May 8th, 2013 1:15 PM
High School students from Bangor, John Bapst, Old Town and Sumner Memorial high schools will be presenting their findings from mercury and nitrogen research conducted in their own watersheds. For the past four years, the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) Institute at Acadia National Park, the University of Maine’s Mitchell Center, School of Forest Resources, and Climate Change Institute, Maine Sea Grant, and Dartmouth College, have collaborated with teachers in “Acadia Learning”, a program that brings scientists, teachers, and students together in partnerships that result in useful research and effective science education.
The presentations, scheduled for Monday, May 20, 2013 at 9:00 am at Husson University’s G. Peirce Webber Student Center, will feature the students research on how mercury accumulates in food chains in local streams and how changing seasonal patterns in snowmelt might affect nitrogen. The data collected provides valuable insight into new lines of research that collaborating scientists are working to develop.
For more information on the Acadia Learning project visit: http://participatoryscience.org/
May 8th, 2013 11:48 AM
All three episodes in the second season of Sustainable Maine have been nominated for New England Emmy Awards. “Pools, Policies and People – Maine’s Vernal Pools” was nominated in the category of Outstanding Environmental Program, “Basket Trees” was nominated in the category of Historical/Cultural Program/Special, and “Saving Our Lakes” was nominated in the category of Societal Concerns. Winners will be announced on June 1.
MPBN plans to re-air the Emmy nominated episodes during the month of May.
Desperate Alewives – Thursday May 9, 2013 8:30PM
Saving Our Lakes – Thursday May 16, 2013 8:30PM
Basket Trees – Thursday May 23, 2013 8:30PM
Pools, Policy & People – Thursday May 30, 2013 8:30PM
See episode descriptions or view online
April 24th, 2013 1:34 PM
Mitchell Center scientist Sarah Nelson has been working with National Park staff to coordinate sampling of dragonfly larvae across the U.S. parks, leading field trips to sample dragonflies and water, and shipping samples to UMaine for laboratory analysis at the Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Research Lab. For the past five years, she has worked with agencies and organizations such as SERC Institute and Maine Sea Grant to develop educational programs that put teachers and students into the field as front line researchers, help that lead to this Park-wide project. This program is vital to the discussion if dragonfly larvae can serve as indicators of ecosystem health by characterizing the risk and transfer of mercury around food webs. These aquatic insects build up high levels of mercury because they are predatory and are long-lived underwater. Dragonfly larvae are also widespread across the U.S., allowing comparisons among parks.
Earlier this month the National Park Service awarded Nelson another grant to expand her research on dragonfly larvae. The project will include working with Citizen Scientists in 25 parks during 2013 to help collect larvae samples in spring/early summer, and later in the summer/fall. “Our work continues using dragonfly larvae (immature dragonflies, which live in the water for the first year(s) of their lives) as bio-sentinels to help us understand which types of watersheds and water-bodies seem to have greater mercury” says Nelson. “The work will expand our understanding of mercury sensitivity in water bodies and their food webs, and provide data to determine if dragonfly larvae are useful indicators of that sensitivity”.
The University of Maine has produced a video on the project that is available online.
April 24th, 2013 1:31 PM
John Peckenham, Director, Maine Water Resources Research Institute and Assistant Director, Senator George J. Mitchell Center, presented on the metrics of source water protection as part of the American Water Works Association conference held recently in Nashville. As part of the Conferences’ technical workshops, Peckenham was part of a session titled, “Know Your Watershed – Source Water Protection Through Local Engagement discussed tools and outreach methods for protecting watersheds”.
Peckenham’s presentation focused on the tools needed to plan, implement and gauge source water protection that can account for the coupling of natural system characteristics, water utility operations, and social dynamics. Metrics are important, he notes, to analyze surface water supplies, and have been integrated to derive a symbolic representation of relative performance and capacity. Each metric has rankings that are calculated for individual utilities. The rankings are the basis of a visualization matrix that can be used as a decision support tool. This decision support tool can help water utility managers compare their performance to other water utilities to identify areas of excellence or in need of attention. The tool can inform long-term planning to improve capacity. Retrospective analysis produces a quantitative measure of progress through time. This tool is being incorporated into a model of source water protection to be used to explore and test relationships in these coupled systems. A paper on the subject is forthcoming, but if you are interested in learning more please contact John directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 24th, 2013 1:29 PM
Due to a snow storm on the day of the Maine Water Conference, many people were unable to attend this annual event. The Mitchell Center has received permission from many of the concurrent session presenters to share their PowerPoint presentations with the community. Concurrent sessions materials are available on the 2013 Maine Water Conference page.
The video of the Plenary speeches by Craig Williamson from Miami University titled Managing Water Resources in a Changing Climate: Deciphering the Sentinel Responses of Lakes In a Warmer and Wetter World and Timothy Ford from University of New England titled Global Studies in Water and Health: Implications for Maine is now available to watch online.
April 3rd, 2013 3:27 PM
Students from any Maine college or university are being offered free conference registration to the Maine Land Conservation Conference which will be held Saturday, April 27th in Topsham. This conference is attended by over 400 people interested in land conservation, and includes over 30 workshops and presentations. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Cheryl Charles, who is co-founder of the Children in Nature Network with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Dr. Charles will speak about what conservation organizations can do to assist in reconnecting children with nature.
To register and receive the scholarship, contact Donna Bissett or call 729-7366. More information is available on the conference website.
April 2nd, 2013 2:23 PM
The Mitchell Center is seeking an undergraduate student with excellent organizational skills and an interest in field science for a project involving national parks across the U.S. The research assistant will assist Assistant Research Professor Sarah Nelson who is working with National Park staff to coordinate sampling of dragonfly larvae across the U.S. Parks, leading field trips to sample dragonflies and water, and shipping samples to UMaine for lab analysis.
Application review will begin April 15th and will continue until the position is filled. For more information see link or contact Sarah Nelson.
January 30th, 2013 11:48 AM
SSI graduate students Bridie McGreavy and Karen Hutchins will be presenting a workshop, “Creating an Effective Poster: Communication & Content Strategies” to help participants identify content and design for an effective and creative poster presentation.
Creating an Effective Poster:
Communication & Content Strategies
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
3:00 – 5:00 pm, Room 57 Stodder Hall
Participants are encouraged to bring posters they have previously made or those still in the works (just in time for the Maine Water Conference and/or Center for Undergraduate Research Expo!) for constructive feedback.
To register email jenn.hooper@umaine edu
January 9th, 2013 8:27 AM
A small team of Old Town High School science students is collaborating with University of Maine researcher Sarah Nelson who is using dragonflies larvae as bio-sentinels for mercury in wetlands, stream watersheds and lakes across the Northeast.
In their classroom laboratory, the science students have set up mesocosms — mini-ecosystems in the form of tanks of stream water — where adult dragonflies they captured have laid eggs. Now that the approximately 300 eggs have hatched, the students are studying how — and at what rate — mercury accumulates as the dragonfly larvae grow.
November 30th, 2012 1:17 PM
Though Maine still has the oldest population in the nation, it is becoming more ethnically diverse. This is just one of the key findings from “Changing Maine: Maine’s Changing Population and Housing 1990-2010,” a new report by the SSI Sustainable Urban Regions Project (SURP) team. The report provides insights into Maine’s population growth, demographics, households, and housing over the past two decades. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the team analyzed data from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, as well as supplemental data from the Internal Revenue Service and New England Economic Partnership to demonstrate how Maine is changing as a state.
“The 2010 Census shows that many of the stories we have told about Maine’s population are no longer as clear as they once were,” said Charlie Colgan, who directed the project. “Inland and northern counties saw more population growth than in the 1990s, and coastal counties’ growth slowed, in some cases dramatically. Maine is becoming more ethnically diverse everywhere, and our aging population is driven as much by a lack of young people as an abundance of old people.”
The report is available online from the SSI website. For a hard copy of the report, please contact Ruth Hallsworth.