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Center for

Environment & Society

Support CES

Your support will make an enormous difference in our programs.  Please consider making a gift today.

Through your generous donations, we are able to continue our efforts with the Chesapeake Semester, at the Chester River Field Research Center, the Chester River Watershed Observatory, the Public Archaeology Lab, the Geographic Information Systems Lab, as well as student initiatives on campus and sustainability and urban greening efforts in the community.

Through the Chesapeake Semester and other campus programming, we provide students with hands on opportunities and vast networking that sets them up for successful internships and careers. The Chesapeake Semester engaged a select group of students in a 16 credit interdisciplinary study of North America’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Participants study the complex history, ecology, and culture of the Chesapeake as a microcosm of the challenges and transitions confronting coastal communities around the world. Chesapeake Semester students travel to Peru to conduct a comparative study with the Chesapeake Bay environment and culture.

The Chester River Field Research Center is a 5,000 acre complex located in Queen Anne’s County on the Chester River. This center offers a 228-acre restored warm season grassland, in addition to the Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory, and experimental agricultural fields. The Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory and the grasslands provide students, faculty, staff, and community members the opportunity to engage in their environment and learn about song-bird migratory and territorial patterns, as well as studies with native bees and wasps, turtles, and quail.

The Chester River Watershed Observatory is a pioneer observatory designed to take the pulse of every aspect of the river with plans to make it the best understood watershed in the country. CES already has a water monitoring system installed in the Foreman’s Branch of the ChesterRiver recording data and tracking water temperature, conductivity, pH, turbidity, nitrates, phosphates, and dissolved oxygen. This data has been used by students for classes and their Senior Capstone Experiences. More buoys are set to be deployed this fall and eventually schools around the Chester River Watershed will have access to live stream data to be incorporated into education from middle school to college.

CES has supported the Student Environmental Alliance on campus, providing students with advice and guidance, as well as the support necessary to establish a campus garden. CES has also been involved with developing and maintaining a student-run compost program at Washington College. This compost system handles much of the waste from campus dining facilities and after the waste has become compost it is incorporated back into the campus garden.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program is a geospatial education and
technologies hub with the mission of providing experiential learning opportunities to Washington College undergraduates. Since its inception in 2003, the GIS Program has pursued a growth model based on training undergraduate interns as professionals to tackle the technology service needs in the State of Maryland and beyond. By tackling funded projects with student interns, the GIS Program has generated experiential learning opportunities creating functional maps, analysis, tools and a geospatial technologies framework for partners and clients.
CES has also partnered with the municipal governments of Chestertown, Betterton, and Kent County to assist with their energy monitoring efforts. From 2008 to 2011, the Chestertown government’s electricity use decreased by roughly 200,000 kilowatt hours (or 10%), saving the town about $150,000.