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CHWA CESU Newsletter

Spring/Summer 2022

Volume 5, Issue 2

Research Coordinator's Corner

In this edition of the Coordinator's Corner, Dan discusses the Chesapeake Watershed (CHWA) CESU's new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, which is highlighted in the Network Updates section later in this newsletter. He also shares future plans for the website and other marketing and outreach plans made possible by a generous infusion of new financial support from the National Capital Region of the National Park Service.  

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CHWA CESU Network Updates

CHWA CESU Strategic Plan

Following last year’s renewal, the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES-AL), host of the CHWA CESU, and Dr. Dan Filer, CHWA CESU National Park Service (NPS) Research Coordinator, developed a new strategic plan to help guide CHWA CESU priorities and activities for the next five years.

To learn more about the strategic planning process use the "read more" link below, or to read the plan itself, use the "2021-2026 CHWA CESU Strategic Plan" button. 

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2021-2026 CHWA CESU Strategic Plan

CHWA CESU Experts Spotlight


Dr. Laurie Miroff from Binghamton University’s Public Archeology Facility (PAF) recently received funding through the Chesapeake Watershed (CHWA) CESU Research Network to lead a new project associated with the Urban Archeology Corps (UAC) program in the Hudson Valley region of New York state. The UAC is a national program where archeology is used as a vehicle to expose young people to urban national parks and make them aware of the importance of responsible stewardship of cultural resources. Learn more about this project by using the :read more" link below! 

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Graduate student intern from the Binghamton MAPA program, Kristin Clyne-Lehmann (left), with NPS archeologist, Dr. Amy Roache-Fedchenko, pictured onsite in June 2022 discussing plans for the upcoming summer program.


Invasive Stilt Grass_NPS_Thiel.jpg

Photos: On left, starry Solomon’s-plume (Maianthemum stellatum) (S2) in flower. Credit: NPS/C. Thiel. On right, dense thickets of invasive stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) in the southern limestone habitats in the park’s WV area. Credit: NPS/C. Thiel.

Stress-Loving Plants and At-Risk Flora in Harpers Ferry

Riversides scoured by constant flooding. Thin soils on top of rock beds. Some habitats are so stressful, only a few species have adapted to them and can survive. But in adapting to these tough conditions, these specialized plants (some are “edaphic” and are restricted to certain soil conditions) don’t compete well in the relatively cushy conditions found elsewhere. They are very few in number and paradoxically, some of these rugged plants are considered vulnerable.

A project to document vulnerable plants in some of these “extreme” places at Harpers Ferry (originally presented in the Fall 2019 issue of the National Park Service’s Natural Resources Quarterly newsletter) recently released a preliminary summary of their results.

A team from Frostburg State University led by Clara Thiel revisited spots where rare, threatened, and endangered plants had been recorded before, to see if the plants were still around and in what numbers, and to document conditions at each site.