Bay Watch Gets Personal

When Thomas Parham ’86 came to the University of Mary Washington as an undergraduate, he was already an avid fisherman. By graduation, he’d turned that passion into a career. Parham, 50, is director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tidewater Ecosystems Assessment office. After leaving Mary Washington with a degree in biology, Parham earned a master’s degree in oceanography from Old Dominion University in 1989. “I guess the common thread is that I love to fish,” he said. “I like to figure out where the fish are going to be.” Today Parham manages a network of water-quality monitors around the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The bay’s health is getting better overall, he said, thanks to mandatory state water-quality goals. “We’re starting to see improvements in the bay’s watershed,” he said, noting that earlier voluntary goals failed. “The amount of polluted runoff is decreasing, and there are more underwater grasses.” Parham, who lives and works in … [Read more...]