Chesapeake Community Modeling Program

CCMP Newsletter | June 2012

Volume 5, Issue 2


It's been a busy spring at the Chesapeake Community Modeling Program. We hosted the Chesapeake Modeling Symposium 2012 in late May and held our semi-annual CCMP Steering Committee meeting in Early June. Read about these things and more in the latest edition of our Newsletter!

As always, please contact Dave Jasinski if you have any questions or comments.



1. CCMP News in brief
2. Open Source on the March
3. Upcoming Meetings

1. CCMP News in Brief

Chesapeake Modeling Symposium May 21-22, 2012

images from CheMS12
From the top: Attendees at the plenary on Day 1. Gerard Learmonth leading folks in the Bay Game. Lewis Linker(CBPO) starting off a special session on Day 1. Panel members during the Panel Discussion on Day2.

The Chesapeake Community Modeling Program hosted yet another successful modeling symposium on May 21 and 22 in Annapolis, MD. We had approximately 150 attendees for the two day event. Plenary sessions were focused on the interaction between modeling, management, and stakeholders while, for the most part, the special sessions were geared towards issues related to models and model development.

Some of the highlights of the symposium:

  • Jeff Corbin, Administrator for Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River – USEPA gave the Key Note – “World Class Modelling in the Chesapeake Bay - May No Good Deed Go Unpunished”. You can view it here
  • Denise Reed, University of New Orleans gave a Plenary talk - “Using Models to Inform Restoration Decision Making”. You can view it here
  • Everyone attending Day 1 of the symposium participated in a few rounds of the University of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Game. From the Bay Game website:
    “The Game allows players to take the roles of stakeholders, such as farmers, developer, watermen, and local policy-makers, make decisions about their livelihoods or regulatory authority; and see the impacts of their decisions on their own personal finances, the regional economy, and watershed health.”
  • During the morning of Day 2 of the Symposium, Jon Kramer moderated a panel discussion on the topic “TMDLs, politics, litigation, and conflicting stakeholder interests”. Panelists included Anne Swanson (CBC), Beth McGee (CBF), Rich Batiuk (EPA), Kim Burgess (Balt. DPW), Arthur Butt (VADEQ), Ken Staver (UMD), Jason Keppler (MDA), Lee Curry (MDE), and Michael Paolisso (UMD). Thanks to support from MD and VA Sea Grant, VA NERRS, and the VA Coastal Zone Management Program we were able to get local government reps from localities in MD and VA to attend and ask questions of the panelists. A summary of the panel discussion is below

Please check out the Symposium website where the plenary presentations and most of the special session presentations can be viewed. You can also download the Symposium program which contains bios for the plenary speakers and panelists, the complete schedule, and abstracts for all presentations and posters given at the symposium.

To date, reaction to the Symposium has been overwhelmingly positive. The CCMP steering committee and the CheMS12 planning committee would like to express it's deepest thanks to all who participated. We have already started making plans for 2014!

CheMS12 Panel Discussion "TMDLs, politics, litigation, and conflicting stakeholder interests"

On the morning of the second day of the Symposium, a panel discussion was held on the topic “TMDLs, politics, litigation, and conflicting stakeholder interests”. Jon Kramer (SESYNC) moderated the panel whose members included Anne Swanson (CBC), Beth McGee (CBF), Rich Batiuk (EPA), Kim Burgess (Balt. DPW), Arthur Butt (VADEQ), Ken Staver (UMD), Jason Keppler (MDA), Lee Curry (MDE), and Michael Paolisso (UMD). Kramer led off the discussion by asking each panelist to take five minutes to introduce themselves and explain which constituency or stake holders they felt they represented. From Anne Swanson who indicated that she represented the plants and animals that make the Chesapeake their home, to Kim Burgess who spoke for local government, to Ken Staver who has deep understanding of the impacts of regulations on farmers, it appears that a broad spectrum of Chesapeake Stakeholders had a voice on the panel.

ccmp panel discussion
CheMS12 Panelists from left to right: Arthur Butt (VA DEQ), Anne Swanson (CBC), Michael Paolisso (UMD), Beth McGee (CBF), Rich Batiuk (CBP), Ken Staver (UMD), Donald Boesch (UMD), Jason Copler, and Lee Curry (MDE).

All of the panelists seemed to support the idea that the TMDL was a necessary step in protecting the Chesapeake. And there was general consensus that the TMDL process is a incredibly complex and ground breaking effort. While they all agreed that the TMDL would have a positive impact on Bay health, they each had a unique perspective on what the impacts of new regulations would be on various stakeholders. And, while everyone agreed that models play a pivotal role in the process, they each had their own opinions, born of experience, about how models are perceived by various Chesapeake stakeholders.

Jon Kramer posed some specific questions to the panelists to help foster discussion about TMDLs, models, and Chesapeake Bay management. These questions and a synopsis of the responses are detailed below.

Question 1 – What can we do at the local level to ensure the success of the TMDL?

Ken Staver – We need to keep in mind that we’ve moved on from improvements that can be observed (i.e. erosion) to improvements that are best described as trust based (i.e. dissolved nutrients).
Rich Batiuk – People want to see monitoring data that proves what the model is saying.
Kim Burgess – People want to know EVERYONE is going to contribute to the effort.
Lee Curry – Set short term goals, mark progress, and make sure we know how we got there.
Don Boesch - If we miss the 2025 goal, it’s “game over”. We need to communicate this sense of urgency.
Michael Paolisso – Farmers want to be stewards and we need to capitalize on this by helping farmers understand their role in the global environment.
Jason Keppler and Beth McGee – Tools such as MAST and VAST are very important in showing people their impacts
Don Boesch - More interactive tools need to be developed.

Question 2 – How do we ensure that the model is credible so it is defensible? (posed to Beth McGee but open to entire panel)

Beth McGee – It is helpful to point out the number of times that the model has been peer reviewed. The STAC (Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee) review was very powerful.
Anne Swanson - The STAC effort with LimnoTech was important. The overarching message was that models are important and that multiple models are even better.
Ken Staver – We need better communication about scenarios and progress runs.

Question 3 – How do we talk to stakeholders bout model uncertainty?

Lee Curry – Lead with what you know before discussing what you don’t know.

Jon Kramer then opened the discussion to take questions from the audience. Some of the questions and a summary of answers are below.

How do we represent ourselves in court about being 95% certain?

Rich Batiuk – It is important that we support all statements with “lots of documentation”.
Don Boech – It is important to remember that uncertainty does not mean hit or miss, but slightly less right or slightly more right. What is certain is the trend – worsening conditions but better with TMDL implementation.

A county representative from Virginia indicated that the BMP numbers used in the model are off by a factor of 9 for some sectors and they cannot use the VAST tool because of this. They want to move forward but cannot.

Rich Batiuk – The tools need to be refined to address these kinds of issues.
Lee Curry – Bring these issues forward to be addressed in the 2017 review.
Arthur Butt – The local data needs to be fine tuned to fix these issues. Local governments (in Virginia) should work directly with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The CCMP would like to thank all of the Panelists and Jon Kramer who did a fantastic job in moderating the session.

CCMP Steering Committee meeting

Marjy Friedrichs
Marjy Friedrichs

On June 5th, the CCMP Steering Committee held it’s semi-annual meeting at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marjy Freidrichs was elected to the Steering Committee. Welcome Marjy! Other items discussed included the recent Chesapeake Modeling Symposium 2012, the CSDMS Chesapeake Focus Research Group, and potential ideas for a workshop next summer.

CCMP Modeling Catalog

The CCMP modeling catalog has been updated to include links to the CSDMS Modeling Tool (CMT) ( Five of the models in the CCMP catalog (ROMS, CBOFS2, ChesROMS, Hydrotrend, and TopoFlow) are available as components in the CMT. The CMT allows you to link the component models together in a GUI on your desktop and have them run on the CSDMS super computer. All you need is a free CSDMS membership to take advantage of this service.

2. Open Source on the March

Open Science Publications

PeerJPeer J, a new “open source” peer reviewed scientific journal was announced on June 12. The journal and its companion publication, Peer J Preprints, are currently limited to Medical and Biological articles. The business model is that researchers pay a one-time fee ranging from $99 - $259 and then they can publish to Peer J for life. Access to Peer J articles is free and open to anyone. Peer J Preprints is a pre-press server allowing authors to collaborate with peers on publications. Authors can set public access to the pre-publication articles ranging from viewing the entire piece to seeing just the title.

Check it out at

NASA Changes Course on Open Source Cloud Computing

NASAAs reported in Volume 3 issue 4 of this newsletter, NASA and web hosting service provider Rackspace were collaborating on developing an open source cloud computing solution. NASA has recently announced that they are abandoning the Rackspace solution and migrating to Amazon’s cloud service. By doing this, they hope to save about $1 million dollars a year.

New OpenMI Website

NASAThe OpenMI association, a non-profit devoted to the promotion of the open modeling interface is sporting a new look. Their new website was launched in April and features many enhanced features. Check it out at

3. Upcoming Meetings

iemss6th International Congress on Environmental Modeling and Software

July 1-5, 2012 link

National Environmental Monitoring Conference

August 6-10, 2012 link

Chesapeake Community Model Program
Chesapeake Research Consortium
Edgewater, MD

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