Elizabeth Haskins helps to make sure that your next seafood dinner doesn’t make you sick. As an environmental specialist for the Maryland Department of the Environment, she gathers water samples from waterways in the state to test for harmful bacteria. If high levels of disease-causing bacteria are found, the state places harvesting restrictions on shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels until the danger passes. Additionally, the samples Haskins collects help the state identify and monitor water pollution sources.
DAs an Environmental Specialist for the Maryland Department of the Environment, Liz Haskins evaluates the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries through the collection of bacterial water samples and shellfish tissue samples to determine the ecological impact of point and non-point pollution sources on the shellfish population. Also as part of the shellfish program, Ms. Haskins conducts surveys of waterfront properties found along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. These surveys assist the Department in locating possible pollution sources that might contribute bacteria and other pollutants into shellfish harvesting waters. Ms. Haskins also regularly collects and uses geographic data points to generate maps and other documents with Geographic Information System (GIS) software to aid in determination of locations where it is safe to harvest shellfish as well as analyze the potential impact of pollution sources. Ms. Haskins previously worked as an Environmental Specialist within the Waste Compliance Division of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in Woodbridge, Virginia. Ms. Haskins earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Visit the Water Information Center of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
Find information on MDE Fish and Shellfish programs.