The mission of the Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) is to provide society with the knowledge to solve its environmental challenges through research, education and economic development.
Position Announcements: Research Laboratory Director
Summer 2018 Internship Program
Dr. Thomas Ihde has been heavily involved in recent advances toward the development of measures of forage availability in the Chesapeake Bay system as a whole, and greater awareness of the importance of forage species to our highly-valued populations of crabs, fish, and oyster in the Bay. Dr. Ihde co-led with Dr. Edward Houde a large team of researchers in a STAC* workshop on forage at the end of 2014. That workshop report has been the roadmap for much of our recent progress toward understanding our current forage dynamics and longer-term trends. That workshop identified the most important forage groups for predators in the mainstem of the Bay. A recent article describes the survey work that the workshop analysis was based on -- it can be read here. The workshop also identified an urgent need to integrate the wealth of information that we already have on those forage species and develop "metrics" (or measures) of these important animals to better understand if there are enough available to feed the animals that people like to catch. That need was recognized by our fishery managers in the Bay jurisdictions (Maryland, Virginia, and the Potomac River), who identified funding for two consecutive projects to develop those metrics. Two research teams at UMCES received those grants, see the first year project report here , and the second project is finishing up now. The report by Ihde et al. (2015) also recommended that the Chesapeake Bay Program partners produce a short educational video that describes what forage is, and why it is so important. Dr. Ihde helped direct the production of that video with colleagues at the Chesapeake Bay Program. That video can be viewed here.
* Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay Program
10545 Mackall Road
Saint Leonard, MD 20685