Recent Coastal Marine Projects

Summary of, and links to, recent research projects.  For a more complete history go here.

Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Forecasts and Scenarios  – Chronic seasonal hypoxia occurs in deep waters of Chesapeake Bay as a result of eutrophication-induced phytoplankton blooms and their subsequent decomposition. This decomposition consumes dissolved oxygen (DO) in the stratified water column of the deep water channel in central Chesapeake Bay and disrupts the food chain and biogeochemical cycles. Summertime hypoxia has been observed in Chesapeake Bay for over eighty years, with increasing scientific attention and understanding over the past several decades. Over the last decade, we have developed and implemented forecasts of the severity of summer hypoxia with simple empirically-derived nutrient load-response models.

Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Forecasts and Scenarios – For almost three decades, the relative size of the hypoxic region on the Louisiana-Texas continental shelf has drawn scientific and policy attention. During that time, both simple and complex models have been used to explore hypoxia dynamics and to provide management guidance relating the size of the hypoxic zone to key drivers.  With support from NOAA, we developed and applied several versions of a novel stream model to capture the inter-annual variability in hypoxic extent as a function of nutrient loads.

Ecological Forecast and Transition to Operations – NOAA is in the process of developing procedures and criteria for transitioning ecological forecasts from research mode to operations.  In support of that effort, we helped develop a guidance report  for NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.  We are also working to transfer out Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay forecast models into NOAA operations.