Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology

Hughes Center

Who we are: The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology is a 501(c)(3) corporation affiliated with the University of Maryland College Park and the University System of Maryland.  Founded in 1999, the Center brings together diverse interests from the agricultural, forestry and environmental communities for the purpose of retaining Maryland's working landscapes and the industries they support while protecting and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The Center works toward achieving its diverse mission through a three-pronged approach of scientific research, policy analysis, and outreach and education efforts.

Mission Statement: To provide leadership to promote environmentally sound and economically viable agriculture and forestry as Maryland's preferred land use through research, outreach and collaboration.


Director, Wye Research and Education Center and the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology

Position Description

Title: Director, Wye Research and Education Center and Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology

Position No.: 103482 

Location: Wye Research and Education Center (WREC), Queenstown, MD 21658

Position Summary/Purpose of Position:

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) at the University of Maryland seeks an individual to serve as Director of its Wye Research and Education Center (WREC) as well as the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. (Hughes Center). The ideal candidate will increase applied research at WREC, strengthen the relationships of the WREC and Hughes Center with other research centers and the departments within the college, as well as other institutions and entities, and translate the results into programs, and educational and outreach opportunities that will help the stakeholders of Maryland better manage their agricultural operations, forestry operations and overall resource management with an eye toward ensuring a clean and healthy Chesapeake Bay.

This position encompasses an exciting hybrid responsibility, with oversight of WREC, a unique landscape that provides a robust platform for research and outreach programs in an agro-ecosystem at the interface of an aquatic ecosystem. Equally as important, is the Hughes Center, a well-established and stakeholder-driven research and outreach entity that has provided policy-driven decision making at all government levels based on research at WREC, other research centers, and departments within AGNR. The position reports to the Associate Dean/Director MAES and is housed at WREC.

The Organizations:


WREC is one of four MAES Research and Education Centers. WREC is located on 1000 acres in picturesque Queen Anne’s County, and is home to faculty and staff that represents University of Maryland Extension (UME), the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES), LEAD Maryland Foundation and the Hughes Center. WREC is a dynamic hub of research activity, Extension outreach and education with programs that include a closed Angus herd, agronomic crops, plant pathology and horticulture; each coordinated by a program manager that reports to the director. WREC is one of the eight primary research facilities administered by MAES. To learn more, visit go.umd.edu/wrec.

Hughes Center:

The Harry Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. was founded in 1999 as an affiliated foundation of the University of Maryland. It serves as a national model highlighting Maryland’s agriculture, forestry and environmental concerns. Comprised of a 27 member Board of Directors, including the dean of the College of AGNR, the Hughes Center brings together diverse interests from the agricultural, forestry, legislative and environmental communities to protect Maryland’s investment in our environment, farmland preservation, and forestry management with the purpose of ensuring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Since its inception, the Hughes Center has funded 65 research projects with $6.8 million obtained through the USDA CSREES (currently USDA-NIFA) Special Research Grants Program, the Hatch Act, the State of Maryland General Assembly and through private foundations. To learn more, visit go.umd.edu/hughescenter.

Both WREC and the Hughes Center interrelate to coordinate their programs and to present the results of the research to decision-makers and policymakers as well as to the stakeholders (farm

ers, foresters, citizens groups, the legislature, environmental organizations and on occasion to the Federal government and state agencies) for improved decision-making and policy development for the betterment of the state’s farms, forests and the Chesapeake Bay.

Essential Duties as Director:

Oversees the direction, initiation, funding, and promotion of research tied to science-based policy, practical solutions, and enhancement of agriculture, forestry, and ecosystem health. Coordinates these efforts with other MAES centers and with key internal (departments within the college, across the UMD) and external stakeholders (growers, industry, state and federal agencies, farmers, foresters, etc.) to leverage visibility and application.

Oversees and coordinates the administrative functions for WREC and the Hughes Center including budgets, personnel matters, and operations (facilities, equipment, resources), and works jointly with the office of the dean and leadership to incorporate university and college policies and procedures into center procedures as needed.

Promotes grantsmanship, and seeks and obtains funding from all sectors to enhance and support the research, outreach, and educational efforts for WREC and the Hughes Center. Coordinates with AGNR’s development office to increase donations and gifts.

Increases the visibility and external reputation of WREC and the Hughes Center.

Develops and integrates a vision and strategy in partnership with the Board of Directors of the Hughes Center to enhance research, outreach, and education. Works with the Board of Directors of the Hughes Center on the organization’s governance to strengthen its overall mission.

Builds a sense of community, calling meetings, and keeping a constant flow of communication between all entities embedded within WREC.

Seeks opportunities for programmatic development, working closely with program managers for AGNR’s Angus herd, agronomy, and horticulture.



Required –

Ph.D. Degree in Agriculture, Watershed Sciences, Forestry, Natural Resources or related.

Proven excellence in managing and directing an academic or research program.

Proven ability to develop and translate knowledge attained through research and extension activities to scientists, policy-makers, and other stakeholder groups

Proven track record in garnering grants and private funding to enhance key research issues and areas where information and data are lacking

Evidence of scholarship in research, extension and/or outreach

Seven years of demonstrated experience with administrative duties in a research, extension and/or outreach related environment 


Preferred qualifications–

Ten years of administrative and management experience in a research and extension and/or outreach related environment

Experience in a Land-Grant system environment

Proven ability to work with diverse stakeholders including non-profits

Working knowledge of and experience with Chesapeake Bay region issues and its working lands in regard to Chesapeake Bay health


Salary: Commensurate with the Candidate’s qualifications. The University of Maryland offers an extensive benefits package.

Applications: All candidates must apply online at https://ejobs.umd.edu for position #103482. A complete application packet includes a letter of application, a current resume, unofficial transcript, and three (3) professional references, including name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. For more specific information please contact Gurpal Toor at (Tel.: 301-405-1215 and email: gstoor@umd.edu)

Closing Date: For best consideration apply before August 30, 2019. (Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate has been identified).

The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Phase III WIP Information Sessions

Items From Meetings

The Hughes Center helped the Maryland Department of the Environment host three information sessions in April and May 2019 as part of Maryland's engagement strategy for its most recent Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). The meetings featured an overview of the current draft WIP and provided participants with opportunities to ask questions of State agency representatives.

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation as given by Matt Rowe, Assistant Director of Water and Science Administration for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) can be found here. If you missed a session, there is still a chance to register for the Friday, May 17, 2019 webinar hosted by MDE, information for which can be found here.

As a reminder, the deadline for formal public comments to MDE is June 7, 2019. To submit a public comment, visit MDE's page here.

Mission-Based Work

Scientific Research

Since its founding in 1999, the Center has funded more than 70 research projects totaling more than $10 million in funding. Research funded by the Hughes Center has changed agricultural practices globally. Maryland farmers are now considered national leaders in conservation practices — in part because of the research funded and policy recommendations provided by the Hughes Center. Today, the Center continues to develop scientific research to address the needs of Maryland's communities.

Discover more here

Policy Analysis

As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Agricultural Forum and Strategic Plan, the Center played an important role in helping to plan the listening sessions that elicited input on agricultural and forestry issues from over 500 Maryland citizens, and ultimately in the formation of the 2006 Statewide Plan for Agricultural Policy and Resource Management.

As a member of the Governor's Commission on Protecting the Chesapeake Bay through Sustainable Forestry, the Center helped to shape Maryland's Strategic Forest Resource Plan for 2006, which recognizes that Maryland's forests should be managed with an eye towards the multitude of services they provide, including clean air, clean water, diverse habitat for wildlife, economic return, and recreational opportunities, among others.

Education and Outreach

The Center continues to expand its Education and Outreach efforts in Maryland.  Center staff members periodically brief the House Environmental Matters Committee and the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs; hold workshops on research topics such as the availability of tools to preserve working landscapes; make presentations to local governments and community groups; and participate in several interdisciplinary networks through the University of Maryland.

Learn more here

Support Us


Want to support the Center? The Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. is a 501(c)3 affiliated foundation with the University of Maryland College Park. Our Form 990 is available online. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Call Nancy Nunn, Assistant Director, at 410.827.6202 or e-mail her at nnunn@umd.edu for details on how to make your donation.


Would you prefer to donate your time, resources, or expertise? We are always seeking volunteers to assist with event planning and execution, fundraising efforts, mailings, and general Center operations. Please send an e-mail to agroecology@umd.edu or call 410.827.6202 with your specific interests/skills and availability.

Contact Us and Annual Report

Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc.
PO Box 169
124 Wye Narrows Drive
Queenstown, MD 21658

Phone: 410.827.8056
FAX: 410.827.9039

Center Staff