Above photo, "Prothonotary warbler" courtesy of Emily Tewes who won First Place in the 2013 MEES Colloquium Photo Contest!

About the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences Graduate Program



Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) is an inter-institutional graduate program of the University System of Maryland whose mission is to educate students to become the scientific leaders and problem-solvers of the future. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we train students to engage in scientific discovery, integration, and application to generate new knowledge and to solve environmental problems.


The MEES Program is an inter-institutional, statewide graduate program within the University System of Maryland (USM). The program is composed of faculty from several of the USM's degree-granting universities and research institutions as well as experts from government, non-government agencies and other non-academic units. Thus, the MEES program affords students an unparalleled opportunity to combine the expertise of the best environmental scientists in the region to guide their program of study. Although the title of the program emphasizes its strengths in marine and estuarine sciences, the program itself spans the environmental sciences as a whole, irrespective of habitat. While the interests of students in the program are diverse, they generally center on some aspect of the interaction between biological, physical and/or chemical systems in the environment. Student research ranges from studies of molecular mechanisms to fisheries ecology, chemical pollutants, or economic assessments of environmental impacts. Since its faculty members come from so many sources, MEES provides a unique and valuable graduate education across the broad range of the environmental sciences.

Read more about the MEES Program:
Message From the Director
History of the MEES Program
Program Committee Members
Participating Institutions

Dr. Fred Pinkey and his Softball Team after a win in the Fish and Wildlife Service's Tournament Championship Game!

Dr. Fred Pinkey and his Softball Team after a win in the Fish and Wildlife Service's Tournament Championship Game!

Ph.D. Candidate Rebecca Lazarus

Ph.D. Candidate Rebecca Lazarus

President Dr. Donald Boesch and Dr. Keith Eshleman, MEES Faculty Member

President Dr. Donald Boesch and Dr. Keith Eshleman, MEES Faculty Member

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Fred Pinkey

MEES Alumni Fred Pinkney just celebrated his 20th year as Senior Biologist with the Environmental Contaminants Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis, Maryland.  He investigates a wide range of environmental contaminant issues including skin and liver tumors in brown bullhead catfish in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, endocrine disruption in smallmouth and largemouth bass, reproductive problems in yellow perch, the occurrence of abnormal frogs on National Wildlife Refuges, and bioaccumulation of PCBs in fish from the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. He is active in committees and workgroups related to the cleanup of the Anacostia River and toxic chemical issues in the Chesapeake Bay. He frequently collaborates with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and District Department of the Environment and has served on graduate student committees at several universities. For more information on Fred, please see our notable alumni section of the website, here!

Student Spotlight: Rebecca Lazarus, MEES Ph.D. Candidate

Rebecca Lazarus is a MEES Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger of the University of Maryland and Dr. Barnett Rattner of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  Rebecca has been working under the Department of the Interior Career Pathways Program for several years at Patuxent.   Her research focuses on contaminant exposure, food web transfer and potential adverse effects on ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay.  Ospreys are well-recognized for their utility as a sentinel species and are an excellent indicator of local pollution.  Rebecca has been collecting water, fish and osprey egg and nestling blood samples to investigate transfer of organic contaminants (organochlorine pesticides, flame retardants and PCBs) and pharmaceuticals in the food web across the most heavily urbanized and industrialized areas in the Bay (Baltimore Harbor/Patapsco River, Back River, Elizabeth River, Anacostia/middle Potomac River, James River and Susquehanna River), with mid-Bay Poplar Island being a reference site.  Rebecca uses a variety of different techniques to monitor osprey diet including identification of food scraps and game camera observations to identify the key fish species in osprey diet at study sites around the Bay. This project is a large collaborative effort with scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Baylor University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. Rebecca received the best student poster award at the MEES Colloquium in 2012 and recently received a student travel award from the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry to present her research at the upcoming meeting in Nashville, TN.  

Additionally, her research has been featured on the Chesapeake Bay Program website, click here. And the Baltimore Sun in 2012, please click here.  

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Keith Eshleman

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory scientist Dr. Keith Eshleman has been honored by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science with the President's Award for Excellence in Application of Science for his work in Fracking.    Dr. Eshleman was reccognized for his leadership in preparing a landmark report on the best management practices for unconventional natural gas extraction, which is part of the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative established by Governor Martin O'Malley.  The recommendations made by Dr. Eshleman will be integral in determining if the Marcellus Shale formation in western Maryland, can proceed with the least negative effects to our environment.  For more information on Dr. Eshleman and the President's Award, please CLICK HERE.

Visit our Job Blog!

Here you can find different employment and internship opportunities for MEES students and graduates . 

Need Funding Opportunities?

Visit our running list of fellowships, assistantships and scholarships available!

1213 H.J. Patterson Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
301-405-6938       Fax: 301-314-4139       Email: mees@umd.edu