Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forges New Collaborative Partnership with Morgan State University

June 23, 2017

Focus on Development, Diversity, Outreach, Research and Training

Dr. Frederick Wilson signs agreement with Maryland DNR officials.The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Morgan State University, a doctoral public urban research university in Baltimore City, signed a new educational agreement today that seeks to promote collaborative research, community outreach, economic development and opportunity, and workforce training.

This first-of-its-kind agreement between the two state institutions was signed at the Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory, known as the PEARL, during an open house event that featured remarks from Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton, and Morgan State University President Dr. David Wilson.

"The agreement we are announcing today will focus on a number of items, from collaborative research and community outreach to economic development and workforce training. It seeks to leverage the strengths of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and its expert staff of managers and scientists with Morgan State University's academic proficiency, community connections, and resources," Lt. Governor Rutherford said. "Through this partnership, we hope to enhance collaboration, opportunity, and build resilience for the future, all while cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards who learn, live, and work in the heart of Maryland."

As per the agreement, the department will provide more opportunities for Morgan State University students through apprenticeship, fellowship or internship programs focused in the fields of construction, engineering, green infrastructure, information technology and science.

"This unique partnership between our respective parties will aid ongoing restoration activities in Baltimore City, in Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed," Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. "By leveraging the academic prowess and deep-rooted relationships Morgan has crafted over the last 150 years with the practical expertise and knowledge of our staff, we will be able to reach more citizens and communities and connect them with our ongoing resiliency and restoration work.

"This partnership will open many new doors for the department and Morgan State University students, be it in applied sciences, internships or skills training in emerging ‘green' careers and fields," Belton said. "This is an historic and significant day, and marks the beginning of a long-term partnership focused on the citizens and communities we serve."

The two partners will work on joint research projects, including academic presentations and publications as well as economic development programs, from Chesapeake Bay restoration innovation to shellfish aquaculture. The collaboration will also design, develop, implement and market specific activities aimed at benefiting all underserved communities - rural and urban - to ensure dialogue, diversity, engagement, inclusion and - ultimately - success.

"We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Department of Natural Resources on this important work that we believe will help make a difference in the future of Maryland and its citizens," Morgan State President David Wilson said. "Together, with the unique capabilities both bring to the project, and recently designated by the General Assembly as Maryland's pre-eminent public urban research university, Morgan State University and the Department of Natural Resources will foster innovative, novel, and transdisciplinary solutions to the critical environmental challenges of metropolitan Baltimore and the State of Maryland."

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Morgan State University agreement was crafted by Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joanne Throwe and Morgan State Vice President of Research and Economic Development Victor McCrary. Both individuals will continue to serve as responsible agents and respective liaisons for the new agreement, which commences June 23, 2017, and concludes June 22, 2020.