CSS 2013

Coastal Studies Program

  • Concentration
  • Minor

About this Program

The Coastal Studies program can be taken as a concentration within the Environmental Science and Policy Major, or it can act as a stand alone minor for students of any major. The program is travel-based and designed to provide students with both textbook and first-hand knowledge of environmental challenges currently facing coastal regions. As a member of a close-knit, motivated community, you'll gain an understanding and appreciation for watershed science and the complexities of coastal environments. We explore the biological, ecological, historical and cultural influences on field locations that we visit.

Program Overview

Our semester-long, travel-based, experiential learning program is offered each fall semester and provides a solid academic framework for the study of environmental science. You'll be engaged in four closely interrelated courses that will go far beyond traditional classroom and lab settings. You'll apply your newly acquired knowledge to real world environmental problems that we find facing communities and natural systems along the Atlantic coast and Chesapeake Bay. 

During our travels to field stations, you will be able to take advantage of co-curricular activities like seminars offered at the laboratories we visit, extended field experiences in natural areas, and day-trips to sites of unique ecological, historical and cultural interest. We will invite you to attend a professional scientific meeting and hear the latest research in your area of interest from scientists and students from other colleges and universities. 

You will become involved in an interdisciplinary research practicum, an open-ended inquiry into environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay, region which weaves together scientific, historical and cultural threads to act as a unifying element for a semester-long experience.

Join us next fall! 

Click here to go to an interactive map.

Program Contact

Drew Ferrier

Director of the Coastal Studies Program

Claire Hudson

Program Coordinator


Degrees Offered

  • Concentration
  • Minor

Program Social Media

Coastal Studies Semester Field Trips and Excursions

This map allows you to explore where our base of operations are during the Coastal Studies Semester and take a look at some of the field trip locations. We try to hit as many of the field trip sites as possible. There are so many trips and so little time! 

Group Hike

Coastal Studies Group

Hiking in New Germany State Park

Boat trip

VIMS field trip

On our way to visit Cedar Island 

Fast Fact

Drew Ferrier is a broadly trained aquatic biologist who works with students to investigate the organisms and processes found in oceans, estuaries, lakes and rivers.

All Faculty
Drew Ferrier

Drew Ferrier

  • Professor of Biology
  • Director of the Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies