DAY 10

We enter the estuary and evaluate the conductivity and salt content of the Bay water. We will explore the marshland around Belle Isle State park via kayak. This region is in the Northern Neck of Virginia along the Rappahanock River. Engineers in this regions must deal with shallow groundwater that makes water networks difficult to design and vulnerable to natural disasters. We will discuss how to build resilient infrastructure in the region. We will stay at the Galway house situated right on the Chesapeake Bay and meet with Sharon Sharp to discuss how water infrastructure is critical to sustainable development in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

Great Blue Heron in marshland near the Chesapeake Bay

Great Blue Heron in marshland near the Chesapeake Bay

DAy 11

Climate change will significantly impact water resources in the Bay, Nowhere is this more obvious and transcendental than on Tangier Island.

Located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, just south of the Maryland-Virginia border, there exists a small island that has sustained a community of fishermen for hundreds of years. The 1,000-acre island of Tangier was first settled by Joseph Crockett in 1778 and has has a rich cultural history, having played a critical role in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. By the mid 20th century, it also had one of the largest and most impressive seafood industries in the country (National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 2014). Today, the rapidly shrinking community that lives on Tangier Island is a shadow of what the island once was. Over the years, changing environmental conditions have forced many to leave their island homes, and in time, will threaten the existence of the entire community. Despite threats to sustained habitation of the island the islanders seem resolved to continue living as they have in the past.



Virginia Islanders Could Be U.S. First Climate Change Refugees  

Flooding and erosion may not allow island to stay above water

We will tour the island and learn about its history and future.

Ribbon fish

Ribbon fish

DAy 12

Our tour of the Bay from the spine of the Appalachian Mountains thought the Chesapeake Bay estuary is nearly complete. We will return through the heartland. Our experiences together will help us understand and reflect upon past, current and future issues that related to the precious water resources in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Participants will continue to conduct independent analysis (ENGR 480) of water resources issues most relevant to their interests and team with the people and organizations we have met to propose methods to protect, conserve or enhance water resources and water quality within the Bay watershed. The final analysis will be submitted by June 9th, 2017.

Along the way, we will have met with professional scientist and engineers working to conserve and support water resources throughout the Chesapeake Bay. You will have had the opportunity to learn about careers in water resources and water supply and create professional networks with some of the leaders in in the field in the Mid-Atlantic Area.

The program fee and tuition includes lodging for all evenings away from Harrisonburg, VA. All transportation is included as well. In addition, kayaking lessons and tours, fishing lessons and tours, and photography workshops are all included in the tuition and program fee for this program. We welcome all participants in the program, which provides a transformational educational opportunity to prepare students for careers in water engineering and science.


Pelicans in formation

Pelicans in formation

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