University of MarylandCenter for Environmental Science

Guiding our state, nation, and world toward a more sustainable future.

Research Highlights

Making a Maryland oyster

Geneticist Louis Plough of Horn Point Laboratory wants to breed an oyster that excels in low-salinity waters, such as those that characterize the Maryland part of Chesapeake Bay.
oyster breeding

Research Highlights

Extracting new science from ancient pollen

A team of scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are working to find and sequence DNA held within the ancient pollen of trees and compare it with what they find in the same species rooted on today’s landscape. By examining genes and isotopes held within these trees from the past and present, the scientists can draw better conclusions about how trees may respond to ongoing and future climate changes.
Cones weigh down the top of a red spruce tree.

Research Highlights

Navigating new waters

Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper have had a front-row seat to a changing climate and have in turn been sharing their experiences and discoveries through research papers, community presentations, and providing leadership in addressing international scientific challenges in the Arctic.
USCGC Healy peeks into frame as it cruises through Arctic waters.

Our Campuses

Appalachian Laboratory
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Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
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Horn Point Laboratory
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Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology
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Integration & Application Network
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Water meets marsh and land
Maryland Sea Grant College
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Appalachian Laboratory

Located in the mountains of western Maryland, the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, scientists study the effects of land-use change on the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems of the region, how they function in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and how human activity may influence their health and sustainability on local, regional, and global scales.
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Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Located where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay, the oldest publicly supported marine laboratory on the East Coast is a national leader in research on fisheries, estuarine ecology, environmental chemistry, and toxicology research of the Chesapeake Bay and aquatic ecosystem around the globe.
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Horn Point Laboratory

From the banks of the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, scientists engage in world-renowned research in oceanography, water quality, restoration of sea grasses, marshes and shellfish, and expertise in ecosystem modeling.
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Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology

Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, scientists pursue cutting-edge research in microbiology, molecular biology, and biotechnology, using marine microbes to develop alternative energy, and supporting sustainable aquaculture and fisheries.
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Integration & Application Network

The Integration and Application Network (IAN) is a dedicated group of scientists intent on solving, not just studying environmental problems.
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Maryland Sea Grant College

Fostering strong connections between researchers and natural resource managers working to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
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Applied Ecology & Conservation Biology

Gain scientific training in addressing conservation issues, especially those pertaining to the persistence of native communities in a changing environment, landscape fragmentation, conservation/development conflicts, watershed assessment, and integrated resource management.
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Earth & Ocean Sciences

Students explore the movement and transformation of materials and energy between mountain headwater and estuarine, coastal, and oceanic systems. Topics include landscape dynamics, physical circulation and transport, chemical transformation, and biological reaction.
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Ecological Systems

Spanning the Arctic to the Chesapeake Bay, students study a variety of topics, from landscape ecology to ecological genomics, to fisheries stock assessment. Research is focused on understanding the interactions between organisms and their environment, leading to valuable scientific discovery.
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Environment & Society

Integrating the social and environmental sciences, students will study concepts including coupled natural and human systems, cultural models of the environment, political ecology, participation and governance, ecological economics, and environmental ethics.
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Environmental Molecular Science & Technology

Students use current molecular approaches to study biodiversity, bioremediation, food chains, discovery of drugs and enzymes from marine microbes and macoorganisms, sustainable aquaculture, biofuels, biogeochemistry of carbon cycling, and genomics/metabolomics of marine organisms.
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Molecular Medicine & Toxicology

Developing scientists can pursue training in molecular and mechanistic toxicology and toxicology and environmental health, including mechanisms of cell injury, carcinogenesis, reproductive toxicology, neurotoxicology, aquatic toxicology, and environmental epidemiology and toxicology.
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Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

Learn to take the lead in this program that provides interactive, multifaceted education, and research training to present students a comprehensive education in molecular and cell biology, microbiology and immunology.
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Wildlife & Fisheries Biology

This program will prepare you for research and management positions within the public and private sectors. The program allows flexibility, yet offers courses necessary for certification as a biologist with various professional organizations.
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What's New

Overall Chesapeake Bay health improving for the first time

For the first time since the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Bay Report Card scores have been calculated, the positive trajectory that was reported in recent years is now statistically significant.

Hungry planet requires more efficient use of nitrogen

The global population is expected to increase by two to three billion people by 2050, a projection raising serious concerns about sustainable development, biodiversity and food security. Given the world’s growing food demands, nitrogen fertilizer use is likely to increase.

New study finds that bacteria on marine sponges can develop capacity to move and inhibit biofilm formation

A new study shows that when enough bacteria get together in one place, they can make a collective decision to grow an appendage and swim away.