Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 286
Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Office of the Director
Records, 1964-1976 and undated
On July 1, 1965 the Chesapeake Bay Center for Field Biology (CBCFB) was created to conduct research and promote education in ecosystem biology. CBCFB was established at Java Farm, a 368 acre tract of land located seven miles south of Annapolis, Maryland on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Java Farm was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution by Robert Lee Forest in 1962. Adjoining property was purchased with funds contributed by private foundations, and the centers site eventually grew to 2,400 acres, including 14 miles of shoreline on the Rhode River.
From 1965 until 1969, CBCFB was an administrative unit of the Smithsonian Office of Ecology. In 1969, its name was changed to the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies (CBCES), and it was placed under the administration of the newly created Office of Environmental Sciences. CBCES became an independent Smithsonian bureau in 1973, reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Science. Directors of CBCES (before 1969 CBCFB) have included Kyle R. Barbehenn, 1965-1968; Francis S. L. Williamson, 1968-1975; and J. Kevin Sullivan, Acting Director, 1975-1976 and Director, 1976- .
In February 1966, the Smithsonian joined in an agreement with the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland to collaborate in biological research and education at CBCFB. In 1971 the three institutions joined with the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences to form the Chesapeake Research Consortium (CRC) to "foster and facilitate research germane to the region of the Chesapeake Bay." CBCES became a major component of the CRC program.
These records document the history of CBCES and the development of its programs. Included are materials concerning the establishment of the Center; land acquisition, including files on foundations that contributed funds for the purchase of property; facilities development; the cooperative agreement between the Smithsonian, the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland for research at CBCES; the development and activities of the Chesapeake Research Consortium; research conducted by CBCES staff and visiting scientists; proposals for research at CBCES; CBCES projects including the Rhode River Watershed Program, the Rhode River Environmental Education Project, and the Poplar Island Erosion Control Study; relations with Smithsonian bureaus, government agencies, community groups, and research organizations; and environmental issues, especially those affecting the Chesapeake Bay. The records were created primarily by Francis S. L. Williamson during his tenure as Director of CBCES, 1968-1975. Also included are smaller amounts of records created by his predecessor, Kyle R. Barbehenn, 1965-1968, and by J. Kevin Sullivan as Assistant Director, 1971-1975, Acting Director, 1975-1976, and Director, 1976. Correspondence of Smithsonian administrators Philip C. Ritterbush, Helmut K. Buechner, and Irvin Eugene Wallen is also found in the records.
The records include incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, proposals, reports, photographs, and publications.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Williamson, Francis S. L.
- Barbehenn, Kyle R.
- Sullivan, J. Kevin
- Ritterbush, Philip C.
- Buechner, Helmut K. (Helmut Karl)
- Wallen, I. E. (Irvin Eugene), 1921-
- Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Office of the Director
- Chesapeake Bay Center for Field Biology
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of Maryland at College Park
- Chesapeake Research Consortium
- Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Rhode River Environmental Education Project
- Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Rhode River Watershed Program
- Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Poplar Island Erosion Control Study
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 286, Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. Office of the Director, Records