Sustainability Awards

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

2021 Awards

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research
Sharon Klein, Associate Professor, UMaine School of Economics

“Dr. Klein is an exceptional educator and clearly an individual that the state of Maine should value. She has been an inspiration to work with. She is such a thorough, hardworking and truly enjoyable person and I have developed so many skills in research and communication.”

“I am continually impressed with the way Dr. Klein conducts herself as an ally to Indigenous people and her commitment to addressing energy injustice. Her mentorship and solution-oriented attitude inspired me to get more involved with energy issues and addressing the effects of climate change. Her passion for energy issues, ability to lead an interdisciplinary team, and commitment to the Penobscot Nation made her a great mentor.”

Outstanding student contribution to sustainability research
Dominique DiSpirito, UMaine Honors student and political science major

“I recruited Dominique as a research technician because of her diligence, maturity, and grasp of the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of natural resource management. She has taken the reins of this project, to characterize stakeholder preferences for Acadia National Park’s freshwater resources, and excelled in gathering data from 500 stakeholders. Her analyses are providing managers with social science data that are critical to sustainably manage our shared natural resources as a socio-ecological system. She summarizes these results in a manuscript being submitted this month to Ecology and Society for which she is first author.”

Outstanding contributions toward the development of a solution by a research team
Maine Food Waste Fall 2021 Student Intern Team
Hannah Crayton, Thomas College; William Dunham, UMaine; Ryan Fitzmaurice, UMaine; Ellie Hunt, UMaine; Kalina Kinyon, UMaine; Hannah Mathieu, UMaine; Melissa Veitch, UMF; Ariana Walker, UNE

“This student research team epitomizes the Mitchell Center’s approach of using transdisciplinary teams to produce stakeholder-driven, best-practice-based sustainability solutions. This outstanding team of eight undergraduate students from diverse majors, classes, and even schools has committed to working together to develop and share a powerful network of Maine government, business and academic stakeholders to create and implement real-world, sustainable, triple-bottom-line solutions to reduce food waste in Maine.”

Outstanding contribution by an external partner to sustainability research
Mark King, Composting & Organics Management, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

“Mark has given generously of his time, expertise, contacts and in many other ways to advance our Food Waste work. In addition, I have been impressed and grateful for his personal attention and support of our students’ individual efforts. Mark has shown never-ending patience in “training” each new group of Food Waste student interns. Indeed, the opportunity to work directly with the Maine DEP helps us recruit student interns. Without the support of Mark and the entire Maine DEP organization headed by Commissioner Loyzim, we simply could not do the sustainability work that we do.”

2020 Awards

Outstanding mentorship of a student or other team member in sustainability research
Carly Sponarski, Assistant Professor, UMaine Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Conservation Biology

In her work, Carly Sponarski brings together the social and ecological aspects of natural resource management—not just how ecosystems and species function and interact, but also how people are directly and indirectly involved.

Outstanding student contribution to sustainability research
Sara Kelemen, UMaine master’s student, School of Food and Agriculture

Sara is a first-year master’s student in sustainable agriculture who worked with the Mitchell Center in 2020 to advise the Maine Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future on equity outcomes of the state’s Climate Action Plan.

Outstanding contributions toward the development of a solution by a researcher or research team
Esperanza Stancioff, Extension Professor, UMaine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant

“Esperanza has worked tirelessly to implement solutions for climate resilience in Maine’s coastal communities for decades,” her nominator says. “Her recently funded project through the Mitchell Center has enabled her to work with a team of faculty, researchers, and students from UMaine, UMaine Machias, Bowdoin College, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to engage public officials to establish immediate and long-term needs for climate adaptation in their communities.”

Outstanding contribution by an external partner to sustainability research
Center for EcoTechnology
Cory Mansell, Strategic Services Representative

“Cory Mansell has so generously shared contacts, insights, and time to help the Mitchell Center in its efforts to end food waste in Maine,” the Center’s nominator notes. “Their support has included helping to train each new food waste project intern, providing review and guidance on all our research and programs, and supplying strategic connections–all of which have allowed our final food waste solutions and pilots to be ‘best-in-class.’”

2019 Awards

Outstanding contribution toward the development of solutions by a research team

Maine Shellfish Learning Network
The network is a first-of-its-kind attempt to bring together stakeholders and researchers to find solutions to major challenges faced by Maine coastal communities. Bridie McGreavy and her team are committed to achieving this goal and to conducting interdisciplinary, stakeholder-engaged, solutions-driven research.

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research

Sandra De Urioste-Stone
For her co-mentorship of students in helping build the community of interdisciplinary colleagues necessary to tackle sustainability challenges in the state of Maine.

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by an undergraduate student

Skyler Horton, Human Dimensions of Climate Change, UMaine
For his participation on the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Collaborative and as a Diana Davis Spencer Scholar.

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by a graduate student

Anthony Sutton, Ecology & Environmental Sciences, UMaine
For his contributions to numerous sustainability efforts on campus and within the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and MicMac communities.

Outstanding Contributions by an external partner to research collaborations

George Parmenter, Sustainable Retailing Manager, Hannaford Supermarkets, Ahold Delhaize USA
For his on-going efforts in helping Hannaford act as a leader in seeking triple bottom line solutions for their excess food production/food waste.

2018 Awards

Outstanding contribution toward the development of solutions by a research team

Adam Daigneault, Linda Silka, and the Katahdin Indicators Team
For work on the Developing Economic and Community Resilience Indicators for the Katahdin Region project

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research

Emma Fox, Ph.D. student, Ecology and Environmental Sciences
For her mentorship of students on the NEST Future of Dams project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by an undergraduate student

Gwyneth Roberts, dual undergraduate student, Ecology and Environmental Sciences/Mathematics
For work on understanding tidal mixing in the Jordan River in Trenton—a continuation of coastal pollution research begun under the NEST Safe Beaches and Shellfish Beds project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by a graduate student

Parker Gassett, Master’s student, Marine Policy and Marine Biology
For work on the Ocean and Coastal Acidification in Maine project

Outstanding Contributions by an external partner to research collaborations

Penobscot Nation Water Resources Program (Jan Paul, Angie Reed, John Banks, Dan Kusnierz, Jake Paul, Dan McCaw and Jason Mitchell
For their work in supporting the NEST Future of Dams project and in co-designing a UMaine environmental communication course.

2017 Awards

Outstanding progress on “The Road to Solutions” by a research team

Sam Roy and the Future of Dams Team
For work on the NEST Future of Dams project

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research

Cindy Isenhour, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow
For mentorship of students on the Materials Management project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by an undergraduate student

Shantel Neptune
For work on the NEST Future of Dams project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by a graduate student

Sonja Birthisel
For work on the Improving Weed Management on Organic Farms project

Outstanding Contribution by an external partner on “The Road to Solutions”

Glen Melvin and the Medomak Taskforce
For work on the Strengthening Coastal Economies project

2016 Awards

Outstanding progress on “The Road to Solutions” by a research team

NEST Decision Support Systems Team
For work on the NEST Safe Beaches & Shellfish project

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research

Travis Blackmer, Lecturer, Economics and Mitchell Center Researcher
For mentorship of students on the Materials Management project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by an undergraduate student

Brady Davis
For work on the Cheesemaking in Maine project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by a graduate student

Courtney King
For work on the Materials Management project

Outstanding Contribution by an external partner on “The Road to Solutions”

Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program and Maine Department of Environmental Protection
For work on the Engaging Citizen Scientists to Evaluate Water Quality Decline in Maine Lakes project

2015 Awards

Outstanding progress on “The Road to Solutions” by a research team

Materials Management Research Team
For work on the Materials Management project

Outstanding mentorship of a student in sustainability research

Bridie McGreavy, Assistant Professor, Communication & Journalism and Mitchell Center Faculty Fellow
For student mentorship on the NEST Safe Beaches & Shellfish project

Sam Hanes, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Mitchell Center Faculty Associate
For student mentorship on the Native Bee Use and Conservation project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by an undergraduate student

Stanley Peterson
For work on the Community-based Sustainable Energy Solutions project

Jena Rudolph
For work on the Materials Management project

Outstanding contribution to sustainability research by a graduate student

Brianne Du Clos
For work on the Native Bee Use and Conservation project

Josh Stoll
For work on the Towards Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in Eastern Maine project

Stephanie Coffey
For work on the Community-based Sustainable Energy Solutions project

Outstanding Contribution by an external partner on “The Road to Solutions”

Maine Healthy Beaches Program and Maine Department of Marine Resources
For work on the NEST Safe Beaches & Shellfish project