DIPP Newsletter  April 2017, Volume 18


Dear Project Stakeholders and Interested Participants, 


We hope you've been enjoying a beautiful spring! Thank you to all who filled out the online survey for us last month. We greatly appreciate your input, which will help us understand how collaboration works in shaping knowledge about resilience and vulnerability. We'll be sharing some findings from the surveys with you at our next meeting on June 3rd, as well as discussing next steps for the project based on what we've learned through the risk assessments. We hope you'll be able to join us! Below we've highlighted a number of other events of interest. If you're interested in local genealogy, come out to Rock Creek Church on May 7th to learn more about Sarah Hartge's cemetery project and help add to a local histories collection. Also, if you have nothing planned for this evening or tomorrow morning, there will be a free event in Salisbury on Rising Seas: A Faith Response, hosted by the Wicomico Interfaith Partners for Creation Stewardship (details below). Tomorrow, Liz Van Dolah will be giving a presentation about DIPP as part of their climate change workshop. Thanks for your continued engagement! Please get in touch if you have an questions. 



The DIPP Team

Save the Date: Next DIPP gathering scheduled for June 3rd! 

On June 3rd, we'll share and discuss the initial results from the research we've been doing on the DIPP stakeholder network (collected through those lengthy surveys you completed for us) and the risk assessment worksheets that you helped us fill out to document focus area issues. Keep an eye out for a formal invitation with additional details in early May. Meeting information will also be available in the next newsletter and on the website. Please contact Jo Johnson (kjohns11@umd.edu or 240-351-3478) if you have additional questions or concerns about the meeting.

Join us for a Day of Virtual Cemetery Genealogy

When: Sunday, May 7 2017, 2 - 4pm

Where: Rock Creek Church Community Hall


What: Are you interested in learning more about the genealogy of the Deal Island area? Do you want to help build the genealogy record? If yes, this event is for you! Using the Rock Creek Cemetery, we'll explore how a virtual cemetery is constructed and demonstrate how you can add your own histories to a local genealogical collection.


Should I bring anything? Yes! We’ll have a scanner and camera available to copy old photos, documents, or other memorabilia of family or friends buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery that you want to add to the Virtual Cemetery Project. These photographs and scans will then be uploaded to the Virtual Cemetery website. We'll also have recorders on hand to enable you to add stories about individuals to the collection.

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Grant Application to Improve Property on Drawbridge Road

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Monie Bay Field Station recently submitted a grant application to NOAA for funds through the NERR Procurement, Acquisition, and Construction competitive grant program. If funded, the grant would support site improvements at the property on Drawbridge Road (formerly, the Phillips Property) to improve safety and access at the site, including the razing of outbuildings, and road and water access improvements. Funds would

Meet a Stakeholder: Becky Swerida

Becky Swerida became the new Research and Stewardship Assistant for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland as of the end of November 2016. Her role will include field and laboratory support of Reserve research initiatives as well as data analysis and community outreach efforts.


Becky grew up on the New Jersey shore, where her interest in marine and environmental science began and where she attended high school at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (located in an excellent example of estuarine habitat!). She moved on to study environmental studies, specifically marine and aquatic ecology, and biology at Gettysburg College. Later, she earned a Master’s of Science in the Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science (MEES) graduate program through the University of

Forthcoming Paper about DIPP: "Coastal Community Values for Marsh-Dependent Socio-Ecological Services Revealed through a Systematic Qualitative Approach" 


This recently accepted paper, co-written by Lisa Wainger, Anna McMurray, Michael Paolisso, Katherine J. Johnson, and Brian Needelman, summarizes findings from research completed during DIPP's Science Collaborative activities during 2012-2015. It will be available in the near future in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review. 


Paper Abstract: A qualitative ranking method, Q methodology, was used to assess stakeholder priorities for socio-ecological services derived from coastal marshes and communities. The goal was to reveal strength of concerns for and tradeoffs among effects of coastal resilience strategies. Factor analysis identified three perspectives that generally formed a spectrum from high to low priorities on intangible services. Academic and government stakeholders were more likely than local residents to prioritize intangible services, but stakeholder views were diverse. A collaborative learning process promoted some alignment of views and academics showed the most movement – towards residents’ perspectives. Q-sort appeared effective at efficiently synthesizing broad concerns.

Rising Seas: A Faith Response

Join the Wicomico Interfaith Partners for Creation Stewardship for two days of reflection and information about the local impacts of Climate Change and how people of faith can respond. April 21-22, 2017 at St. Pete's Episcopal Church and Asbury United Methodist Church -- Admission is free!



Friday, April 21st, 7:00 PM

St. Peter's Episcopal Church
115 St. Peters St., Salisbury, MD 21801


Keynote Address by Stuart Clarke, Co-Chair of the Maryland Climate Change Commission an Executive Director of the Town Creek Foundation and Welcome from Mayer Jake Day.


Climate Change Workshop
Saturday, April 22nd, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Asbury United Methodist Church,

1401 Camden Ave., Salisbury, MD 21801


Workshop will feature presentations from climate change experts. DIPP Stakeholder, Liz Van Dolah will give a presentation on DIPP’s ongoing ICRA activities. The program will also include an interfaith conversation about how people of faith can respond. The event will feature moments for reflection and prayer led by diverse members of the WIPCS community.

About the Virtual Cemetery Genealogy Project: Last summer, UMD graduate student Sarah Hartge mapped the Rock Creek Cemetery and constructed a website to document the lives of the people buried in the cemetery. The hope is that this project will provide a living memorial that can be expanded upon so that descendants have a better sense where they come from. The project also provides a template for building additional virtual cemeteries for future Deal Island Peninsula genealogical research.


To learn more about the Virtual Cemetery Genealogy Project, visit:



Questions? Contact Sarah Hartge or Shirley Massey

also support the design of a new field station on the property to enhance research and educational programming in the area. The improved use of the Drawbridge property is a key strategy in the Reserve's goal to have a stronger role in connecting estuarine science to the community at Monie Bay and the surrounding Deal Island Peninsula. 

CBNERR-MD Volunteer Opportunity: 

Beginning in May the CBNERR Research and Stewardship fieldwork crew will be surveying marsh birds at the Reserve in order to determine whether population numbers are changing or remaining steady. Changes in their numbers could indicate a change in habitat quality. If you are interested in learning more about this project or potentially joining the field crew, contact Chris Snow. This volunteer opportunity is perfect for early risers, as the survey starts one-half hour before sunrise. (photo credit: Jane Thomas, IAN Image Library  ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary)

Maryland. Becky’s research experience interests are centered on estuarine ecology, ecosystem based management, wetland restoration and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) restoration science. Before transferring to the CBNERR program, Becky was a part of the Shoreline Conservation Service group within MD DNR working with Living Shorelines and wetland restoration projects where she first became a part of the DIPP network. Now, she brings years of environmental research and management experience as well as great enthusiasm and creativity to the CBNERR program. She hopes to benefit DIPP with her expertise in wetland and shoreline ecology and restoration. Outside of her environmental work, Becky can be found hiking or singing and dancing in community theater.

Events of Interest
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