The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education - UMBC

EPA Grant Number: R831058
Center: Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE)
Center Director: ,
Title: The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education - UMBC
Investigators: Welty, Claire
Institution: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 31, 2006
Project Amount: $975,000
RFA: Environmental Statistics Center (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Human Health , Aquatic Ecosystems , Air , Computing Technology , Environmental Statistics


The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education’s (CUERE) mission is to advance the understanding of the environmental, social and economic consequences of the transformation of the urban landscape through research, conferences and symposia, support of university teaching programs and assistance to K-12 education. CUERE fosters interdisciplinary approaches to environmental science, engineering and public policy.

The CUERE research team includes environmental engineers, scientists, and policy analysts. The center's research agenda focuses on relationships among natural and socioeconomic processes that occur in urban environments and their impact on public policy. The center is equipped with meeting facilities; integrated analytical, educational and research laboratories; and state-of-the-art computer and geographic information systems.

Research and education programs sponsored by CUERE provide a critical link for state and local governmental agencies to better assess and respond to urban environmental issues. Some of CUERE’s current and recently completed research includes projects such as: “Markets for Preserving Land in Maryland”; “Development of Indicators of Community Characteristics for Four Urban Neighborhoods - Survey and Analysis of Statewide Recreational Needs” (including impact of demographic change, land preservation, and utilization of permit allowance for environmental sustainability); “Human Settlements as Ecosystems” (including an assessment of how spatial structure of ecological, physical, and socio-economic factors affect ecosystem function); and “Collaborative Research on Hydrology, Hydraulics and Hydrometeorology of Flood Response in Urban Drainage Basins” (including an assessment of the role of changing floodplain morphology in determining attenuation of flood waves in an urban drainage basin).

CUERE is host to the field offices of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of the two NSF-funded urban Long-Term Ecological Research sites in the U.S. The BES includes as a major component evaluation of the effects of the built environment on biogeochemistry, geomorphology, and ecosystem function of urban streams and impacts on the Chesapeake Bay. The BES field offices are located on the campus of UMBC, instrumented field sites are nearby, and socio-economic and biophysical data sets on the metropolitan region are readily available to researchers. Four US Forest Service scientists are in residence in CUERE to guide selected field studies of the BES.

CUERE plans to identify and characterize underutilized industrial sites for possible reuse or remediation by conducting a pilot study of the underused, vacant, or abandoned industrial sites in southwest Baltimore. In addition, the Center plans to assess the impact of a degrading urban infrastructure on water quality and neighborhood stability as well as mapping MTBE in aquifers and rapid identification of potentially impacted drinking water.

CUERE’s educational mission is to use research findings and resources to advance an interdisciplinary understanding of the urban landscape for students of all ages and the general public. They have as a goal the promotion of educational achievement through an interdisciplinary and hands-on approach to learning, including the K-12 level.

Supplemental Keywords:

Economics, land use, urban planning, environmental engineering, public policy, education and outreach, socioeconomics, wet weather flows, forestry, watersheds, environmental modeling, drinking water, MTBE, Baltimore, Maryland, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Geographic Area, POLLUTION PREVENTION, sustainable development, State, Economics, decision-making, Urban and Regional Planning, Economics & Decision Making, Social Science, economic research, urban planning, decision making, forest conservation decisions, forest reources, socioeconomics, Maryland (MD), demographics, public policy

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final