Mitchell Center Stories

Want to learn more about Mitchell Center projects and people? We regularly publish stories about the work of Mitchell Center members and research teams. Below are the most recent.

‘Disciplinary Nomad’: Jessica Jansujwicz finds her place as researcher, teacher, mentor, leader

January 2022

Jessica Jansujwicz has charted a path from ecology to sustainability science that eventually led her to the Mitchell Center and a career focused on community-engaged research, teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and a leadership role with Maine Sea Grant.


Raising awareness, inspiring action and developing tools to reduce food waste in Maine

November 2021

As part of the ongoing work of Food Rescue MAINE, a team of undergraduate students is working this fall to engage and educate people to help reduce food waste. Along the way they are learning and developing skills, stepping into leadership roles, and connecting with professional networks. And their work provides real benefits for Maine communities.


Return on investment: Making the business case for conserving watersheds

October 2021

A research team led by Adam Daigneault explored the benefits and costs of scaling up conservation in the Sebago Lake watershed to protect a pristine drinking water source and provide other ecosystem services.

 


Coming home to help ‘craft the best possible future’ for Maine

July 2021

From ocean acidification to climate adaptation, Parker Gassett works with Maine communities to build resilience in the face of change.

 


Applying biosolids to farm fields

Mitchell Center researchers examine options for managing PFAS 

June 2021

In response to concerns raised by many different stakeholders, an interdisciplinary team of researchers is gathering and documenting knowledge of where PFAS are in Maine and how they move through soil, water, wildlife and food.


Food waste in bin‘Maine Food—Too good to waste’: Students lead the way to food waste solutions

May 2021

A team of eight undergraduate students, led by Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow Susanne Lee, are working together to pilot solutions that can reduce both food waste and food insecurity in Maine.


Harbor in Stonington, Maine, looking onshore from the water, with fishing boats in foreground and town behind

Navigating change: Cultivating resilience in fisheries and coastal communities

April 2021

Joshua Stoll‘s passion for community fisheries led him to co-found the Local Catch Network, and to his current project investigating resilience in the Maine lobster fishery.


Sun rays through plants against blue skyLet the sun shine in: Developing tools for community solar in Maine

March 2021

Sharon Klein‘s research and teaching center on the technical, economic, environmental, and social tradeoffs inherent in sustainable energy decision-making, including solar and other forms of renewable energy. Her current focus is on “community solar,” and how people, organizations, and communities can weigh their options and find the solutions that work best.


Garden fork turning black composted soil in compost bin ready for gardening, close up.

Less waste but is it safe? Anticipating risks in food waste recovery

February 2021

We’re making progress in moving toward a more circular food system, which has many economic, environmental, and social benefits. Recent research looks at potential risks in food waste recovery so it can be done safely and sustainably.


2020 Mitchell Center Sustainability Awards

January 2021

Mitchell Center Sustainability Awards have been presented annually since 2013. The awards are designed to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of researchers, students, and external partners who have helped advance the values and principles at the heart of the Mitchell Center’s stakeholder-engaged, solutions-focused, interdisciplinary projects and partnerships.


CBL word cloudConnecting community and classroom

January 2021

Mitchell Center Senior Fellow Linda Silka and colleagues from UMaine Machias worked with graduate students and faculty on incorporating Community-Based Learning (CBL) in their courses and curricula.


skiier with red pants‘We’re all in this together’: Students lead climate-planning project

December 2020

UMaine graduate students often undertake research, whether their field is economics, ecology or anthropology. Rather than just participating in research, however, a team of graduate students is leading an innovative new climate-planning project, funded by a Mitchell Center seed grant.


Challenges and change: Cultivating resilience in rural communities

September 2020

Papermaking has been important not just for the economy of the Katahdin region in northern Maine, but for its social and cultural identity. The industry’s decline has been devastating. Adam Daigneault led a collaborative project to help the region assess its resilience and chart a path forward.


Tagging an eel

Eels and energy: Can we have both?

August 2020

UMaine graduate student Matthew Mensinger has studied the hazards American eels face from hydroelectric dams and in search of solutions that help eels survive while preserving power generation.


Digging shellfish in mudflat‘A fishery worth investing in’

July 2020

Shellfishing is important to the economies, cultures and traditions of communities all along the Maine coast. At Shellfish Focus Day, part of the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum, shellfish harvesters, scientists, municipal leaders, educators, and representatives from state agencies come together to connect and learn how to help shellfishing communities thrive. Bridie McGreavy, Gabrielle Hillyer, and colleagues share their research and education efforts as part of the Mitchell Center’s Strengthening Coastal Economies project.


Atlantic salmon against blue water background

The art of collaboration in natural resource management

June 2020

Atlantic salmon are in trouble. Can effective collaboration help restore this iconic species? UMaine graduate student Melissa Flye researches how people and agencies work together and communicate in salmon restoration efforts.

 


Strengthening Coastal Economies broadens shellfish focus to include oysters, scallops and mussels

June 2020

While softshell clams remain a priority focus due to their economic, ecological, and cultural value, in 2019 the Strengthening Coastal Economies project broadened its focus to include sea scallops, mussels, and oysters, all of which are high-value fisheries in Maine.

 


Helping Maine businesses find food waste solutions

April 2020

On November 18, 2019, the Maine Food Production Leadership Council held its first work session, led by faculty and students involved in the Mitchell Center project, Food Waste Management: Empowering Maine Businesses Toward Sustainability. Since that meeting, the students involved with the project have researched potential solutions for reducing food waste and food insecurity in Maine. Their next step is to present these potential solutions to the Council and garner feedback on how they might work in Maine.