Maine’s Changing Winter: Focus on natural resources, ecology, and the economy

Institution: University of Maine
Sponsor: Maine Water Resources Research Institute through the Mitchell Center

Despite our state’s reputation for having cold, snowy winters, Maine scientists and stakeholders do not currently have a depth of expertise in, or knowledge of, the impacts of our changing winter. In particular, reduced snowfall and snowpack depth and duration and their importance to the ecological, social, and economic values of Maine’s natural resources are not well understood.

This project builds upon efforts by University of Maine System (UMS) faculty who began to develop synergy around the science and economics of winter, having all independently identified the need for cold-season research. We are bringing together faculty at three UMS campuses, scientists at the US Geological Survey (USGS), and resource managers at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W), as well as other stakeholders to be identified in our coordination process, to develop an interdisciplinary focus on a changing winter and the impacts on Maine’s unique natural resource based economies.

The project will establish a network of researchers to create a science-based foundation for future research proposals, build stronger relationships between researchers and stakeholders, improve awareness of stakeholder interests, identify and establish a common field site for monitoring and research, and leverage efforts aimed at natural resource use and conservation.

Team Leader:

Sarah Nelson, 
Associate Research Professor, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine,

Team Members:

  • Karen Wilson, University of Southern Maine
  • Ivan Fernandez, University of Maine
  • Julia Daly, University of Maine at Farmington
  • Jean MacRae, University of Maine
  • Glenn Hodgkins, USGS
  • Erik Blomberg, University of Maine
  • Mindy Crandall, University of Maine
  • Hamish Greig, University of Maine
  • Robert Dudley, USGS
  • Amanda Shearin, IF&W