Welcome to the CERA Homepage

Established in 1997, the Conservation and Environmental Research Areas (CERA) of UMBC, were created to support environmental education and conservation at UMBC. At present, CERA covers about 50 acres of the UMBC landscape, and is located in two different areas. The larger tract, covering approximately 45 acres of the south end of the main campus, is comprised of a wide variety of ecological conditions: mature upland forest, early- and mid- successional forest, and riparian and wetland environments. The second, and much smaller CERA area (about 3 acres), surrounds Pigpen Pond. There are also several areas within CERA where evidence of previous human occupancy and use can be found. In addition to teaching opportunities for faculty, CERA offers a wide range of opportunities for students and faculty to undertake short and long term research projects in a variety of disciplines. Management of CERA is guided by the need to maintain these landscapes as natural areas to be preserved and protected for approved uses in education, research and wildlife observation. Faculty and students desiring further information or who wish to utilize CERA for research and teaching are encouraged to contact the CERA Steering Committee (eparker@umbc.edu).

Directions to CERA from the Administration Building:
From the Administration Building, follow the sidewalk along Administrative Drive past the RAC to Hilltop Circle Road. Cross the road and follow the sidewalk to the right and take the raised walkway bridge that passes by PigPen Pond to the Research Park. The bridge will leave you at the parking lot—walk to the entrance of the parking lot. Cross the Drive at this point and look a bit to the right and you should see a wood mulch pathway leading into the woods. Follow the path into CERA. After a short hike, you will reach a divide in the path. The path to the left will take you to the athletic practice fields, and the path to the right, marked by a trail sign, will lead you to the beginning of the .6 mile CERA Interpretive Trail (download a copy of the trail guide here).