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MANTA Noon Seminars

 

The Seminar sessions include a variety of topics, including conservation ecology from local to worldwide scales. Attend one of these presentations and enjoy a trip to the ends of the world, an education on the local stream conditions, or get a preview of the newest installation at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Below is the agenda for upcoming sessions and short summaries of each.

All Seminars take place at:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
C-1 Conference Room
Tawes Office Building
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland


  • If there is a topic you would like to see included in the upcoming series, or a recommended speaker, please contact Ron Klauda
  • For summaries of previous sessions, click here.

2014-2015 Season Agenda

January 16, 2014

Speaker: Fred Tutman (Patuxent RiverKeeper)

Title: How Can We Create a More Diverse Bay Movement?

Synopsis: The black experience in America includes an environmental context---one with particular social expectations, access to nature, educational sub-text, and a sense of place that includes a rich heritage with nature. Is the Chesapeake Bay preservation movement identified as purely a nature-loving movement, or is it just as committed to creating environmental fairness and equality? Fred Tutman, the only African-American Riverkeeper, will share his ideas and views on how to create an unstoppable and more inclusive preservation movement.

February 5, 2014

Postponed due to icy roads. This has been rescheduled to June 5th.

Speaker: Dr. Dan Fiscus (Frostburg State University)

Title: Life, Money and the Deep Tangled Roots of Systemic Change for Sustainability

Synopsis: For many working to achieve sustainability, it may appear the problem is well-known and some partial solutions are also well-known. But we can’t get the traction or leverage to make real change to human social, economic and environmental systems to actualize sustainability in the industrial nations. While it may be easier and give quicker payback to work on the “low hanging fruit” of change for sustainability (e.g., technical solutions, increasing efficiency, new light bulbs), this talk suggests the necessity of equal effort devoted to the “deep tangled roots” that extend down to the foundations of our academic disciplines, science practices, management, policy and cultural mindsets. Many agree our need for successful large scale change is urgent. This talk integrates two major leverage points for systemic change---fundamental and dominant paradigms of life science and of economic systems---to help create sustainability in reality. I will also report on applications of these ideas at Frostburg Grows---an innovative tree nursery, food production, composting, renewable energy and training center built on a former coal mine in western Maryland.

February 6, 2014

Speaker:Paul Kazyak (Maryland DNR, Annapolis)

Title: Tales from Down Under: Paul's Bucket-list Trip to See Kangaroos and Kiwis

Synopsis:Join us to hear Paul tell highly exaggerated tales from his month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand in the winter of 2013. From the South Island to Sydney, see some of the most beautiful and bizarre creatures and landscapes in the world. Observations on culture, ecology, sustainability, and the status of craft beers will also be offered.

February 20, 2014

Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Cornwell (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, Cambridge)

Title: Oyster Restoration, Aquaculture and Nitrogen Removal – A Biogeochemist’s Perspective

Synopsis: Increasing the numbers of the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay has a number of ecosystem and societal benefits, including providing substrate for hard bottom benthos, improved water quality through filtration of light attenuating algae and sediments, employment in the seafood industry, and the subject of this presentation, nitrogen removal. Recent studies at the Horn Point Laboratory have examined the roles of on-bottom oyster restoration and aquaculture in floats in nitrogen removal. The most obvious role in nitrogen removal occurs when nitrogen in oyster tissues and shells is removed from the estuary during harvest. Recent work has shown that a microbial process occurring at high rates in oyster reefs - denitrification that leads to nitrogen conversion to dinitrogen gas – provides an even larger water quality benefit. Comparison of nitrogen removal will be made between on-bottom oyster establishment and current aquaculture practices. The potential water quality value of restoration and new research in Harris Creek will be discussed.

March 20, 2014

Speaker: Carlton Haywood

Title: Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA): Easy to Say, Harder to PinPoint

Synopsis: Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA): Easy to say, harder to pinpoint.

The UA Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, collaborated on the Middle Potomac River Watershed Assessment. This study investigated the relationship between streamflow alteration and ecological response in the Potomac River and its tributaries in an area defined as the Middle Potomac (which included all of the Potomac watershed except the North Branch and the watersheds below Occoquan Creek and Piscataway Creek). One component of the study was to assess stream and small rivers environmental flow needs, for which the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) methodology was used. The study area’s large extent, 11,550 sq. mi. and parts of four states and the District of Columbia, presented challenges not faced in other ELOHA studies. Despite these challenges, strong relationships were found between urbanization (impervious surface), and hydrologic alteration. Land use change was found to be a more significant cause of hydrologic alteration than water withdrawals and impoundments. This study was unable to pinpoint exact ecological limits of hydrologic alteration but did reveal relationships between increasing flow alteration and degrading macroinvertebrate community health. The methodologies used will be reviewed with a focus on how the project tackled the challenges of assembling comparable hydrologic and biological datasets and accounting for confounding factors presented in such a large watershed.

Link to presentation file

April 17, 2014

Speaker: David Kazyak (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg)

Title: Sex, Growth, and Survival: Insights from a Large-scale Brook Trout Tagging Effort

Synopsis: Brook trout exhibit highly variable life histories and are declining across much of their range. Since 2010, researchers at the University of Maryland’s Appalachian Laboratory have collaborated with DNR Fisheries Service staff to individually tag and monitor more than 3500 brook trout in the Savage River watershed, offering insights into the population dynamics of Maryland’s only native trout species. Mr. Kazyak will report findings from this study and discuss how the results have changed our understanding of brook trout in the State.

May 8, 2014

Speaker: Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg)

Title: Novel approaches to modeling and mapping patterns of stream biodiversity in Maryland

Synopsis: Biotic inventories of stream communities, such as the Maryland Biological Stream Survey, routinely are used to inform management of aquatic ecosystems. Given the expense of field sampling, the coverage of biotic inventories typically is sparse relative to the extent of the area of management concern, and therefore planning often relies on extrapolation of biological attributes to entire watersheds or on some other, usually environment-based, stream classification scheme. In this talk, I will discuss ongoing research to produce a biologically-optimized stream classification for Maryland. Our approach combines new spatial analysis techniques, high-resolution maps of Maryland streams (including locations of buried stream segments), and new statistical modeling approaches to produce comprehensive maps of the distribution of biodiversity in Maryland streams and to estimate how 40 years of urbanization have affected stream biodiversity. Our methods incorporate both local and landscape-scale characteristics of individual stream reaches as well as the role of stream connectivity in determining community composition. The major goal of the project is to develop a spatial predictions of aquatic communities that best discriminate stream reaches with similar biological characteristics and which can be used to inform the protection and restoration of streams in the context of ongoing urbanization.

Link to a .pdf of the presentation

June 5, 2014

Speaker: Dr. Dan Fiscus (Frostburg State University)

Title: Life, Money and the Deep Tangled Roots of Systemic Change for Sustainability

Synopsis: For many working to achieve sustainability, it may appear the problem is well-known and some partial solutions are also well-known. But we can’t get the traction or leverage to make real change to human social, economic and environmental systems to actualize sustainability in the industrial nations. While it may be easier and give quicker payback to work on the “low hanging fruit” of change for sustainability (e.g., technical solutions, increasing efficiency, new light bulbs), this talk suggests the necessity of equal effort devoted to the “deep tangled roots” that extend down to the foundations of our academic disciplines, science practices, management, policy and cultural mindsets. Many agree our need for successful large scale change is urgent. This talk integrates two major leverage points for systemic change---fundamental and dominant paradigms of life science and of economic systems---to help create sustainability in reality. I will also report on applications of these ideas at Frostburg Grows---an innovative tree nursery, food production, composting, renewable energy and training center built on a former coal mine in western Maryland.

June 17, 2014

Speaker: Amanda Johnson (Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Oxford)

Title: The 2013 Unusual Mortality Event

Synopsis: Ms. Johnson will discuss the Unusual Mortality Event (UME) that began last summer and is continuing to affect east coast populations of Bottlenose Dolphin (Tusiops truncatus) this year, with a cumulative mortality so far of over 1183 animals. She will discuss UME’s in general, provide some background information on DNR’s stranding response team, and then focus her talk on DNR’s experience with the UME in Maryland. She will describe the disease that is responsible for the dolphin mortalities, the causes and symptoms, DNR’s procedures for response and sample collection, show some current data from Maryland and other east coast states, and share some stories about interesting cases encountered during 2013.

September 18, 2014:

Speaker: Dave Bolton (Maryland Geological Survey, Baltimore)

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

October 23, 2014:

Speaker: Dr. David Nelson (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg)

Title: Geographic Origin and Population Dynamics of Bats and Eagles Killed at Wind-Energy Facilities in North America

Synopsis: TBA

November 13, 2014:

Speaker: Dr. Bradley (University of Maryland Eastern Shore)

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

December 11, 2014:

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Ogburn (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD)

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

January 15, 2015:

Speaker: Jim Uphoff and Margaret McGinty (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

Title: "Managing Chesapeake Bay's Land Use, Fish Habit and Fisheries: Developing and Applying Impervious Surface Reference Points"

February 12, 2015:

Speaker: Ward Slacum (Oyster Recovery Partnership)

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

March 12, 2015:

Speaker: Dr. Dave Secor (University of Maryland, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons)

Title: Migration Ecology of Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

Synopsis: TBA

April 16, 2015:

Speaker: Amanda Johnson (Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Cooperative Oxford Lab)

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

May 14, 2015:

Speaker: TBA

Title: TBA

Synopsis: TBA

Upcoming Events

Species Spotlight

  • American Eel

American Eels

The American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a slender snakelike migratory fish that is very important to the stream ecosystems in Maryland.

Learn more in this informative Fact Sheet

Species Spotlight Archives