What's New with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU

Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick named new CHWA CESU Director

Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick leaning against red brick exterior with trees in background.
Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick, Associate Director of Research and Director of the CHWA CESU, UMCES-Appalachian Laboratory

Dr. Matt Fitzpatrick has recently been named the Associate Director for Research at the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He joins recently named Appalachian Laboratory Director Dr. David Nelson on the Laboratory’s new leadership team.  As part of his new role at the Laboratory, Fitzpatrick will also serve as Director of the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU). 

 “I am honored and excited for the opportunity to help lead the Appalachian Laboratory and to serve as the new Director of the Chesapeake Watershed CESU,” said Fitzpatrick.  “I look forward to working with our CESU network partners in support of our continuing mission to promote stewardship and integrated ecosystem management of natural and cultural resources within the Chesapeake Watershed region through collaborative research, technical assistance, and education.” 

Established in August 2001 with the Appalachian Laboratory as its lead administrative agency, the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CHWA CESU) is now a partnership of 63 university/research institutions and 12 federal agencies. One of 17 units nationally, the Chesapeake Watershed CESU provides research, technical assistance, and education related to natural and cultural resources in the region to federal land management, environment, and research agencies and their partners.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Fitzpatrick in ensuring the continued success of our network,” said Dr. Dan Filer, National Park Service Chesapeake Watershed CESU.  “His academic background and research interests will be an excellent fit for our CESU Network.”

Former Appalachian Laboratory Director Dr. Eric Davidson, who also served as the director of the CHWA CESU, stepped down this summer to serve as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the Office of Environmental Equality at the U.S. State Department during the 2021-2022 academic year. Upon completion of his sabbatical, he will return to the Appalachian Laboratory as a member of the faculty.

Nelson and Fitzpatrick are the first faculty members to serve in administrative roles as part of a new leadership plan that will see faculty rotate through the Appalachian Laboratory Director and Associate Director for Research positions on a regular basis. Such a design will enable faculty members to gain greater insight on and experience with administrative matters while also enhancing the current shared governance structure of UMCES.

The Chesapeake Watershed CESU was recently renewed by the National CESU Network Council for a five year term beginning August 2021. To learn more about the Chesapeake Watershed CESU visit https://chwacesu.org/ or contact Dr. Dan Filer at danny_filer@nps.gov or Rhonda Schwinabart at rschwinabart@umces.edu