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Center for

Environment & Society

Our vision is a Chesapeake Bay and watershed that is healthy and thriving; one in which natural systems and human communities are in balance. Our interdisciplinary academic programs promote the integration of environmental issues, social values, and good old river mud.




At the Center for Environment and Society, we provide opportunities and resources that help cultivate an experiential learning environment for the Washington College community. Lecture series, workshops, films and seminars provide new perspectives and professional development opportunities for the campus and the larger community. Competitively awarded student fellowships and courses in the field put students to work on real-world problems, allowing them to build a resume and establish connections in the professional world. 

20th Anniversary of CES

For the 2019-2020 Academic Year, CES is celebrating our 20th Anniversary as a Signature Center at Washington College. Follow us throughout the year to stay up to date on events where you can celebrate our anniversary with us! 

To cap off our year of celebrations, we will be hosting CES’tival, in Wilmer Park, featuring the High and Wides and the Pat McGee Band. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will have postponed this event. We will be announcing a new date soon! Follow the link here for more information and updates on this event and to purchase tickets!


Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall

Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall (SGEH), opened in the Fall of 2019, is the latest building on Washington College’s Waterfront Campus. SGEH will provide academic and lab spaces for the College’s growing environmental programs. It will also be a regional hub for hands-on research on the Chester River, and a magnet for thought leadership centered on the environment and the challenges facing the region, the country, and the world. 


The River and Field Campus

The River and Field Campus at Washington College is the home to the Chester River Field Research Station, which is the focal point for much of the field research for the College’s faculty and students. In a class by itself, the River and Field Campus at Washington College is the largest conservation easement in the state of Maryland – and there’s no place like it in the world. The 4,700-acre living lab incorporates 2.5 miles of Chester River waterfront, meadows, untouched hardwood forests, ponds, grasslands, marshes and riverine habitat. Just a 10-minute drive from the Washington College main campus, the River and Field Campus offers students an unparalleled living classroom in subjects ranging from biology and chemistry to environmental art and anthropology.

The Center is home to the Chester River Watershed ObservatoryGeographic Information Systems (GIS)Chester River Field Research Station and the Public Archaeology Laboratory. We also host the Chesapeake Semester and the Energy programs.