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Collaborative Science for Estuaries Webinar Series

Join us for monthly webinars featuring project teams supported by the NERRS Science Collaborative. Speakers share their unique approaches to addressing current coastal and estuarine management issues. Learn about new methods to integrate technical experts and users of project outputs into the research process, and how their research results and products might inform your work.

Be sure to check back periodically for session recordings and other relevant products, or sign up (Mailing List | RSS) to receive notifications about new resources and upcoming webinars.

Upcoming Webinars

Thu 7/25/2024, 3 - 4pm EDT
Speaker(s):
Hannah Ramage, Laura Reynolds, and Arianna Stokes

      

You’ve probably heard the phrase meaningful engagement. Maybe you’ve even used the phrase yourself. But have you ever found yourself wondering, what exactly do we mean by meaningful engagement and how do we achieve it?

Many of us recognize that engaging meaningfully with partners is at the heart of effective collaboration. However it’s not always easy to define what meaningful engagement is, and what it means in practice. The NERRS Science Collaborative offered a webinar in January 2024 to outline a framework for understanding meaningful engagement. In this upcoming webinar, the NERRS Science Collaborative and the NOAA RESTORE Science Program are teaming up to dive into the practical realities of meaningful engagement.  

This webinar will feature the voices of two collaborative science project teams who will share their project-specific experiences with meaningful engagement. Together, we’ll dig into examples of what meaningful engagement is, what it looks like in practice, and what strategies we might use to foster it during collaboration.

We’ll also save time for questions from the audience, so come ready to engage (meaningfully)! Bring questions or submit them in advance via the registration form.

Collaborative Science Conversations          
The NOAA RESTORE Science and NERRS Science Collaborative programs continue teaming up to bring you the voices of project teams from the field through our Collaborative Conversations webinar series. These sessions dig into the unique value of collaborative science, what it feels like in practice, and tips and strategies for success. 

About RESTORE: The NOAA RESTORE Science Program was authorized by Congress in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to carry out research, observation, and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries. The Science Program supports teams of resource managers, researchers, and stakeholders committed to working together to produce science that helps answer the questions resource managers are facing.

Speakers:

  • Hannah Ramage, Lake Superior NERR
  • Laura Reynolds, University of Florida
  • Arianna Stokes, NERRS Science Collaborative

Past Webinars

Fri 5/24/2024, 1 - 2pm EDT
Speaker(s):
Cory Riley and Lisa Wise

Since 1994, collaboration among the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership has resulted in the protection of over 82,000 acres in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed. Resources such as the 2006 Land Conservation Plan – which informed watershed protection goals, identified regional priorities, and guided strategic decision-making for over a decade – have contributed to this success by evaluating regional progress and promoting understanding of conservation efforts to date. In 2021, the Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire released an updated version of the plan that reflects new conservation priorities for climate adaptation, water resource protection, wildlife habitat and landscape connectivity corridors, and working lands.

Supported by a science transfer grant, the Connect to Protect project facilitated the transfer of knowledge from the updated plan to intended users in the region through a focused outreach effort which included a needs assessment, formal knowledge transfer workshops, and a technical assistance program. In addition to facilitating knowledge transfer and outreach, the project provides a strong example of how funds can be leveraged to launch and support lasting regional relationships that continue beyond a project timeline. In this webinar, team members discuss the approach and impacts of the project, including where this work sits within the broader context of the region and how collaborative outreach increases the reach of conservation work.

Speakers:

Cory Riley, Great Bay NERR

Cory Riley is the Manager at the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, where she works closely with partners to promote clean water and healthy coastal habitats in the region. For this project, Cory recruited, organized, and facilitated the Advisory Team that provided external advice as needed on high-level decisions, project activities, and products.

Lisa Wise, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Lisa Wise is a Program Manager with University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, where she works with New Hampshire communities to build awareness of and resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Lisa led the Outreach Team during the second half of the project, which conducted a needs assessment of end users, oversaw the development of the Connect to Protect website, planned and conducted science transfer workshops, and completed technical assistance for communities and land trusts.

Thu 3/7/2024, 2 - 3pm EST
Speaker(s):
Chris Janousek, Jazmin Dagostino, Mackenzie Taggart, and Adrian Laufer

For nearly a decade, the Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Working Group (Working Group) has brought scientists, planners, policy makers and others together to identify and collaboratively fill priority blue carbon data gaps for Pacific Northwest coastal wetlands, archive those data in a new Working Group-created regional blue carbon database, and make those data available to individuals and agencies working to advance regional climate mitigation initiatives. Through the collaboration of researchers, planners, policy professionals, and others from universities, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies throughout the region, the Working Group has systematically collected and analyzed new–and compiled existing–regional data on carbon stocks, carbon sequestration, and methane emissions and archived them in the Working Group’s Northeast Pacific Regional Blue Carbon Database. 

This two-part webinar series covers the Working Group’s latest research, including data collection to support blue carbon comparisons across different natural and land use types, as well as the ways these data are used in the development of climate mitigation policies and blue carbon tools. 

View resources from part 1: Filling Blue Carbon Data Gaps | February 29, 2024

Part 2: Blue Carbon Data Applications | March 7, 2024
This session highlights the Working Group’s and partners’ application of regionally specific blue carbon data for the development of climate mitigation policies and blue carbon tools, including an emissions inventory supporting Oregon’s new Natural and Working Lands legislation, blue carbon mapping, and the development of a regional blue carbon calculator.

Session 2 Speakers:

Chris Janousek, Oregon State University

Chris is a research professor at OSU and has worked on tidal wetland ecology along the Pacific coast for two decades. He has led or co-led several regional blue carbon projects and curates the Northeast Pacific Blue Carbon database.

Jazmin Dagostino, Pew Charitable Trusts

Jazmin Dagostino is an associate on Pew’s U.S. Conservation project, working to advance state and federal natural climate solutions. She focuses primarily on state efforts to incorporate coastal blue carbon and peatland management strategies into climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Adrian Laufer, Sea & Shore Solutions

Adrian Laufer is a coastal & marine policy and management practitioner with a background in GIS and spatial science. She is the CEO of Sea & Shore Solutions, a women-owned consulting firm specializing in bridging the gap between science and application in coastal management and marine policy. Laufer collaborated with Pew and others to develop a user-friendly mapping resource to showcase blue carbon values and possible restoration futures.

mackenzie taggart

Mackenzie Taggart, Silvestrum Climate Associates

Mackenzie Taggart is a wetland scientist specializing in coastal blue carbon dynamics. With a keen focus on merging science and policy, she is committed to crafting innovative tools for communities actively involved in natural climate solutions.

Thu 2/29/2024, 2 - 3pm EST
Speaker(s):
Chris Janousek, Trevor Williams, Katrina Poppe, and Scott Bridgham

For nearly a decade, the Pacific Northwest Blue Carbon Working Group (Working Group) has brought scientists, planners, policy makers and others together to identify and collaboratively fill priority blue carbon data gaps for Pacific Northwest coastal wetlands, archive those data in a new Working Group-created regional blue carbon database, and make those data available to individuals and agencies working to advance regional climate mitigation initiatives. Through the collaboration of researchers, planners, policy professionals, and others from universities, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies throughout the region, the Working Group has systematically collected and analyzed new–and compiled existing–regional data on carbon stocks, carbon sequestration, and methane emissions and archived them in the Working Group’s Northeast Pacific Regional Blue Carbon Database. 

This two-part webinar series covers the Working Group’s 2020-2023 research, including data collection to support blue carbon comparisons across different natural and land use types, as well as the ways these data are used in the development of climate mitigation policies and blue carbon tools.

Part 1: Filling Blue Carbon Data Gaps | February 29, 2024
This session highlights the Working Group’s 2020-2023 research designed to fill regional carbon sequestration and methane, CO2 and N2O emissions data gaps as well as the design and utility of the Northeast Pacific Regional Blue Carbon Database.

Session 1 Speakers:

Chris Janousek, Oregon State University

Chris is a research professor at OSU and has worked on tidal wetland ecology along the Pacific coast for two decades. He has led or co-led several regional blue carbon projects and curates the Northeast Pacific Blue Carbon database.

Trevor Williams, Oregon State University

Trev has been a Faculty Research Assistant in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University for 3 years focusing on environmental monitoring in tidal wetlands. Prior to OSU he was at Portland State University where he worked in agricultural systems researching nutrient input effects on water quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Katrina Poppe, Western Washington University

Katrina is a Research Associate at Western Washington University and a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. She studies sediment, vegetation, and carbon dynamics in tidal wetlands in relation to climate change and land management. For this project she has focused on understanding patterns and predictors of soil carbon accumulation rates.

Scott Bridgham, University of Oregon

Scott is an emeritus professor at the University of Oregon. He has been doing research on climate impacts on wetlands, terrestrial ecosystems, and aquatic ecosystems for 35+ years and has published extensively on those efforts. He is part of the PNW Blue Carbon Working Group scientific team, focusing on how land management in tidal wetlands affects trace gas emissions and climate forcing.

Register for Part 2:  Blue Carbon Data Applications | March 7, 2024

Tue 1/23/2024, 3 - 4pm EST
Speaker(s):
Julia Wondolleck and Arianna Stokes

Meaningful engagement has become a catchphrase in public participation. Its characteristics are assumed to be self-evident yet many struggle with its implementation and, until recently, there has been surprisingly little work shedding light on how to achieve it. The NERRS Science Collaborative, through its participation in the Reserve System, has observed how meaningful engagement is foundational to effective collaborative science and is a frequent discussion topic among NERRS project teams.

Seeking to unpack the dimensions of meaningful engagement, the Science Collaborative has supported research that draws on the experiences and insights of collaborative science teams. The research aims to answer questions such as:  What exactly does meaningful engagement mean in practice? What are the tell-tale signs when it is being achieved, and when it is not? What factors help advance it? What are the challenges to realizing it, and how might those challenges be addressed?

This webinar describes the overall research project, shares preliminary findings based on interviews with collaborative science project team members and reserve partners, and highlights how intended products can benefit collaborative science teams and others.

Speakers:

Julia Wondolleck, University of Michigan

Julia Wondolleck is an Emerita Professor at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability and a member of the NERRS Science Collaborative team.  She has spent her professional career researching, writing, and teaching about collaborative processes in natural resource and environmental management contexts. She is supervising Arianna’s graduate research on meaningful engagement.

Arianna Stokes, University of Michigan

Arianna Stokes is a master's student at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability where she is studying participatory processes within the fields of environmental policy and environmental justice. Originally from New Hampshire, Arianna has a degree in ecology and economics from the University of California Davis. Prior to graduate school, Arianna worked in coastal New Hampshire and participated in CoastWise, a place-based coastal resilience program, at UNH Sea Grant. She is currently a science communication fellow at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. 

Thu 11/30/2023, 2 - 3pm EST
Speaker(s):
Kerstin Wasson, Charlie Endris, Andrea Woolfolk, and Suzanne Shull

Estuaries are coastal gems. To protect and restore them, we need a clear understanding of exactly where they are, where they were, and where they could be in the future. A team led by the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) recently completed an ambitious effort to map estuarine habitat in and around the 30 NERRs. They used a powerful combination of NOAA resources for elevation and tidal datums to map the reach of tides, historical topographic sheets generated by NOAA’s predecessor agency to map past habitat distributions, and compared this to mapping from USFWS’s National Wetland Inventory (NWI).

Elevation-based mapping revealed that estuary extent is greater  than currently mapped in NWI. At more than two-thirds of the Reserves, the team detected tidal forests missed by NWI.  Comparison of historical maps to NWI revealed dramatically greater loss of tidal wetland extent on the Pacific coast than in other regions. The results of this investigation suggest that multiple mapping methods complement each other and should be integrated to provide a more accurate understanding of estuaries—past, present and future.

Project Lead 

  • Kerstin Wasson, Research Coordinator, Elkhorn Slough NERR

Technical Leads

  • Andrea Woolfolk, Stewardship Coordinator, Elkhorn Slough NERR
  • Charlie Endris, GIS Specialist, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Suzanne Shull, GIS Specialist, Padilla Bay NERR

Collaborative Lead

  • Dan Brumbaugh, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Elkhorn Slough NERR

Technical and Collaborative Advisor

  • Laura Brophy, Estuary Technical Group Director, Institute for Applied Ecology

Speakers:

Kerstin Wasson, Elkhorn Slough NERR

Kerstin is passionate about science-based conservation and restoration of estuaries, and complements local-placed based work in coastal California with syntheses across the national estuarine reserve system. She coordinated this project.

Charlie Endris, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Charlie has worked as a GIS and remote sensing specialist for more than 15 years. He has focused on using digital elevation models, orthoimagery, and historical T-sheets to characterize habitat change and model projected sea level rise along coastal California. Charlie used NOAA datasets to create elevation-based models depicting maximum   
tide and lake levels for this project, and NWI for extracting existing habitat information.

Andrea Woolfolk, Elkhorn Slough NERR 

Andrea has been working on coastal ecology and land management in the Elkhorn Slough area since 1994. At the Reserve, she focuses on upland habitat management, and she particularly loves working with others to restore native grasses and wildflowers where she can. She has a deeply nerdy interest in historical ecology, and she helped map historical habitats from T-sheets for this project.

Suzanne Shull, Padilla Bay NERR 

Suzanne has been providing nearshore geospatial data, products, and support to the Padilla Bay Reserve for 25 years.  She was involved with the conversion of the historical maps to GIS map layers, comparing that to habitat maps of more current conditions (primarily NWI data), analyzing change between the two and posting the maps to ArcGIS Online.

Wed 10/18/2023, 3 - 4pm EDT
Speaker(s):
Jessica Kinsella

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an open-source, international network of community hosted radio-telemetry receivers and wildlife researchers designed to investigate a wide variety of wildlife movement questions. Volunteer partners host and operate receiving stations across the world that autonomously listen for flying migratory animals equipped with transmitters called nanotags. Researchers rely on the receivers for movement data for a diversity of tagged wildlife, including birds, bats, and insects. Despite widespread interest in wildlife tracking and research within and beyond the Reserve system, this technology has only been used sporadically at a few reserve sites to date.

In 2018, the ACE Basin NERR received private funding to implement a Motus receiver station at partner State Park, which sparked interest from potential collaborators. Since 2020, a multi-reserve project led by the ACE Basin Reserve has held a series of workshops to provide guidance and assistance on siting, construction, installation, and interpretation of Motus sites at participating reserves. In this webinar, project lead Jessica Kinsella shares how this effort has created new partnerships and positioned the Reserve as a regional leader for the Motus initiative, while enabling partners to increase their contribution to coastal bird research and engage their intended users in coastal bird conservation and management.

Jessica Kinsella is the Stewardship Coordinator at the ACE Basin Reserve in South Carolina and served as both a collaborative lead and the project lead for the Motus project. She has extensive outreach, education, and resource management experience and, in her current role, coordinates with existing and develops new Motus-related partnerships.

Learn more about community science at the ACE Basin Reserve

Thu 6/22/2023, 3 - 4pm EDT
Speaker(s):
Julie Gonzalez, Chris Peter, Kelly Darnell, Caitlin Young, and Doug George

 

Curious about collaborative science but unsure how to get started? Maybe you’re an early career scientist and you’re worried that collaborative science goals won’t align with the metrics and rewards of the academic tenure-track system. Or maybe you’re a resource manager or steward who is intrigued about the advantages of a collaborative approach but you’re not sure how it could fit into your work.

No matter your career track or level of experience, we believe collaborative science should be accessible and that there are countless entry points and pathways to success. If you are - or are working with - someone wondering how to get started doing collaborative science, this webinar is for you. Collaborative science practitioners at different moments in their careers discuss what it takes to do collaborative science, how it’s different, and why it makes a difference. 

Collaborative Science Conversations          
The NOAA RESTORE Science and NERRS Science Collaborative programs are back at it, teaming up to bring you the voices of project teams from the field through our Collaborative Conversations webinar series. These sessions dig into the unique value of collaborative science, what it feels like in practice, and tips and strategies for success. 

About RESTORE: The NOAA RESTORE Science Program was authorized by Congress in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to carry out research, observation, and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, including its fisheries. The Science Program supports teams of resource managers, researchers, and stakeholders committed to working together to produce science that helps answer the questions resource managers are facing.

Panelists:

Julie Gonzalez is a Ph.D. Candidate at University of California, Davis, and a current NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Fellow with the San Francisco Bay NERR. She is interested in estuarine community ecology, how to improve coastal habitat restoration and assessment, facilitating collaborative co-development of research projects and considering multiple stakeholder perceptions in the process. Over the past eight years she has been involved in several restoration projects along the California and Oregon coasts as both a research scientist and former Sea Grant Fellow/Project Manager with California State Coastal Conservancy. 
Chris Peter leads the research and monitoring programs at the Great Bay Reserve. He also participates in regional and national efforts that advance estuarine science, monitoring and restoration, including a regional project that is studying how sea level rise will impact our salt marshes in the future. Chris appreciates Adams Point as the gateway to the Bay and enjoys paddling on the Lamprey. Before coming to the Reserve, he was a marine and estuarine scientist at the University of New Hampshire’s Jackson Estuarine Lab. He earned a Master’s of Science in Natural Resources and a Bachelor’s of Science in Water Resource Management from the University of New Hampshire.

Kelly Darnell is the Interim Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and is faculty in USM’s Division of Coastal Sciences. She is a coastal ecologist whose research focuses on the biology and ecology of seagrass ecosystems. Dr. Darnell frequently collaborates with natural resource managers to ensure the results of her research can be applied to management, conservation, and restoration decision-making. Dr. Darnell is also Director of the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence, a $25M research grants program with the mission of understanding stressors on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems to facilitate sustainable use of its natural resources, and she is President of the Gulf Estuarine Research Society, a professional society whose goal is to promote research in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Moderators:

Doug George is a geological oceanographer and the program manager for the NERRS Science Collaborative. He has worked throughout the West Coast as a federal scientist, state resource manager, and environmental consultant with projects ranging from estuary restoration and living shorelines to regional sediment management and climate change adaptation. 
Caitlin Young is the Science Coordinator for the NOAA RESTORE Science Program. She leads the Science Program’s efforts to synthesize environmental and human dimension research data available for the Gulf of Mexico to design funding competitions. She has a background in geochemistry and has researched the impacts of submarine groundwater discharge on coastal ecosystems. 
Wed 4/26/2023, 2 - 3pm EDT
Speaker(s):
Lisa Maillard

Collaborative science is an inclusive approach that creates many different pathways of science to application. While there are several key elements - design within context, dialog between researchers and non-researchers, and tailored processes and products - how these elements come together can look very different from project to project. As the NERRS Science Collaborative continues to learn alongside project teams and refine its approach to support collaborative science across the reserve system, it also seeks to understand the evolution of its own approach and impact.

In collaboration with the NERRS Science Collaborative Team, University of Michigan PhD student Lisa Maillard built upon a previous investigation of how Science Collaborative-supported teams work to document collaborative intents, processes, and outcomes, and what these three concepts can look like in “real world” collaborative science projects. This webinar shares the findings of this work - that the intensification and diversification of engagement processes have resulted in a growing understanding of the value and impact of collaborative science. Lisa will also share how this work is being translated into guidance for the program and resources for collaborative science practitioners and applicants.

lisa maillard Lisa Maillard, SEAS Doctoral Candidate & NERRS Science Collaborative Graduate Student Research Assistant

Lisa Maillard is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability studying the processes of engaged research and actionable sustainability knowledge creation. Her research for the NERRS Science Collaborative centers on analyzing the institutional dimensions of collaborative science and understanding how these dimensions translate to project impacts and user experience.

Fri 2/17/2023, 2 - 3pm EST
Speaker(s):
Lea Anne Burke, Tehani Malterre, Alice Yeates, Ashley Russell, Deanna Erickson, and Bree Turner

As highly productive social-ecological systems, estuaries have continuously been central to Indigenous lifeways. Indigenous science, stewardship practices, and co-management can strengthen well-being for lands, waters, and people. This session advances understanding of the concerns of Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations to help coastal practitioners address social and environmental justice with a focus on Pacific Northwest coastal systems. Presenters share ways that land stewards can support thriving relationships with estuaries, sustaining cultural knowledge and practices.

Tribal Nations are sovereign governments with needs distinct from other coastal stakeholders. Estuarine lands and waters in the US may have been ceded via treaties, remain unceded, or ceded with important rights retained. While formal government-to-government consultation with Tribal governments or Indigenous governance organizations is required by certain state or federal policies, other types of tribal engagement can still be rigorous, productive, and supportive of conservation and restoration goals. Learn from examples at the South Slough Reserve, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw, the NOAA EPP/MSI program, and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Learn more about the speakers:

Lea Anne Burke is the Tribal Affairs Manager for the Puget Sound Partnership, the agency's first point of contact for tribal governments. She works to maintain and improve intergovernmental relations, develop protocols, create engagement opportunities, and build deep relationships with tribal nations. A graduate of The Evergreen State College and the University of Washington, Lea Anne has a background in tribal land use planning, landscape architecture, city governance, natural resources management, environmental restoration, and Native community development. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.
Tehani Malterre is a senior undergraduate student studying Global Environmental Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Tehani is in her second year as a NOAA EPP/MSI (Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions) scholar. After graduating, she hopes to study ecosystems ecology or conservation biology in graduate school. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.
Alice Yeates is the Stewardship Coordinator at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Alice has a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Queensland and one of her primary roles at the Reserve is to coordinate restoration projects. Alice works closely with Tribal partners to practice co-stewardship at the Reserve and her role in this project was to communicate about one of these partnerships. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.
Ashley Russell is an Oregon State University (OSU) graduate of Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on Fisheries and Wildlife Science and recently completed her Herbal Immersion Program through the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. She is also a Miluk Coos Tribal Member and enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Coos Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw and Indians (CTCLUSI). She has worked for her Tribe in many capacities over the last 8 years and was recently promoted to Assistant Director of the Culture and Natural Resources Department on Summer Solstice of this year. Her personal goal is to help Tribal members reclaim their medicine. She was an expert advisor and co-presenter on this project.
Deanna Erickson is the director (and previously, the first education coordinator) at the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. She leads a dedicated team who conducts research, education, outreach and stewardship along Lake Superior estuaries, focusing on the St. Louis River in Superior within the 1842 and 1854 Ceded Territory of the Ojibwe. She coordinated, moderated and sought funding for a dedicated session focused on Indigenous leadership in estuary stewardship at the 2022 Restore America’s Estuaries Summit, from which this presentation is derived.  
Bree Turner is a Senior Coastal Management Specialist on contract with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management to support the National Estuarine Research Reserves. She has 20 years of diverse experience working in the coastal management sector with federal governments, non-profits, state agencies, Tribal governments and universities. She has a Bachelor of Science from The Evergreen State College and a Master's degree from University of California - Davis. Bree was a co-coordinator and advisor on this project.
Tue 1/17/2023, 3 - 4pm EST
Speaker(s):
Samantha Chapman, Kaitlyn Dietz, and Tess Adgie

Portions of wetlands at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve in Northeastern Florida are predicted to collapse over the next century due to the onslaught of rising sea levels and major storms. To sustain these vulnerable wetland habitats, scientists and land managers must understand the complex relationships between plant and sediment inputs and surface elevation levels. This 2020 catalyst project developed a Coastal Vulnerability Index to assess what role particular habitats are playing in preventing coastal erosion at the GTM Reserve, and these data have demonstrated how management decisions can help increase or maintain wetland surface elevation. In this webinar, the project team will discuss key findings and share important implications the project will have on communal restoration planning addressing sea level rise in the region.

Learn more about the speakers:

Samantha Chapman, Co-director of Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova University

Samantha Chapman is the co-director of Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship at Villanova University. She heads the WETFEET project and was the lead investigator for the Experimenting with Elevation project. Samantha, her Villanova team, and collaborators at GTMNERR are taking a multifaceted approach (global change experiments, stakeholder engagement, field observation, remote sensing) to inform the restoration and conservation goals of the GTMNERR. [email protected]

Kaitlyn Dietz, Collaboration Coordinator, Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve

Kaitlyn Dietz is the collaboration coordinator at the GTM Research Reserve where she helps to translate science into application and action.  Collaboratively, through a large network of local and regional partners, the GTM Research Reserve shares data, information, and expertise that allow stakeholders to quickly respond to changing local needs. 

Tess Adgie, Manager, Chapman-Langley Lab, Villanova University

Tess Adgie is the laboratory manager in the Chapman-Langley lab at Villanova University where she helps to organize, analyze, and apply experimental and spatial data to inform restoration and conservation projects within the GTMNERR. She has worked as a technician on the WETFEET Project and Experimenting with Elevation Project, focusing on wetland plant community dynamics in the context of climate driven ecosystem change.