removal rates of commercial shellfish growing practices, and to identify best practices for siting and maintaining aquaculture operations that maximize benefits for water quality.  

In partnership with the Town of Falmouth, the project team studied the microbial communities and measured nitrogen fluxes in the sediment below three popular systems for growing oysters. They found that all three growing systems increased rates of denitrification and enhanced nitrogen removal, but aquaculture projects need to be carefully sited for best results. To share their findings, the team developed a best practices guide for growers, an eight-part video series to help inform local and regional planning boards, and signs and a demonstration site to help school groups and reserve visitors learn more about shellfish aquaculture. To learn more, visit the project page.

Learn more about the speakers:

Dan Rogers, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Stonehill College

Dr. Daniel Rogers is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Stonehill College. His research focuses on biogeochemical cycling in coastal and deep-sea environments and the development of new tools to study biological activity. As project lead, Dan coordinated the team, supervised numerous students and conducted the chemical analyses including the measurement of nitrogen fluxes.

Learn more about Dan

Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers, Manager, Waquoit Bay NERR, MA

Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers is the manager of Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Massachusetts. She has over 15 years of experience connecting science with management and engaging stakeholders in research and planning processes. As collaborative lead for this project, Tonna-Marie facilitated a close connection with project end users and led the development of the video series.

Learn more about Waquoit Bay NERR

Paraskevi (Vivian) Mara, Research Associate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Vivian Mara is a research associate at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she specializes in marine microbiology, gene expression and biogeochemistry in ocean water and marine sediments.  For this project, Vivian led the field, lab and sequencing work for the genetic analyses and served as lead author for the article that summarized project findings and compared nitrogen removal processes for each of  the aquaculture types. See: article in Frontiers in Marine Science.

04/27/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - Speaker(s): Coowe Walker and Mark Rains

In Alaska’s Kenai Lowlands, groundwater is key to healthy watersheds and resilient salmon, farms, and communities. Groundwater discharge provides important ecological services to salmon streams by moderating temperatures, maintaining stream flows, delivering nutrients, and creating overwintering habitat. To better understand the availability of groundwater and how human activities impact this resource, researchers at the Kachemak Bay Reserve and the University of South Florida built a predictive model that shows the depth and extent of aquifers and predicts groundwater discharge and recharge.

In this webinar, project team members shared how their findings generated new insight into groundwater in southern Kenai Lowland watersheds, and how their model revealed the precariousness of groundwater resources and the potential for competition among users. They discussed how engagement with stakeholders has increased awareness of the need to actively manage this limited resource, and how the community has begun to shift policies and practices to build toward more resilient groundwater resources.

Learn more about the speakers:

Coowe Walker, Manager, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Coowe has worked at the Kachemak Bay NERR as a watershed ecologist since the Reserve was designated in 1999, and has served as the reserve manager for three years. She has been leading efforts to understand ecosystem service values of coastal peatlands in the Kachemak Bay area that are important for salmon streams, and also represent potentially large stores of carbon.

Learn more about Kachemak Bay

Mark RainsProfessor, University of South Florida

Mark Rains is a Professor of Geology at the University of South Florida and the Chief Science Officer for the State of Florida. His research is focused on hydrological connectivity from ridges to reefs, especially between hill slopes, wetlands, and headwater streams; the roles that hydrological processes play in governing ecosystem structure and function; and the roles that science plays in informing water-related law, policy, and decision-making.

Learn more about Mark's work

Learn more about the project: Promoting Resilient Groundwater Resources and Holistic Watershed Management in the Southern Kenai Lowlands

03/31/2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Y. Peter Sheng and Sarah Fernald

As coastal communities strive to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks, they are looking for ways to maximize the protective powers of their natural features such as coastal wetlands. This project closely examined one marsh complex that lies adjacent to Piermont Village along the Hudson River Estuary in New York. Village residents wanted to better understand how Piermont Marsh would buffer their village from storm-induced flooding and waves, and whether a proposed plan to restore native cattails within a small area of the Phragmites-dominated marsh would lessen its buffering capacity.

In this webinar, two members of the project team explained how the team used state of the art modeling methods to simulate marsh vegetation and storm impacts produced by a series of past and future storm scenarios. By looking back at Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and projecting how much worse the damage could have been without the marsh, the research team was able to put a dollar value on Piermont Marsh’s buffering services. They shared key takeaways from the research and explained how the findings are informing planning for the marsh and shoreline infrastructure.

Learn more about the speakers:

Peter Sheng, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Research Professor, University of Florida

Peter Sheng is an Emeritus Professor and Adjunct Research Professor of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering at the University of Florida. Peter specializes in coastal hydrodynamic and bio-geochemical processes and multidisciplinary modeling. His recent interests include the impact of climate change on coastal inundation and understanding the role of coastal wetlands (marshes and mangroves) for buffering coastal communities from flood and wave damage. As project lead, Peter coordinated a team of multidisciplinary scientists and led the development and application of the surge-wave model and the economic loss model.  

Learn more about Peter

Sarah FernaldResearch Coordinator, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Sarah Fernald is a marine scientist and the research coordinator at the Hudson River NERR. She is responsible for managing long term monitoring and research at the reserve. For this project, Sarah worked with Peter to ensure that modeling scenarios aligned with proposed marsh management plans and the interests of Piermont Village stakeholders.

Learn more about Sarah's program

Learn more about project: Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding

02/23/2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Richard Lathrop, Lisa Auermuller, Kaitlin Gannon, and Dina Fonseca

As climate change and sea level rise alter salt marsh habitats, a less understood impact - with implications for human health - is how changes in marsh habitat affect the production and location of nuisance mosquito populations. Understanding how coastal ecosystems are being impacted by climate change, and how nuisance mosquito populations are changing, is critical to ensuring coastal managers make the most informed decisions going forward.  

In this webinar, project team members described how data-collection, mapping, and modeling efforts have resulted in increased clarity about marsh habitat change to inform mosquito control and coastal restoration efforts in New Jersey. Future modeling and marsh‐upland edge mapping suggest that the marsh‐upland is and will be a hotspot for change, and field sampling confirmed that these “new” habitats can serve as breeding areas for mosquitoes. The team also developed environmental DNA (eDNA) assays for the most common salt marsh mosquitoes in the Middle Atlantic United States. Working closely with mosquito control agency personnel, the team has made major advancements in mosquito surveillance through the deployment of drone-based sampling of breeding pools paired with the eDNA analyses. The team also developed outreach materials to inform the public about health risks posed by mosquitoes, including how climate change might exacerbate those risks, and a module for middle/high school educators.

Learn more about the speakers:

Richard Lathrop, Professor, Director, Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis, Rutgers University

Rick Lathrop is a professor of ecology and watershed monitoring. His research focuses largely on water resources and providing coastal communities with scientific information and tools for decision making in the face of climate change and sea level rise. Rick served as the project lead, coordinating the many aspects of the project and leading the mapping and modeling elements.

Lisa AuermullerAssistant Manager, Jacques Cousteau NERR

In her role at the Reserve, Lisa Auermuller's duties include assessing the needs of coastal decision makers and providing relevant and timely training opportunities. Lisa has been working with a variety of partners to develop tools and protocols to help communities understand their risks, plan for those risks and put adaptation measures into place. Lisa served as the collaborative lead for the project.

Kaitlin Gannon, Education Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau NERR

Kaitlin Gannon is the Education Coordinator for the JC NERR. She has extensive training in wildlife interpretation and conservation. Kaitlin supported outreach efforts for the project and developed the educational module for use in Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) trainings.

Dina Fonseca, Professor, Director, Center for Vector Biology, Rutgers University

Dina Fonseca is a molecular medical and veterinary entomologist. She primarily develops tools to reveal incipient infestations, identify which traits are associated with expansion and damage of invasive species, and optimize management strategies. Dina served as the project co-lead, coordinating the development of the mosquito eDNA assays.

01/21/2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): James Arnott, Jessica McIntosh, Susi Moser, and Doug George

Collaborative science involves working closely with partners at every stage - from conceptualizing a new project, to conducting the research, to refining tools to best meet a management need. In May 2020, hoping to start a dialogue around virtual engagement for collaborative science, we held a webinar to reflect on the ways in which collaborative science practices have been impacted by COVID-19.

As January 2021 drew to a close, most of us were thinking about the myriad stressors that continuec to pose challenges to virtual collaboration, life, and everything in between. In this webinar, we discussed what kind of tracking and evaluation we’d done to date, and explored how we continue to do our work in the midst of distractions. The discussion built on panelists’ comments to tease out the implications of these new practices for future collaborative science work, and how these lessons can be applied to coastal science within and beyond the NERRS.

Panelists:

Cressman Cumulative Change

James Arnott is the Executive Director of the Aspen Global Change Institute. James’ research seeks to understand how to better link scientific knowledge with decision-making through research on collaborative science and science funding. James is also a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute.

Susi 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. Learn more about Susi and her Science Collaborative work.

Jessica McIntosh is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. In this role,  she connects diverse stakeholders with environmental research by facilitating training workshops and collaborative research groups. Jessica has worked on a variety of coastal management issues, ranging from invasive lionfish in the Cayman Islands to bioremediation for oil spills in salt marshes in Louisiana, and has held positions with academic, non-profit, and government groups.

Moderator:

Doug George is a trained 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. 
12/16/2020 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm - Speaker(s): James Arnott, Charlotte Hudson, Ariela Zycherman, Leah Fisher, Jen Read, Sybil Seitzinger, and Doug George

What a year 2020 has been! COVID-19 has reshaped how we understand and practice collaborative research, not to mention nearly every other aspect of how we live and work. By year’s end, all of us are now on a similar journey to take stock of what we have learned through these challenges.

This webinar brought together the perspectives of five funders working across North America that sponsor collaborative research on environmental topics. Earlier in the fall of 2020, each of them polled their grantees about how COVID-19 has affected their active projects and asked them to make sense of the benefits and constraints of doing collaborative research virtually. In this webinar, panelists representing the organizations involved in the study shared and discussed preliminary findings and their implications for future programs. Participating funders included: California Strategic Growth Council, NERRS Science Collaborative, NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessment, Lenfest Ocean Program at the Pew Charitable Trust, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. 

Panelists:

Cressman Cumulative Change

James Arnott is the Executive Director of the Aspen Global Change Institute. James’ research seeks to understand how to better link scientific knowledge with decision-making through research on collaborative science and science funding. James is also a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute.

Leah Fisher is the Senior Advisor for Research & Innovation at the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) where she works to leverage partnerships, actionable science, and equitable, meaningful engagement to help California meet its climate goals. Leah co-manages the cap-and-trade-funded Climate Change Research Program and supports a variety of interagency efforts for SGC and the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, including on carbon dioxide removal and climate resilience. Leah came to the State of California from Washington, DC, where she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Charlotte Hudson is the director of the Lenfest Ocean Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts, a grant-making program that funds research projects that address the needs of marine and coastal stakeholders and supports grantees who will engage with the people most likely to use the results. She is responsible for identifying thematic areas of research and overseeing the design and implementation research projects that meet the criteria of the Lenfest Ocean Program. She also oversees the communication and dissemination of research results in ways that inform decision-makers and stakeholders to promote the sustainable management of the oceans.
Jen Read is the Program Director for the NERRS Science Collaborative. She directs the U-M Water Center and implemented the Integrated Assessment program, including introducing the idea to the research community, while working for Michigan Sea Grant. Jen is also experienced leading interdisciplinary teams informed by multi-sector advisory groups to address challenging water-related issues. Jen serves as the Science Collaborative's principal investigator, provides overall program leadership, and manages the day-to-day activities of the Science Collaborative program.

Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) and an Environmental Studies Professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  PICS is a 4 university institute (University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern British Columbia), funding climate mitigation and adaptation research.  We connect leading researchers with public and private sector ‘solution seekers’ in partnerships that co-design, co-develop, and co-deliver cutting edge climate change solutions. The 'PICS way' is a deliberate step away from siloed research towards full engagement, from project outset to implementation. 

Ariela Zycherman is a Social Scientist and Program Manager in NOAA’s Climate Program Office in the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program (RISA). She is an Environmental Anthropologist with expertise in food and agricultural systems, household and community livelihoods, and natural resource management. Prior to NOAA, Ariela supported multidisciplinary and applied team science projects as a National Program Leader at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and as the National Coordinator of the USDA Climate Hubs.

Moderator:

Doug George is a trained 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. 
11/18/2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Susi Moser and Kristen Goodrich

One of the most challenging parts of advancing climate adaptation is defining what success looks like and tracking progress toward those goals. Over the past six years, a group of National Estuarine Research Reserves has been finding creative ways to tackle this problem in their own communities through the Successful Adaptation Indicators and Metrics project. In 2020, the team launched a new web-based toolkit - Resilience Metrics - which shares a suite of lessons learned, tools and tactics to help communities identify locally relevant climate adaptation metrics.

In this webinar, two members of the project team shared their experiences and lessons learned with defining climate adaptation success - conceptually and in practice. They introduced the resources available on the Resilience Metrics toolkit and explained how the case studies, job aids and facilitation tools can be used by coastal managers and adaptation professionals everywhere to facilitate conversations and planning around successful adaptation

Learn more about speakers:

Cressman Cumulative Change

Kristen Goodrich is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. There, she provides training and technical assistance to coastal decision-makers in Southern and Baja California. Working on the U.S.-Mexico border has provided her with a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities for collaboration and boundary spanning and inspires her research on psychosocial resilience.    

Emailkgoodrich@trnerr.org    

Moser

Susi Moser's work focuses on adaptation to climate change, vulnerability, resilience, climate change communication, social change, decision support and the interaction between scientists, policy-makers and the public. 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. Learn more about Susi and her Science Collaborative work.

Emailpromundi@susannemoser.com

10/20/2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - Speaker(s): Beth Darrow, Martin Posey, and Doug Bell

North Carolina’s shellfish aquaculture industry has been small but stable for over 30 years. The southern portion of the North Carolina coast has consistently provided more than 50 percent of the wild harvest in the state, which has been  driving interest in creating new oyster farms throughout the region. Simultaneously, increased interest in shellfish aquaculture has placed pressure on resource managers making siting decisions. New farms provide an opportunity to assess conditions after farm installation, making North Carolina estuaries an ideal place to explore the ecosystem services of shellfish farming. This project aimed to link small-scale changes around oyster farms with larger-scale ecosystem-level alterations, and provide local assessment of ecosystem services to be considered by decision-makers.

In this webinar, project team members described how two years of intensive sampling in and adjacent to oyster farms and ongoing collaboration with oyster farms and the policy community has resulted in the production of visualization tools and models that will allow resource managers, shellfish growers, and other end users to make better decisions when determining the locations and scales of shellfish farming operations. The team found that environmental impacts of these farms were minimal, but that policy decisions were more complex. This finding led to an additional project examining the extent of shellfish aquaculture within the nationwide Reserve system.

Learn more about speakers:

Beth Darrow, Senior Scientist, Bald Head Island Conservancy, NC

Beth Darrow has over 10 years’ scientific experience working with shellfish ecology, aquaculture, and estuarine ecology and biogeochemistry in Virginia and the Gulf of Mexico. As project lead, she focused on quantifying the environmental effects of oyster farms and oversaw data collection from the field and lab that drove the development of the oyster farm model, and coordinated connections with end users.

 

Martin Posey, Professor, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Martin Posey is a benthic ecologist with many years’ experience in research and advisory roles on ecosystem services of shellfish populations. He has worked extensively with resource and user advisory groups at the regional, state and national level, and has worked on a number of restoration efforts. Martin served as the collaboration lead for the project, and supervised a graduate student who conducted experiments on the habitat use of oyster aquaculture as well as several undergraduates involved with reef and nekton sampling.

Doug Bell, Data and Budget Coordinator, National Sea Grant Program, NOAA

Doug Bell is an aquatic ecologist by training, receiving his Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan. Doug’s research has focused on nutrient biogeochemistry and phytoplankton ecology in freshwater, estuarine, and open ocean systems. Doug joined and led a spin-off project inspired by this Science Collaborative study, which assessed the current activities, approaches, and relevant policy to shellfish aquaculture across the Reserve System.

Learn more about project

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