Origins of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science date to 1925 when a research station was started on Solomons Island by Dr. Reginald V. Truitt. That facility became the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory which affiliated with the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Maryland in 1961. The Institute's federation of laboratories relocated and reorganized in 1973 as the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies. In 1975, the Institute was abolished and its duties were assigned to the Center (Chapter 526, Acts of 1975). In 1997, the Center was renamed the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (Chapter 114, Acts of 1997).

The Center is the lead institution for environmental studies within the University System of Maryland. Its three laboratories are strategically located to provide access to Maryland's principal environments and their natural resources. Center programs feature research on natural and disturbed ecosystems and their living resources, and direct service to the public and State government. They also provide introductory and technical environmental education and (with other University institutions) offer graduate instruction through universitywide programs, such as the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences Program.

Much Center research concerns the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, but world environmental issues, such as global warming, biodiversity, and ecological economics also are studied. Additional research covers watershed ecology (lakes, streams, forests, and animals); fisheries science; environmental policy; environmental chemistry and toxicology; oceanography; aquaculture; and wetlands. Education focuses on ecology of coastal systems, resource analysis, the process of public decision-making in matters that affect environmental quality, and environmental education in cooperation with public agencies and groups.

Under the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are the Appalachian Laboratory, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Horn Point Laboratory, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, and the Maryland Sea Grant College.


301 Braddock Road, Frostburg, MD 21532

[photo, Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg, Maryland] The Appalachian Laboratory began in 1962 as the Appalachian Environmental Laboratory and received its present name in 1997. Adjacent to the Frostburg State University campus, the Appalachian Laboratory studies the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including the ecology of lakes and streams, animal behavior and evolutionary biology, and forest ecology.

Appalachian Laboratory, Frostburg, Maryland, October 2005. Photo by Barbara Jenkins, courtesy of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

The Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit fosters stewardship of the environment in the watershed through collaborative research, technical assistance, and education. The Unit was established in August 2001 through a cooperative agreement of its partners. Eight research universities from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia participate along with federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Defense, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

[photo, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland]


P. O. Box 38
146 Williams St., Solomons, MD 20688 - 0038

At Solomons Island on the Patuxent River, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory conducts research on ecosystems, environmental chemistry and toxicology, environmental policy, and fisheries science. The Laboratory also is home port for the Center's fleet of research vessels.

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland, April 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


P. O. Box 775
2020 Horn Point Road, Cambridge, MD 21613 - 0775

The Horn Point Laboratory (formerly Horn Point Environmental Laboratory) received its present name in 1997. The Laboratory is located on an 850-acre site by the Choptank River near Cambridge. Administrative offices of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science also are housed on this property, first given to the City of Cambridge by the late Francis P. DuPont. In 1971, the property was conveyed by Cambridge to the State for use by the University of Maryland.

Here, Laboratory research includes aquaculture studies, coastal oceanography, wetlands and seagrass ecology, and seafood science.


[photo, Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, Columbus Center, 701 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland] Columbus Center, Suite 236, 701 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202 - 3101

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology was initiated in 1985 as the Center for Marine Biotechnology under the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. In July 2010, it was restructured under its present name at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, Columbus Center, 701 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Institute focuses on developing technologies that help protect and restore coastal marine systems and watersheds. It promotes the sustainable use of natural resources, and develops new approaches to environmental cleanup.

The Institute is a joint center administered by a governing council that includes the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland; the President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and the President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


4321 Hartwick Road, Suite 300, College Park, MD 20740

In 1977, the University of Maryland was selected as the site of a sea grant program by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In recognition of the program's accomplishments in estuarine research and public education, the Administration designated the program a national sea grant college in 1982. Affiliated with the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in 1985, the College was transferred to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in 1999.

The Maryland Sea Grant College focuses its research and educational efforts on the health and productivity of the Chesapeake Bay, with particular emphasis on environmental studies and management, toxic contaminants, fisheries and aquaculture, and oyster disease research. Located at the University of Maryland, College Park, the College offers grant support to researchers at all Maryland academic institutions and research laboratories.

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