Chesapeake Bay Studies

By using the Chesapeake Bay as a microcosm, Chesapeake Bay Studies (Bay Studies) increases awareness of the Chesapeake Bay and our relationship and responsibility to the natural environment. Students develop a deep sense of history and understanding of economic and social issues.

Bay Studies incorporates all disciplines in its exploration of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. A week long program, Bay Studies draws on both outside agencies such as Outward Bound, Echo Hill Outdoor School, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Sultana Foundation, as well as Gunston's own faculty to explore the various components of life in and around the 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, computer analysis, and lots and lots of fun.

Bay Studies 2021
May 24 - 28, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily

To streamline transportation logistics, we are using a hub and spoke model for Bay Studies. At the “Hubs” described below, students will be broken into smaller groups and spread out across the area (the spokes), and rotate through a series of activities. Limited bus transportation is available to certain hubs. Every effort will be made to keep carpools together at hubs. Thank you for your assistance in transporting students to these amazing destinations.

Transportation

  • Daily bus and van transportation will occur at the normal bus times
  • Buses, carpooling, and parent-provided transportation will be used for off-campus activities. 
  • Students would be assigned to locations based on their activities for the day.
  • Carpooling groups may be assigned together to facilitate transportation 

Packing Lists, Waivers, and Medical Forms

  • Please review your Bay Studies assignments and complete the appropriate waivers and medical forms. Paperwork must be received by May 14 at 4:30 pm.
  • A recommended packing list is included for each workshop.
  • Please reach out to Ms. Beck with any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Grade Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9th Team Building with EHOS and overnight

10 am Departure from overnight, afternoon asynchronous independent activities

In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201 In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201

asynchronous
independent activities

10th

 

In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201

2:30 @ Overnight
@ EHOS
10 am Departure from overnight, afternoon asynchronous independent activities In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201 asynchronous
independent activities
11th In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201 In-Person Bay Studies Courses: Deep Dives or Bay 201 2:30 @ Overnight
@ EHOS
10 am Departure
from overnight, afternoon asynchronous independent activities
asynchronous
independent activities
12th

asynchronous
independent activities
or in-person Bay Studies Courses

Climate Science Field Course  Climate Science Field Course 2:30 @ Overnight
@ EHOS
10 am Departure from overnight, afternoon asynchronous independent activities

 


BAY ECOLOGY 201 

 

Conquest Beach, Queen Anne's County

Bay Ecology 201 @ Conquest Beach, QAC (Monday - Thursday)

This activity hub, led in partnership with the Sultana Education Foundation and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, offers students the opportunity to research and experience the Bay firsthand. Students will go canoeing, conduct water chemistry experiments, fish, and seine along the shoreline to measure biodiversity and enjoy the open waterfront space of Conquest Beach. All 9th-grade students will attend this site once. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.      


DEEP DIVE COURSES


 

Skipjack Elsworth

Echo Hill Skipjack and Buyboat @ Quaker Neck Landing (Tuesday - Thursday)

How have boats been used to travel and fish the Bay? What is the state of the Chester River watershed? With the past as perspective, students will explore Chesapeake’s natural/human history and culture. Small groups of students will meet the boats at Quaker Neck Landing on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.         

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

BIPOC and the Bay @ Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Basing from the hub of Blackwater Paddle and Pedal and the Harriet Tubman Museum, students will have the opportunity to kayak, bike, and hike through portions of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge while exploring the region’s unique historical perspective from First Nations tribes to enslaved African Americans. This hub will operate on Monday and Tuesday only. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.     

Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge

Sense of Place @ Wye (Monday and Thursday)

American literary greats were inspired by their time in nature and created the transcendentalist movement. Explore the land and the water from this hub as you paddle with Sultana, hike the trails with Gunston faculty, and create nature-based art. This hub will be open Monday and Thursday only. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.        


FULL-DAY WORKSHOPS @ GUNSTON


 

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. Through this experience, students will learn basic cooking skills. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.      

Environmental Engineering—In this deep dive, hands-on course students will compete in teams to design and build projects that apply engineering principles to environmental challenges. The course will cover two topics: photovoltaic electricity (solar cells) and environmental cleanup technologies. First, students will build circuits powered by photovoltaic cells which can run motors and light up LEDs. Along the way the students will learn how photovoltaic cells work and how to measure and optimize the electric power they produce. Teams of students will compete in designing systems that maximize photovoltaic power. Second, they will learn to build systems to purify waste water and remove contaminants. Teams will compete to build and operate the most effective systems.  

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. Students may attend this site once during Bay Studies.


CLIMATE SCIENCE


 

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

Climate Science @ Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (Tuesday and Wednesday)

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. They’ll have the opportunity to paddle the shoreline with Sultana Education Foundation to monitor erosion.  All 12th-grade students should plan to attend this course on Tuesday and WednesdaY.


OVERNIGHT


 

Echo Hill Outdoor School

Grade-level Overnight Camp Out @ Echo Hill Outdoor School

Each grade will have the option to participate in an overnight campout and outdoor activity jamboree at the Echo Hill Outdoor School.  Students will sleep in individual tents. We’ll need plenty of tents, if you’re able to loan one to the school for the week, that would be fantastic!

9th grade overnight will begin at 9:30 am with a full day of team building and environmental education. This is in place of the traditional beginning of the year retreat at Camp Pecometh. The overnight concludes on Tuesday at 10 am. 

10th -12th-grade overnights will begin at 2:30 pm and conclude at 10 am.  

  • 10th grade: Tuesday
  • 11th grade: Wednesday
  • 12th grade: Thursday 

Echo Hill Outdoor School Overnight Medical Form AND COVID Screening & Waiver (please complete no more than 24 hours prior to overnight)
Medication Administration Form
Packing List
Driving Directions


ASYNCHRONOUS ACTIVITIES


 

Asynchronous Bay Studies Activities 

Concurrent and remote learners are invited to participate in Bay Studies through completing any ten of the activities described here. All activities will take place at home or in your community and can be completed any time between Monday, May 24 and Friday, May 28.

Asynchronous activities are also available for students attending in-person Bay Studies and should be completed following the overnight and during other blocks as indicated in your schedule. Completing two activities is the equivalent of a day of Bay Studies. All activities will take place at home or in your community and can be completed any time between Monday, May 24 and Friday, May 28. Completed projects and tasked should be emailed to Emily Beck.

Bay 201 Activities

Deep Dive

Climate Science