Mansfield University joins Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Partnership

Mansfield University is now part of the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, a network of universities, government agencies and non-government organizations studying cultural and natural resources across the entire Chesapeake Watershed. More than thirty nonfederal partner institutions and nine federal agencies comprise the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CW CESU). These partners provide leadership in watershed science and stewardship with special emphasis on the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Watershed is home to more than 3,600 species and over 15 million people all competing for resources and space within this 64,000 square mile region. The CW CESU promotes stewardship and integrated ecosystem management of natural and cultural resources within the Chesapeake Watershed through collaborative research, technical assistance and education.

The collaboration provided by Mansfield University will be coordinated by Dr. Jennifer Demchak, chairperson of the University Geosciences Department and director of the Institute of Science and the Environment. According to Dr. Demchak, “Mansfield’s participation in the Chesapeake Watershed CESU is a perfect extension of the existing research, capabilities and long-term interests of our science faculty. This partnership offers excellent opportunities for our faculty and students to perform critical research that furthers our academic and applied sciences interests while addressing the critical issues related to our ecosystem.”

Mansfield University joins Shippensburg University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and SUNY Binghamton University as research partners in the CESU. Typically, Mansfield University will focus on the issues that affect the Susquehanna River West Branch and North Branch watersheds and engage its students and faculty in practical studies.

Dr. Kathy Wright, Interim Associate Provost & Dean of the College of Natural & Social Sciences, is excited about the new federal government – higher education partnership, saying “Our university is very ready to contribute scholarship that aligns with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU’s research objectives in environmental science, watershed management, aquaculture & fisheries, heritage resources, and climatology. This partnership will also provide valuable practical field experiences for our students.” Dr. Wright points out that CESU faculty contributions can include Biology, Fisheries, Chemistry, Geosciences, as well as the Mansfield University Institute of Science and the Environment.

Federal partners in the cooperative include U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information on the majors and minors offered and to learn about the programs of the Institute of Science and the Environment at Mansfield University, visit our website at