Center for Coastal & Watershed Studies

Happy World Wetlands Day - February 2, 2023 !! 

The Clean Water Act (CWA) provides a basic framework for preventing, reducing, and eliminating pollution into Waters of the United States (WUS). Note that WUS includes wetlands. Under the CWA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversee a permit process that regulates the placement of dredge or fill material into WUS. The supreme court case of Sackett v. EPA poses the question: What is the proper test for determining whether wetlands are considered “Waters of the United States” under the CWA? The outcome could determine how the EPA decides which aquatic environments are subject to regulation under the CWA in the future.  

A decision in the Supreme Court case of Sackett v. EPA is expected in June of 2023. A win for the Sackett’s would result in the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers fighting an uphill battle regulating wetlands beyond those with a continuous surface connection to protected waters.  Should the court’s decision uphold the EPA’s regulation authority, wetland protection at the federal level will be clarified and strengthened.  Stay informed about this important issue.

Cranesville Swamp, WV.


Welcome! Hood-Center for Coastal & Watershed Studies (Hood-CCWS) studies all aspects of coastal environments. We use science to find solutions for environmental problems in a socially responsible manner. Starting locally and expanding regionally, we work with communities and organizations to improve water quality, while fostering valuable experiential learning for our students. As a center of excellence within Hood College, we strive to connect students with coastal environments, research important issues, and provide local opportunities to make a positive change. Our work is primarily divided into three focus areas:



Our past and future come together in coastal environments. In keeping with the best of Hood’s liberal arts tradition, our aim is to provide a framework for multi-disciplinary learning and research by students and faculty with the goal of understanding the genesis, complexities, and possible solutions to environmental and social issues that impact the coastlines and watersheds of our region, nation, and world. Simultaneously, we prepare our students to use state-of-the-art technologies and practices that can lead them into productive careers and lives of service within our communities.

Learn more on his Faculty Bio Page.

Email: dferrier@hood.edu 

Phone: 301-696-3660 

Office: Hodson Science & Technology Center, Room 308E 

Office Hours: By Appointment.


Katie (BA '06) is a Coastal Studies Program alum ('04 & '06) and has been an adjunct professor for the Coastal Studies program since 2013.  Katie joined the team in 2021 as the CCWS Academic Program Coordinator for the Sustainability Major and Coastal Studies Program.   

Email: huy@hood.edu

Phone: 301-696-3318

Office: Hodson Science & Technology Center, Room 308F

Office Hours: By Appointment.

Catherine has been at Hood for 3 years, serving as a Field and Lab technician on many environmental service contracts, with a BS in Environmental Science (Washington College, '19). 

Email: gaudlip@hood.edu

Phone: 301-696-3652

Office: Hodson Science & Technology, Room 308F

Office Hours: By Appointment.

Jen manages the upkeep of the many greenhouses and gardens with FFSN.

Email: jc32@hood.edu

Phone: n/a

Office: Gardens/Greenhouses!

Office Hours: By Appointment.

Learn more on his Faculty Bio Page.

Email: kindahl@hood.edu

Phone: 301-696-3659

Office: Hodson Science & Technology Center, Room 156

Office Hours: By Appointment.

Emily Southgate was formerly a Research Associate Professor at Rutgers University, where she did research at the intersection of ecology and history. She has worked extensively with the National Park Service in their cultural parks, providing historical ecological background to guide management of their natural resources. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, where, together with colleagues, she integrated data from palynological research in the northeastern United States to arrive at a composite picture of changing forest composition over the last 500 years. Her book, “People and the Land Through Time. Linking Ecology and History” (Yale Univ. Press, 2019) has inspired both ecologists and environmental historians to incorporate each others’ fields in their research. She is also active in the environmental community in Virginia, serving on the Board of the Virginia Native Plant Society and as a “citizen scientist” sampling stream macroinvertebrates, birds for the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas, and grassland vegetation.

Email: ewbsouthgate@gmail.com

Phone: n/a

Office: n/a

Office Hours: By Appointment.


Student Stories

Katelyn on a Coastal Studies trip to Swallow Falls in Western Maryland

Katelyn Valla Soars Onward from The Center for Coastal and Watersheds Studies Coop!

In Katelyn's words, "Key to My Success was the Center for Coastal & Watershed Studies..". Undergraduate Student

This Hood Story is written first hand by Katelyn Valla. She has shared her personal account of working with The Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies. It is the pleasure of CCWS to highlight Katie's accomplishments! Please take a moment to connect with CCWS as we celebrate all Katie has learned and shared with our Hood community and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

  • Experiential Learning
  • Natural Sciences
Heidi in graduation gown with Hood professor and advisor

Heidi Gonzalez Ramirez ’22 | Q&A

Community Service Alumni Undergraduate Student

Heidi reflects on her community service as a student with Hood’s Frederick Food Security Network.

  • Academics
  • Experiential Learning
  • Community Involvement
Higgins standing in front of lake

Hood Grad Student to pursue her PhD on aquatic insects

Q&A '22 Alumni Graduate Student

Earning her M.S. in Environmental Biology in September '22, Kierstyn Higgins reflects on her experience as a graduate student while at Hood College. In the Fall, she will begin her doctoral degree in Ecology at the Pennsylvania State University.

  • Academics
  • Experiential Learning
  • Natural Sciences

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