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 (unless noted otherwise)
Tawes Office Building
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland

  • For directions, parking, and building access information, click here.
  • If there is a topic you would like to see included in the upcoming series, or a recommended speaker, please contact Dan Boward
  • For summaries of previous sessions, click here.

2015 - 2016 Seminars


September 10, 2015

Title - Unexplained Declines of Freshwater Mussels in the Clinch River: Influence of Water and Sediment Quality Stressors

Presenter - Christine Bergeron; North Carolina State University

The Clinch River watershed of Virginia and Tennessee supports one of the nation’s greatest concentrations of freshwater biodiversity, but agricultural and mining practices, land development, contaminant spills, and other anthropogenic activities have degraded water and sediment quality in the Virginia section. Mussel populations in certain reaches have declined in both species richness and abundance, and there is a critical need to investigate the effects of potential chemical alterations to the system. The goal of this research is to understand the potential causes of ongoing declines by characterizing contaminants (metals and organics) at 8 mainstem sites, extending upstream and downstream of the zone of mussel decline, and 4 tributary sites.

October 8, 2015

Title - Factors Contributing to Increased Iron Concentrations and Flocculate Associated with Iron-oxidizing Bacteria in Regenerative Stream/stormwater Conveyance Structures (RSCs)

Presenter – Michael Williams; University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Regenerative stormwater conveyances (RSCs) are built as a series of pools separated by rocky berms. Each retention pond has a thick seepage bed made of sand and wood chips. RSCs are effective at reducing the flashiness of stormwater runoff, thereby preventing streambed erosion. Stormwater is also retained for a longer period of time thereby increasing particulate settling and potentially enhancing rates of nutrient processing (i.e., denitrification). Although there is currently a great deal of interest in this type of best management practice (BMP) as a means of reducing nutrient and sediment export from disturbed catchments, little is known of its nutrient and sediment retention efficiency over time and whether there are unintended ecological consequences associated with these structures. For example, the accumulation of flocculate associated with iron-oxidizing bacteria (IOB) has been observed at various RSC sites, yet it is unknown whether the concentration of this flocculate is predominately natural, a consequence of leached iron (Fe) from the materials used in the RSC construction, or because of mobilized Fe associated with higher groundwater levels in adjacent riparian zones that may occur after construction. Deleterious ecological effects associated with large deposits of flocculate from these bacteria potentially include limiting the extent of benthic substrate that aquatic macroinvertebrates can recolonize and changes in the redox potential and rates of biogeochemical processing in stream sediments. Large quantities of flocculate and the oily sheen on surface waters commonly associated with IOB can also negatively affect the aesthetics of an aquatic system. An extensive dataset of Fe and other solutes from groundwater wells and perennial streams in RSCs located in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont physiographic provinces of MD and DC, as well as from leaching experiments of the RSC fill material, have been evaluated. This talk will focus on the relative importance of various sources of Fe, the factors responsible for the formation of Fe flocculate, and ecological implications of this flocculate in natural and RSC systems.

November 19, 2015

Title and Presenter TBA

December 10, 2015

Title and Presenter TBA

January 14, 2016

Title and Presenter TBA

February 12, 2016

Title and Presenter TBA

March 11, 2016

Title and Presenter TBA

April 14, 2016

Title and Presenter TBA

May 12, 2016

Title and Presenter TBA


Upcoming Events

  • 2015 MBSS Training
    Learn More
  • 2015 Nutrient and Sediment Monitoring Training
    Irvine Nature Center, May 13, 2015
    Learn More

Species Spotlight

  • Zebra Mussel

Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are harmful aquatic invasives that have recently expanded their range to the upper Chesapeake Bay.

Learn more in this informative Fact Sheet

Species Spotlight Archives