Field Study: Human Impacts on Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay

Students travel to Washington DC and the Chesapeake Bay to study human impacts on environments, geography and culture over time

To gain a better sense of the geographic, cultural and ecosystemic impacts of human populations over U.S. history, the 11th Grade Crew traveled to the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. There, they studied how population density has impacted the region’s natural environment, from colonization and industrialization to present day.

Students conducted field science investigations to measure the enduring heavy metal contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which illustrate the lasting effects of human communities on ecosystems.

To understand the greater cultural context of human society’s impacts, students also studied how the American Dream has been chronicled and memorialized in historical landmarks, museums, urban art, architecture and documents in and around the nation’s capital.