Above photo, "Prothonotary warbler" courtesy of Emily Tewes who won First Place in the 2013 MEES Colloquium Photo Contest!
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About the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) is an inter-institutional graduate program of the University System of Maryland whose mission is to educate students to become the scientific leaders and problem-solvers of the future. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we train students to engage in scientific discovery, integration, and application to generate new knowledge and to solve environmental problems.
The MEES Program is an inter-institutional, statewide graduate program within the University System of Maryland (USM). The program is composed of faculty from several of the USM's degree-granting universities and research institutions as well as experts from government, non-government agencies and other non-academic units. Thus, the MEES program affords students an unparalleled opportunity to combine the expertise of the best environmental scientists in the region to guide their program of study. Although the title of the program emphasizes its strengths in marine and estuarine sciences, the program itself spans the environmental sciences as a whole, irrespective of habitat. While the interests of students in the program are diverse, they generally center on some aspect of the interaction between biological, physical and/or chemical systems in the environment. Student research ranges from studies of molecular mechanisms to fisheries ecology, chemical pollutants, or economic assessments of environmental impacts. Since its faculty members come from so many sources, MEES provides a unique and valuable graduate education across the broad range of the environmental sciences.
Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Fred Pinkey
MEES Alumni Fred Pinkney just celebrated his 20th year as Senior Biologist with the Environmental Contaminants Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis, Maryland. He investigates a wide range of environmental contaminant issues including skin and liver tumors in brown bullhead catfish in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, endocrine disruption in smallmouth and largemouth bass, reproductive problems in yellow perch, the occurrence of abnormal frogs on National Wildlife Refuges, and bioaccumulation of PCBs in fish from the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. He is active in committees and workgroups related to the cleanup of the Anacostia River and toxic chemical issues in the Chesapeake Bay. He frequently collaborates with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and District Department of the Environment and has served on graduate student committees at several universities. For more information on Fred, please see our notable alumni section of the website, here!
Student Spotlight: Rebecca Lazarus, MEES Ph.D. Candidate
Rebecca Lazarus is a MEES Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger of the University of Maryland and Dr. Barnett Rattner of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Rebecca has been working under the Department of the Interior Career Pathways Program for several years at Patuxent. Her research focuses on contaminant exposure, food web transfer and potential adverse effects on ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay. Ospreys are well-recognized for their utility as a sentinel species and are an excellent indicator of local pollution. Rebecca has been collecting water, fish and osprey egg and nestling blood samples to investigate transfer of organic contaminants (organochlorine pesticides, flame retardants and PCBs) and pharmaceuticals in the food web across the most heavily urbanized and industrialized areas in the Bay (Baltimore Harbor/Patapsco River, Back River, Elizabeth River, Anacostia/middle Potomac River, James River and Susquehanna River), with mid-Bay Poplar Island being a reference site. Rebecca uses a variety of different techniques to monitor osprey diet including identification of food scraps and game camera observations to identify the key fish species in osprey diet at study sites around the Bay. This project is a large collaborative effort with scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Baylor University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. Rebecca received the best student poster award at the MEES Colloquium in 2012 and recently received a student travel award from the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry to present her research at the upcoming meeting in Nashville, TN.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Allen Place
In a very recent discovery, researchers from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have found that the eyes of mantis shrimp are equipped with optics that generate ultraviolet (UV) color vision. Mantis shrimp contain 6 different UV photoreceptors that are able to distinguish between different colors on the UV spectrum based upon filters which are composed from an ingredient other animals depend upon as a built-in biological sunscreen. Dr. Allen Place of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) was instrumental id helping to identify the amino acids that filter and absorb the wavelengths of light in the shrimp eyes. He likens the process to wearing "tunable sunglasses." For more information, please CLICK HERE.
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Here you can find different employment and internship opportunities for MEES students and graduates .