Dr. M. Stephen Ailstock, director
The Environmental Center at Anne Arundel Community College supports the College's mission through applied research projects designed to address local environmental necessities. However, Maryland has been described as America in miniature because of its great diversity of natural resources. The types of environmental challenges confronting Maryland's people, government, industries, and civic organizations are very similar to those confronting several areas of the country. Through collaborative work with our many sponsors, the Center is able to assist in the development of solutions to a variety of contemporary environmental problems.
Since inception in 1980, the Environmental Center has focused on environmental issues that require practical solutions. Selection of possible solutions to a given problem is made using two guiding tenets. First, we believe that the best thing for enhancing the quality of our environment is a strong vibrant economy. Second, we believe that decisions that make good environmental sense also make good economic sense. Operating within this intellectual framework, the Center has enjoyed broad-based support from both the public and private sectors. Our approach is simple: identify key problems, collaborate with experts, identify and test possible solutions, repeat as needed, and then seek new challenges.
The Center's areas of specialty include the creation and restoration of wetlands, habitat creation, bioremediation, toxicity testing, and environmental monitoring. Center staff apply these specialties to such problems as wetlands creation for shoreline stabilization, closures of industrial sites, effluent treatment, and storm water management. Bioassays and environmental monitoring are used to assess the potential toxicity of compounds and to identify locations appropriate for restoration. Methods established for invasive plant control have been used in sensitive environments for resource recovery and the protection of rare, threatened and endangered species. The Center welcomes inquiry from those responsible and interested in improved environmental quality.