Research Projects

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Principal Investigator:
Sujay Kaushal
Co-Principal Investigator:
Keith N. Eshleman, Robert H. Hilderbrand, Margaret A. Palmer
Summary:

Objectives: The proposed study will (1) quantify the potential for stream restoration to reduce nitrogen loads from rapidly urbanizing coastal watersheds (kg N removed per restoration), and (2) identify which stream restoration features (e.g. armored pools and riffle sequences, oxbow ponds and riparian wetlands) are best at removing nitrogen. Methodology: Rates of N removal will be measured in a range of reference, degraded and restored streams (small reaches so that individual restoration features can be isolated) using 15N-nitrate tracer additions to whole streams and riparian zones.

Principal Investigator:
Glenn Moglen
Co-Principal Investigator:
Clair Jantz, Shippensburg University; James Reilly, Maryland Department of Planning
Summary:

Objectives: To integrate models of demographic, economic and spatial land use change; to model the hydrologic impacts of forecasted land use change assuming multiple future scenarios for the Delmarva Peninsula. Methodology: We propose to link the GAMe coarse-scale growth allocation model with the SLEUTH cellular automated model. SLEUTH is able to consistently and accurately simulate fine-scale development patterns across a range of conditions, but does not take into account the underlying demographic and economic changes that drive growth. These variables are, however, directly addressed by GAMe.

Principal Investigator:
W. Michael Kemp
Co-Principal Investigator:
Laura Murray, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory
Summary:

Objectives: The overall objective is to quantify and model ecological feedback effects whereby seagrass and SAV beds enhance water and sediment conditions across a range of scales to promote improved growth and survival of plants. We will investigate how different plant beds affect key water quality and sediment variables using models to examine how gradual inter-annual trends in bed size and density are related to variations in water quality and climate and to define what sequence in environmental condition leads to abrupt changes in SAV density. Methodology: This study combines comparative fine-scale field sampling with GIS analysis and simulation modeling for SAV beds of different size, density, species composition and spatial orientation.

Principal Investigator:
Elizabeth North
Co-Principal Investigator:
Edward D. Houde, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; William C. Boicourt, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:

Objectives: We seek to identify patterns in the timing and abundance of influx of shelf-spawned ichthyoplankton into Chesapeake and Delaware Bay, discern whether there are different physical mechanisms that influence ingress between these estuaries, and evaluate our results with respect to factors causing recruitment variability. We propose to 1) identify and compare the timing of larval fish ingress into Chesapeake and Delaware Bays for a suite of species, and 2) identify and compare specific cross-shelf transport mechanisms that influence the ingress of Atlantic croaker and American eel. Methodology: We propose to use a combination of fixed-site sampling, research cruises, and observing system data to identify ingress of young fishes into estuaries.

Principal Investigator:
Jonathan G. Kramer
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

Objective 1: Recognize the Principles for Developing EBFMPS in Chesapeake Bay In order for the EBFMP operational structure to be successful, a new set of principles needs to be recognized by the scientists, managers and stakeholders. Maryland SG will build consensus on an ecosystem management approach (EMA) that includes the following principles: I. The EMA effort will focus on management recommendations based on scientific consensus and recognize that factors extend across ecological and socioeconomic boundaries. 2. The EMA effort will efficiently utilize extant capacity and structure(s) within the Chesapeake Bay fisheries and non-fisheries communities and the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Principal Investigator:
Katharina A. M. Engelhardt
Co-Principal Investigator:
Maile C. Neel, University of Maryland, College Park
Summary:

Objectives: Are objectives are to 1) quantify patterns of genetic diversity in natural, restored and cultured populations of Vallisneria americana 2) quantify relationships between genetic diversity, ecological characteristics, and restoration success; and 3) culture different genotypes and population sources in support of conducting greenhouse experiments. This crosscutting interdisciplinary research specifically responds to several research areas outlined in the Maryland Sea Grant solicitation for research in the Chesapeake Bay. Methodology: We will use a combination of standard genetic techniques to characterize genetic diversity of 6 natural, 6 restored, and 6 cultured populations of Vallisneria americana present in the Chesapeake Bay.

Principal Investigator:
Allen Place
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

Objectives: Test the hypothesis that cryptophyte prey availability drives the formation of harmful algal blooms for mixotrophic algae such as Karlodinium veneficum (syn. K. micrum, Gymnodinium galatheanum, Gyrodinium setuariale). Methodology: In situ monitoring of cryptophytes will be accomplished by monitoring phycoerythrin fluorescence time series from established monitoring platforms (i.e. MD DNR @ Corsica and Rhode Rivers) and in spatial transects through existing blooms. Microscopy and flow cytometry will be used to supplement and validate fluorescence measurements. Statistical techniques will be applied to determine relationships between cryptophyes and HAB's in our newly collected data and in historical datasets such as the CBP phytoplankton count dataset.

Principal Investigator:
Donald Webster
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

Objectives: The objective is to develop a written plan on the development of shellfish aquaculture by facilitating meetings and conferences to utilize experienced personnel, as appropriate, for consultation on ways and means to bring about expanded production in this area. To produce a printed plan to include outlining the expansion of shellfish aquaculture that would effect educational programs, the assessment of current laws, the integration that would effect educational programs, the assessment of current laws, the integration of programs to aid in formulating procedures for expansion of aquaculture through development of Best Management Practices and recommendation of Enterprise Zones.

Principal Investigator:
Douglas Lipton
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

The SGEP focuses on these major goals: to educate and advise marine community users and decision makers by responding to expressed needs in such areas as aquaculture, water quality and living marine resources, commercial fisheries, seafood processing, seafood nutrition, coastal business, boating and recreation, and 7-12 education; to communicate to appropriate as liaison between the University and those who use the region's marine and estuarine resources. Methodology: SGEP staff work directly with the marine community through conferences, workshops, demonstrations, personal contacts, targeted publications distributed via mailing lists and meetings and video productions. Public awareness and education is enhanced through newspaper, magazine, broadcast media and the Internet.

Principal Investigator:
Wayne H. Bell
Co-Principal Investigator:
Philip G. Favero, Institute for Governmental Service, University of Maryland, College Park; Wendy G. Miller, Washington College
Summary:

Objectives: Understand how social, political and economic forces for change can provide opportunities rather than threats for sustainable development of rural coastal communities. Translate the results into a CD-ROM and internet-based "Sustainability Tool Kit" of information, leadership methods, and user-friendly GIS resources to help these communities participate in visioning their future in relation to their surrounding working landscapes. Provide hands-on education opportunities through internships for Washington College undergraduate students.

Principal Investigator:
Carys L. Mitchelmore
Co-Principal Investigator:
David A. Wright, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Environmental Science; Lance T. Yonkos, Daniel J. Fisher, University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Summary:

Rationale and Significance: Many options are being considered for the control of invasive aquatic species in ship's ballast water. Any adopted control measure must be effective, affordable, safe and environmentally benign. Chemical biocides show perhaps the best promise at satisfying the first three criteria. However residual chronic sub-lethal toxicity of the parent compounds and/or degradation products has yet to be fully investigated. In view of the fact that chemicals containing -OH groups are implicated as endocrine disruptors in some cases, this potential will be investigated herein. Until lower effects thresholds are determined a proper risk assessment of these compounds cannot be completed.

Principal Investigator:
Elizabeth North
Co-Principal Investigator:
Michael R. Roman, William Boicourt, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:

Objectives: Recent analyses suggest that freshwater flow may be an important factor that influences blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) recruitment. The objectives of this research are to 1) determine the vertical distribution of blue crab megalopae in relation to physical and chemical conditions to identify mechanisms that influence megalopae transport into Chesapeake and Delaware estuaries, and 2) use this information with monitoring data and numerical models to determine how differences in freshwater flow could affect blue crab recruitment variability. Methodology: We will address these objectives with a targeted field program and numerical/statistical analyses.

Principal Investigator:
Robert A. Dalrymple
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

OBJECTIVES: To develop a simple methodology for prediction of rip currents, based on theories, numerical modeling, and field observation. This methodology would be used to predict hazardous conditions at the shoreline.

METHODOLOGY: Review and verify existing theories using a numerical Boussinesq wave model. Install a beach monitoring system at Ocean City to observe rip current conditions. Work with lifeguards to gather data and test the methodology.

RATIONALE: Rip currents are one of the most deadly of natural hazards and account for most of the rescues by lifeguards. By providing a simple theory-based methodology to predict the likelihood of these currents, people can be warned and lives saved.

Principal Investigator:
Mario N. Tamburri
Co-Principal Investigator:
Gregory M. Ruiz, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; Peter D. McNulty, NEI Treatment System, LLC
Summary:

Objectives: The main objective of our proposed work is to extend the scope of VOS performance testing to include a different ocean basin (with different biota) and vessel type than is currently being evaluated and to conduct long-term monitoring of VOS efficacy for an entire vessel under routine, continuous operations as part of STEP program. This Phase IV: Commercial Ballast Water Treatment Technology Field Tests to evaluate VOS will be divided into two distinct parts or objectives: 1) Engineering Efficacy: Install and verify operational abilities, effectiveness to produce intended conditions, and reliability of the VOS systems onboard active vessels during long-term continuous operations.

Principal Investigator:
Lawrence P. Sanford
Co-Principal Investigator:
Evamaria W. Koch, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Jeffrey P. Halka, Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Geological Survey
Summary:

Objectives: The objectives of this study are 1) to investigate links and feedbacks between waves, tides, shoreline erosion, nearshore turbidity, and SAV in a coordinated, interdisciplinary study of two sites in the lower Little Choptank River; 2) to collaborate and cooperate with other research/monitoring efforts in the Little Choptank during 2005 and 2006; and 3) to communicate our findings to the Chesapeake Bay management groups interested in shoreline erosion and SAV habitat, and disseminate our findings to the general Chesapeake Bay community through public seminars. Methodology: A combination of field surveys and modeling will be used to address our objectives.

Principal Investigator:
Thomas J. Miller
Co-Principal Investigator:
David Bunnell, Great Lakes Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:

Objectives: We will develop bioeconomic simulation models that will reveal how changes in fishing efforts influence the spawning potential, yield, revenue, and profit of the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. Through a series of steps, these models will reveal sustainable levels of fishing mortality that maximize the economic return for commercial crabbers. We also will develop bioeconomic optimality models that will maximize a commercial crabbers' annual profit by determining the optimal number of pots to fish. Methodology: The bioeconomic simulations will build upon a biological model that we recently validated for blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

Principal Investigator:
Jeffrey C. Cornwell
Co-Principal Investigator:
Todd Kana, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:

Objective: The main objective of this project is to estimate the impact of the bay restoration on shallow water sediments. Specifically, we will determine the rates of primary production and enhanced nutrient retention by benthic microalgae in the northern Chesapeake Bay, provide appropriate light-production and other data relationships to the modeling community to enhance predictive modeling of shallow water processes, and improve the techniques for making such assessments. Methodology: We will use core incubations of benthic microalgae to determine production and respiration using both oxygen and high precision carbon dioxide measurements. Nutrient cycling will be assessed by fluxes of inorganic nutrients and measurements of denitrification.

Principal Investigator:
Anson H. Hines
Co-Principal Investigator:
Gregory M. Ruiz, Richard W. Osman, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; Lucius G. Eldredge, Bishop Museum
Summary:

Objectives: We propose to focus on tropical and subtropical sites that are of particular importance to U.S. trade interests and that are strategically positioned for biogeographic considerations.

Principal Investigator:
David H. Secor
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

Objectives: (1) Based upon laboratory experiments, test multivariable effects of temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen on principal bioenergetic responses of juvenile white perch. (2) Parameterize a bioenergetic model for white perch juveniles. (3) In measocosm trials, test the bioenergetic model. (4) (Contingent upon renewal). Using 17 years of Chesapeake Bay Program water quality data, map and analyze past effects of water quality on the potential production of white perch, and evaluate possible scenarios of future changes in temperature and dissolved oxygen. Methodology: We will construct a multi-variable eco-physiological framework, emulating one recently developed for sturgeons, which uses a semi-balanced oxygen budget.

Principal Investigator:
Patricia M. Glibert
Co-Principal Investigator:
Louis A. Codispoti, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:

Objectives: The overall goal is to track the source of the anthropogenic organic nutrients that appear to be fueling brown tide blooms in the Coastal Bays. Our specific objectives are to: (1) Develop a small boat nutrient mapping system (year 1), and deploy it several times a year to resolve spatial gradients; (2) Deploy our suite of autonomous nutrient sensors to better resolve the timing of nutrient inputs, and their consumption and dissipation (year 2), and conduct these deployments in conjunction with MD DNR in situ water quality measurements; (3) Use the nutrient data and other measurements to resolve the source of these nutrients, their relationship with brown tide, and to recommend appropriate management strategies (Year 1 and 2).

Principal Investigator:
Edward D. Houde
Co-Principal Investigator:
Lawrence W. Harding, Jr, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:

Objectives: Determine if bay anchovy recruitment levels in the Chesapeake Bay are related to timing, intensity, spatial variability, and quality of algal blooms. Evaluate associated environmental factors and develop statistical models to describe, hindcast, and potentially forecast recruitments. Evaluate temporal-spatial variability in growth and mortality of bay anchovy young stages relative to algal bloom dynamics and other factors. Determine if carrying capacity of the Bay for production of the bay anchovy is dependent on primary production level and its inter-annual and regional variability in the Chesapeake Bay.

Principal Investigator:
Willem M. Roosenburg
Institution:
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

Scope of Work: Determine the overlap between critical terrapin habitat and commercial crab and eel pot fisheries by random sampling of different habitat types to determine the sex, age and size classes of terrapins and the different habitats that they use with regard to water depth, temperature and the distance and estimate the portion of population that is found in the deeper waters where eel and crab pot fishery is likely to occur. Project will be conducted in the Patuxent River where a seventeen year demographic data set of terrapin population is available. The location also supports a variety of commercial fisheries that capture terrapins and that have a profound effect of the population size.

Principal Investigator:
Shao-Jun Du
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

The objective of this study is to determine the expression and function of a muscle growth inhibitor named Myostatin in zebrafish. The specific objectives are: 1). To determine the expression of endogenous Myostatin and Myostatin prodomain transgene in fish growing under various conditions, and to determine the optimal condition for enhancing fish muscle growth through inhibition of Myostatin function. 2). To study the mechanism by which Myostatin inhibits muscle growth, and to determine if inhibiting Myostatin function results in increased MyoD expression and myoblast proliferation.

Principal Investigator:
Mario N. Tamburri
Co-Principal Investigator:
Summary:

The full-scale controlled experiments under real-world conditions evaluations of Venturi Oxygen Stripping will be divided into two distinct phases or objectives: 1) Engineering Efficacy: Install and verify operational abilities, effectiveness to produce intended conditions, and reliability of the VOS systems onboard active vessels. 2) Biological Efficacy: Test the ability of VOS to reduce concentrations of living ballast water organisms, during normal vessel operations, to meet draft International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards.

Principal Investigator:
David R. Tilley
Co-Principal Investigator:
Andrew Baldwin, University of Maryland, College Park
Summary:

(1) Adapt leaf-scale models for relating plant reflectance indices to wetland ammonia concentrations, identified in our previous and on-going research, to field-scale canopy reflectance measurements of freshwater tidal marsh plant communities; (2) Design, build and test a boat-borne platform for rapidly collecting canopy hyperspectral reflectance of marshes, which can be used in the canopy-scale reflectance/ammonia models to quantify marsh nitrogen status, & (3) Demonstrate our technology to state agencies to consider it as a wetland monitoring tool.

Since 1977, Maryland Sea Grant has funded scientific research relevant to the Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland residents who conserve, enjoy, and make their living from it. We strive to fund projects that both advance scientific knowledge and offer practical results benefiting ecosystems, communities, and economies throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.

Click on an individual project to find out more. Search current and past research projects here.

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