Appalachian Laboratory

Watershed Moments

Watershed Moments Community Learning Series

Learning lasts a lifetime.

As part of its commitment to public education, the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES-AL) offers free community presentations and events through its Watershed Moments Community Learning Series. 

Fall 2022

The Appalachian Laboratory at 60:

Celebrating 6 decades of science in western Maryland!

On Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 6:30pm the Appalachian Laboratory hosted a special Watershed Moments Community Learning Series event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Laboratory.

In 1962, during a time of increased interest in the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the Appalachian region, the Appalachian Laboratory first opened its doors in a storefront on U.S. Route 40 in downtown Lavale. Then called the Appalachian Research Laboratory, its primary purpose was to provide scientific research on timber quality and fish and wildlife resources in western Maryland.  Since then, the Laboratory, now part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, has grown from the four researchers who worked in that original storefront to include more than fifty scientists, graduate students, and staff members engaging in research activities worldwide.

“For sixty years, the Appalachian Laboratory has been a member of the western Maryland community, conducting innovative scientific research both here and throughout the world,” said Dr. David Nelson, Appalachian Laboratory Director and Professor. “We look forward to the next sixty, continuing to engage in and promote scientific inquiry and training future scientists for generations to come in the mountains of Maryland.

Attendees learned about the past, present and future of the Lab through special presentations by Dr. Ray Morgan, Professor Emeritus, and Dr. David Nelson, Director and Professor, and the Laboratory officially launched the Appalachian Laboratory Inspiration Award. Poster presentations on current research by current faculty, students, and visiting scientists were be on display in the lobby before and after the presentation and a birthday-party themed reception followed. 

To nominate an individual or organization for the Inspiration Award submit the online nomination form at by Friday, October 21, 2022.

UMCES Alumnus and NASA Astronaut Ricky Arnold on International Space Station
Launched in 2015, the Watershed Moments series has included presentations by NASA Astronaut and UMCES alumnus Ricky Arnold, children’s author and filmmaker Lynne Cherry, glaciologist Richard Alley, and prairie dog expert and UMCES faculty member John Hoogland, among others.
More information on past Watershed Moments Community Learning Series Events, including links to event recordings, can be found here.