Chesapeake Bay Studies

The objectives of the program are to increase an awareness of the Chesapeake Bay and increase an awareness of man's relationship with and responsibility to the natural environment. Students also develop a sense of history and an understanding of economic and social issues. By using the Chesapeake Bay as a microcosm, students are able to explore a wide range of activities, all of which bring greater awareness of the complex nature of man and his environment.
The Chesapeake Bay Studies Program incorporates all disciplines in its exploration of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. A week long activity, Bay Studies draws on both outside agencies such as Outward Bound, Echo Hill Outdoor School, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Sultana, as well as on Gunston's own faculty to explore the various components of life in and around the Chesapeake Bay including environmental studies, history, and social and cultural influences. Primarily experiential, Bay Studies incorporates field trips, analysis of primary sources, in depth study of specific topics, discussion, journal writing, lab work, and computer analysis.

Curriculum

First and second year students begin with foundational learning experiences that provide direct contact with the Chesapeake Bay. Students then progress into immersive experiences with a specific curriculum focus. Third and fourth year students participate in seminar-style programs that reach beyond the Bay and connect with professional disciplines.

Foundation Trips

CBF's Fox Island

CBF's Fox Island—This program, led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, takes students to study and stay in a restored hunting lodge, perched on the marsh. Students research and experience the Bay first hand. Day trips on Monday and Tuesday introduce students to the parameters by which Bay health is measured and the importance of marine resources in Maryland’s economy. Away overnight Wednesday-Friday.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day Trips Monday & Tuesday. Away overnight Wednesday-Friday Difficulty: 3 Comfort: 3

Echo Hill

Echo Hill—How have boats been used to travel and fish the Bay? What is the state of the Chester River watershed? With the past in perspective, students will explore Chesapeake’s natural/human history and culture during a four night stay on board the Annie D. and the skipjack Elsworth.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Away overnight Monday -Friday Difficulty: 2 Comfort: 4

Ecology of the Bay

Ecology of the Bay—Learn and experience the Chesapeake Bay through a variety of day trips in the region. Students will sail on CBF’s skipjack, paddle with Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, and complete a service project on the Eastern Shore. Students finish the week understanding how the health of the Bay is assessed.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Day trips Monday-Friday Difficulty: 2 Comfort: 1

Sultana Projects

Sultana Projects—Explore the Delmarva Peninsula and its quiet and scenic waterways by canoe as you paddle through several undeveloped tidal tributaries of our Chesapeake region. Students finish the week understanding how the health of the Bay is assessed and experience the Bay firsthand.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day trips Difficulty: 2 Comfort: 2/3

CBF’s Karen Noonan

CBF’s Karen Noonan—Led in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, this program will take students to Bishops Head in Maryland’s Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to learn about the natural history and ecology of this remote area. Students research and experience the Bay first hand. Day trips on Monday and Tuesday introduce students to the parameters by which Bay health is measured and the importance of forest in protecting the Bay.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Away overnight Wednesday-Friday Difficulty: 3 Comfort: 3

Experiential Deep Dives

Iron Chef, Chesapeake

Iron Chef, Chesapeake—Food production and farming are critical parts of our local environment. This year’s focus is on the culinary side of the farm to table trend. Be ready to tromp through fields and carry the harvest to the kitchen! Through this experience, students will learn basic cooking skills, cook on a daily basis, and focus on local farms and restaurants around the Chesapeake.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day Trips Difficulty: 1/2 Comfort: 1

Mission to Chesapeake Bay

Mission to Chesapeake Bay—Explore the Chesapeake Bay from above and from below. Students will design, build, and launch rockets with cameras to explore our environment from the sky. They will also have an opportunity to build ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) with sensors to explore the underwater environment. Together, these two projects introduce the students to studying the Chesapeake Bay environment using remote sensing device.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day Trips Difficulty: 1 Comfort: 1

 

Headwaters Adventure

Headwaters Adventure—Head to the hills on this four night overnight trip.  Centered near Shenandoah National Park, students will explore the western headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay through day hikes and guided paddles, all while camping and connecting with the natural world. Away overnight Sunday-Thursday

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Away overnight Sunday-Thursday Difficulty: 5 Comfort: 5

Fish Biology

Fish Biology—offered in partnership with Sultana Education Foundation, this course offers students who love to fish the opportunity to learn more about the science that underlies current regulations.  Students will travel to UMCES to learn about sturgeon recover program, participate in citizen science research tagging rockfish, and have the opportunity to camp and paddle near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Away overnight Wednesday-Friday Difficulty: 3 Comfort: 5

Make/Do, books and the written word

Make/Do, books and the written word—The Eastern Shore is home to a thriving artisan community that is deeply connected to the Chesapeake Bay.  During this week students will visit several makerspaces and have the opportunity to explore bookbinding, printmaking, and the written word while completing an innovative portfolio.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day Trips Difficulty: 1 Comfort: 1

 

African American History

African American History - African Americans have played a vital role in the history and development of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore. Through visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C, The Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, and various historical places in Annapolis, students will come to a closer understanding of the importance of African Americans in the development of the region and the struggles they faced. A culminating project will focus on local African American history.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View Here

Day trips Difficulty: 1 Comfort: 1

Advanced & Comparative

Environmental Cinematography

Environmental Cinematography—Calling all filmmakers and photographers who have an interest in the environment, natural history and the outdoors. Learn how to use cinematography to tell a compelling story with a strong environmental theme. You will work with professional photographers to hone your eye and produce a portfolio of work.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Day Trips Difficulty: 2 Comfort: 1

Islands Out of Time with CBF

Islands Out of Time with CBF—Offered in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and based from Tangier or Smith Island, students will investigate the threat of sea level rise tied to climate change. From glacial rebound to the impact of a meteor strike millions of years ago to melting glaciers, factors affecting water levels in the Chesapeake Bay are complex and dynamic. Students will engage in hands-on investigations, real world simulations, and utilize digital mapping software to understand the impact of sea level change.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Monday-Friday, away Tuesday-Thursday Difficulty: 3 Comfort: 4

Philosophy of Nature

 

Philosophy of Nature—American literary greats were inspired by their time in nature and created the transcendentalist movement. Spend three days immersed in nature as you backpack along the Appalachian Trail and go spelunking in the Chesapeake watershed karst region.

Program Information & Forms to complete and return. View here

Away overnight Monday-Thursday

 

Difficulty: 5 Comfort: 5

Community-based Conservation in the Amazon River Basin

Community-based Conservation in the Amazon River Basin—This program offers students the opportunity to study an analogous system to the Chesapeake Bay. Miles of river, multiple governing bodies, and intensive resource use are just a few of the overlaps between the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Amazon River watershed.  Student will work with native Maijuna in the recently created Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area (RCA). Students will fly from BWI on Saturday, May 18th and return on Sunday, May 26th.

Away overnight Saturday-Sunday Difficulty: 3 Comfort: 4

Difficulty Rating

12345

Day trips, minimal physical activity

Day or short overnight trips, walking/standing for 1-2 hours

Overnight trip, standing/walking for 4-5 hours daily

Overnight trip, standing/walking/climbing/paddling for 5-6 hours daily

Overnight backcountry trip with standing/walking/paddling/climbing for 6-8 hours daily


Comfort Rating

1 2 3 4 5
Day Trips Day or short overnight trips, hotel, flush toilets and showers Overnight trip with guest house/motel accommodations Overnight trip with bunkhouse accommodations, composting toilets, no showers.

Overnight trip with tent/backcountry accommodations & primitive bathroom facilities (or lack thereof)