A Letter From the Editors

The Editorial Board is proud to present Issue 3 of Spire, one which includes a range of work centered on the theme of environmental conservation and sustainability relevant to the Maine community and beyond. Staying true to the journal’s purpose, these pieces demonstrate a depth of engagement with the theme that continues to be both surprising and inspiring. 

This issue includes two pieces on the idea of community building, both of which were collaboratively composed and which provide the reader with a sense of hopefulness in our ability to achieve greater results when we come together with a sense of purpose. “On Qualitative Writing: Building an Interdisciplinary Community of Practice” is a thoughtful and insightful piece about the challenges and rewards of forming a writing community, while “Working Together to Reduce Energy Costs, One Insert at a Time” is an uplifting story of Maine communities banding together in the pursuit of winter warmth. “Rearing Queen Honey Bees: A Bullet Journal” is a visually engaging piece that brings a long tradition of creative impressions to the forefront of how we visualize science, while also demonstrating the capacity building inherent in university-community partnerships. “Five year post-installation review of a heat pump water heater” is a data-filled presentation of the cost savings and energy benefits of a home heat pump water heater, demonstrating a commitment to openly sharing knowledge that every Mainer can find relevant and useful. “Agriculture in Maine” is an intimate portrait of Penobscot County farms and their resident creatures, and our cover artist has included several versions of her timely and surreal simulation of an undersea world confronting plastic pollution in “Cyanotype Impressions of the Atlantic Ocean in Maine.”

Individually, each piece in this issue can be seen as the author’s effort to confront important questions of our time; together, they demonstrate the power inherent in Spire’s mission of promoting impactful dialogue across disciplines and communities. 


Since our inaugural issue in 2017, we have been enjoying the learning process of creating and sustaining an environmental journal which depends on the dedication of a team of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty members, and our contributors from across the state and beyond. From debating the merits of submission deadlines, to the ongoing communications required between our editors and authors to prepare for publication, to the outreach involved for community integration, we’ve continued to refine our process behind the scenes. We would like to recognize the contributions of our 2018-2019 team of editors, including Chris Waite, Abby Novak, Karina Graeter, Jack McLachlan, Gwyneth Roberts, Clinton Spaulding, and Elyse DeFranco, who were the backbone of this issue. Dr. Dan Dixon is our faculty advisor and driving force behind the journal, while our outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Tyler Quiring, has expertly steered our ship for the last two issues. We are fortunate to have Tyler remaining on our editorial board while we transition to our next phase with Issue 4, with Clinton Spaulding and Elyse DeFranco taking the helm as Co-Chief Editors. 

As we move into this next phase, we ask that you help us with our mission by sharing this issue with others, and we invite all who wish to join us in building this community to contact us directly at spire@maine.edu


The Editorial Board