Researcher Profiles

Andy Baldwin

Andy Baldwin is a Professor of Wetland Ecology and serves as Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Environmental Science and Technology Department at the University of Maryland. He teaches wetland ecology and wetland restoration courses and mentors graduate and undergraduate students. His research focuses on wetland ecology and wetland restoration, with emphases on plant ecology, nutrient cycling, and global change factors. He is past-President of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and previously served SWS as President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Chair of the Awards Committee, and Associate Editor of Wetlands. During the DIPP NOAA -NERRS Science Collaborative Project, Andy led the vegetation studies on the different marshes in the Deal Island Peninsula area and the E.A. Vaughan Wildlife Management area to understand how restoring the natural hydrology of ditched marshes affects the vegetation health and broader habitat quality of the marshes. These vegetation studies were carried out at marshes that were ditched, unditched, or with ditches plugged. Learn more about this work through the NOAA-NERRS Science Collaborative report.

Professor, Department of Enviornmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland College Park

Kyle Derby

R. Kyle Derby is a recent M.S. graduate in Wetland Science at the University of Maryland. Kyle has over 10 years of direct experience in tidal wetland systems, both in the private sector as an environmental scientist and restoration project foreman, and at the US Geological Survey. He became involved with the Deal Island Peninsula Project during his masters research on methane emissions from brackish marshes. His research focused on the differences in greenhouse gas emissions between plant communities within a single marsh complex and determine how these differences occurred within the marsh. He continues to work with the project as a research assistant at the University of Maryland.

Research Assistant, University of Maryland, Department of Environmental Science and Technology

Allison Giza

Allison Giza worked on the Deal Island Peninsula Project from December 2014 until June 2015, during her last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. She contributed to collaborative research on heritage, both private and public, and helped facilitate community conversations among the project's stakeholder network. Allison also helped identify the difference between cultural experiences of older people on Deal Island and cultural experiences of their children and grandchildren, and conducted interviews with the community youth group to gain a deeper understanding of youth heritage and resilience. This perspective was intended to further strengthen the community's ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Student, University of Maryland College Park

Sarah Hartge

Sarah Hartge is a former Masters student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland College Park. She is interested in cultural heritage and how heritage is used to understand place meanings. For her Masters internship project in 2016, she worked with Shirley Massey and Skipjack Heritage, Inc. to map the Rock Creek Cemetery using Geospatial Information System (GIS) technology, and to collect photos, obituaries, stories, and other information on individuals buried in the cemetery. Her research resulted in an online interactive map of the cemetery where community members can access ancestry information. The map also provides a template for other communities to use to map cemeteries in the future. Learn more about her research and explore the online maps through the Heritage Studies page.

Masters Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland College Park (shartge@umd.edu)

Klaus Hubacek

Klaus Hubacek is an ecological economist by training and professor in the department of geographical sciences. His research focuses on conceptualizing and modeling the interaction between human and environmental systems and developing and modeling scenarios of future change. Klaus has worked extensively with stakeholders in participatory research projects and led large interdisciplinary research teams. He has published more than 200 articles in journals, books and research reports on topics such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, participatory modelling, management of ecosystems services, land use change and governance.

Ecological Economist and Professor, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland College Park

Moriah James

Moriah James is an Anthropology Major with a focus on heritage studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in learning how researchers can work in collaboration with local communities to manage issues related to environmental change and heritage. Mariah worked for DIPP as an undergraduate research assistant during 2016-2017, during which time she researched and wrote on the histories and heritages of African Americans and American Indian communities on the Deal Island Peninsula. Learn more about her research findings on the heritage studies page, where you can also access a copy of her report.  

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland-College Park

Katherine (Jo) Johnson

Katherine Johnson (Jo) is a recent Ph.D. graduate of the University of Maryland (UMD). She worked on the Deal Island Peninsula Project as a UMD post-doctoral researcher and the Project Director from 2016-2017. Her dissertation research, which she completed in 2016 as part of the NOAA Science Collaborative project, focused on vulnerability and resilience as understood and experienced by a the diverse stakeholders engaged in the DIPP project. She is interested in vulnerability and resilience on the local level, and in collaboratively using individual and community knowledge to leverage adaptive planning outcomes. She prioritizes interdisciplinary and collaborative work to create outcomes suitable to wide range of needs and interests across the social-ecological system. The conclusions of dissertation work have helped inform ongoing efforts on the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment.

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland College Park

Julia Keane

Julia Keane is a photographer and an environmental policy undergraduate student at the University of Maryland with a concentration in marine and coastal management. She worked with DIPP during the summer of 2016 to photograph the ICRA focus areas as part of ongoing ethnographic research. To view some of her photography from the Deal Island Peninsula area, see the Focus Area photos and photos from the 2016 Skipjack Race and Festival. You can also see more of Julia's work on her website: juliakeanephotography.com.

Environmental Policy Student, University of Maryland-College Park

Diane Leason

Diane Leason worked on the Deal Island project from 2012-2016; her primary focus was monitoring and measuring the productivity of marsh vegetation 

Research Assistant, University of Maryland, Environmental Science and Technology

Paul Leisnham

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Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland College Park

Brian Needelman

Dr. Brian Needelman is an Associate Professor of Soil Science at the University of Maryland in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology. He teaches and performs research in the fields of soil science, pedology, coastal wetlands, and coastal resiliency. His coastal wetland research focuses on management and restoration practices to increase tidal marsh sustainability, including studies on prescribed burns, accretion, and the restoration of ditch-drained marshes. He also conducts research on how wetland restoration and conservation can be used to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. His coastal resiliency research focuses on the integration of natural and social science approaches to better understand and increase the resilience of coastal socio-ecological systems.

 

In addition to serving on the Project Coordinating Team, Dr. Needelman is the lead scientist on the Deal Island Peninsula Project ecological research that focuses on restoring the hydrological dynamics of ditch-drained marshes as part of the NOAA Science Collaborative efforts. Ditching of the marshes in the Deal Island Peninsula area began in the 1930s primarily to reduce mosquito populations. However, it is thought to have also reduced habitat quality and made the marshes more vulnerable to flooding and erosion impacts. The research carried out by Dr. Needelman and colleagues is determining whether restoration of natural dynamics of these marsh systems will enhance their resilience. 

Soil Scientist and Associate Professor, Department of Enviornmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland

Michael Paolisso

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Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland College Park

Christina Prell

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Sociologist and Associate Professor, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland College Park

Liz Van Dolah

Liz Van Dolah is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. She is also a Maryland SeaGrant Research Fellow for the Deal Island Peninsula Project, and as such assists with managing DIPP and collecting and analyzing data as part of the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA). Liz's research interests are in how people use heritage in climate change adaptation decision-making processes. She approaches heritage as narratives about the past that help shape how people make decisions in the face of current and future change. For her PhD research, Liz is studying how the Deal Island Peninsula Project stakeholders draw on heritage to shape the ICRA process. This research will provide important insights on how heritage is used in climate change adaptation governance in ways, and how its uses support or hinder resilience. She is also interested in exploring how heritage can effectively be used as a tool in defining future visions for the Deal Island Peninsula area. Read more about her research on the Heritage Studies page. 

PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland College Park (vandolah@umd.edu)

Lisa Wainger

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Economist and Research Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

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