Last week, I received the wonderful news that Maryland Sea Grant will fund a part of my project on saltwater intrusion and nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems! I have recently decided to continue into the PhD program at University of Maryland, and this award will go a long way towards helping me expand my research project. Maryland Sea Grant is a partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program funds coastal science research, education, and outreach throughout Maryland. To best serve the coastal community in the state, Maryland Sea Grant has developed a strategic plan with four main focus areas: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Resilient Communities and Economies, and Effective Environmental Science Education. My project will address the first focus area by uncovering key biogeochemical processes that occur as sea level rise causes tidal salt marshes to encroach on farm fields. This Fellowship includes a strong public outreach component to allow me to share my findings outside of the scientific and academic community. To reach more people through my research, I have partnered with staff at The Nature Conservancy, a national non-profit environmental conservation group that shares some common goals with Maryland Sea Grant. The Nature Conservancy and Maryland Department of Natural Resources have completed a statewide Coastal Resiliency Assessment to help guide preservation and restoration decisions. As I delve into the basic scientific research behind my project, I am constantly challenged with creating ways to effectively connect the public with my findings. The big-picture goal of my project is to better guide environmental land management decisions in changing ecosystems. I am thrilled that I will now have the resources to work closely with people who incorporate scientific and environmental outreach into their jobs every day!
- By Dani Weissman
Dr. Kate Tully
Kate is an Assistant Professor of Agroecology at the University of Maryland.