Michael Kemp ~ Coastal Ecologist

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New Ways to Do Old Tricks

Dr. Michael Kemp's involvement with COSEE was born out of a fiery crucible. For many years his lab and office had been housed in an old wooden building on the Horn Point campus of the University of Maryland. Over several decades he had assembled a large collection of publications and reprints that were carefully catalogued and housed in filing cabinets, along with stacks of books that were carefully arranged. Then one night in the summer of 2007 the building burned down, and all of his beloved papers and books were destroyed. "I had to start over," he says. "Everything had changed and I wasn't entirely sure that I could learn any new tricks."

Dead zones module
It was shortly after that moment that COSEE Coastal Trends Principal Investigator Dr. Laura Murray asked him to get involved with COSEE. "I knew I needed something new," says Michael. What was new was an invitation to join the COSEE Coastal Trends Scientist-Educator Team, composed of a scientist, a formal educator, and both graduate and undergraduate students, who would work together as a team over the summer to produce a learning module on a specific topic – dead zones. "Laura explained the composition of these teams that were going to be working together, and they insisted, because they know me, that I have graduate students involved," says Michael. "In fact I had two graduate students involved on our team, and it was great."

Michael was particularly pleased that his students were able to get a paper published about the module, as well as the fact that they were paid to participate on the team. The process of teamwork also appealed to Michael. "Everyone involved is interested in the same subject from a very different point of view, and that's very cool," he says. "Everybody benefits."

"Being involved with COSEE was a life-changing experience."
Further dissemination of the team's work together took place at the annual Coastal Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) meeting, at which Dr. Murray gave a talk about COSEE Coastal Trends and Dr. Kemp gave a talk about the dead zone module. "It was a way to convey that experience," he says. "There were scientists in the audience, and I was surprised. There were plenty of science education people too, and it was well received. I conveyed the enthusiasm that I feel. It was there already; it was just a matter of finding it."

Scott Glenn
Walter Boynton, Ph.D., Professor - University of Maryland
How COSEE gets information out to the public and, more importantly, policy makers
Jen Bosch
Jen Bosch, Graduate Student - University of Maryland
How involvement in COSEE has influnced Jen's academic career