The Scientific, Technical Assessment & Reporting (STAR) team works to coordinate the monitoring, modeling and analysis needed to explain and communicate the health of and changes in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

Upcoming Meetings

Scope and Purpose

The Scientific, Technical Assessment & Reporting (STAR) Team Purpose:

Increase collaboration among science providers to provide monitoring, modeling, and analysis needed to update, explain, and communicate ecosystem condition and change to support the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Teams.

Function of STAR within the Chesapeake Bay Program Framework:

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement signed on June 16, 2014 will require additional monitoring, modeling, and analysis to help decision makers effectively achieve goals and associated outcomes. CBP science activities are coordinated through the STAR Team. Over the past several years, STAR had a heavy emphasis on water-quality activities as the partners implemented the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). To address the needs of the Watershed Agreement, STAR is evolving to have more of an ecosystem-based science mission. The STAR Team serves the CBP as a science collaboration effort to include the following major functions:

  • Manage CBP-funded monitoring networks and coordinate with additional science providers to utilize networks to address the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
  • Ensure information quality, management, and access.
  • Update, and deliver, the status and trends (indicators) of ecosystem conditions.
  • Explain ecosystem condition and change.
  • Expand modeling to better understand and predict ecosystem response.
  • Coordinate climate change activities.
  • Synthesize and communicate results to support the CBP decision framework being used by the goal teams to develop and implement management strategies for the new agreement.

Please refer to report entitled Enhancing Science Collaboration to Support the New Chesapeake Bay Agreement from January 2015.

STAR also hosts the IAN Seminar Series:

The goal of the IAN seminar series is to provide concise, thought-provoking ideas relating to Chesapeake Bay science and management. Short presentations (15 minutes maximum length) are immediately followed by a lunchtime discussion of the topics raised by the presenter. The discussion is summarized and is posted along with a pdf version of the seminar slides. The seminars are captured on video and posted under a Creative Commons license so they can be freely shared.

Subscribe to the STAR Newsletter

Projects and Resources

Better Targeting CBP Resources to Achieve Multiple Outcomes: Approach and Tools

The USGS has initiated an effort to take a more comprehensive approach for targeting resources, working with several partners including the USEPA (CBP office, Office of Research and Development, and Region 3) and the Chesapeake Conservancy. The objective is to develop a strategic, science-based approach to better target federal and state resources to the places, and towards the types of activities, that accelerate progress for multiple outcomes. The proposed approach is organized around several topics (figure 1), which include many outcomes in the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement: (1) accelerate water-quality improvements, (2) coordinate habitat restoration, (3) expand land-conservation efforts, and (4) increase benefits to people, with all considering climate resiliency.

Access the DRAFT tool hub here.

Improving CBP Monitoring Networks

An overview was provided to the Principal Staff Committee (PSC) at their March 2, 2021 meeting about the status of, and potential reductions to, the current Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) monitoring networks. The CBP monitoring programs presented included the nontidal nutrient and sediment network, tidal water-quality monitoring network, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), tidal benthic monitoring network, and Citizen Science monitoring. The reduction of stations and data in the CBP monitoring networks is mostly due to inflation in the cost of monitoring over the past 5 years, while funding for the networks has been held constant. The Scientific Technical Assessment and Reporting Team (STAR) listed the condition of the networks as “fair” during August 2020 SRS quarterly review to the Management Board. The PSC recognizes that monitoring is foundational to the CBP’s ability to assess progress toward its goals and outcomes and utilizing adaptive-management principles. In response to the status report, they requested information be provided on what is needed to improve the CBP monitoring networks, including: (1) an overview of current status and threats to the networks, and (2) what is needed to address the monitoring networks capacity shortfalls.

Building Environmental Intelligence (BEI) (formerly BASIN)

Building Environmental Intelligence (BEI) -- formerly BASIN -- is an effort to develop new approaches to expand and sustain of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) monitoring activities to meet the needs of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. It is a three-part effort by the Chesapeake Bay Partnership’s Scientific, Technical, Assessment and Reporting (STAR) Team experts to discover new, smarter approaches for both sustaining and expanding the Bay Program’s vast water quality monitoring networks. More information is availble through this link: https://www.chesapeakebay.net/who/group/building_and_sustaining_integrated_networks_basin

Strategic Science and Research Framework

The GITs, STAR and STAC have worked together to develop an approach that will identify, and help prioritize, both short- and longer-term science needs. The approach will result in a Strategic Science and Research Framework that will be an on-going, repeatable process that supports the SRS decision framework. The results will be used to help focus existing science resources, and leverage the research enterprise, to more effectively provide science to advance Chesapeake restoration and conservation efforts and decision making. All science needs are available on the CBP Science Needs Database.

Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen Profiling

Water quality impairment in the Chesapeake Bay, caused primarily by excessive long-term nutrient input from runoff and groundwater, is characterized by extreme seasonal hypoxia, particularly in the bottom layers of the deeper mainstem (although it is often present elsewhere). In addition to obvious negative impacts on ecosystems where it occurs, hypoxia represents the integrated effect of watershed-wide nutrient pollution, and monitoring the size and location of the hypoxic regions is important to assessing Chesapeake Bay health and restoration progress.

Chesapeake Bay Program direct water quality monitoring has been by necessity widely spaced in time and location, with monthly or bi-monthly single fixed stations separated by several kilometers. The need for continuous, real time, vertically sampled profiles of dissolved oxygen has been long recognized, and improvements in hypoxia modeling and sensor technology make it achievable. Recent results of Bever, et al. (2018) show that total Chesapeake Bay hypoxic volume can be estimated using a few analytically selected fixed continuous dissolved oxygen profiles.

The project is to pilot a cost effective, real-time dissolved oxygen vertical monitoring system for characterizing mainstem Chesapeake Bay hypoxia. The approach for this project is to use a lightweight, low-powered real-time inductive CTDO2 mooring with sensors at multiple vertical measurement levels. The reports provide details on the proposed tasks for this project and expected outcomes and deliverables.

View All

Publications

Methods and Quality Assurance for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Monitoring Programs

The purpose of this document is to provide field and laboratory methods and associated quality control requirements for use in Chesapeake Bay water quality monitoring programs, which will result in the generation of known and comparable data quality. State agency staff or subcontractors will conduct field measurements and collect and analyze water and sediment samples for specific physical, chemical and biological parameters according to the procedures in this document.

Conformance with these procedures provides a solid foundation for a wide variety of scientific and management investigations, e.g., attainment of water quality standards, characterization of the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, evaluation of long-term trends, effectiveness of management actions, ecosystem processes and water quality model development and calibration.

Download publication

View details

2017 Technical Addendum Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen, Water Clarity and Chla

A total of seven addendum documents have been published by EPA since April 2003. Four addenda were published documenting detailed refinements to the criteria attainment and assessment procedures (U.S. EPA 2004a, 2007a, 2008, 2010) previously published in the original April 2003 Chesapeake Bay water quality criteria document (U.S. EPA 2003a). One addendum published Chesapeake Bay numerical chlorophyll a criteria (U.S. EPA 2007b). Three addenda addressed detailed issues involving further delineation of tidal water designated uses (U.S. EPA 2004b, 2005, 2010) building from the original October 2003 tidal water designated uses document (U.S. EPA 2003b). Finally, one addendum documented the 92-segment Chesapeake Bay segmentation scheme (U.S. EPA 2008) after refinements to the Chesapeake Bay Program analytical segmentation schemes were documented (U.S. EPA 2005) building from the original U.S. EPA 2004 document (U.S. EPA 2004b). This 2017 addendum is the eight addendum document developed through the Partnership and published by EPA.

Download publication

View details

Review of Phase 5 Watershed Model Hydrologic Calibration

The hydrologic calibration of the phase 5 watershed model was evaluated through 9 published acceptable criteria used in HSPF Expert system. The specific flow characteristics evaluated are: Error in total volume; Error in low flow or base flow recession; Error in 50% lowest flow; Error in 10% highest flow; Error in storm volumes; Summer volume error; Winter volume error; Summer storm volume error; and Storm peaks simulated verses observed for selected storms in inches. One Phase 5 base flow statistic was also used.

Download publication

View details
View All

Watershed Agreement

Workgroups and Action Teams

Members

Bill Dennison (Chair), STAR, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
P.O. BOX 775
Cambridge, Maryland 21613

Email:  dennison@umces.edu
Phone:  (410) 221-2004
Scott Phillips (Chair), Chesapeake Bay Science Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  swphilli@usgs.gov
Phone:  (443) 498-5552
Breck Sullivan (Coordinator), Scientific, Technical Assessment & Reporting Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  bsullivan@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5788
Alex Gunnerson (Staffer), Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  agunnerson@chesapeakebay.net
Amy Goldfischer (Staffer), Scientific, Technical Assessment and Reporting (STAR) Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  agoldfischer@chesapeakebay.net
Lewis Linker, Modeling Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  linker.lewis@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5741
Gary Shenk, Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  gshenk@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 507-2681
John Wolf, GIS Team Lead, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  jwolf@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5739
Bruce Vogt, Ecosystem Science Manager, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Address:
200 Harry S. Truman Parkway Suite 460
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Bruce.Vogt@noaa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5655
Scott Phillips, Chesapeake Bay Science Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  swphilli@usgs.gov
Phone:  (443) 498-5552
Ken Hyer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
Reston, Virginia 20192

Email:  kenhyer@usgs.gov
Angie Wei, Geospatial Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  zwei@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5735
Stephen Faulkner, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
11649 Leetown Road
Kearneysville, Westvirginia 25430

Email:  faulkners@usgs.gov
Sophie Waterman, Healthy Watersheds Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  swaterman@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5704
Kathy Boomer, The Nature Conservancy
Address:
8198 New Bridge Road
Denton, Maryland 21629

Email:  kboomer@tnc.org
Amy Handen, Local Implementation Programs Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  handen.amy@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5793
Katlyn Fuentes, Habitat Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  fuentesk@chesapeake.org
Sean Corson, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
Address:
200 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Suite 460
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  sean.corson@noaa.gov
Rebecca Murphy, Water Quality Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  rmurphy@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-9837
Peter Claggett, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  pclagget@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5771
Qian Zhang, Data Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  qzhang@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5794
Labeeb Ahmed, Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  lahmed@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5715
Laura Cattell Noll, Local Leadership Workgroup Coordinator, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Address:
501 Sixth Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  lnoll@allianceforthebay.org
Phone:  (443) 949-0575
Lee McDonnell, Branch Chief, Science, Analysis and Implementation Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  mcdonnell.lee@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5731
Katheryn Barnhart, Indicators Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  barnhart.katheryn@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-9856
Kristin Saunders, Cross Program Coordinator, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  ksaunders@umces.edu
Phone:  (410) 267-5711
Greg Allen, Environmental Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  allen.greg@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5746
Renee Thompson, Healthy Watersheds Goal Implementation Team Coordinator and Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  rthompso@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5749
Peter Tango, Monitoring Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  ptango@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-9875
Jeremy Hanson, Coordinator, Water Quality Goal Implementation Team, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  hanson.jeremy@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5753
Julie Mawhorter, Mid-Atlantic Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Address:
151 Grey Towers Dr.
Milford, Pennsylvania 18337

Email:  julie.mawhorter@usda.gov
Phone:  (570) 296-9626
Rachel Felver, Director of Communications, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  rfelver@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5740
Justin Shapiro, Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  justin.shapiro@noaa.gov
Chris Guy, Habitat Goal Implementation Team Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  chris_guy@fws.gov
Jackie Pickford, Water Quality Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  pickford.jacqueline@epa.gov
Britt Slattery, Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Goal Implementation Team Coordinator, National Park Service (NPS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Britt_Slattery@nps.gov
Marisa Baldine, Communications Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  baldinem@chesapeake.org
Briana Yancy, Life Scientist & Diversity Workgroup Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Mid-Atlantic Region
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  yancy.briana@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-9827
Denise Wardrop, STAC Coordinator, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
645 Contees Wharf Rd
Edgewater, Maryland 21037

Email:  CRC-Director@Chesapeake.org
Durga Ghosh, Quality Assurance Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  dghosh@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5750
Julie Reichert-Nguyen, Climate Resiliency Workgroup Coordinator, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
Address:
200 Harry S Truman Parkway Suite 460
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  julie.reichert-nguyen@noaa.gov
Mike Mallonee, Water Quality Data Manager, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  mmallone@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5785