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 University of Maryland's Natural Resources Institute 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 of the Center's research focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, but study also concerns world environmental issues, such as global warming, biodiversity, and ecological economics. 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.


The Appalachian Laboratory began as the Appalachian Environmental Laboratory and received its present name in 1997. On 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.


At Solomons Island on the Patuxent River, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory holds the Center's fleet of research vessels and conducts research on fisheries science, environmental policy, and environmental chemistry and toxicology.


The Horn Point Laboratory formerly was the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory. It received its present name in 1997. At the Horn Point Laboratory, the Center has administrative offices and facilities on a 721-acre site by the Choptank River near Cambridge. This property originally was given to the City of Cambridge by the late Francis P. DuPont. In 1971, it was conveyed by Cambridge to the State for use by the University of Maryland. Here, hatcheries are maintained for shellfish and finfish propagation, and researchers examine biological and physical oceanography, aquaculture and seafood science, and wetlands and submerged aquatic vegetation.

University System of Maryland
Maryland Independent Agencies

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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