Carlton H. Hershner, Jr. - Center for Coastal Resources Management

Carlton H. Hershner, Jr.

Director, CCRM; Professor of Marine Science

Email: [[carl]]
Phone: (804) 684-7387
Office: Wetlands/Watershed Facility 104
Department: Biological Sciences
Program: Center for Coastal Resources Management
Address: P.O. Box 1346 Gloucester Pt., VA 23062-1346, USA

  • B.S., Bucknell University
  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
Research Interests

My primary research interests are in tidal and nontidal wetlands ecology, landscape ecology and resource management/policy issues. I have active interests in resource inventory procedures, habitat restoration protocols, resource management "expert system" development, and science-policy interactions. Much of my current activity involves integrated resource management and the development of supporting scientific rationale. This work involves collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines and is presently focused on coastal watershed management.

Current Projects
  • Structure and function of nontidal wetlands in the coastal plain
  • Watershed management in the York River Basin
  • Resource use conflict analysis and policy development
  • Landscape level habitat suitability model development
  • Shoreline management policy development
Selected Publications
  • Najjar, R.G., Pyke, C.R., Adams, M.B., Breitburg, D., Hershner, C., Kemp, M., Howarth, R., Mulholland, M., Paolisso, M., Secor, D., Sellner, K., Wardrop, D., Wood, R., 2010. Potential climate-change impacts on the Chesapeake Bay.  Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science, 86, 1-20.
  • Perry, J.,  D.M. Bilkovic, K. Havens, and C. Hershner. 2009.  Book Chapter: Tidal Freshwater marshes of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.  In: Tidal Freshwater Wetlands, pp. 157-166.  Edited by A. Barendregt, D.G. Whigham, A.H. Baldwin.  Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Hershner, C., K.J. Havens.  2009 Ecosystem services and management of invasive species in a changing system: Response to Martin and Blossey.  Conservation Biology 23(2):497-498.
  • Hershner, C., K.J. Havens.  2008.  Managing invasive aquatic plants in a changing system: strategic consideration of ecosystem services.  Conservation Biology 22(3):544-550.
  • K. J. Havens, D.M. Bilkovic, D. Stanhope, K. Angstadt, and C. Hershner. 2008. The effects of derelict blue crab traps on marine organisms in the lower York River, Virginia. N. Am J. of Fish. Manag. 28(4):1194-1200.
  • Varnell, L., D.M. Bilkovic, J.Olney, D.Evans, H.Wang, C.Hershner, R. Mann. 2008.  Estuarine surface water allocation: A case study on the interactive role of science in support of management.  Environmental Science and Policy 11(7):602-612.
  • Havens, K., C. Hershner, D.M. Bilkovic and D.H. Wardrop.  2007. Assessment of Chesapeake Bay Program Selection and Use of Indicators.  EcoHealth. 4(2): 187-193
  • Wardrop, D.H., C. Hershner, K. Havens, K. Thornton and D.M. Bilkovic.  2007. Developing and Communicating a Taxonomy of Ecological Indicators: A Case Study from the Mid-Atlantic. EcoHealth. 4(2): 179-186.
  • Bilkovic, D. M., M. Roggero, C.H. Hershner and K. J. Havens. 2006. Evaluating benthic indices for use in nearshore estuarine habitats. Estuaries and Coasts 29(6B): 1185-1195.
  • Olney, J.E., D.M. Bilkovic, C.H. Hershner, L.M. Varnell, H. Wang, and R.L. Mann. 2006. Six fish and 600,000 thirsty folks – A fishing moratorium on American shad thwarts a controversial municipal reservoir project in Virginia. American Fisheries Society Symposium, 2006. 587-597.
  • Woods, H., W.J. Hargis Jr., C.H. Hershner, and P. Mason. 2005. Disappearance of the natural emergent 3-dimensional oyster reef system of the James River, Virginia, 1871-1948. Journal of Shellfish Research 24(1):139-142.
  • Bilkovic, D.M., C. Hershner. 2005. Ecosystem approaches to aquatic health assessment: linking subtidal habitat quality, shoreline condition and estuarine fish communities. Semi-annual report to NOAA/NCBO. Project Award Number: NA04NMF4570360.
  • Bilkovic, D.M., C. Hershner, M.R. Berman, K.J. Havens, and D.M. Stanhope. 2004. Evaluating Estuarine Indicators of Ecosystem Health in the Nearshore of Chesapeake Bay. In: S. Bortone (ed.) Estuarine Indicators Workshop Proceedings, CRC Press, Inc.
  • Perry, J. E. and C. Hershner.1999. Temporal changes in the vegetation pattern in a tidal freshwater marsh. Wetlands 19(1):90-99.
  • Berman, M. and C. Hershner. 1999. Development of guidelines for generating shoreline situation reports: Establishing protocols for data collection and dissemination. Final report to USEPA.
  • Greiner, M. and C. Hershner. 1998. Analysis of wetland total phosphorus retention and watershed structure. Wetlands 18(1),142-150.
  • Varnell, L. M., K. J. Havens and C. Hershner. 1995. Daily variability in the population levels and characteristics of aquatic wildlife using tidal salt marshes. Estuaries 18(2):326-334.
Selected Grants

2010-11    APNEP technical support for EBM implementation - APNEP/EPA          
2010-11    Tidal wetlands management technical support - VACRMP/NOAA     
2009-11    Strengthening VA’s wetlands management programs - EPA               
2009-10    Climate change impacts in VA, assembling data records - NOAA              
2009-10    Tidal wetlands management technical support - VACRMP/NOAA     
2009-10    Initial development of web-based reporting for CB cleanup - NOAA            
2008-10    On-going development of non-tidal wetland inventory and monitoring - EPA            
2008-09    Tidal wetlands management technical support - VACRMP/NOAA
2008-09    Climate impacts in VA: natural resource data records as tools - VA Env. Endowment       
2008-08    Nontidal wetlands inventory and monitoring strategy - EPA/DEQ           
2007-12    Regional wetlands monitoring and assessment (Region III) - EPA/PSU           
2007-08    Building capacity to perform wetlands assessments in Maryland - MD-DNR
2007-08    Tidal wetlands guidelines - VACRMP/NOAA
2007-09    Development of integrated ecological assessments - NOAA-CBO
2007-09    Climate change impacts on Virginia shallow water habitats - NCBO 
2007-09    York River watershed water budget - Philip Morris Foundation
2007-08    Tidal wetlands management technical support - VACRMP/NOAA

Selected Recent Invited Scholarly Papers and Talks

Mar 2011 - Implications of the certainty of confronting uncertainty in TMDLs, Innovating Policy for Chesapeake Bay Restoration conference
Dec 2010 - Integrated management of tidal shorelines, Norfolk COE regional staff meeting
Nov 2010 - Sea level rise in Virginia, Virginia Association of Professional Land Surveyors
Mar 2010 - Restoring the Chesapeake Bay, Old Dominion University
Mar 2010 - Climate change impacts in coastal systems, American Zoo and Aquarium Association annual meeting
Feb 2010 - Climate change in Virginia, Old Dominion University
Dec 2009 - Nontidal wetlands assessment in Virginia, US Army Corps of Engineers
Jul 2009 - Getting closer to EBM, Packard Foundation Board, San Francisco, CA
May 2009 - Developing EBM in the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program, APNEP, Raleigh, NC
Apr 2009 - Climate change: Projected impacts and challenges of adaptation, Envir. Virginia
Mar 2009 - The quest for ecosystem based management, CRC EBM conference
Oct 2008 - The quest for EBM, Association of National Estuary Programs, New York, NY
Nov 2008 - Ecosystem Based Management, the national quest, SEAWEB, Washington, DC
Aug 2008 - Integrated management of tidal shorelines, Association of Water Resource Administrators
Aug 2008 - Ecosystem services research in Virginia, EPA Coastal Carolinas workshop, Research Triangle, NC
Sep 2007 - Wetlands monitoring and assessment: ecological services paradigm.  EPA National Wetlands Assessment Workshop.  Kansas City, MO.
Apr 2007 - Environmental management and policy making in Chesapeake Bay.  University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Contributed Scholarly Papers and Talks
  • Hershner, C., M. Berman, and K. Havens.  2009.  Climate change in Virginia.  Virginia Planners Association, Williamsburg, VA
  • Sellner, K.G., J.Kramer, and C.Hershner. 2009.  Ecosystem based management in the Chesapeake Bay watersed.  CERF conference, Seattle, WA
  • Dingerson, L., and C. Hershner. 2005. Predicting future shoreline condition based on land use change and increased risk associated with climate change.  NOAA Coastal Services Center Geotools Conference, Charleston, SC.
  • Hershner, C. 2005. Status and trends of wetland resources in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Society of Wetlands Scientists meeting.  Charleston, SC.
  • Bilkovic, D.M., C. Hershner, D.M. Stanhope, K.T. Angstadt.  2005.  Ecosystem approaches to aquatic condition assessment: linking subtidal habitat, shoreline condition and estuarine fish communities.  18th Biennial Conference of the Estuarine Research Federation.  Norfolk, VA.
Current Students
  • Mitchell, Molly. current Phd.
  • Nunez, Karinna. current Phd.
Graduated Students
  • Bentley, Ellen L. 1994 M.A. Use of a landscape-level approach to determine the habitat requirements of the yellow-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax violaceus, in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
  • Bilkovic, Donna M. 2000 Ph.D. Assessment of Spawning and Nursery Habitat Suitability for American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) in the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers.
  • Bissonnette, Jennifer N.2003 Ph.D. An analysis of wetland patterns and functions at the watershed and sub-watershed scales, with policy applications.
  • Boger, Rebecca A. 2002 Ph.D. Development of a watershed and stream-reach spawning habitat model for river herring (Alosa pseudoharengus and A. aestivalis).
  • Booth, Paul M. 1989 Ph.D. Nitrogen and phosphorus cycling strategies in two tidal freshwater macrophytes, Peltandra virginica and Spartina cynosuroides.
  • Buie, John C. 1996 M.A. Relative risk assessment for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. [manuscript]
  • Chaun, Melissa C. 1995 M.A. A comparison of three wetland evaluation methods in their assessment of nontidal wetlands in the coastal plain of Virginia.
  • Craig, Martha 1992 M.A. Land use and wetland function: a sensitivity analysis of the VIMS nontidal wetland functional assessment method.
  • Dancy, Lynn M. 1997 M.S. Targeting wetland preservation areas for compensatory mitigation utilizing a GIS protocol. [manuscript]
  • Delistraty, Damon A. 1982 Ph.D. Adenine nucleotide levels and adenylate energy charge in Zostera marina (eelgrass) : determination and application.
  • Dingerson, Lynne M. 2005 M.S. Predicting future shoreline condition based on land use trends, logistic regression, and fuzzy logic.
  • Frankic, Anamarija 1999 Ph.D. A framework for planning sustainable development in coastal regions: an island pilot project in Croatia.
  • Greiner, Megan K. 1995 M.A. An analysis of wetland total phosphorus retention and watershed structure.
  • Herman, Julie D. 2001 Ph.D. Sediment Budgets, Estuarine Sediment Loads, & Wetland Sediment Storage at Watershed Scales, York River Watershed, VA.
  • Jasinski (Hill), Paula L. 1992 M.A. The effect of a one-meter sea-level rise on tidal wetlands in Gloucester County, Virginia.
  • Huang, Jie "Mary" 2005  M.S.  Tidal wetland contributions to fecal coliform loads in shellfish growing waters by analysis of model prediction discrepancy
  • Huang, Jie "Mary" 2010 Ph.D. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Fecal Coliform Distribution in Virginia Coastal Waters.
  • Ledwin, Jane Marie. 1988 M.A. Sedimentation and Its Role in the Nutrient Dynamics of a Tidal Freshwater Wetland.
  • Mason, Pamela A. 1989 M.A. The standing stock of organic matter in a man-made brackish marsh and its resource management implications.
  • McGuire, Heather L. 1990 M.A. The effects of shading by open-pile structures on the density of Spartina alterniflora.
  • Merchant, Orelia E. 1995 M.A. Shellfish culture area designation protocol development.
  • Meyer, Jill E. 2000 M.S. Use of a Digital Multispectral Video System and Spectroradiometer for Bottomland Hardwood Forest Remote Sensing: A Jurisdictional Boundary Accuracy Assessment and Radiance Examination.
  • Mitchell, Laura R. 1991 M.A. Temporal and spatial response of two tidal marsh species to salinity changes in the Pamunkey River.
  • Nelson, Stacy A. C. 1995 M.A. Error analysis in tidal wetland inventory change detection : comparison of historical mapped wetlands of the Achilles Quadrangle between 1976 to 1989.
  • Nunez, M. Karinna 2010 M.S. Modeling Shoreline Change and Resulting Wetland Response Due to Erosion and Sea-level Rise: a Case Study in Dorchester County, Maryland.
  • Perle, Christopher R. 1996 M.A. An analysis of the effects of sea level rise on the salt marshes of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina.
  • Perry, James E. 1991 Ph.D. Analysis of vegetation patterns in a tidal freshwater marsh.
  • Reay, William G. 1989 M.S. Subsurface hydrodynamics and nutrient exchange within an extensive tidal freshwater wetland.
  • Redgate, Daniel O. 1997 M.S. Winter/spring steady-state water balances for a palustrine forested wetland located in southeastern Virginia.
  • Renaud, Alexander. 2015 M.S.
  • Rheinhardt, Richard D. 1991 Ph.D. Vegetation ecology of tidal freshwater swamps of the lower Chesapeake Bay, USA.
  • Rodriguez-Calderon, Cielomar. 2014 PhD.  Predicting climate change and development impacts on future shoreline ecosystem service capacity
  • Skeehan, Emily. 2014 M.S.
  • Skunda, Kevin G. 2000 M.S. Application of the Shoreline Instablity Model Along the Western Side of the Chesapeake Bay, VA.
  • Strickler, Mathew 2007 M.S. Assessing the impacts of land use change on hard clam aquaculture in Old Plantation Creek, Northampton County, Virginia.
  • Wohlgemuth, Maryann 1989 M.A. Estimation of net aerial primary production of Peltandra virginica (L.) Kunth using harvest and tugging techniques.
  • Woods, Helen E. 2001 M.S. An Examination of Potential Conflict Between SAV and Hard Clam Aquaculture in the Lower Chesapeake Bay.
  • Zacherle, Andrew W. 1984 M.A. A method for evaluating the long-term, cumulative impacts of tidal marsh alterations: the York River system, a case study.
Selected Research Reports from Grants or Contracts
  • Rowe, A., C. Hershner, 2009.  Getting Closer to EBM: Evaluation of the Packard Foundation Ecosystem Based Management Initiative.  Technical Report submitted to the Packard Foundation.  119 pp.
  • Bilkovic, D.M., C.H. Hershner and K. Angstadt.  May 2006.  Ecosystem approaches to aquatic health assessment:  linking subtidal habitat quality, shoreline condition and estuarine fish communities. Final Report to NOAA/NCBO. Project Award Number: NA04NMF4570360.
  • Brooks, R.P., D.H. Wardrop, K.W. Thornton, D. Whigham, C. Hershner, M.M. Brinson and J.S. Shortle, eds.   2006.  Integration of ecological and socioeconomic indicators for estuaries and watersheds of the Atlantic Slope.  Final Report to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR Program, Agreement R-82868401, Washington, DC.  Prepared by the Atlantic Slope Consortium, University Park, PA.  96pp.+ attachments (CD).
Professional Service

College Committee Service:

2007-pres    Faculty Assembly
            Executive Committee/Liaison Committee
            Faculty Affairs Committee
2009-2010    Strategic Planning Committee
2009-pres    Committee on Sustainability
2007-2009    Human Resources Redesign – Classification/Compensation Committee

SMS/VIMS Governance:

2010-pres     VIMS Productivity Committee
2010-pres    VIMS Master Planning Committee
2008 –pres    VIMS Committee on Sustainability
2007-pres    Faculty Council chair
1999-pres    Director, Center for Coastal Resources Management
1993-pres    VIMS Administrative Council

Staff supervised and administrative responsibilities:

Director - Center for Coastal Resources Management (8 scientists, 11 staff, 1 part-time staff)

Advisory Service

Service to State:

2011-pres    Virginia Water Resources Research Center Advisory Board
2010        Study report and legislative recommendations for shoreline management
2009-2011    Chesapeake Bay TMDL advisory panel   
2001-2006    Development of shallow water use management plan recommendations
1997-pres    Virginia Water Quality Academic Advisory Committee
1978-pres    Technical support for Virginia wetlands and shoreline management programs

Regional, National Programs:
1995-pres    Chesapeake Bay Program
        2011        Independent Evaluator action team
        2011        NAS report reviewer
        2011        Goal Implementation Team 6
        2010-pres    Chesapeake Stat action team
        2003-pres    Wetlands workgroup/action team
        2003-2007    Implementation Committee
        2003-2007    Budget Steering Committee
        2001-2009    Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee
        2001-2004    Landuse/Land cover monitoring workgroup
        2000-2004    Resource Lands Task Force
        2000-2004    Watershed Management Task Force
        2000-2003    Chair, Tidal Habitat Workgroup
        1997-2005    Living Resources Subcommittee
2008-pres    Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program advisor
2009        Narragansett Bay National Estuary Program planning advisor
2008        VA Middle Peninsula PDC York River use conflict workgroup
2005-2007    Maryland Chesapeake Bay Recovery Program Advisory Board
2002-pres    Mid-Atlantic Wetlands Workgroup