It has been an exciting year for the Northern Map Turtle Partnership between TU and the Town of Port Deposit! To catch up on the beginnings of this partnership, you can read my two previous blog posts about it.

Since the Partnership Celebration last May, Towson and Port Deposit have made great strides in moving the relationship forward. Dr. Seigel and his students are continuing their work researching the Northern Map Turtle and its nesting habits. This work has helped contribute to plans for the restoration of the Tome Gas House, which will begin later this summer after the turtle nesting season. The Gas House will include a visitors’ center for the Town, as well as lab space for Dr. Seigel and his students. TU and Port Deposit are also working together to develop interpretive signage that will be placed along the waterfront in the Town and will include information about town history, the turtle, and the Gas House.

Northern Map Turtle

Northern Map Turtle

In addition to these projects, our own Regional Economics Studies Institute (RESI) is working with Port Deposit to develop an economic revitalization plan that will include an existing conditions analysis, identification of economic opportunities, the economic impact of these potential activities, and a marketing plan.

Towson University is collaborating with Port Deposit to develop a ledger for the Town’s historical audio tour. This tour can be accessed via cellphone and will give individuals information about several historic sites around town.

Northern Map Turtle

Dr. Richard Seigel is leading a team of students and researchers from Towson University to study the Northern Map Turtle in Port Deposit, MD.

The partnership has also gained recognition through several campus and external publications and events. It was featured as a homepage story and included a great video done by University Marketing. Dr. Seigel’s work was a featured story on the National Geographic website. Dr. Seigel’s research and the partnership as a whole were the focus of an exhibit at this year’s TU Showcase event.

As you can see, we’ve had a busy year! We are excited about the progress that we’ve already made with the partnership and are looking forward to the future. We are always on the lookout for opportunities to expand while staying focused on the four tenets of conservation, education, research, and economic development.