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DIPP Newsletter  September 2016, Volume 11


Dear DIPP Stakeholders and Participants, 


We're sad to say goodbye to summer, but looking forward to a productive fall as the Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA) Collaborative Field Assessments (CFAs) get underway later this season. We are still finalizing the details of the workshops and fieldtrips we'll be hosting as part of these, but will have more information available for you soon! In the meantime, you can read about the latest news and updates on the project below, including photos from the Skipjack Race and Labor Day Festival, information about some of the research that is being conducted as part of the ICRA, an update on the Rock Creek Cemetery Project, and introductions to a couple of DIPP researchers. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with Jo or Liz at



The DIPP Team 

Another Exciting Skipjack Race and Festival!

We had a great time at this year's Skipjack Festival over Labor Day weekend! Check out some photos of the festivities, captured by Julia Keane and Liz Van Dolah. If you were not able to attend, you can also see the photo essay of the Deal Island Peninsula area that Julia developed and displayed at the DIPP tent on the reports page of the website.

Meet a Project Stakeholder

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

Learn about Ongoing Research on DIPP's Social Networks

Dr. Christina Prell, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland and member of the DIPP stakeholder network, is part of the research team studying the processes that lead to successful collaboration through DIPP. One area that she and others are interested in understanding is how DIPP social networks influence stakeholders' attitudes and understandings about ongoing and future changes in the Deal Island area. Remember those surveys you filled out for us this past spring? They've been instrumental in allowing this research to move forward, and we are grateful for your input! Why study social networks though?

We are all connected to one another -- directly or indirectly -- through some kind of social tie. The tie could be friendship, acquaintanceship, sharing information or other resources, or even just sharing the same

geographical space, such as Deal Island. Studying how these ties form, and the role they play in people's every day lives is the main goal of social network analysis. Social network analysis (SNA) is a methodological approach, complete with analytical concepts and a range of formal math and statistical models, for studying how networks form, how they are structured, and the impact these networks have on people's lives. An analyst combines data on the social ties linking people together, with data on people's thoughts, feelings, and behavior in order to answer a number of real-life questions, such as "Why do some people get lower salaries than others? Why are some students more likely to complete high school? And why are some individuals more likely to adopt certain behaviors more readily than others?" Although looking at networks would not give us a complete answer to any of these questions, they certainly have been shown to play a role, and are part of the answer. Through the Deal Island Peninsula Project and Integrated Coastal Resiliency Assessment (ICRA) activities, we are interested in understanding how networks form among ourselves as a group of stakeholders, and the role these networks play (if any!) in developing and diffusing views about Deal Island area resilience and vulnerability in the face of ongoing and future social and environmental changes. 


As the ICRA activities move forward later this fall and into next year, we'll be asking you to fill out additional surveys to help us better understand the role of DIPP networks. Stay tuned for more details on the ICRA! Have questions about social network analysis or the surveys? Email Christina Prell at:

Request for Information about Rock Creek Cemetery Burials  


UMD anthropology graduate student, Sarah Hartge is collecting information from the family and friends of people buried at Rock Creek Cemetery. She is looking for copies of obituatries, old photographs, stories, news clippings, or other similar documents to link to a map of the cemetery that she produced using GIS (geographic information system) mapping tools. 

The map and personal documents will be used to create an online ancestry tool for families from the Deal Island area to learn more about their family heritage. Sarah will be attending Rock Creek Church's upcoming Homecoming on October 9th, and will be at the Skipjack Heritage Museum that day from 3-4pm. If you have material you'd like to share with Sarah, please stop by! You can also email her at Click here for more information about the project. 

Meet Moriah James, UMD Student Researching Deal Island Area African American and American Indian Histories


Moriah James is a Junior anthropology major with a focus on heritage studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. As an undergraduate researcher for the DIPP, she is researching the histories and heritages of African Americans and American Indian communities on the Deal Island Peninsula.  Moriah is interested in learning how researchers can work in collaboration with local communities to manage issues related to environmental change and heritage. Along with working on this research project, she is also currently a teaching assistant for a course that focuses on leadership in a multicultural society. Welcome Moriah! If you have information you'd like to share with Moriah, please email

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