Ancient pollen and modern DNA sequencing offer clues to how a warming climate will impact trees

Like birds, plants can migrate in response to temperature change, though much more slowly. By producing seeds, a tree can march toward a newer home by a few meters each year. A team of scientists from the Appalachian Laboratory are working to find and sequence DNA held within the ancient pollen of trees and compare it with what they find in the same species rooted on today's landscape to draw better conclusions about how trees may respond to ongoing and future climate changes.

"We're hoping that some of the things we learn from this particular species can inform our understanding of how other tree species will or won't adapt or respond to climate change," said Dave Nelson.

Could augmented reality be used to pique girls' interest in science?

How do you attract young women to science and technology careers where they continue to be underrepresented? Cat Stylinski at the Appalachian Laboratory and colleagues around the country received a $1 million three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to explore using augmented reality design experiences similar to Pokemon Go! to pique teen girls' interest in science and technology.  

"The AR Girls project will help us understand how we can use media design to promote science and computer science interest and confidence among young women who do not see themselves as science-types, opening the door for them to consider related career pathways," said Stylinksi.

The Chesapeake Biological Laboratory's R.V. Truitt Laboratory Building has been awarded the 2017 U.S. Green Building Council's Maryland Community Leader Award for Higher Education in recognition of overall commitment to sustainability and efficiency. Named for one of Maryland's forefathers of conservation, the building was lauded as an example of how a highly technical scientific building can be constructed with low environmental impacts without compromising scientific integrity.

Next Generation: Where sediment comes from (and where it goes) with graduate student Emily Russ  

"Sediment is considered one of the main pollutants contributing to water quality degradation in the Chesapeake Bay. Also, sediment often has nutrients or other chemicals attached to it, which can negatively impact water quality. It is important to understand from where this sediment is being eroded to manage sediment input to the Chesapeake Bay."

Behind the Science: Speaking truth to power with Don Boesch

As part of the national StoryCorps project, American Geophysical Union (AGU) President and Appalachian Laboratory Director Eric Davidson interviewed outgoing University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Don Boesch, longtime advocate for applying science to policy (especially in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay).
Topics include the importance of faculty in taking global leadership roles, the #WeAreStillIn movement and universities taking action on  climate change, and the March on Science and "speaking truth to power."

At the intersection of art and science with Kate Gillespie

Kate Gillespie, research scientist and former graduate student at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, has found a unique intersection between her two passions. She recently spoke about the impact science has on her poetry and finding the poetry in science for a podcast with Maryland Humanities, which was featured on Baltimore's WYPR station.

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Appalachian Laboratory * Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Horn Point Laboratory *
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Integration and Application Network * Maryland Sea Grant