Author: Harris Lab

The Harris Lab Returns to Rock Creek…

The Harris Lab Returns to Rock Creek…

We are back at Rock Creek this summer playing with engineered destratification to better understand the impact of hypoxia on estuaries.  This year we have more than 30 analytes and are inviting some new scientists to join the party!

Hurricane Maria potentially changes PhD student Juan Alvarez’s research into Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bays

Hurricane Maria potentially changes PhD student Juan Alvarez’s research into Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bays

Juan Alvarez is a PhD student with Lora Harris and Jamie Pierson.  His research is focused on understanding the ecology of bioluminescent bays and in particular, the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense that is responsible for the glow.

  Juan didn’t intend for his research to examine the impact of a major hurricane on these systems, but Hurricane Maria ripped through the island in between sampling years.  This means Juan will be able to compare his data from before the storm to the data he collects after to see what impacts (if any) Maria may have had on these bays.

Brrr! Snow doesn’t stop the Harris Lab from Sampling in Jamaica Bay.

Brrr! Snow doesn’t stop the Harris Lab from Sampling in Jamaica Bay.

The snow and cold temperatures didn’t stop our lab from sampling in Jamaica Bay this week.  The Harris Lab is working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to examine the effects of wastewater treatment plant upgrades on phytoplankton activity. Besides measurements in the field, we also take water samples back to the lab.

These water samples sit in bottles for 24 hours with different levels of light shining on them in a cold room.  The cold room lets us maintain the temperatures that we see out in the river. We use these samples to measure rates of photosynthesis (making oxygen) and respiration (consuming oxygen) in the water column.  

MD DNR, Lora Harris and Jeremy Testa named winners in the Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge

MD DNR, Lora Harris and Jeremy Testa named winners in the Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge

The UMCES MD DNR team developed a plan to monitor the effects of storms and the Conowingo Dam inputs on nutrients in the Upper Chesapeake Bay.  Sensors will be places in Upper and Mid Bay regions to take real time measurements of Nitrate and Phosphate during storm events.  Sampling every two weeks allows for storm events to be easily missed.  The real time measurements will allow researchers to capture storm effects and monitor nutrient pulses and how long these added nutrients might stay in the water.

Check out Zachary Gotthardt’s Sea Grant Blog

Check out Zachary Gotthardt’s Sea Grant Blog

Harris Lab masters student Zachary Gotthardt writes a blog post for Maryland Sea Grant about his thesis work at Rock Creek in Pasadena, Maryland.

Maryland Sea Grant provides support for graduate students in coastal science to explore their interests and broaden their experience. To find out more about Graduate Student Fellowships or to read other student’s blogs, Click Here

Meet Brooke, our summer REU student

Meet Brooke, our summer REU student

We are excited to welcome Brooke Iancone as our new REU intern for the summer. Here are some fun facts about her:

  • Hometown: Medford, NJ
  • School: Rowan University in Glassboro NJ
  • Major: Environmental Studies and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • What she will be studying this summer:  Phytoplankton grazing in the Patuxent River
  • Why she like Environmental Science: “I’m interested in Stewardship.  I like that through Environmental Science you can reduce human impacts on the planet.”
  • Favorite Food: Pizza “New Jersey Style”
  • Random Fact:  Brooke Loves Concerts and has been to more than 60 of them!
Dr. Harris heads to Puerto Rico for Tortuga Program

Dr. Harris heads to Puerto Rico for Tortuga Program

     Lora Harris and Jamie Pierson head to Puerto Rico to lead a field study with undergraduate students.  The group, made up of undergraduates from two Puerto Rican universities, will spend a week investigating bioluminescence – a glow in the water – and the plankton that causes it. This year, they will spend about a week studying one of the three bioluminescent bays, Laguna Grande.  The group will analyze sand on the bay’s beaches, count seagrass in the lagoons and around the lagoon mouth, and study growth and grazing rates of the organism that glows, a single-celled algae called Pyrodinium bahamense.

Jessica Foley Successfully Defends her Thesis!

Jessica Foley Successfully Defends her Thesis!

Masters Candidate Jessica Foley successfully defended her thesis entitled:

Using an individual based model to evaluate the effects of climate change on the reproductive phenology of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) along a latitudinal gradient

Congratulations Jess!