A statement from President Peter Goodwin on UMCES’ commitment to diversity

Coronavirus Preparedness


The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science continues to work with our partners in the State of Maryland and the University to System of Maryland to develop guidelines for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first priority it to protect our people and our campuses to ensure that our faculty, staff, and students stay healthy.

  • All employees are asked to continue to maximize teleworking, where possible. Permission from your Unit Director is required for you to be on campus.
  • Fall graduate coursework will be conducted online.
  • UMCES has a Return to Campus plan to reactivate laboratory and field research. We are entering Phase 2.
  • Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, and monitor yourself for symptoms.


All employees are asked to continue to maximize teleworking, where possible. Any leave-eligible, non-essential employee unable to telework will be placed on Administrative Leave/or Excused Absence with pay. If you find that you need to pick up essential belongings or material needed for teleworking, you must coordinate access to your facility from your Laboratory Director, or their designee in their absence, to be on campus. UMCES is asking that the relatively small number of essential employees who work on or have a scheduled visit to an UMCES campus to wear masks or face coverings when there is the likelihood of encountering others. Social distancing should continue to be practiced in all environments and please be sure to maintain heightened hygiene. USM Guidance on Teleworking

People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19
The CDC has identified conditions that may make individuals at high risk for COVID-19 and have issued recommendations to reduce their risk. If you believe you are in a high risk category and wish to work from home, please contact your supervisor or Lisa Ross at lross@umces.edu or 410-221-2017.

Hiring Pause Procedure and Exception Process
Because the vast majority of our community is working remotely, UMCES has implemented a hiring process pause for all vacant faculty, regular and contingent I and II exempt and non-exempt staff positions. This temporary hiring pause is consistent with practices put in place across the entire USM as a result of the State of Maryland’s Stay at Home Directive. For details, please consult the Hiring Pause and Exception Notice.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Click here to view. 

For questions and to find out more information contact Lisa Ross, Director of Human Resources directly at lross@umces.edu.

Return to Campus Plan

UMCES has established a phased Return to Campus plan to reactivate laboratory and field research. However, many researchers, graduate students, and staff will continue to telework. Please note that no one is required to come to an UMCES facility or conduct field work during this period, if they are unable or uncomfortable doing so.  We are entering Phase 2.

Return to Campus Plan

Health Screenings

All employees and students must complete an online health screening prior to traveling to campus or field work, as required by the University System of Maryland. You are required to complete the health screening ONLY on days you plan to be on campus or in the field, and it must be completed BEFORE traveling to work. Permission from your Unit Director is still required for you to be on campus.

** All employees are asked to continue to maximize teleworking, where possible. If you are teleworking, you DO NOT need to fill out the health screening **

Health Screening Instructions and FAQs


The University System of Maryland requires 100% baseline testing for all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus during the Fall Semester. Tests must be completed by September 18 and results sent to UMCES HR. A list of testing sites is available HERE. Permission from your Unit Director is still required for you to be on campus.** All employees are asked to continue to maximize teleworking, where possible. If you are teleworking, you DO NOT need to be tested. **

COVID-19 Testing Guidance and FAQs


As of July 29, the Maryland Department of Health strongly recommends that all Marylanders refrain from non-essential travel outside of Maryland. UMCES personnel (faculty, staff, graduate students, and currently approved visiting scholars) returning to Maryland from certain states must comply with current Maryland State Department of Health travel guidance that advises self-quarantine for 14 days or until a negative COVID test result has been provided. A list of test sites can be found HERE.

Out-of-state visitors are encouraged to be tested within 72 hours prior to arrival and to cancel travel if they receive a positive result. Visitors waiting for their test results should stay at home between the time of their test and their arrival in Maryland or to self-quarantine at their hotel.

Any Marylander who travels to a state with a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 10% should get tested and self-quarantine at home until the test result is received. The District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia are exempt from this recommendation. A list of state COVID-19 test positivity rates can be found HERE.


Graduate Program

UMCES remains committed to expanding and enhancing the student learning experience and will continue to provide online instruction in the Fall of 2020. Graduate students working on laboratory and field research must follow the guidelines set forth in the Return to Campus Plan.

New graduate students are being admitted in Fall 2020. However, UMCES will not allow new visiting graduate students or scholars to reside at any of its locations during this phased plan. For questions or concerns, contact the UMCES Vice President for Education’s office at education@umces.edu. 

UMCES Education Information and FAQs                    Student Resources 

Medical Consultation

UMCES has secured an outside health consultation service that can be accessed via the telephone called Fonemed.  This service will be available to any student, faculty, or staff member regardless if you are coming to campus or teleworking.  They will discuss your health concerns and make a recommendation for potential next steps.  They will NOT make a formal referral but offer the type of medical follow-up that you would be responsible to make.

To receive a Fonemed health consultant please call 833-359-0171.


No new in-person meetings, conferences, or events should be scheduled until further notice.