What's New with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU

Coordinator's Corner: Fall 2022

The network had another successful year in FY22, and I’m very excited to announce some upcoming efforts here at the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network and the host institution, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) – Appalachian Laboratory.  The biggest announcement coming from our Annual Meeting last month involved the directorship of the network being co-delegated by UMCES President Dr. Peter Goodwin to the Research Coordinator position that I currently hold.  This action was taken in response to the new rotating model of leadership that has been implemented at the Appalachian Laboratory – where leadership is passed to another member of the faculty every two years.  The CESU network leadership co-delegation is an effort to provide continuity within the program. When Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick cycles off as Director and a new faculty member cycles on as the Chesapeake Watershed  CESU co-director in July 2023. Rhonda Schwinabart, an UMCES Appalachian Laboratory staff member, will continue to serve as an initial contact for the CHWA CESU for outreach, communications, and other business matters related to host activities.

I’m also excited to announce that we were able to secure some funding from the National Park Service to support some long-needed updates to both our website and projects page.  Over the coming months Katie Kline will be re-designing both our logo and website.  We feel our site and our brand could use a refresh, and Katie will be keeping the functionality and depth of our website while changing the organization of the information along with the look and feel.  We will send out a beta version of the site that our federal partners and cooperators can test when we have a semi-final design to share.

Current Chesapeake Watershed CESU homepage

Another large effort Katie Kline is leading this winter involves the scanning of our legacy agreements.  The Chesapeake Watershed CESU still possesses agreements executed as far back as 2001 when the network was created, along with many of the foundation and early planning documents.  The projects database that we launched on our website gives us the ability to scan and put those agreements on our website for our cooperators and federal partners to see.  These can be invaluable when tracing the history behind a project or developing a new scope of work in an area where CESU work has been done in the past.  Virtually every agreement between 2001 and 2015 exists in paper form.  Katie’s work will change that.  We expect that by early 2023, we will be able to announce that every agreement executed through this network will be added to our project database for your use.  If you haven’t visited our projects page and aren’t familiar with this resource, you may do so by clicking here.

Finally, we held our 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 20.  The efforts discussed in this update were also discussed there, with a more in-depth presentation from Katie Kline on some of the particulars.  I encourage you to watch the 120-minute recording here if you have time.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions about the work discussed in this piece or anything else related to the network.  I look forward to working with all of you in 2023!