Freshmen in HIST 290 Get to Know Their Bay


In the past few decades Baltimoreans have viewed their harbor as a playground — a backdrop for urban festival spaces, seafood restaurants and multi-million dollar penthouses. But for most of Baltimore’s history, the harbor was primarily a vital working port, the economic engine of the entire region.

This semester freshmen in the Learning Community “Know Your Bay” are tracing the history of Baltimore as a port city and its role in the Chesapeake region. On the first day of class they made the trip down Charles Street┬áto the Inner Harbor to survey the harbor from the top of the World Trade Center. In September, thanks to a generous grant from UB alumna Marie van Deusen, the class spent the day on the water aboard the Lady Maryland, a replica of a pungy schooner. ┬áThe crew showed us the work that would have been done on this type of cargo boat during the 19th century.

Students in the learning community continue their hands-on experiences in internships throughout the city. Some are working with Blue Water Baltimore on environmental projects; others are training to become eco-tour guides in the Inner Harbor. By the end of the semester they will produce public service campaigns to highlight a solution to an urban problem they have encountered in their studies.


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