(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project(s) Operating in the State:

The Smithsonian runs a volunteer program researching parasites and their effects on mud crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.  See Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project, Smithsonian Envtl. Res. Ctr., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


The Smithsonian also runs an environmental archaeology project at the Sellman Plantation.  See Environmental Archaeology at SERC, Smithsonian Envtl. Res. Ctr., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


The U.S. Geological Survey sponsors an annual “cricket crawl” in Baltimore (as well as D.C. and Arlington, VA) in which volunteers document their observations of crickets and katydids.  See DC/Baltimore Cricket Crawl,, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Washington DC/ Baltimore Cricket Crawl, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

State Project(s):

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) runs a volunteer water quality monitoring program: Stream Waders.  See Stream Waders, Md. Dep’t of Nat. Resources,  (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).  


The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science hosts DolphinWatch, a research effort by Dr. Helen Bailey that uses citizen scientists to monitor dolphins in Chesapeake Bay. DolphinWatch, U. of Md. Ctr. For Envtl. Science, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Collection of Information:

Scientific Collection Permit:

“Any properly accredited person of known scientific attainment desiring to collect wildlife, nests, or eggs from the wild for scientific or educational purposes must first obtain a Scientific Collection permit from the Wildlife and Heritage Service of the Department of Natural Resources.” Scientific Collection Permit/License, Md. Dep’t of Nat. Resources, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Md. Code Regs.


Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  Notice is required for liability to attach.

“(a) A person may not enter or trespass on property that is posted conspicuously against trespass by:

(1) signs placed where they reasonably may be seen; or

(2) paint marks that:

(i) conform with regulations that the Department of Natural Resources adopts under § 5-209 of the Natural Resources Article; and

(ii) are made on trees or posts that are located:

1. at each road entrance to the property; and

2. adjacent to public roadways, public waterways, and other land adjoining the property.” 

Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-402.

Trespass on Cultivated Land: 

“Unless a person has permission from the owner of cultivated land or an agent of the owner, a person may not enter on the cultivated land of another.” Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-406(b).


“’Cultivated land’ means land that has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is currently planted with a crop or orchard.” Id. § 6-406(a).


“A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.” Id. § 6-406(c).

Drone Laws:


“Only the State may enact a law or take any other action to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the State.”  Md. Code Ann., Econ. Dev § 14-301(b).

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“Stalking” is prohibited. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-802.  It is defined as:


(a) . . . In this section, ‘stalking’ means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where

(1) the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:


1. of serious bodily injury;

2. of an assault in any degree;

3. of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree

4. of false imprisonment; or

5. of death; or

(ii.) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (i) of this item; or

(2) the person intends to cause or knows or reasonably should have known that the conduct would cause serious emotional distress to another…

Use of Information:

Although incomplete, our research has not found any provisions relating to the use of information collected by citizens in enforcement or administrative/legislative actions.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “there is good ground to support” the claim.  Md. R. 1-311(b). 

Authentication or Chain of Custody:


“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Md. R. Evid. 5-901(a).

Expert Testimony:

Maryland Rule of Evidence 5-702 and Frye-Reed standard, but Maryland courts have not rejected the Daubert standard (on a case-by-case basis).  See Md. R. Evid. 5-702 committee note (“This Rule is not intended to overrule [Reed] and other cases adopting the principles enunciated in [Frye]. The required scientific foundation for the admission of novel scientific techniques or principles is left to development through case law. Compare [Daubert].”); Sissoko v. State, 182 A.3d 874, 892 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2018) (“Although Maryland has not [replaced Frye with Daubert], our jurisprudence nevertheless has drifted toward the Daubert standard.”) (quotation omitted); Reed v. State, 391 A.2d 364, 367–68 (1978).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.