Mitchell Center Stories
From ocean acidification to climate adaptation, Parker Gassett works with Maine communities to build resilience in the face of change.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Connecting community and classroom
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.
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.
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.
Eels and energy: Can we have both?
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.
‘A fishery worth investing in’
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 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.
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.
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.