Adkins Arboretum Hosts Author Jill Jonnes Talk Oct. 5 at AAM

Nature’s largest and longest-lived creations, trees play an extraordinary role in our landscapes. They are living landmarks that define space, cool the air, soothe our psyches and connect us to nature and our past. Learn about the fascinating natural history of the tree in American cities when Adkins Arboretum hosts author and historian Jill Jonnes for Urban Forests on Thurs., Oct. 5 at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. The talk begins at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing.

Jonnes’s latest book, Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape, celebrates urban trees and the Americans—presidents, plant explorers, visionaries, citizen activists, scientists, nurserymen and tree nerds—whose arboreal passions have shaped and ornamented the nation’s cities. Ranging from Thomas Jefferson’s day, to the postwar devastation of magnificent American elm canopies by Dutch elm disease, to the present, Jonnes lauds the nation’s arboreal advocates, from the founders of Arbor Day, arboretums and tree surgery to the current generation of scientists who engage technology to illuminate the value of trees as green infrastructure and their importance to public health.

Jonnes holds a Ph.D. in American history from Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of numerous books, including Eiffel’s TowerConquering Gotham and Empires of Light. Founder of the nonprofit Baltimore Tree Trust, she is leading the Baltimore City Forestry Board’s new initiative, Baltimore’s Flowering Tree Trails. As a staff member of the 2010 Presidential National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, she wrote the first chapter of the report Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling. Jonnes also has been named a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar and has received several grants from the Ford Foundation.

The talk is $15 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members. Advance registration is requested at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Diversity matters in this different kind of fishing tournament

A different kind of fishing tournament here on Oct. 7 will give anglers advanced notice of the best fishing spots in the area, and will award prizes for the diversity of fish netted, not just size. It’s the Rod & Reef Slam, a celebration of the Chesapeake Bay fisherman’s best friend: an oyster reef.

Sponsored by Coastal Conservation Association, Maryland; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF); the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative; and NOAA, the Slam is taking registrations here and at hgibson@cbf.org and 302-388-7659.

The late Clint Waters of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association (MSSA) used to tell his fellow anglers that “the best fishing hole” in the Choptank River was a place called Cook’s Point. Waters wasn’t telling fish stories when he reported that he routinely caught up to seven different species there: striped bass, hardhead, white perch, spot, and more. Some fishermen have even snagged legal black sea bass, fish rarely seen around the Chesapeake over the past 100 years.

Cook’s Point is an oyster reef near the mouth of the Choptank – a man-made reef at that. It is one of three such reefs that anglers will fish on at the Rod & Reef Slam. The others are Harris Creek and the Tilghman Island Artificial Reef just outside Knapps Narrows.

“Fish love oyster reefs like humans like a buffet line. As a result, recreational fishermen also love oyster reefs,” said John Page Williams, a CBF naturalist and widely known angler.

Oysters are called a keystone species in the Chesapeake. Oyster reefs are more than just mounds of shell; they form a foundation of the entire Bay ecosystem. They filter the water. And the intricate latticework of shells provides vital habitat for many small plants and animals that make their homes on reefs. Barnacles, mussels, and bryozoans attach to the oyster shells. Other animals like redbeard sponges, flower-like anemones, and feathery hydroids branch out into the water. Mobile invertebrates such as mud crabs, oyster drills and grass shrimp inhabit the nooks and crannies. Small fish like blennies, gobies and skillet-fish feed on the reefs, and attract larger animals such as striped bass and blue crabs.

But the benefits of these reefs are sometimes lost in debates about the cost of restoring oysters in Maryland. Some critics have questioned the tens of millions of dollars (mostly in federal money) that has been spent to restore over nearly 600 acres of oyster reefs in Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River and the Tred Avon River.

These man-made reefs are showing real promise in their primary job: growing oysters. The latest report about on the Harris Creek project, for instance, found 97 percent of the area meeting minimal density standards for a restored reef, and 80 percent meeting optimal standards.

But just as the Harris Creek reef seems to be doing so well, some critics are questioning the state’s plan to finish large projects on the Little Choptank, and Tred Avon, as well as man-made reefs planned for the future.

The Rod & Reef Slam is meant to remind us of the benefits from such projects. Recreational fishermen typically understand those benefits. For instance, the Dorchester Chapter of the MSSA (of which Clint Waters was president) partnered with CBF and the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative to submerge more than 650 “reef balls” with baby oysters below the Bill Burton fishing pier in Cambridge – to attract fish.

Where you find oysters, you’ll find fish, and fishermen.

The tournament cost is $50, which covers entry fee, after party food, giveaways, live entertainment and access to a cash bar. Youth ages 16 and under may participate for free with a participating adult. Tickets for $10 are available for after party food and entertainment only. Lines in will be 6:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 and lines out 2:30 p.m. Powerboat, kayak, and youth divisions. More information here or at 302-388-7659 or hgibson@cbf.org.

Kristan Droter Joins Riverkeepers as Development & Event Coordinator

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) is pleased to announce that Kristan Droter has been hired as Development and Event Coordinator. Droter has a strong background in management, finance, sales and marketing. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Psychology. Her career, including positions at Smith Barney and Kaplan Test Prep, has taken her to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Washington, DC, and New Orleans. She has worked with thousands of professionals, students, teachers and doctors from around the world. She led the reopening of Kaplan Test Prep’s New Orleans and Baton Rouge offices after Hurricane Katrina, piecing those centers back together, hiring and training new staff, and directly assisting displaced employees and students.

MRC Executive Director Jeff Horstman says, “We are thrilled to have Kristan onboard as our new development and event coordinator. With her professional background and local roots, I know she will be an asset to our work and our mission.”

Droter says she is thrilled to return to her birthplace on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore, where she lives with her husband, Steve, their three young sons, and their trusty dog Uli. Contact her at kdroter@midshoreriverkeeper.org or 443.385.0511.

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, and Wye River watersheds. For more information, visit midshoreriverkeeper.org.

New research award will help resource managers plan for increase in toxic algal blooms in Chesapeake waterways

Researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory have been awarded funding to develop a new model to better predict the long-term occurrences of dangerous and costly harmful algal blooms in the Chesapeake Bay. The cooperative project is made possible by the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

“The harmful algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay have been increasing due to nutrient enrichment, and with climate change we are going to have more occurrences,” said co-investigator Professor Ming Li. “In this project we will be developing a new mechanistic model to predict the harmful algal blooms.”

The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have long suffered from harmful algae blooms, or HABs, caused by excess nutrients running off of the land, due largely to a continually growing population in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and the development of animal and plant agriculture in its watershed. Ecosystem-disrupting events, harmful algal blooms have shown marked increase in the past 20 years.

The three-year project will develop a framework for scientists and natural resources managers to understand the impact of blooms by two of the most common microscopic algae in the Chesapeake Bay. Prorocentrum minimum, better known as ‘mahogany tide,’ can severely reduce the amount of oxygen available to living things, killing fish and altering food webs. Kalrodinium veneficum produces a toxin that has been implicated in fish-kill events in the Chesapeake Bay, as well been as associated with failure of oyster spawning and development.

“This is not a forecasting model for three or four days out,” said Professor Patricia Glibert. “Our aim is to ask longer term questions, such as if temperatures warm by a certain amount, what effect will that have? If we were to reduce nutrients, how will that affect harmful algal blooms?”

The model would be a tool to play out a number of different scenarios to understand the impact of different potential management decisions and ecosystem responses over decades. Glibert, who has been working on understanding toxic algal blooms around the world, will be handling the physiological experiments. Li, an expert on modeling hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay, will focus on developing a numerical model for the HABs.

The Chesapeake Bay is not the only place facing such problems. Similar events are happening off the coast of China and in many parts of Europe.

“We’re seeing this all over the world. More blooms, more often, lasting longer. In many places these trends are consistent with increased nitrogen loads,” Glibert.

Climate change is expected to result in warmer temperatures, higher sea level, and a changing weather patterns that will further increase the amount of nutrient pollution running off the land into waterways.

“We will be working closely with managers to develop scenarios and questions they wish to have us ask,” said Li, referring to groups like the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, and others. “We will add a model of the harmful algal blooms to an existing water-quality model and come up with a product that will be useful for managers.”

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. www.umces.edu

Horn Point Laboratory Breaks Ground on 10-Acre Solar Field with Standard Solar

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Standard Solar marked the beginning of a partnership to bring sustainable energy to the Horn Point Laboratory campus with a groundbreaking ceremony. Standard Solar will install a 10-acre solar field on campus that will generate approximately 50% of the Horn Point Laboratory’s annual energy consumption. UMCES has also received a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration to install four vehicle-charging stations under a new solar canopy on campus.

“Higher education has a key role in shaping a sustainable society. It’s essential that we lead by example,” said UMCES president Don Boesch, who has led the University System of Maryland’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative since 2008.

Photo: (L-R): Bill Reddish (Congressman Harris’ office), Melissa Kelly (Senator Van Hollen’s office), Kimberly Kratovil (Senator Cardin’s office), Jeff Miley (Asst. Dir. for Facilities, Horn Point Laboratory), Don Boesch (President, UMCES), Mike Roman (Director, Horn Point Laboratory), Tony Clifford (CDO, Standard Solar), Ray Cho (Director of Facilities, UMCES), Mary Beth Tung (Director, Maryland Energy Administration), Mary Ann Ibeziako, Director of Procurement, University of Maryland College Park).

UMCES signed an agreement this spring with Standard Solar to install the solar field. The 2MW system has an expected approximate annual generation of 3.5 MWh of solar renewable energy. The solar field is expected be in-service by the spring of 2018.

“Investing in renewable energy is a huge win for the State because we are creating jobs, supporting economic growth via electricity bill reduction, and addressing environmental concerns shared by all Marylanders,” said Director Mary Beth Tung, Maryland Energy Administration.

The project is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in which Standard Solar installs and operates the solar panels in exchange for the use of land. UMCES agrees to purchase the equivalent energy being generated over the next 20 years from Standard Solar.

“We applaud UMCES for its renewable initiatives and innovative efforts to achieve their energy-reduction goals,” said Tony Clifford, CDO, Standard Solar. “We look forward to a great partnership with the University and being a part of their very important work to provide information and data to help local and national leaders make better decisions about the environment.”

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is a signatory to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (Second Nature) and has launched several programs aimed at reducing our environmental footprint, including setting goals for reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions at each of our laboratories, upgrading aging infrastructure to newer, more energy-efficient alternatives, and building all new campus buildings to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

“The solar field is another example of how we are using innovative ways to manage Horn Point Laboratory in a way that reduces our environmental footprint and engages with the community,” said Mike Roman, director of the Horn Point Laboratory. This project also contributes to increasing Maryland’s in-state distributed electricity generation capacity and reducing the dependency on electricity imported from other states.

UMCES has also been selected to receive a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration’s Solar PV Canopy with EV Charger Grant Program to offset the cost of four level-II electrical vehicle charging stations on campus. Work begins on the project this fall.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. www.umces.edu

STANDARD SOLAR

Standard Solar, Inc. is a leading solar energy company specializing in the development and financing of solar electric systems nationwide. Dedicated to making Distributed Generation (DG) solar more accessible to businesses, institutions, governments and utilities, the company is forging the path for clean, renewable energy development through turnkey solutions. With more than 100 megawatts installed, financed or maintained, Standard Solar is one of the most trusted and respected solar companies. Owned by Gaz Métro, a leading energy provider with more than US$5.8 billion in assets, Standard Solar operates nationally and is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.com.

Environmental Concern Celebrates 45 Years with Upcoming Native Plant Sale

In celebration of 45 years working for wetlands, water quality and beneficial habitat, Environmental Concern (EC) will offer the largest selection of quality native plants in the region at their upcoming Fall Native Plant Sale. Join the EC staff for a festival of the senses – see the vivid red bloom on the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis); smell the scent of the wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa); and hear the birds, bees and bullfrogs that live in our wetland habitats.

EC’s native wetland plant nursery was the first of its kind in the nation – long before wetlands were accepted as anything but mosquito infested swamps. Since 1972, EC has expanded from a group of interns and biologists working out of an oversized garage to a 6 acre horticulture, education, and restoration facility.

EC’s campus, located at the headwaters of the San Domingo Creek, now supports 19 greenhouses, a wetland education building with classroom and creative activity spaces; a seed propagation and research workspace; the technology and resources required to provide wetland restoration design and construction services, and over 20 full time employees – all focused on improving water quality and increasing crucial habitat in the Chesapeake Bay.

Thanks to the support of the community, students, teachers, businesses and our partners, since 1972 EC has educated over 40,000 teachers, students and community members; propagated, grown and planted over 30 million native plants on shorelines and landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; restored over 1.6 million sq. ft. of eroded shorelines and constructed hundreds of ponds, rain gardens and other types of stormwater management facilities.

With your help, we’re continuing our mission to increase the quantity of native species in our local habitats, and in your gardens. We invite the public to join EC for the 16 th annual Fall Native Plant Sale and Open House. In addition to the plant sale, Community Workshops will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 am each day. “Monarch Rearing” is the feature presentation on Friday, September 8 th , and “Late Season Nectar Sources for Monarchs” will be offered on Saturday, September 9th. Participants will see the Monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed. If the time is right, you may see a Monarch emerging from its chrysalis. What is the chrysalis? Pre-register for the workshops at www.wetland.org to find out!

This fall, we have invited Eat Sprout to join us on Saturday. Eat Sprout will be offering delicious, breakfast and lunch specials for purchase. Enjoy a leisurely lunch while enjoying the serenity of the San Domingo Creek.

EC’s Campus is located at 201 Boundary Lane in historic St. Michaels. The sale hours are Friday, September 8 th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 9 th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visit www.wetland.org for more information

Audubon and Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage offer Habitat Workshop for Landowners

Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage (CWH) will present an exciting educator and landowner training on September 28th, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The training, Restoring Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Region of the Atlantic Flyway, includes lunch and is offered free of charge for participants thanks to a 2016 grant from Waterfowl Chesapeake, the conservation arm of the annual Waterfowl Festival. Pickering Creek and CWH have previously partnered to restore 90 acres of non-tidal wetlands, plant 11 acres of woodlands, and create 48 acres of warm season grass meadows at Pickering Creek. All of these projects are used to showcase habitat restoration and land management activities.

The training is designed for large landowners and caretakers, staff and volunteer leaders of local land conservancy, environmental education and other conservation and community organizations in an effort to encourage each organization’s constituents to restore large tracts of farmland to bird and wildlife habitat. During this one-day workshop staff and lead volunteers from partnering organizations will receive in depth training on the value of these projects to birdlife, wildlife and water quality.

The workshop will focus not only on the benefits, but will also touch upon the methods of restoring cropland to a variety of habitats including warm season grass buffers and meadows, forest buffers and freshwater wetlands. The training will emphasize the value of these habitats to birds along the Atlantic Flyway, particularly field size restoration projects that can affect landscape scale improvement to local ecosystems. At the conclusion of the training, participants will have a stock presentation and script that they will be able to use to give short presentations to the local community groups they are in contact with on the value of habitat restoration projects, the basic methods of implementation and contact information for technical and financial assistance required to initiate a project.

In Maryland, wetlands have declined by 70% according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Wildlife populations have suffered from that loss of habitat including, according to Audubon’s State of the Birds, Northern Pintail (decline of 77%), Eastern Meadowlark (72%), Grasshopper Sparrow (65%) and Northern Bobwhite (82%). The USGS notes that 95% of nutrients in Chesapeake Bay drainage of the Delmarva Peninsula comes from agriculture (USGS Circular 1228). In forested habitat Wood Thrush have declined 30% and continue to decline 1.7% each year. Attention to opportunities by community leaders to optimize habitats of these species is critical to their survival.

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, 20-500 acre properties are still commonly found. Though rich in traditional ‘environmental’ organizations, individual landowners have a great opportunity to learn about, implement and spread the word about land management practices that can improve the health of the Bay and wildlife.

The workshop will conclude with a session on Audubon’s “Plants for Birds” program. More native plants mean more choices of food and shelter for native birds and other wildlife. To survive, native birds need native plants and the insects that have co-evolved with them. Most landscaping plants available in nurseries are exotic species from other countries. Many are prized for qualities that make them poor food sources for native birds—like having leaves that are unpalatable to native insects and caterpillars. With 96 percent of all terrestrial bird species in North America feeding insects to their young, planting insect-proof exotic plants is like serving up plastic food. No insects? No birds.

The workshop is sponsored by Waterfowl Chesapeake as part of their effort to connect financial resources with environmental needs and also increase community engagement and people’s understanding of the importance and benefits of healthy waterfowl habitats and populations on the Shore. Pickering Creek Audubon Center has been educating citizens on the Eastern Shore of Maryland about the environment for twenty-five years. A strong relationship with local school programs and community groups helps facilitate more than 12,000 program contacts with individuals each year. The Center’s 400 acres of forest, wetland, tidal marsh and agricultural fields exhibit the broad diversity of habitats that represent Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

To register for the training please contact Mark Scallion mscallion@audubon.org or Samantha Pitts spitts@audubon.org at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, 410.822.4903

Summer Butterflies and Migrating Monarchs at Pickering Creek

Visit Pickering Creek Audubon Center this August and September for three excellent opportunities to learn about local butterflies! On Saturday, August 12 from 10:30AM to 12:30 PM, butterfly experts Theresa Murray and Frank Boyle are returning for a second year to lead a “Spectacular Summer Butterflies” talk and walk. Theresa Murray has been learning about butterflies and their life cycles over the past 20 years. She currently maintains gardens with nectar plants and host plants for several butterflies including monarchs. Frank Boyle is a naturalist and butterfly specialist from Rohrersville, MD. He leads several NABA (North American Butterfly Association) annual 4th of July butterfly counts in Maryland and the mountains of Virginia. He has been chasing and gardening for butterflies for 23 years. A short presentation about the most common butterflies on the Eastern Shore of Maryland will kick off the program. The group will then walk along Pickering Creek’s meadow trails to look for various species and the native plants that attract them. Participants will Learn about identifying features of these exquisite insects and observe the beautiful blooming plants that bring them in.

Participants in Pickering Creek’s Monarch Watch Tagging program try to carefully catch butterflies sipping nectar on wetland plants.

On September 13th and 20th from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, Pickering Creek naturalists will lead two Monarch Tagging events during the butterflies’ fall migration. Each year, monarchs migrate from their breeding grounds in North America to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. This year the University of Kansas’s Monarch Watch predicts high numbers of monarchs migrating south. Participating in their nationwide citizen science tagging program is a great way to learn about this charismatic local animal and contribute to scientific research on its population, challenges and resiliency. Both tagging events at Pickering Creek will include a short program on the lifecycle and migration of monarchs and how climate change is affecting them followed by an excursion into the wetland meadows where monarchs will be sipping nectar as they fuel up for their journey south! No experience is necessary.

Register for these programs by calling 410-822-4903 or emailing Mary Helen Gillen at mgillen@audubon.org.

Living Oyster Bed Created at CBMM

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., now has its own living oyster bed, thanks to a generous donation from a local oyster farm dedicated to building a sustainable oyster population in the Miles River.

Mudgies Oyster Farm donated the oysters and labor to CBMM to help build a foundation for a living bed at CBMM’s Waterman’s Wharf. On July 20, Greg Kemp Jr., third generation waterman; Billy Adams, multi-generation waterman and board member of Talbot Seafood Heritage Association; and Stuart Dawson, farm manager of Mudgies Oyster Farm LLC, laid green shell foundations in the waters off Waterman’s Wharf. Tred Avon Treats supplied shells, TSHA supplied the labor, while Mudgies supplied the oyster seed and spat on shell.

Stuart Dawson, Greg Kemp, and Billy Adams recently donated oysters and labor to help CBMM build a foundation for a living oyster bed next to its Waterman’s Wharf exhibition.

“We enjoyed seeing this project get started, and look forward to the living bed growing oysters to help the Bay as well as educate the public,” Dawson said.

“CBMM is excited to be collaborating with local organizations to educate our guests with living exhibitions,” said CBMM Director of Education & Associate Curator Kate Livie. “Oysters are a large part of the Bay’s history, as well as the history of CBMM, and creating this living oyster bed adds authenticity to a fun and educational experience.”

Waterman’s Wharf is a re-created crabber’s shanty where CBMM guests can try their hand at many of the seafood harvesting activities of a Chesapeake Bay waterman. Outside the shanty are Chesapeake Bay workboats—the Hooper Island draketail Martha, the Pot Pie Jackson skiff, the 1912 tugboat Delaware, and Volunteer, a replica Smith Island crab scraper.

The living oyster bed is completed just in time for the 8th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day, which takes place on August 13, and features a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs, live music, and more. The fundraising event is organized by CBMM in cooperation with the Talbot Watermen Association, with proceeds benefiting both organizations. For tickets and more detailed event information, visit cbmm.org. To learn more about Mudgies Oyster Farm, visit mudgiesoysterfarm.com.

CBEC Launches STEM Program

Hanna Spongberg, ROVER instructor, assists Wye River Upper Schools students who are launching a ROVER for a water monitoring mission.

The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) in a cooperative agreement with NASA added a cutting-edge STEM educational program to its educational endeavors.  This program is designed for Middle and High School students.

The program consists of environmental sampling techniques using NASA  approved equipment and associated technology.  Students will learn types of equipment and computer-related devices for sampling the local atmosphere and water.  The students will collect, interpret, and record data for use by scientists, institutions, agencies and general citizenry.  The local data will be downloaded to the GLOBE website (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment- GLOBE.gov) and be available for researchers world-wide.

The students will collect atmospheric data on CBEC property by following guidelines in the  AEROKAT program.  The AEROKAT program involves flying kites outfitted with data collecting technologies and cameras.  They will capture and process their own data about near-surface rates of temperature, pressure, relative humidity and remote sensing.  They will be exposed to the ‘world of digital literacy’ through use of the equipment and data collection.  This skill set will benefit students in both academic and work experiences.

The ROVER program is associated with local water monitoring.  The ROVER is a remotely operated aquatic platform to measure and analyze data, such as oxygen levels, temperature, nutrients, and pH of water.  Students will operate the Rover on local waterways and collect data for downloading to the GLOBE website.

Students will learn how to interpret the data and determine local atmospheric and water conditions, identify potential problems and solutions under the guidance of CBEC staff and NASA resource partners.  Students will have the opportunity to work with professionals in the field.

Field trips to CBEC will give students the opportunity for hands-on experience with the AEROKATS and ROVERS and meet STEM requirements.  All activities are NGSS aligned and incorporate STEM education using real-world settings.  For more information go to bayrestoration.org/AREN and see what activities are available or contact jwink@bayrestoration.org.