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About Us - At a Glance

Producing knowledge and linking it to actions that meet human needs while preserving the planet’s life-support systems is emerging as one of the most fundamental and difficult challenges for science in the 21st century. There is growing consensus that traditional methods of generating and using knowledge must be fundamentally reorganized to confront the breadth, magnitude, and urgency of many problems now facing society. The Senator George J. Mitchell Center and Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative, a partnership between the University of Maine (UMaine), the University of Southern Maine (USM) and other institutions of higher education, seeks to transform Maine’s capacity for addressing these scientific challenges in ways that directly benefit Maine and other regions. The program of research will also help Maine increase economic activity and technological innovation in ways that sustain the State’s remarkable “quality of place”.

Mission: Serving as a leader and valued partner in understanding and solving societal problems related to the growing challenge of improving human well-being while protecting the environment.

Vision: Connecting knowledge with action to create a brighter environmental, social, and economic future in and beyond Maine.

Using innovative approaches to address the intersecting environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability challenges, including issues involving energy, forestry, water resources, urbanization, agriculture, fisheries, and climate change.

Research Goal: Create a world-class sustainability science research program focused on the dynamics of social-ecological systems (SES), with an explicit goal of understanding and strengthening connections between knowledge and action (K-A).

Accessible wild places and tranquil country farms, human-scaled Main Streets, and working water-fronts: these are what differentiate Maine from other places and in many respects drive its economy.

— Charting Maine’s Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places.
The Brookings Institution

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