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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – The Art and Science of Spanning Ten Miles of Ocean for Energy Sustainability

November 18, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Energy SustainabilityStephenie MacLagan, Senior Community Development Officer, Sustainable Community Infrastructure, Island Institute
Suzanne MacDonald, Chief Community Development Officer, Island Institute

Working alongside Maine’s island and coastal leaders, the Island Institute catalyzes community sustainability and shares what works among these diverse communities and beyond. Maine island residents pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation. Our Affordable and Sustainable Energy Project aims to reduce the cost of energy for homeowners, businesses, and municipalities through community-based, nationally relevant models that increase energy efficiency and renewable energy options. For over a decade our staff have worked closely with Monhegan Island community leaders, to better understand and confront their unique energy challenges. With our support, local leaders convened with national energy experts, visited other islanded grids and wind power sites, implemented energy efficiency efforts, integrated solar power, and conducted the community process of assessing benefit options of a wind power development. These actions built up our knowledge, informing our approach to collaborating with community leaders and external partners. The Island Institute works to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities, and exchanges ideas and experiences to further the sustainability of communities here and elsewhere.

Stephenie MacLagan, Senior Community Development Officer, Sustainable Community Infrastructure, Island Institute

Stephenie combines environmental science, natural resource economics, and policy in working with island and coastal communities to strengthen diverse economies, future resiliency, and environmental connections. Currently, she is responsible for strategizing projects across the Broadband, Energy, and Sea-Level Rise teams, to maximize contributions toward delivering on the Strengthening Community Economies strategic goal of Island Institute.

She has worked in both the private and non-profit sectors and previously spent over seven years at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, where her work included waterfront and infrastructure projects. In 2006, she was recognized as one of the “20 Women for Sustainable Development” by the National Wildlife Federation.

Stephenie obtained her M.S. in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine, where she studied soft-shell clam management while working at the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Policy from Unity College.

Suzanne MacDonald, Chief Community Development Officer, Island Institute

As Chief Community Development Officer, Suzanne is responsible for designing the organization’s strategic approach to sharing information and experiences across all areas of its work in order to further the sustainability of communities in Maine and elsewhere. For nine years, she directed the Institute’s Community Energy Program, partnering with island communities in Maine, New England, and beyond to develop and implement practical strategies to lower their high energy costs.

Suzanne holds an M.A. in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University and a B.A. in international development and political science from McGill University. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Efficiency Maine Trust Board of Trustees and sits on the Maine Climate Council’s Buildings, Infrastructure, and Housing Working Group. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. In 2015, Suzanne gave a TEDx Talk entitled “What Islands Can Teach Maine About Energy.”



November 18, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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