University of Maryland Center for Environmental science

Solomons, MD, United States

University of Maryland Center for Environmental science

Solomons, MD, United States
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Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Big Data Science &Engineering | Award Amount: 89.47K | Year: 2016

Understanding the structure and dynamics of social networks is crucial for detecting any anomalous behavior and for managing its impacts. Most existing approaches view a network as a series of snapshots, where a snapshot represents the state of a network in a given time period. Therefore, different network operations need to be individually performed over each snapshot. In reality, online social networks are continuously evolving and therefore, network operations should be automatically performed as networks evolve and need to be done efficiently and reliably. Viewing the problem from this perspective allows us to create a solution that supports advanced, real-world use cases such as tracking the neighborhood of a given node or tracking how network connections evolve in time to determine effective marketing campaigns. These examples indicate the need for efficient computing techniques for important network statistics as the large networks evolve over time. To address this problem, the researchers in this project complement existing distributed evolving social graph analysis techniques with bootstrap and other statistical re-sampling based approaches. The ultimate goal is to develop novel data-driven tools so that when needed, not only certain estimates of statistical network models could be computed efficiently but their estimation errors are reliably quantified.

This project primarily targets development of new efficient and robust methods for anomaly and outlier detection on large sparse networks. The resulting methodology provides the following functions: 1) a computationally efficient finite sample inference for an extensive range of network topology statistics; 2) a flexible data-driven characterization of network structure and dynamics, and 3) comprehensively quantifying uncertainty in modeling and estimation of large networks, without imposing restrictive conditions on network model specification. The expected advances are both in research methods - new approaches to data-driven nonparametric inference for large sparse networks and in substantial enhancement of knowledge of network dynamics and formation in the era of digital communication. The project can significantly benefit students by providing a broad exposure to interdisciplinary applications of large network and fostering awareness of interdisciplinary relationships -- hence enhancing their capacity for critical thinking and opening up new career paths.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 341.28K | Year: 2016

Tidal wetlands are among the most productive, diverse and economically important ecosystems on Earth. They are also especially vulnerable to human pressures and environmental change. Wetlands contain large reservoirs of soil organic matter, an important source of carbon and nitrogen to estuaries and coastal oceans, but very little is known about the processes involved in the translocation of these nutrients. This project will advance understanding of tidal marsh-estuarine interactions by linking processes between tidal wetland soils and estuaries, and assessing where, when, and how dissolved organic compounds are retained, released and transformed within the marsh soil-estuarine system. Results from this study will be integrated into enhanced monitoring and management efforts through partnerships with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The project will improve models that predict the influence of wetlands on estuarine and coastal biology, geochemistry and pollution response. In collaboration with the Smithsonian Citizen Science program and teachers from middle schools serving minority students, the team will develop K-12 educational materials. Specialized training will be extended to undergraduate students, as well as graduate and postdoctoral researchers, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups in science.

This study will test three key research hypotheses that are critical for understanding the role of marsh soils and tidal wetland-estuary margins as buffers, reactors, and transformers of dissolved organic C and N, and that could transform our ability to predict the influence of wetland ecosystems on estuarine biology, biogeochemistry, and ecology. An integrative approach will be used to test hypotheses that combines rich datasets, process-focused experiments, and a novel coupled hydrodynamic-photo-biogeochemical model to investigate three understudied aspects of marsh export that likely control the seasonality and fate of dissolved organic matter in estuaries: (i) soil and porewater organic matter composition, (ii) adsorption-desorption on soil surfaces, and iii) photo- and bio- degradation in estuarine waters. Proposed activities incorporate a system perspective and cover a broad range of marsh environments (i.e., different marsh vegetation characteristics, soil type, surface area and salinity regimes) providing the ability to scale up and assess tidal marsh biogeochemical fluxes and processes across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Results from this research will increase understanding of the contributions of wetlands and estuarine systems to coastal carbon and nitrogen budgets, and improve predictions of the influences of natural and man-made stresses on ecosystem processes, biogeochemical cycles and exchanges along the continuum of wetlands, estuaries and the coastal zone. This information is highly valuable to managing the coastal zone in the face of accelerated environmental change and continued human pressures and, in particular, to evaluating the potential for managed restoration of wetlands to mitigate climate change impacts.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 370.54K | Year: 2015

Collaborative Proposal: Phlorotannins - An Important Source of Marine Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter?
Michael Gonsior
ID: 1536888

Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), the sunlight absorbing components in filtered water, is important in the study of marine and freshwater ecosystems as it can be used to trace the mixing of surface waters, as a proxy for carbon cycles, and other biogeochemical processes. Although its importance in ocean studies has been firmly established over the last several decades, sources and structural composition of CDOM within the oceans remains unclear and continues to be a subject of debate. Sargassum, a brown alga, is widely distributed in temperate and subtropical marine waters and may be important source of CDOM to the Sargasso Sea and Gulf of Mexico where Sargassum is abundant. This project will investigate the contribution of macro brown algae-derived compounds to the marine CDOM pool. Results from this study will have implications for the marine carbon cycle and satellite remote sensing of ocean color to assess mixing of surface water masses and biogeochemical processes. The project will provide educational opportunities for a postdoctoral scholar, summertime undergraduate internships (through a local NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program), and workshop and research opportunities for local high schools students.

Sources of marine CDOM remain debatable and a comprehensive understanding of its origins, distribution and fate have been difficult. Marine CDOM, and in particular the humic-like component, have been suggested to originate from terrestrial sources, primarily lignins. However, recent evidence indicates that the exudation of phlorotannins produced by macro brown algae may contribute significantly to the marine CDOM pool. Phlorotannins, a class of polyphenols that are only found in, and continuously exuded by macro brown algae such as Sargassum, strongly absorb ultraviolet light and may have been underestimated in their contribution to the marine CDOM pool within certain geographic locales. Upon partial oxidation, light absorption by these specific compounds extends into longer wavelengths in the visible creating an absorption spectrum similar to that of lignin. These phlorotannins and their transformation products absorb light that might explain in part the humic-like signatures observed in open ocean environments. This study aims to characterize the optical properties and molecular composition of Sargassum-derived CDOM including its aerobic oxidation and photochemical behavior, as well as quantify Sargassum-derived CDOM to better estimate its possible contribution to the CDOM pool in the Sargasso Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC NATURAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 490.55K | Year: 2016

In the eastern Bering Sea, jellyfish biomass increased dramatically after 1990 and peaked in 2000. Biomass increased again during the cool period of 2007-2012. Overall, moderate to cold conditions tend to favor jellyfish in this system. During times of population increase, jellyfish likely have major impacts on the Bering Sea food web, including Walleye Pollock fisheries, because the medusae directly feed on young life stages of fish and compete with fish for food. This project will estimate the age structure and age-specific abundances of the predominant jellyfish in the Bering Sea, Chrysaora melanaster, and will relate this to adult medusa abundance in order to understand how their population structure changes with time. The ultimate goal is to estimate the reproductive capacity and success of this jellyfish in relation to climate variability and to investigate the potential for increases of this jellyfish to become a recurring pattern in the Bering Sea given future climate scenarios.

This project will contribute to STEM workforce development through the support for the training of a graduate student. The investigators will participate in K-12 teacher training workshops. Undergraduate students will be entrained into the research through an existing Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Elementary school students will be introduced to marine science through visits to the principal investigator?s laboratory. A website for the project, including novel imagery, will be developed. Open-source code for image processing will be posted on the World Wide Web as a resource for the larger scientific community.

The importance of incorporating age-specific abundances and age structure in assessments of the population dynamics of a species in relation to environmental change is well-established in fisheries science and other disciplines that attempt to understand the temporal variation of populations. Rigorous investigations will be conducted to estimate the abundance and fine-scale spatial distribution of C. melanaster including both their early planktonic and adult stages, to determine their age structure, and to construct a population model to identify recruit success and recruitment timing. This research will examine how gelatinous zooplankton populations respond to large scale environmental changes and will also facilitate understanding of the reoccurring jellyfish population increases in the Bering Sea. The sonar imaging technologies (ARIS1800) are effective in sampling adult forms of the congener C. quinquecirrha and an advanced optical ZOOplankton VISualization (ZOOVIS) system can sample small jellyfish effectively. The combination of net sampling and new aging techniques will provide much needed information on the age-structure within cohorts and will facilitate understanding of recruitment processes, e.g. single cohort versus multiple cohorts. This will in turn enable forecasting of jellyfish abundance and their predatory impacts in the Bering Sea ecosystem.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ICER | Award Amount: 424.35K | Year: 2016

I Non-Technical
Research opportunities and professional development are effective ways to engage undergraduate students in science and increase the likelihood that they will stay in college and graduate in four years. While research universities are likely to offer such opportunities to undergraduate students, non-research colleges and universities usually have limited ability to provide science projects for their students. To address this need, we propose to develop an educational center that will serve students at two non-research institutions in Puerto Rico. Through the center we will link students with researchers who will guide them in conducting research in Puerto Rico?s coastal lagoons. Hispanic students will be involved in a variety of activities during the summer and academic year focusing on experiential learning in the geosciences. Students will gain research experience and exposure to marine science professionals through networking, internships, and travel to national meetings. The students will also participate in geosciences professional development activities (e.g. personal statement writing, science communication, oral presentations, etc.). The center will foster partnerships among research and non-research institutions and government and non-profit institutions interested in building a sustainable and effective education center focused on Puerto Rico?s coastal lagoons. The project includes a diverse interdisciplinary team of scientists and educators from both the mainland United States and Puerto Rico. The team and center are committed to increasing marine science learning opportunities for underrepresented and underserved students.

II Technical
In an effort to close the opportunity gap and enhance STEM retention for underrepresented groups at primarily non-research colleges and universities, we will establish the Tropical Oceanography Research Training for Undergraduate Academics (TORTUGA) Center to introduce early- through advanced-stage undergraduate students from Puerto Rico to geoscience education and research. This center will link research and non-research institutions to strengthen research capacity and establish educational programs to teach research skills to undergraduates in STEM fields. Specific goals of the TORTUGA Center are to: 1) build sustainable multidisciplinary education and experiential learning programs focused on coastal science problems and solutions; 2) increase access for underrepresented students to watershed, coastal, and marine science education; 3) develop institutional structures to assist students at critical educational junctures, increase student retention in STEM fields, and encourage pursuit of geoscience careers; and 4) adapt this model and strengthen its long-term sustainability. To do this we will: 1) strengthen and expand existing cross-institutional partnerships and team science research programs we have developed over the past five years through a series of pilot projects; 2) provide research opportunities at minority-serving institutions in Puerto Rico for coastal and watershed geoscience research; and 3) evaluate and assess our educational practice model in light of our program goals and current educational pedagogy research. An anticipated outcome of this project is a set of best practices for increasing STEM retention in primarily non-research institutions serving underrepresented groups, focused largely on Puerto Rican and Hispanic populations but applicable to a broad spectrum of undergraduate experiences.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC SYSTEM SCIENCE PROGRAM | Award Amount: 107.34K | Year: 2016

Persistently high macrofaunal benthic biomass has been observed at four major benthic hotspots in the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. These highly productive benthic communities are ecologically important and provide abundant prey for benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. This grant supports the exploration of the physical and biological processes that contribute to the formation of these benthic hotspots, and a determination of how changes in the Arctic system (including ice, ocean, and atmospheric forcing) will affect their formation and persistence. A better understanding of the mechanisms for the formation and persistence of these benthic hotspots is important and requires the atmosphere-ice-ocean system approach taken in this study, since these formation mechanisms involve multiple components of the Arctic system, including both biological and physical components of sea ice and ocean processes and atmospheric forcing.

The group will integrate a suite of models, including an ice-ocean-ecosystem coupled model and a Lagrangian particle-tracking model, to evaluate source, transport pathway, and supply of organic matter to the benthic community. The modeling will span the entire system from atmospheric forcing down to particle export flux. Explicitly modeling benthic-pelagic coupling is needed for a mechanistic understanding of the ecosystem structure in the Pacific Arctic region and will provide baseline information to better predict future ecosystem shifts.

Once the model validation and synthesis with observations are accomplished, the project will have a broad-scale description of the existing and potential locations of benthic hotspots and carbon sources for benthic hotspots across the entire northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, including regions that are presently under-sampled, and their vulnerabilities to ongoing climate and environmental changes. It will also have a better understanding of the mechanisms contributing to benthic hotspot formation (e.g., zooplankton grazing, seasonal and inter-annual variability in advected inputs of production and/or nutrients, role of currents, convergences, turbulence, and particle aggregation in hotspot formation, timing of sea ice formation, cover, and retreat, inter-annual or long-term differences in atmospheric forcing). Both can contribute to the design of future field efforts, since the comprehensive spatial distribution of hotspot location can guide place-based field efforts and the relative importance of modeled ecosystem processes and transformations will inform needs for process studies and distributional studies. With ongoing climate change, atmospheric forcing and ocean currents are likely to change in strength and direction, potentially modifying the locations where the convergence of these mechanisms promotes enhanced carbon export and benthic hotspot formation. Understanding of how these linked mechanisms operate to produce the existing benthic hotspots will permit us to predict empirically their future persistence or relocation.

The results of the modeling effort can be used both by the scientific community in guiding future fieldwork and modeling efforts and more broadly by managers and policy makers in guiding the development and implementation of management and commercial strategies and guidelines. This work will include outreach activities primarily focused on K-12 education, focusing on the importance of atmospheric forcing, sea ice, currents, and benthic-pelagic coupling to the Bering/Chukchi Sea system and the impacts of ongoing climate change on that system.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: SEES Coastal | Award Amount: 1.41M | Year: 2015

Researchers will use the oyster fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay as a test case for collaborative policy development that is grounded in sound science. Environmental policies often create controversy and can be difficult to enforce, particularly when people do not understand the reason for the rules or do not consider the rules to be fair. Natural resources can be better sustained by policies developed cooperatively among all affected stakeholders, scientists, and government representatives. In a systematic approach, the project team will hold a series of workshops in which a full set of stakeholders will work with scientists to guide development of a model, select policy objectives, and apply the model to make policy recommendations. A collaborative modeling approach will ensure that stakeholders have an opportunity to incorporate their values, objectives, and knowledge into the model of the estuarine ecosystem which will include many benefits from the natural system such as commercial and recreational fishing, safe swimmable water, and other ecosystem services. Researchers will study the sociology and economics that influence stakeholder involvement and policy formation in order to better understand the human dimensions, improve the process, and enhance the implementation success of recommended policies. The lessons learned regarding the oyster ecosystem and fishery will advance the tools and practices of sustainable management of shellfisheries. The policy recommendations from the stakeholder workshops will be evaluated by state and federal agencies, and if implemented, would be an outcome that would directly enhance coastal sustainability. One Ph.D. student, two masters students, and one postdoctoral researcher will be trained in the science of coupled natural-human systems. This project is supported as part of the National Science Foundations Coastal Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability program - Coastal SEES.

This research aims to improve the utility of predictive models for shaping natural resource policy and management. The research team will build an innovative natural systems model that integrates three-dimensional hydrodynamic, water quality and larval transport models with oyster demographics, human uses, and economics at a scale that is applicable to restoration and management. The modeling system developed will substantially advance methods for investigating, and understanding, natural systems with complex feedbacks between physical conditions, vital rates of organisms, and humans. Researchers will include stakeholder values, objectives, and knowledge in the model design process. Through a series of workshops, stakeholders will select the policy objectives and the integrated model will project how well policies are expected to meet these objectives. This iterative process will ensure that the natural system model will incorporate the complex human uses of the ecosystem. A targeted effort will be made to study the socioeconomic drivers of stakeholder involvement, information flow, use and influence, and the policy formation in order to improve the process and enhance the implementation success of recommended policies. By doing so, this research will advance understanding of the human dimensions needed to create sustainable policy as well as provide important new strategies for integrating natural and social sciences, and scientists, in sustainable resource management. This generalizable research component provides an important complement to the research on oysters, both of which will advance the tools and practices of sustainable management of shellfisheries.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MARINE GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS | Award Amount: 474.99K | Year: 2015

Geologic archives of past climate variability enable scientists to put recent climate changes in broader temporal context and to investigate the mechanisms behind climate variability on longer timescales than is possible using instrumental climate data alone. Massive corals are one such geologic archive. Strontium-to-calcium elemental ratios (Sr/Ca) in coral skeletons are influenced by the temperature of the water in which the coral grew. This relationship, combined with the relatively fast growth rates and long life-span of some corals, enables scientists to reconstruct centuries-long records of tropical ocean temperatures from coral geochemistry. A major assumption underlying coral Sr/Ca-based temperature reconstructions is that the Sr/Ca ratio of seawater is the same everywhere in the ocean and is constant over at least the time period spanned by the coral record. However, there are processes that may cause variations in the Sr/Ca ratio of seawater, especially in shallow coastal areas where corals grow. This research investigates the magnitude of seawater Sr/Ca fluctuations over time and space in different coral reef settings using an analytical method that will be developed for rapid, inexpensive seawater Sr/Ca determinations. The method is designed to enable seawater Sr/Ca measurements to be a routine part of coral paleoclimate sample collection. The anticipated findings will enable valuable recommendations to the scientific community regarding site selection criteria and seawater sampling for future coral Sr/Ca-based paleoclimate research and should ultimately lead to greater accuracy and reliability of this important scientific tool.

The project will include substantial efforts to communicate the research to lay audiences. With help from the University of Marylands Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) outreach coordinator, a secondary school teacher will be invited to participate in a field expedition. Both of these educational specialists will work with the project Principle Investigators to maintain a blog, create a video journal, and develop/disseminate a lesson plan compatible with new curriculum standards and used in the classroom as well as in educational activities of the CBL Visitor Center. By sharing the science with teachers, their students, and Visitor Center volunteer staff and patrons, the project participants will engage citizens in the local community as well as the nearly 2700 tourists that enjoy the Visitor Center annually.

The scientific approach will be to conduct a spatially and temporally intensive study of seawater Sr/Ca ratios and other associated variables on fringing reefs in three physiographic settings: a continental-scale carbonate platform (Florida Keys), a small siliciclastic island (St. John, US Virgin Islands) and a small carbonate island (Anegada, British Virgin Islands). Analysis of Sr/Ca ratios in the seawater samples will be based on the existing ICP-AES method for aragonite analysis modified to consistently attain accuracy and precision of 0.1% or better in a complex seawater matrix. Other techniques, including ICP-MS or ion chromatography will be used to verify the accuracy of measured Sr/Ca ratios and to analyze complementary geochemical data. Seawater samples will be collected in the winter and summer from channel cuts, lagoon, patch reef, reef crest, fore reef, and open ocean sites in the Florida Keys. Continuous records will be collected with osmosampler pumps in these locations during the intervening periods. Concurrent measurements of temperature with thermistors, and subsequent Sr/Ca analysis of coral nubbins placed near the equipment will enable verification and quantification of the impact of both water chemistry and temperature on coral aragonite Sr/Ca ratios. This sampling scheme will allow assessment of the influences of salinity, upwelling, river and groundwater inputs, and variations in productivity. The impacts of different physiographic environments on coastal seawater Sr/Ca will be assessed by comparisons between similar data collected in the FL Keys and British Virgin Islands. Differential effect of various parameters on the entire dataset in space and time will be determined by a combination of time series and principal components analysis.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FIELD STATIONS | Award Amount: 132.83K | Year: 2016

This award supports the expansion a long-term biological, physical, and chemical monitoring program in the Chesapeake Bay region by the addition of new sensor capabilities. This expanded measurement program will allow for comprehensive documentation of ecosystem responses to environmental change in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem resulting from global climatic change, nutrient loading, and watershed restoration. The project supports the NSF missions of expanded scientific understanding of long-term change in ecosystems and the application of scientific data to support the health and welfare of populations in the coastal zone. New measurements will fill in key gaps in our understanding of linkages among biological, chemical, and physical processes in the coastal zone and how these linkages control the response of marine systems to local, regional, and global change. The monitoring system will provide data streams that will support graduate education as well as training of visiting grade school students and the general public about coastal marine ecology and how it responds to pollution and climatic changes.

An emerging component of the CBL research effort is the establishment of an integrated molecules to metazoans long-term monitoring program from its recently reconstructed research pier. This award supports the substantial enhancement of a well-established monitoring program at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL; by the addition of new environmental sensors and the deployment of a state-of-the-art data integration and management system. The proposed expansion of the sampling program will allow the CBL site to become a sentinel to document diurnal, seasonal, and inter-annual-scale change in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, a representative coastal system, under the influence of global climatic change, nutrient loading, and watershed restoration. Specifically, this award will result in the addition of new sensors to measure chemical (pH, fDOM), physical (current velocity and waves), and atmospheric (PAR) parameters that will complement existing monitoring of temperature and salinity, tides, nutrient and organic matter concentrations, plankton and fish abundance, light availability, and community respiration. These new sensors will complete the comprehensive monitoring program we envision on the CBL pier. To ensure that these varied and extensive data streams are integrated and managed in a robust and open environment such that researchers, both at CBL and in society generally, can gain maximum benefit from the resources, this award will also support the deployment of a new data integration and management system (DIMS) that will house and disseminate the archival and new data streams.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING | Award Amount: 232.97K | Year: 2016

1604475 / 1604432
Gonsior / Mouser

Horizontal drilling coupled to hydraulic fracturing well completion techniques has opened up vast shale gas resources in the US and has become increasingly important as an energy source both in the US and globally. In 2012, shale gas was the largest source of US natural gas, contributing 9.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 40 % of the total natural gas production; however, this technique requires the use of large volumes of water combined with a variable combination of chemical additives, each composed of numerous constituents that are primarily organic-based. This project focuses on the characterization of fracking fluids and their potential to adversely impact both surface and ground water.

This study will be the first to determine a detailed molecular characterization of organic matter in shale well fluids and track carbon composition evolution during the first three years of operation at a scientific test well site in West Virginia using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry. This unique opportunity will generate a comprehensive database of organic constituents entering an unconventional shale gas well drilled into the Marcellus shale and returning to the surface after increasing residence time within the formation. Additionally, the environmental fate will be assessed for potentially hazardous organic compounds present in shale wastewaters. This study will aid in evaluations of potential health impacts of spills during different stages of well operation. It will further guide evaluations of wastewater treatability and solutions for surface spill responses. The goals of the project are: (1) To characterize in detail the molecular composition of shale gas fluids throughout the first three years of a scientific well operation using targeted and non-targeted analytical methods; (2) To evaluate the photochemical and microbial degradation of organic constituents along with detailed molecular characterization of changes including the production of metabolites; (3) To undertake meaningful laboratory-based experiments to understand microbial degradation pathways and to evaluate a potential increase in toxicity, and, (4) To study the photochemical degradation of organic compounds in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The diversity, toxicity and persistence of organic constituents in shale wastewaters have a direct impact on communities relying on water resources in areas being developed for unconventional shale energy. Detailed analyses of the transformation pathways of organic chemical additives and organics leached from shale will guide a scientifically based discussion about the potential health impacts accidental surface spills and subsurface contamination may have to surrounding ecosystems. Graduate and undergraduate students will have the unique opportunity to participate in research and training during drilling and fracturing campaigns planned at the Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory, located in West Virginia, over the coming years. This will engage students in direct communication, observation, and sampling efforts during different phases of unconventional shale gas development through the established university-industry collaboration. Research education will focus on a graduate student located at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL), a graduate student at Ohio State University as well as undergraduate internships over the summer months (Sea Grant Maryland Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). The CBL Visitor Center will host displays about the importance of shale well fluids related water issues and wastewater treatment. In partnership with the CBL visitor center here in Solomons, Maryland, we will host a summer workshop for 7-12th grade school students.

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