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Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative

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Researchers - Brian McGill

Assistant Professor of Ecological Modeling
School of Biology and Ecology
University of Maine

What problem/s are you working to solve?
I want to understand how climate change is going to affect the plants and animals and crops around us in Maine. It is quite likely that pines will no longer dominate here in the Pine Tree State in a few hundred years due to climate change. Shorter term, how well will potatoes and blueberries continue to grow here? And how will all these changes to the biosphere affect humans economically and culturally?

What progress are you making toward solutions?
I am currently assembling a group of stakeholders to help us define the exact questions that the community needs answered.

How could your findings contribute to a more sustainable future in Maine and beyond?
Change is stressful and creates winners and losers. Climate change is one of the biggest forms of change coming, and I want to help navigate this change in the least painful way possible.

Why did you decide to join SSI?
Because I got tired of the academic model of valuing publications only read by other specialist scientists. I wanted to do research that has impact to the real world  – that improves life for my family and neighbors. SSI is on the cutting edge of supporting this in a university environment.

What’s the best part about collaborating on SSI research projects?
All the great people I get to work with.

Where’s your favorite place in Maine?
North Haven Island

What’s your ultimate Maine experience?
Cadillac Mountain (Acadia National Park) at sunset in October with foliage colors and the tourists gone.

Mud season survival strategy?
Really good rain pants that allow me to bike through the mud puddles.

What sustains you?
A happy family and challenging work.

Additional information on Brian and his SSI team

Image Description: mcgill_brian

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Contact Information

Senator George J. Mitchell Center & Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative
5710 Norman Smith Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.3244E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System