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JS Toll Seminar: Chesapeake Bay’s Forgotten Anacostia River

The John S. Toll Fellows Program hosts a seminar by Dr. Caroline Solomon, Professor of Biology at Gallaudet University. 

“About the speaker: Caroline Solomon is a Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics at Gallaudet University. Her research explores nutrient dynamics and its influence on the microbial community in Washington D.C.’s Anacostia River. In addition to running a productive research program, she is also an award-winning teacher – among other honors, she was named one of NPR’s “50 Great Teachers” in 2015 – and a nationally-recognized advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people in the sciences.

About the seminar: The Anacostia River, a Chesapeake Bay tributary running through Washington, D.C., is small but highly polluted, placing those who use the water for recreation at considerable risk. There is currently a multi-billion dollar tunnel project underway, being built in several phases, aimed at diverting effluent (liquid waste and sewage) and improving water quality of the Anacostia and the river into which it flows, the Potomac. Dr. Solomon and her collaborators previously analyzed nutrient and phytoplankton data from four years of biweekly to monthly water sampling to assess pre-tunnel eutrophication (excessive plant and algal growth caused by contamination) and its relationship to water flow conditions. Monitoring continues following the implementation of the Anacostia Tunnel project in March 2018, and Dr. Solomon’s current projects seek to assess the short- and long-term impact of tunnel-associated nutrient reductions on algal blooms. These nutrient reductions may reduce the severity of summer blooms but may have a greater effect on spring assemblages depending on flow conditions.”
- Mala Misra