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

06/29/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - 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 will consist of a presentation and panel discussion, members of the project team will talk about their approach – which pairs ground-based validation and drone-based observation to estimate common wetland monitoring parameters – as well as the collaborative process that enabled them to develop the protocols. They will also share lessons learned, products developed, and benefits that have emerged from this work.

Speakers:

  • Brandon Puckett
  • Whitney Jenkins
  • Cristiana Falvo
  • Justin Ridge
  • Brittany Morse
  • Allix North
  • Erik Smith
07/14/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - 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 will talk about the project approach and management context, share lessons learned from the project, and discuss 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).

Past Webinars

05/25/2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - 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 will talk about their approach to understanding restoration success, summarize their findings on the values and perceptions associated with estuarine restoration, and share 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.
04/19/2022 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm - 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.

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.

02/03/2022 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm - 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.

12/07/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - Speaker(s): Amanda Spivak, Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers, Giulio Mariotti, and Gabrielle Sakolsky

Parallel grid ditches were dug in approximately 90% of mid-Atlantic and New England salt marshes from the 1920s through the 1940s. Today, managers must navigate the effects of these past actions when making decisions about marsh hydrology and drainage that impact human health, ecosystem services, and marsh sustainability. Managers must also consider how stressors such as sea-level rise impact marshes. A team of scientists including staff from the Waquoit Bay Reserve in Massachusetts helped to address this challenge by working iteratively with coastal managers and restoration practitioners to develop a decision support tool for marsh hydrology management strategies that promote sustainability and continued delivery of valuable ecosystem services under future sea level rise scenarios.

In this webinar, the project team shares both the collaborative and technical aspects of their approach and the resultant Marsh Sustainability and Hydrology Decision Support Tool. The tool predicts potential outcomes of ditch and runnel maintenance in micro- and macro-tidal salt marshes under different scenarios of suspended sediment input and sea level rise.

Learn more about the speakers:

Amanda Spivak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at University of Georgia. Her research aims to  refine the role of estuaries and wetlands in the global carbon cycle and predict the likelihood of ecosystem recovery from disturbances. She uses biogeochemical and ecological approaches to quantify carbon fluxes, transformations, and fates. As project and technical lead, Amanda coordinated the many aspects of the project including fieldwork and model development.

Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers is the Manager of Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Massachusetts. She has been working at the nexus of science and management for two decades and as part of her role at the Reserve leads engagement efforts to integrate stakeholders in research and planning processes related to coastal issues such as climate change, ecosystem services, coastal resilience, and water quality. As collaborative lead for this project, Tonna-Marie helped design and facilitate the team’s approach to engaging end users and being responsive to their needs in developing the decision support tool.

Giulio Mariotti is an Associate Professor in Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. His research aims to understand and quantify the long-term morphological evolution of coastlines and their responses to global environmental changes, with particular interest in coupling physical and biochemical processes (ecogeomorphology). As co-technical lead for this project, Giulio led development of a mathematical model that helps predict the evolution of marsh properties based on various parameters.

Gabrielle Sakolsky is the Superintendent at the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project, a key end user of products developed as part of this project. She has conducted and directed the mosquito arbovirus surveillance program in Barnstable County for CCMCP for the past 25 years. Gabrielle also serves as chair of the American Mosquito Control Association’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) committee and is past president of the Northeastern Mosquito Control Association.

Learn more about the project: Evaluating the Impact of Hydrologic Alterations on Salt Marsh Sustainability in a Changing Climate

11/30/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm - Speaker(s): Rachel Noble and Whitney Jenkins

Like many older towns along the east coast, Beaufort, North Carolina grew at a faster pace than its stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. Stormwater outfalls that discharge into coastal waters have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health, and stormwater runoff often results in elevated levels of pathogens and nutrients, which can lead to fishing and swimming closures, illnesses, and negative impacts on coastal ecosystems. To better understand the effects of stormwater, a project team based at the Rachel Carson component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve used a comprehensive sampling regimen to gather quantitative information that helped them assess the effects of precipitation and tidal inundation on stormwater impacts, and identify sources of fecal contamination.

In this webinar, members of the project team discuss the technical and collaborative aspects of their approach, including the sampling regimen and how their engagement approach resulted in a decision-maker summit and citizen science app that fosters ongoing community engagement on stormwater issues.

Learn more about the speakers:

Dr. Rachel Noble is a land-water interface scientist who specializes in understanding the interactions between wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, coastal regions, and water quality, particularly in low lying coastal areas. Dr. Noble uses advanced molecular tools to understand the movement of microbial contaminants into coastal systems, and the risk associated with contaminants in recreational, drinking, and shellfish harvesting waters. Dr. Noble works with diverse stakeholder groups including municipalities, counties, and State, regional, and federal government to understand the interplay between contamination and remediation strategies. Dr. Noble has also devoted extensive attention to understanding flooding and resilience of coastal communities in the context of extreme events.

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.

Learn more about the project: Collaborative Research to Manage Stormwater Impacts on Coastal Reserves

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

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 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.
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.

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