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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. Interdisciplinary academic programs promote the integration of environmental issues, social values, and good old river mud.

Chester River Watershed Observatory

Basic Observation Buoys (BOBs) and FLOs: Authentic data is measured and plotted using water quality monitoring systems and weather stations.

OneWatershed: Program Catalog for K-12 formal & informal educators, Home School, Citizen Science of all disciplines.  

Rivers to Bay: A Professional Development opportunity, this program educates the educators about the Chester River watershed and the data gathering techniques that form the backbone of information for the CRWO.


Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory

Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory: The only major migratory bird banding station operating on the eastern shore of Maryland

Grassland Restoration: The landscape-scale Chester River Field Research Station experiment in native grassland restoration of recently retired croplands began in 1999. Currently, 228 acres have been converted. 

Natural Lands Project: A project in coordination with ShoreRivers and Ducks Unlimited to help make the rural landscape of the Eastern Shore more wildlife friendly while trying to improve water quality within local watersheds.




What is GIS? GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. GIS is a computerized mapping system that stores, displays and analyzes any type of data that has a geographic location. The GIS Lab at Washington College is dedicated to increasing the visibility of GIS and helping others understand the interdisciplinary applications of this valuable technology.





Field School: Currently every other summer, the Archaeology Summer Field School takes students into the field giving them first-hand experience in a fully-equipped laboratory and all phases of project research. 

Class Visits: Bring the interdisciplinary field of archaeology into your classroom. We can arrange for your class to visit us at the lab, or we can come to you! 

Volunteer Opportunities: The Public Archaeology Lab accepts both student and community volunteers to research historic materials and process artifacts recovered from the Eastern Shore region.  


Chesapeake Semester

Each fall, the Chesapeake Semester will engage a select group of students in the interdisciplinary study of North America’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Participants will study the complex history, ecology, and culture of the Chesapeake as a microcosm of the challenges and transitions confronting coastal communities around the world. Using the College and the shores and waters of the Chester River as base camps, students journey in, on and around the 64,000 square mile watershed. Participants will have an opportunity to study cultures and the ecosystem in depth, explore solutions to environmental problems, and explore the nexus between science, policy, and people’s everyday life. 


Young Environmental Stewards Conference (for High School Students)

DCIM100GOPROThe Young Environmental Stewards Conference is a three and a half day conference for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors presented by the Center for Environment & Society. This conference will introduce you to Chesapeake Bay Watershed and includes kayaking, wildlife habitat research, underwater mapping, and more. We will explore topics such as sense of place and environmental and community stewardship with opportunities to engage in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), archaeology, or Food Production. 




Maryland Birds: Ecology & Conservation Workshop (for High School Students)

 BirdersThe Maryland Birds: Ecology & Conservation Workshop is jointly sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society and the Youth Division of the Maryland Ornithological Society.  This four day, three night program will expose rising 10-12th graders to various aspects of bird biology and field techniques through rigorous field trips and educational lectures.