Get Involved!

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.

2013-2014 Season Agenda

September 12, 2013

Speaker: Dr. Vic Kennedy (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, Cambridge

Title: Shifting Baselines in Mid-Atlantic Estuaries

Synopsis: Fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly created the term “shifting baselines” to highlight the fact that we tend to understand the past in light of our own experiences. When ecosystems change slowly,

today’s observers may realize that there has been a change, but may not appreciate how great it has been. This seems to be especially true for aquatic systems, where changes seem less obvious

than those of passenger pigeons or bison on land. Dr. Kennedy will present information about early abundances of oysters, shad, sturgeon, and waterfowl to illustrate the productivity that mid-Atlantic estuaries once supported.

He will end with questions about how we might use this knowledge to set restoration goals and involve the public in supporting these goals.

November 14, 2013

Speaker: Dr. Thomas Ihde (NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, Annapolis, MD)

Title: The Chesapeake Atlantic Ecosystem Model: Demonstrating the Importance of State Agency Management Actions on Offshore Fish Stocks

Synopsis: The Atlantis ecosystem modeling approach is an end-to-end simulation, integrating Bay-wide information from an array of disciplines and data at a variety of scales. The approach complements existing stock assessment approaches by linking geophysical information, watershed nutrient dynamics, habitat studies, fish and invertebrate population dynamics to fisheries production. State-managed estuarine environments have a direct, though typically non- quantified effect on federally-managed fisheries. Atlantis is an integrative tool that quantifies that connection. Goals of the work will be discussed, and simulation results will be presented that illustrate how the loss of marsh habitat in the Chesapeake Bay is predicted to affect Chesapeake fish populations. The preliminary results presented will be further refined to inform federal stock assessments of directional effects on federal fisheries like summer flounder. The model can also be made available to support state stock assessments and strategic planning.

Presentation File: Link to 3.3 MB file

December 17, 2013

Speaker: Richard Starr (US Fish and Wildlife Service, Annapolis, MD)

Title: Which Stream Restoration Approach is Best?

Synopsis: Many stream restoration approaches are being used in Maryland and throughout the Nation. And many times we ask ourselves or others, “Which stream restoration approach is best?” or “Which approach will give me the most benefits or up lift?” or “Which approach will give me more fish?”, etc. Mr. Starr will answer these questions. Well, not exactly. But he will describe an objective process that can be used to address these questions---to ensure that the best stream restoration approach is selected. The process embraces A Function-Based Framework for Stream Assessment and Restoration Projects (Harman et al., 2012). The seminar will describe this framework and provide examples of how the framework can be used to answer the questions asked above. Mr. Staff will wrap up with an update on the stream assessment and design guidelines being developed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Presentation File: Link to 2.9 MB file

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 3rd

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.

 

June 3, 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.

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