A River Runs Through it
Conservationist Henry F. Sears, a retired surgeon and the owner of Chino Farms, has transferred operations of the Chester River Field Research Center to Washington College last spring. Now, the College’s Center for Environment & Society (CES) is coordinating several study projects underway there, ranging from soil chemistry to migratory bird studies.
The research center’s two full-time field biologists, Dan Small and Maren Gimpel, have joined the staff of the CES. Founding scientific director Douglas E. Gill, a professor emeritus of biology at University of Maryland, serves as a consultant. Jim Gruber, a retired Natural Resources officer who volunteers his time and expertise as the director of the bird-banding operation at Chino Farms, has become an Associate of CES.
Sears sees the transfer of operations to the College as the next step in the growth and stability of the CRFRC. “This gives the investigations part of the Research Center a broader base, a broader scope, and longer legs,” he says. “And it provides institutional longevity— a future beyond the lives of the current participants.”
He says he has been following the growth of the College’s Center for Environment & Society over the past few years. “I appreciate the interest and enthusiasm the CES staff has shown for the kinds of conservation and farming techniques we’ve been exploring at Chino Farms,” he says. “And I couldn’t be more excited about the commitment Washington College has shown for maintaining the community’s rural and agricultural heritage.”