Summer 2000 Professional Development in Review:
Historical Ecology of the Chesapeake Bay
June – July, 2000
This past summer, 11 educators took part in a unique course that brought together the fields of environmental science, marine ecology, history, and archaeology. The Historical Ecology of the Chesapeake Bay: The Chesapeake Watershed was an 11-day hands-on field course sponsored by the Solomons Environmental and Archeological Research Consortium, Maryland Sea Grant, and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory.
What made this program so unique was the diversity of material and expertise provided to each participant from the various research institutions in Southern Maryland. As part of their experience, teachers:
- explored the geological history of the Chesapeake Bay while aboard the R.V. Aquarius and learned about the historical oyster fishery at the Calvert Marine Museum;
- participated in a research cruise aboard the R.V. Aquarius and were introduced to environmental chemistry and fisheries science and management at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science;
- examined pollen cores, floral samples, animal remains, historical maps, aerial photographs and other evidence to assess historical environmental changes at Historic St. Mary's City;
- became acquainted with the use of biological indicators for monitoring water quality while aboard a skipjack with St. Mary's College of Maryland;
- examined historic landscapes and worked on an archaeological site at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum of the Maryland Historical Trust;
- studied the biology of the oyster and blue crab at The Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Center;
- and became active participants in oyster restoration activities at the Department of Natural Resources, Piney Point Oyster Nursery.
Dr. Robert Paul of St. Mary's College explains the St. Mary'sRiver Project while aboard the Skipjack The Dee of St. Mary's.
The intent of this course was to provide educators with a solid background (historically and ecologically) on Chesapeake Bay for incorporation into their classrooms. In doing such, the course was developed and funded in such a way that:
- Course content and activites were integrated to MSDE Core Learning Goals and Learning Objectives;
- Materials, Supplies and Teaching Media needed to replicate various lab activities in the classroom were provided;
- Numerous books and videos were provided;
- as well as 2 Graduate or MSDE Credits were awarded.
As part of the credit requirment for the course, each participant was to prepare a lesson/activity integrating course materials/concepts for application in the classroom. A final presentation of these lessons is scheduled for September 30th. Look for highlights of these lessons in up-coming issues.