From the Director
Late last year, Maryland Sea Grant underwent a rigorous evaluation by the National Sea Grant College Program. Part of a new national evaluation effort, this performance assessment aims to insure that all Sea Grant programs are well organized, produce significant, high impact results, reach a variety of important end-users and plan for the future. This was Maryland Sea Grant's first evaluation under this new system and we chose to present our accomplishments in the context of the last ten years. The four-day evaluation – conducted by a team of scientists, managers and administrators drawn from around the country – involved all parts of the program. The assesment team traveled around the Bay, speaking directly with a range of stakeholders, from researchers to educators to representatives of the seafood industry. Their final report is now offical, and I am pleased to say that Maryland Sea Grant received an overall rating of Excellent – the highest possible score.
Of the many lessons I've learned from this look back, two stand out. First, excellence is built by efforts that extend over many years and a commitment to seek new ways to catalyze innovative research, outreach and education. Second, our success lies in the strong partnerships that sustain our program and the many outstanding contributions made by individuals throughout Maryland Sea Grant.
While we have looked back in preparing for this program evaluation, we have been looking forward as well, devising better ways of reaching our important audiences. With this issue of Maryland Marine Notes, I am happy to announce that the new, completely revamped Maryland Sea Grant web site ( www.mdsg.umd.edu) is now online. Beyond its new face and architecture lie a series of new features that provide a wealth of information about the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's coastal waters, as well as resources for researchers, teachers and others interested in our program. In the coming months, we'll be adding more pages that provide information on emerging issues, links to important sources of scientific, technical and policy information – and new forums for public comment and debate. I invite you to explore our new site and, most importantly, to comment on what you find there. Your input is essential as we continue to build our capability on the web and throughout our entire program.
Jonathan Kramer, Director
Maryland Sea Grant