Hood College has been accepted as a new member of the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystems Unit (CHWA CESU).

Hood is a non-federal member, and this partnership enables Hood faculty to enter into cooperative agreements with federal members of the unit, such as the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Defense and others.

The federal partners will have projects that need research or other input from non-federal members. Hood faculty will apply to the projects that involve their specific areas of expertise. This allows the opportunity for faculty to engage students in research as well.

“Hood College’s geographic location and program offerings make it a logical partner in the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network,” said Dan Filer, research coordinator for the CHWA CESU. “Hood’s campus is a short drive from the nation’s capital, where many of our federal partners have headquarters, and the highly qualified faculty and student body can serve as an excellent resource for the various types of research we conduct in the network. We are thrilled to have them as a member.”

This partnership fulfills all three areas of focus in Hood College’s strategic plan. It will create high-impact learning opportunities for students, engage the College in strategic partnerships with federal agencies, and allow opportunities for growth for faculty.

“We are excited to become a member institution in this Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit,” said Drew Ferrier, Ph.D., professor of biology at Hood and technical representative for Hood on the CHWA CESU. “This membership will allow Hood faculty and students from many disciplines to become involved in funded research with federal agencies in the region. Hood takes its responsibility to our community seriously. This is one way we can help find solutions to local problems and act as a regional resource to address regional questions.”

Established in August 2001, CHWA CESU is a partnership among 43 university/research institutions and 11 federal agencies whose members strive to understand and protect the natural and cultural resources of the region. With the Appalachian Laboratory as its lead administrative agency, the CHWA CESU is one of a national network of 17 such cooperative research units.

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