THE COLLEGE OF THE ATL ANTIC MAG A ZINE Volume 12 . Number 2 . Fall 2016
COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC & ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Cover: Students in the Summer Field Institute course Wonder of Acadia, one of several COA programs for high school students, join Christie Denzel Anastasia '92, Acadia National Park's deputy chief of interpretation, on the fire tower of Beech Mountain. From left they are Christie, Lily Schaeufele, Camryn Branch, Ingrid Sant, Leanna Laws, Oscar Garcia Maldonado, and Tony Perez. Above: The view from the tower, looking south-southeast toward the Cranberry Islands. On the left, near the horizon, is Great Duck Island, where COA has a research station. Photos by Donna Gold.
COA The College of the Atlantic Magazine
College of the Atlantic & Acadia National Park Letter from the President
News from Campus
INTERCONNECTED 10 Changing So what? to Aha! 12 Seeking Acadia's Bats
In Their Own Words · Alumni & the Park
Poetry · The Stepping Stones
Acadia Through the Ages
Acadia's Nature Center
Drawing the Forest & its Leaves
The Wild Gardens of Acadia
Donor Profile · Neva Goodwin & the Rockefellers
Leave No One Behind · Barry Lopez
Farewells 50 Community Notes
Our Back Pages · Moving the Dorr
HELIO · Creating a "New-versity"
COA The College of the Atlantic Magazine Volume 12 · Number 2 · Fall 2016
Editorial Editor Editorial Advice Editorial Consultant
Donna Gold Heather Albert-Knopp '99 John Anderson Lynn Boulger Dianne Clendaniel Ken Cline Darron Collins '92 Sarah Hall Jennifer Hughes Maxim Lowe '18 Stephen Ressel Bill Carpenter
Design Art Director
Rebecca Hope Woods
COA Administration President Academic Dean Administrative Dean Associate Deans Dean of Admission Dean of Institutional Advancement Dean of Student Life
Darron Collins '92 Kenneth Hill Andrew Griffiths Chris Petersen Karen Waldron Heather Albert-Knopp '99 Lynn Boulger Sarah Luke
COA Board of Trustees Timothy Bass Ronald E. Beard Leslie C. Brewer Alyne Cistone Lindsay Davies Beth Gardiner Amy Yeager Geier H. Winston Holt IV Jason W. Ingle Philip B. Kunhardt III '77 Nicholas Lapham Casey Mallinckrodt Anthony Mazlish Linda McGillicuddy
Jay McNally '84 Philip S.J. Moriarty Phyllis Anina Moriarty Lili Pew Hamilton Robinson, Jr. Nadia Rosenthal Abby Rowe ('98) Marthann Samek Henry L.P. Schmelzer Laura Z. Stone Stephen Sullens William N. Thorndike, Jr. Cody van Heerden, MPhil '17
Life Trustees Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. John N. Kelly Susan Storey Lyman William V.P. Newlin John Reeves Henry D. Sharpe, Jr.
Trustee Emeriti David Hackett Fischer William G. Foulke, Jr. George B.E. Hambleton Elizabeth Hodder Sherry F. Huber Helen Porter Cathy L. Ramsdell '78 John Wilmerding
Autumn has come. There's a fire in our woodstove, an orange glow beneath the maples, and our pears—gnarled but still edible, as pear expert Henry Hunt '15 promises—are ready to be picked. Houseplants, lush from a summer of light outdoors, now overtake our windows inside. Yet it's still warm enough that students are sailing off the pier. The nestling of College of the Atlantic among Acadia National Park's hills opens glorious vistas for our students, along with opportunities for research and exploration that are quite possibly unprecedented. But there's something even more crucial. Within this surround of nature, our students gain the option and expectation of developing one of the most essential of human skills: knowledge that comes from observation, from sensory awareness. Whether it is the careful examination of leaves and bark by the students in Catherine Clinger's class Drawing Mineral and Botanical Matter in the Forest; the dogged search by Erickson Smith '15, night after night, so as to possibly assist Acadia's bats suffering from whitenose syndrome; or the careful counting of species, from fungi to insects to salamanders to birds, this acquisition of knowledge takes patience, confidence, and trust in one's own eyes, hands, ears. To make sense of what one has seen and heard is about as valuable a lesson as one can earn from four years of college. This gift of listening, of seeing, smelling, reflecting, and doing enlivens these pages. It is one that has propelled Barry Lopez, our 2016 commencement speaker, throughout his writing life. We are honored to publish his talk. We are equally thrilled to present the beautiful vision of Acadia's geology created by Maxim Lowe '18. As with each thematic issue, my most torturous task as editor is to choose who and what to feature. We would have loved to expand this issue to highlight the current exhibit at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, Exploring Acadia: Our Best Classroom, and additional extraordinary alumni, such as Meg Scheid '85, site manager at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. Know that what is celebrated in these pages is but a sample of numerous senior projects, paintings, drawings, and student and alumni research efforts, each representing the interconnections between COA and Acadia.
Donna Gold, editor The faculty, students, trustees, staff, and alumni of College of the Atlantic envision a world where people value creativity, intellectual achievement, and diversity of nature and human cultures. With respect and compassion, individuals construct meaningful lives for themselves, gain appreciation of the relationships among all forms of life, and safeguard the heritage of future generations. COA is published biannually for the College of the Atlantic community. Please send ideas, letters, and submissions (short stories, poetry, and revisits to human ecology essays) to: Donna Gold, COA Magazine, College of the Atlantic 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609 firstname.lastname@example.org
Back Cover: Islesford Point, Addison Namnoun '15, oil on canvas, 30"x20."
COA indicates non-degree alumni by parentheses around their class year.
From the President Darron Collins '92, PhD
The view out my office window is distracting. Twice a day the retreating tide exposes the sand bar connecting Bar Harbor to Bar Island, and I can't help but be drawn to the walkers, cars, dogs, and deer making the pilgrimage back and forth. Today, another gorgeous day in September, the M/V Zuiderdam is anchored rather ominously just beyond the bar. She's a cruise ship hailing from Rotterdam. Her 81,769 gross tons, 957 feet in length and 189 feet in height, sounds big, but with a maximum capacity of 2,272 people, she's relatively tiny. Harmony of the Seas holds 6,780 guests and 2,100 crewmembers—she's large enough to carry the entire city of Ellsworth off to sea. In the summer of 1971, before the inception of formal studies at COA in the fall of '72, faculty member Bill Carpenter led a dozen adventurous students (including faculty member Gray Cox) out to Bar Island to describe and understand the island and to ask and answer the question What are the ecological problems here? Bill recently told me, "We understood ourselves to be a problem-solving outfit. Unfortunately, in terms of the experiment, Bar Island seemed bereft of problems. It felt like paradise." I can see Bill and Gray now, traipsing through the woods. I imagine them parting the branches to clear
a view into the harbor and coming face-to-face with Harmony of the Seas. What would those final reports have looked like? Those cruise ships, the proximity to large urban centers, and our island's incredible beauty make Acadia National Park the third most densely visited park in the country (behind Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Arkansas's Hot Springs National Park). There are seventyfive visits per acre per year here in Acadia. Yellowstone? Not even two. That density—what can only be described as an over abundance of love of place—is the biggest threat to the ecological integrity of the park. The year 2016 has been one of celebrating the first hundred years of Acadia. As we head into its second century, that overabundance of love will be our biggest challenge. The college has been inextricably linked to the park since Bill's first foray out onto Bar Island; those links are explored in this issue of COA. In reading, I can't help but imagine the fall 2116 issue of COA and the stories that celebrate how COA helped to successfully balance a world of soaring adoration for Acadia with a deeper, higher quality visitor experience and greater protection of the place we call home. A tough job, but who better to take on the challenge than the human ecologist?
Above: Small plant on McFarland Mountain, #73 of #100daysinanp, a yearlong celebration by Darron Collins '92, COA president, which he began at 5:33 a.m. on January 25. Follow Darron on Instagram: @humanecologist COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
NEWS FROM CAMPUS APRIL
The Udall Foundation awards 60 scholarships to second- and thirdyear students for leadership, public service, and commitment to the environment or to Native American nations. Laura Berry '17 and Matthew Kennedy '18 receive two of the 60.
A summer of Tuesday morning Coffee & Conversations begins, featuring Acadia National Park, The New Yorker, and more.
Corrie Ingall '16 presents a staged reading of her senior project play, Problem Set, exploring the doing and learning of mathematics.
MAY A month before Barry Lopez's visit to campus as commencement speaker, the community gathers in Turrets to read his book Winter Count aloud (see page 39). Dance. Poetry. Bagpipes. Opera. Fun. Fandango brings joy and humor. Also funds for Share the Harvest, enabling food bank clients to purchase healthy, local, organic food. Amy Goodman ('83), Democracy Now! host, and her brother David discuss and sign their book, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America.
JUNE Outdoors at the Shrine, Lucille JanTuran '16 presents her senior project play, Chi Phi Rom Com, a Chinese philosophy romantic comedy. Eighty-three COA students from 24 states and 13 nations receive degrees in human ecology. George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History opens Exploring Acadia: Our Best Classroom, a student-created exhibit featuring COA and Acadia. COA's website awarded "Best Higher Education" site by Council for Advancement and Support of Education. It "immediately invokes a smile," say judges, adding, "They don't need to tell you they are different, they show it."
Tides, the senior project film of Omer Shamir '16, is screened at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville.
THE ODYSSEY ON CAMPUS
AUGUST The Watson Foundation celebrates the homecoming of its fellows with a five-day reunion at COA. First-year students gather and scatter on their OOPs trips, hiking Baxter State Park or the Appalachian Trail, rock climbing in Acadia, paddling the West Branch of the Penobscot or the Allagash rivers, or sea kayaking on Frenchman Bay.
SEPTEMBER Ninety-nine new students from 18 countries and 22 states join the COA community. As they consider a COA-like college, delegates from Osakikamijima, Japan meet with local business owners, Acadia, town and regional officials, and the COA community to understand the impact of a small school on a small island (see page 57).
BAR ISLAND SWIM
OCTOBER Alumni, families, and trustees fill campus for our annual Family & Alumni Weekend.
MT. DESERT ROCK REPAIRED, CELEBRATED
COA hosts The Island Story Slam at Thorndike Library. The Nature of Halloween at the Dorr Museum serves up spooky fun: insect treats, creepy bones, live owls, more. Anjali Appadurai '13 co-leads a media and communications skills workshop for students at the first Thoreau Gathering (see page 9).
SQUASH BONANZA AT BEECH HILL FARM COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
COA TOPS GREEN SCHOOL LISTS #1. PRINCETON REVIEW. SIERRA CLUB.
Both Sierra, the magazine of the Sierra Club, in its annual "Cool Schools" ranking, and the Princeton Review's "Top 50 Green Colleges" have placed College of the Atlantic as first in considering the environment. Both cite the curriculum, how the ideas, the learning, the actions are integrated within it. Sometimes we say, It's in our DNA. It's how we care for our buildings, our grounds, our purchases, our food, our energy. And it's how we teach. At COA, students, faculty, and staff learn together. Often it is students who leadâ€”asking questions of how we handle waste, what fuels our cars, where our food comes from, how we can make changes globally as well as locally. That may be true of students around the nation. The difference is, at COA faculty and staff act on it. Together, we move forward. Just one example: In early 2013, when students petitioned to divest from fossil fuel stocks, Andy Griffiths, administrative dean, called a special meeting of the investment committee, which accepted the students' proposal. At the next board meeting, the trustees, too, approved. That was a Saturday. On Monday, COA divested. SIERRA Jason Mark, Sierra's editor-in-chief, noted that COA achieved the top spot on their list, "by a landslide." In part, it was this integration of sustainability into the curriculum, as well as the complete divestment of our endowment from fossil fuels, and the use of renewable sources, only, for electricity. Hearing the news, COA President Darron Collins '92 responded, "I think our high ranking is an indication that, where greenness is concerned, it's not the number of solar panels you can install in a given year, it's how embedded ecology, the environment, and sustainability is within the institution." Added Jason, "College of the Atlantic is a great example of how schools can make sustainability a key part of their mission." More than 200 schools participated in Sierra's extensive survey of campus sustainability practices in this, its tenth annual ranking. For more, visit sierracub.org/ coolschools. PRINCETON REVIEW In choosing COA as the top green school, the Princeton Review guide noted COA's commitment to becoming a fossil fuel-free campus by 2050â€”with students involved at every step of the process. The work thus becomes an essential part of the curriculum. Already COA classes have participated in energy audits and have researched, sited, and installed solar photovoltaic arrays on campus. "We measure our success by how much students learn and by how successful they are at applying that learning out in the world," said Darron. "If we were 100 percent offthe-grid and carbon negative, but students didn't learn a thing in the process, it would not do anyone much good."
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The Princeton report, which includes a Q&A with the college, can be downloaded at princetonreview.com/college. AND MORE Two other college guides recently came out. In US News & World Report's annual examination of liberal arts colleges, COA again was in the nation's top 100, ranking #83 overall and #16 in Best Value Schools, a category that balances academic quality and cost. It's also among the top ten for international students and the top 25 of the category A+ Schools for B Students. Princeton Review's comprehensive annual guide, The Best 381 Colleges, goes deeper into campus experience, surveying students to create a narrative of each school, quoting extensively from their opinions. In citing COA's "unique educational model," students said the approach helps "merge talents/interests in a meaningful and applicable way," allowing for "graduate-level research and real-world work experience at the undergraduate level." Commented another student, "It's hard for me to talk to friends at other schools because it's not popular to love your college and academics as much as I do." Said another, "We are constantly thinking about the latest environmental/social justice issue, and thoughtful debates about these subjects happen at every meal." And another, "COA is a college and a community that demands cognizance, compassion, and trust." COA's professors rank #11 in the nation in the review's other rankings. We were also listed as #2 for LGBTQFriendly, #6 for Best Campus Food, #16 for Most Beautiful Campus, and #20 for Best College Dorms. Oh, and out of a total 99 points, COA is rated 94 for academics, 95 for quality of life, 96 for financial aid, and for greenness, #1.
NEWS JODI BAKER performing arts After working at COA for four years on short contracts, Jodi Baker is now our performing arts faculty member. Originally from Utah, Jodi studied classical ballet before completing a BA in theater from California State University, Fresno, and an MFA in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, Colorado. She has studied with members of London's National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and worked as an actor throughout the United States. Her teaching and directing are rooted in physical practice, influenced by the work of Jerzy Grotowski, Tadashi Suzuki, and Anne Bogart, as well as Stacy Klein of Double Edge Theatre, which travelled to COA to present an outdoor performance spectacle of The Odyssey. Jodi never planned on teaching full time. Her goal had been to develop new works for new audiences and produce relevant and unusual theater in unexpected
locations. Then her husband, Daniel Mahoney, now a COA lecturer in writing, saw a listing for the COA position. Reading it, they laughed. "It sounded like a fantasy—a tiny college on an island next to Acadia with an aggressively interdisciplinary curriculum? Way too good to be true," recalls Jodi, perched on a makeshift wooden wheelchair decorating her office in Gates Community Center. After visiting COA, Jodi called her family, declaring that should she get the job, they would be moving to Maine. "COA keys into all the things I've ever wanted to do with performance study; I knew these students would be tremendous collaborators." Last year, Jodi offered an intensive in Hamlet—with no production goal, only process. The eight students read and discussed the text exhaustively, watching numerous versions of the Shakespeare play. Cast and recast in different roles, they performed in class, changing perspectives as they took on new characters. Now, three students are continuing the class as an independent study. They'll apply their work to a project at Bar Harbor's Criterion Theatre this spring. Creating professionals is not Jodi's aim; her joy is in teaching—everyone. "Engaged people are engaged people," she says. "The students who come here seem intuitively ready to try things in new and interesting ways. I have had some of the best and most challenging conversations of my life here—about the limits of language and art, contemporary activism, ethics. There is a willingness here to think more carefully, speak more candidly, and work more diligently toward clarity, or at least to keep trying when we fail." Jodi is currently co-teaching a course in just that with Jay Friedlander, sustainable business faculty member. Their class, Failure, is for her about making choices, the inherent nature of the creative process. "All my classes are primarily about choices. Choices, actions, consequence. That's what theater is: understanding who we are by what we do." She tells her students, "Stop trying to make something great, just make a better, more interesting choice right now. And then make another better choice. And then another." Now that Jodi is permanent, her own choices have become real. "I spent the summer thinking about what I hope to contribute here. Mostly, I'd like to offer an exciting but useful suite of courses and opportunities that help to fuel the overall curriculum. Theater work in the context of this college makes so much sense to me. I'm really happy to know that others feel the same."
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NEWS KOURTNEY COLLUM food systems On her very first day as COA's Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems at College of the Atlantic, Kourtney Collum's joy was palpable. She had fallen in love with Maine years ago, when she worked on the trail crew at Baxter State Park one summer while majoring in anthropology and environmental studies at Western Michigan University. She then earned a master's in forest resources at University of Maine Orono, continuing on to receive the university's first PhD in its new anthropology and environmental policy program. Focused on agriculture, her thesis compared the bee pollination practices used by lowbush blueberry growers in Canada's Prince Edward Island and Maine. Since PEI hadn't allowed honey bee imports for nearly two decades, those growers implemented conservation practices for their native bee species. In contrast, each year bees "from away"—77,000 hives worth—are trucked in to pollinate Maine's lowbush blueberries. Though Kourtney's focus is on Maine and the Maritimes, her roots are in Monroe, Michigan, a Rust Belt town just south of Detroit where her family worked for the steel and auto industries. Something about the contrasts between Michigan's lush northern forests and the flat, industrial landscape of her home led Kourtney to focus on the impact on humans of changes in the economy and the land. But now, when she returns to southeast Michigan, she sees even more changes, particularly in Detroit where gardens rise up where buildings once stood. Kourtney envisions creating a monster class—one of COA's term-long, three-credit intensives—around the urban gardens found in Detroit and elsewhere. Such creativity around classes is one of the hallmarks of a COA education, fueling Kourtney's delight in leading COA's food systems program. "I feel like I have a lot of freedom to make what I want within the position, and what I bring is a focus on the human dimensions of food systems. Social and environmental justice are major themes in my teaching." Her fall class is Transforming Food Systems, focusing on both the issues within food systems and the positive work already being done on local and global scales. She and students are looking at land and labor issues, including efforts to improve conditions for restaurant workers and migrant farmworkers, struggles over access to land, and efforts to democratize food access, such as through the COA-sponsored Share the Harvest program that extends organic produce to those on food benefits. They'll also visit a community farm operated by Cultivating Community's refugee and immigrant
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farmer training program. "We'll get into the nitty gritty of transformation, like what policies are needed to ensure access to healthy, affordable food for all people." Already Kourtney has been meeting with a group of faculty and staff who work within the food and farm system, including the farm and kitchen staff, COA botanist Suzanne Morse, and other faculty members. They're discussing how to better integrate the farms into the curriculum. Come winter, she and Suzanne will co-teach a class on the COA food system itself. "I feel empowered to do so much with this position; more than I'd be able to do in other institutions," Kourtney says. Asked about COA students, she notes that every school has their stand-out students. What's different at COA is the passion that runs through all of them. "They're not just studying, they're investing the studies into their own lives—it's a shared vision. Everyone's investing in it together. They don't just want to read about it, they want to do something about it."
WASTE ON THE WHEEL recycling for peace To celebrate her hundredth birthday, the late philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis committed one million dollars to fund one hundred student projects in hopes of promoting world peace. In this, the tenth year of Projects for Peace, Moni Ayoub '19 and Andela Rončević '19 received $10,000 to create a recycling system in Moni's home of Barsa, Lebanon. Peace has many forms. In the vision of our project, peace is the equilibrium between nature and humans. In 2015, protests against a massive garbage crisis in Beirut were met with tear gas, vandalism, and gunfire. This was an example of the breaking of that equilibrium. Seeking a peaceful alternative for sustainable waste management at a landfill that, like the one in Beirut, threatened to become overfilled and closed, our goal was to install recycling stations in Barsa, Lebanon to support sustainable resource management. Our hope, also, was to encourage other villages and towns to develop recycling systems so that one day it would be irrational, outrageous, and completely strange to see Lebanese people throw plastic bottles from their car into the sea. This is, unfortunately, still a daily occurrence. We first spoke to Barsa's municipal leader, who also had envisioned developing a recycling system in the village. He gave us land where the recycled materials could be placed until the quantity was sufficient to be picked up by local businesses that depend on recyclables. We began by delivering three recycling bins to each home or shop in a portion of Barsa: one for plastic, one for glass and metal, and one for paper and cardboard.
With the help of friends and family, we printed out and laminated recycling labels for the household and shop bins, and included a roll of plastic bags with our project's name and blog. The people could decline, but most accepted both the bins and our project's goals. To set up the public recycling stations, we bought thirty-nine metal bins previously used to ship oil. We painted these—yellow for glass and metal, green for plastic, red for paper and cardboard—for thirteen public stations. Metal was picked up by metal buyers in Tripoli, paper and cardboard went to Sanita Lebanon for tissues and toilet paper, and plastic to a person who makes plastic chairs. We later expanded to nineteen recycling stations, monitoring them to see that the material was properly separated. The system continues; we hope it will grow and eventually reach all of Barsa, with the money received from selling the materials going to distributing more bins. We found that one idea, although it only begins as an idea, can become real, and grow into a meaningful cause, especially if it represents a people's inner values. If there is a recycling system on the street, individual cleanliness and order can be more present and people can value their connection to society more readily. We also found that a community can coexist where people work, act, and share—but that it takes courage and optimism to create a space that is livable, where coexistence is not simply survival. —Moni Ayoub '19 and Andela Rončević '19 For more, visit wasteonthewheel.tumblr.com, or find a blog post about the project at storyofstuff.org.
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Bogdan Zymka '15 addresses youths during the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20.
THOREAU EFFORT SUPPORTS LEADERS climate and energy "Urgency." That's how COA faculty and staff members began their application to the Henry David Thoreau Foundation's Environmental Leaders Initiative. "After our students participated in the Paris meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they expressed frustration with the pace of negotiations," said Doreen Stabinsky, COA faculty member in global environmental politics. The students wanted to implement local climate change solutions. Immediately. "Their loudest request was for training in skills that would increase their impact now." For more than a decade, COA students have been studying and participating in the international politics of global climate change. Their passion, preparation, and hard work have led many students to assume youth leadership roles at the UNFCCC and other international venues. At the same time, students on campus have been learning hands-on about the details of energy implementation, such as connecting with regional businesses to site and install solar energy panels. In August, the proposal written by Doreen, Anna Demeo, lecturer in physics and COA's director of energy education and operations, and David Feldman, faculty member in physics and mathematics, was accepted. COA received a $40,000 faculty grant from the Thoreau Foundation to expand and enhance these efforts. The initiative enables students to engage in a wide spectrum of climate and energy work, "from designing and implementing community renewable energy systems to participating in and learning firsthand the strengths and limitations of global climate change agreements," says COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Dave. It will also fund training in areas such as media communication and strategic planning, offering students skills they can't always learn in class. To enhance youth capacity and strengthen COA's connections to other young environmental leaders, regional youth will be invited to collaborative skills-building workshops, to be known as Thoreau Gatherings. Already the Thoreau grant has funded three energy fellows on campus: Laura Berry '17, Spencer Gray '17, and Zakary Kendall '17. The three spent the summer working with the Community Energy Center, or CEC, a new, campus-based effort to bring renewable energy to Mount Desert Island. Along with Andrea Russell, MPhil '18, the energy center's program manager, it launched a community solar array for Hancock County residents and the Solar for Businesses and Farms program. Funded by a $65,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program, the effort will offer solar energy assessments to thirty or more farms and businesses. The CEC was instrumental in overseeing the Thoreau Energy Fellows through the summer and fall. MDI Clean Energy Partners, a local nonprofit investing in local renewable energy efforts co-founded by Willy Osborn and former COA president Steve Katona, is a close collaborator with the CEC. The Thoreau Foundation seeds visionary programs at US undergraduate institutions, "that foster environmental leadership and engaged scholarship." Faculty applications are by invitation only. This year, only two faculty awards were givenâ€”one to COA and one to Harvard University. For more, visit coa.edu/cec. 9
Interconnected COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC & ACADIA NATIONAL PARK By Ken Cline, David Rockefeller Family Chair in Ecosystem Management and Protection Acadia. It is our laboratory, our backyard, our classroom, our sports program, our health plan, our inspiration. No matter how you think of it, it is an integral part of the COA experience. No other fouryear college in the country is as physically proximate to a national park. And very few other colleges or universities are as academically proximate as COA has always been to the national park mission. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell often says about outdoor education, We all know that the best classrooms have no walls. It is true both physically and metaphorically; for years COA has demonstrated this with the use of Acadia in our teaching. Our work with the park reaches beyond the natural sciences to include art, education, and human studies. So whether it's a science course, Bonnie Tai's outdoor education class, Anne Kozak's technical writing class, or Dru Colbert's design classes (like the one that revamped the entire Dorr Museum of Natural History to feature the collaboration between COA and Acadia), COA students learn from working in Acadia and Acadia benefits from the great work the students do. Our relationship with the park reflects the breadth of human ecology and the human experience. The power of national parks extends beyond the simple experience of being a tourist in themâ€” it is the transformation of values that really matters. National parks offer us a different way to think about our relationship with nature. Despite the benefits to biodiversity, they are less about preserving nature than they are about preserving ourselves. Whether you see that through the writings of John Muir and his concern for over-civilized people, Wordsworth's eye made quiet by the power and beauty of the River Wye, or by recent research demonstrating the restorative effects of green space and encounters with nature, there is no question that as a species we need nature. As a species we also need the humility that parks and wild places can provide for us. Still, parks are human institutions; they echo our failings as a society. Visitation does not fully reflect the diversity of the American populace, parks are insufficiently funded and they face increasing threats of commercialization and homogenization. The National Park Service finally seems to realize that parks cannot be managed as islands apart from the natural and human landscape that surround them (now if Congress would only realize this!). As with most things, the ideal and the real have several degrees of separation. But that is where COA and our graduates can make a difference. As Acadia and the park service head into their second century, the role of parks and the role COA plays with Acadia will evolve. We have formalized our many informal connections with Acadia through a new cooperative agreement and have also started an Acadia Scholars internship program for COA students while helping to meet some of Acadia's needs. Sadly, despite growing visitation and rising costs, parks, including Acadia, are receiving less federal funding in real dollars every year. COA students and faculty can never make up the resource gap that fewer tax dollars create, but we can help. Acadia is part of us and for our own sake we need to participate in the stewardship that will, as the park service's mission states, keep it unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. This issue of COA tells just some of the stories of how Acadia and COA have influenced each other. It also celebrates some of the current students and alumni who give back to Acadia and other parks. Hopefully, you have your own stories, your own connections, to Acadia. If not, it is never too late. Come visit us and travel out our back door. As John Muir entreats, the mountains are calling.
Right: Students in Ken Cline's fall 2015 class, Acadia: Exploring the National Park Idea, were asked to find a place in the park that was special to them, which they would study over the term to create a human ecological biography. This drawing of Anemone Cave by Nichole Francia '19 is from her biography.
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Changing So what? to Aha!
How Christie Denzel Anastasia '92 helps manage Acadia for the rest of us As deputy chief of interpretation at Acadia National Park, Christie Denzel Anastasia '92 is responsible for ensuring that every visitor intersecting with the park has the best possible experience. What this means is that Christie spends a lot of time behind a computer so that the seventy-odd rangers, volunteers, interns, and partnership program staff she oversees can be outside, doing their jobs. Much of the following conversation was gathered during a hike with high school students participating in The Wonder of Acadia, one of COA's Summer Field Institute programs, through personal discussions, and at a summer morning Coffee & Conversation between Christie and Ken Cline, law and policy faculty member. —DG
Q: How did you become interested in working for the National Park Service? A: I moved around a lot as a child and I was always longing for open, green spaces. I remember a place that today I would consider a channelized stream, with a fence you could get yourself under. There were rocks, and trees, and water—that to me was wilderness! When I visited COA, I didn't even know that there could be that many trees in one space. I went out to the Park Loop Road and that was it. I was going to COA. That feeling of being next to the Maine coast and granite and ocean was a
feeling I wanted to hold onto forever. After my second year I knew I wanted to be a park ranger. That's easy to say, but difficult to attain. I worked with national parks as a volunteer, a partner, and a seasonal for eleven years before I achieved permanent status—the holy grail of being a park ranger. I have now worked either full time or in shortterm assignments in more than twenty different parks. Q: But you spent most of your time at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, right? A: Seven years.
Q: You always speak with such love of Alaska. What brought you back to Acadia? A: Acadia definitely was my first love, and your first love holds a special place in your heart. I have two sons. The older one was born in California, at Point Reyes National Seashore; the younger one in Denali. I wanted them to stay at Denali long enough to have wilderness in their blood, to know how to be a part of the landscape, to hunt, preserve, and protect; to hike off-trail. But they also needed to learn what a sidewalk was—and that you could get to the grocery store and back in less than eight hours.
High school students participating in COA's Summer Field Institute class, Wonder of Acadia, join Christie Denzel Anastasia '92, Acadia National Park's deputy chief of interpretation, on the fire tower at Beech Mountain. From left they are Christie, Lily Schaeufele, Camryn Branch, Ingrid Sant, Leanna Laws, Oscar Garcia Maldonado, and Tony Perez. The instructors in the twoweek program were faculty members Ken Cline, law and policy, and Chris Petersen, biology, along with Sarah Luke, dean of students.
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I didn't apply to Acadia initially. After they asked me if I would be interested, I went into the backcountry for three days. I took an off-trail hike into the Toklat, an immense area with a braided river that can take two hours to cross. A grizzly came out of the bushes, way too close; I could see the pores on his nose swivel toward me. That kind of grace snaps you into the moment. I felt like places in Alaska could be preserved more deeply through lessons learned in the lower fortyeight. If national parks are going to work anywhere, Acadia is the place. Acadia has a broad level of love and devotion by communities and visitors with strong connections to the park. Its complex opportunities and challenges are years ahead of some other parks. Q: What do you see as the role of national parks in this country? A: Parks are set aside as symbols of what we as citizens strive to conserve, protect, and hold safe for future generations. They're created for the heritage contained within—
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wildlife, plants, science, scenery, ecological processes, experiences, wilderness—and for people to interact with that heritage. Some people come to national parks to have fun with their families, some to have salient conversations with themselves in quiet places, some to heal, some for inspiration. We have those affiliated with the military who come for restoration. Parks offer real things in real places. Q: And what's the role of interpretation? A: Interpretation is the art and act of speaking for these heritage resources because they can't speak for themselves. We're working to decrease the amount of formal programs and have more roving rangers to meet people where they are, and talk to them about what they're noticing. Rather than a sage on the stage, we're working to have rangers help catalyze discovery and encourage self-reflection through facilitated dialog: a guide on the side. So if someone sees a turtle, in addition to giving the name of the
turtle, the ranger might invite the visitor to observe what it's doing, ask about its habitat needs, relate this turtle to the broader ecosystem, and take a couple steps over to a conversation about turtle egg-laying seasons and eventually climate change. If we are not ultimately preserving the resources we are interpreting, we are not doing our job. Q: How are interpreters trained? A: It's a crash course. There are three components to interpreting: knowledge of the resource—plants, geology, history; knowledge of the audience—who they are, where they are coming from; and appropriate interpretative techniques—asking relevant questions so a person might discover that plants are cool and decide to give something back to a park or green space. In the trade this is known as changing So what? to Aha! We want visitors to learn something, have fun, and be safe. For some, there is then the potential for a transformational experience— an experience that resets or resizes
your lens and gives you some perspective that adds quality to your life and your life path. Several moments of gazing into the Atlantic Ocean or seeing your child run like a deer across a mountaintop may be all it takes to gain perspective on what really matters in your life.
Q: But while Acadia is the most intensely visited national park, given its size, many don't even go into the woods. How do you engage and nurture and improve those experiences? A: Different people want to experience the parks in different ways. The traditional way is to quietly hike. But if you grow up in a city and feel gravel under your feet—that might be wilderness. It's easy to fall into elitism and think there is only one right way to experience parks. Once while I was working in the Hulls Cove Visitor Center a man told me he wanted to rush through driving the Park Loop Road and video the whole thing so he could go back home to relax and enjoy the video. My initial reaction was that he would miss so much. But if he didn't get a speeding ticket and the experience connected him to the park, it's not my role to judge. He could share that video with friends and family and make more friends for the park. I try to reframe Wow, the park is too busy today into Wow, look at all these people choosing to be in a national park. It would be far more tragic to have completely
empty parking lots in August than overfull ones. Q: We have so many alumni working for the park service, does having a human ecology degree help? A: Human ecology is the backbone of everything I do. As a park ranger I have many complex areas to handle. The human ecology mindset helps me to telescope my brain to zoom in to a piece and out to the whole. It's always a part of how I go about thinking about and understanding things. Knowing that systems are real and complex, and that any change reverberates throughout the system, helps me to be reflective about the choices I make. I spent twenty-two years away from MDI. Everywhere I went— Intermountain, Pacific West, Africa—I needed to explain human ecology. Here, I just have to say I'm a COA graduate and people know the mindset I walk into the room with. That's a nice feeling. Below: Looking southwest across the "quiet side" of Acadia from the Beech Mountain fire tower. Photos by Donna Gold.
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Seeking Acadia's Bats By Andrea Lepcio '79
Little brown bat photographed on a spring day in 2012 near COA's Thorndike Library. That the bat was active during the day might have been due to hunger after a long hibernation, which can drive bats to unusual activity, or it could have been the result of white-nose syndrome. Photo by Erickson Smith '15.
Erickson Smith '15 wanted to be a marine biologist. Beginning in the middle of high school, when he left the Boston area to become a student at Lester B. Pearson United World College in Vancouver, Canada, and continuing through his initial years at College of the Atlantic, his eye was on the ocean. Then he began to feel something was missing: he couldn't name the local trees. "It was a wakeup call to everything on land that is beautiful and interesting and worth knowing about," he says. Seeking a land-bound internship, his advisor, COA faculty member in biology John Anderson, connected him to Bruce Connery, Acadia National Park biologist. Bruce was looking for an intern to take over a bat survey project that had been initiated by COA's Marissa Altmann '13. In the summer of 2013, Erickson volunteered to visit locations where bats were known to roost during the day. After twenty surveys over a number of months he found … very few bats. On the best night, he counted eight emerging from the building known as the Stone Barn, down the road from COA's Peggy Rockefeller Farms. In the late 1990s, as many as ninety bats had been seen at the same site. By 2011, white-nose syndrome had arrived on Mount Desert Island. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Death by itching In 2006, cavers visiting the hibernating caves of upstate New York found hundreds of bats lying dead on the floor with a distinguishing mark of white fuzz on their noses. The next winter, state officials confirmed the bats had contracted the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. The hypothesis is that one or more cavers returned from Europe— where the disease is thought to have originated—and entered caves in New York without cleaning their equipment, thereby introducing this European species of fungus. While European bats seem to have adapted to it, the newly exposed North American bats had not. The fungus irritates the bat's skin, waking them from their deep sleep. As Bruce explains, "each time a bat wakes up, it uses some of its very limited energy reserves, which can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and bats starving or leaving the hibernaculum to die from exposure." White-nose syndrome might have perished in that cave along with the bats if some hadn't survived. Instead, the surviving bats swiftly spread the fungus through contact, bringing it to Maine by 2010. In the winter of 2011, hikers and cross-country skiers were reporting dead bats on
Acadia's carriage roads. "Bats like to cuddle," says Erickson, so the disease gets shared among hibernating bats, including northern long-eared and little brown bats. Another species, eastern small-footed bats, also hibernate, but don't tend to go as deeply into caves; they've been less impacted. Also less impacted are migratory or tree bats like silverhaired, red, and hoary bats. But Acadia's northern long-eared and little brown bats have declined by more than 90 percent. A sad yet helpful turning point came on April 2, 2015 when the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the northern long-eared bat as threatened nationally. The loss impacts us all—bats consume insects, especially mosquitoes and various agricultural and forestry pests. A recent economic study estimated the agricultural value of bats at more than $3.7 billion per year. The "threatened" designation immediately brought any modification of Acadia structures and habitats under review. It also brought funding. At graduation, Erickson was offered a seasonal paid position as a biological science technician working with Bruce, Bik Wheeler '09, MPhil '17, and several other scientists on bats and 15
Erickson Smith '15 raises a portable receiver capable of hearing and tracking bats at the Blue Hill overlook on Acadia's Cadillac Mountain.
Photo by Julia Walker Thomas '12/ Friends of Acadia.
How can we help? • Leave dead and dying trees standing for roosting bats • Place bat houses on barns, buildings, and trees where they will catch sun • Allow bats to roost undisturbed in attics • Accept and support efforts to protect bats • Consider volunteering or interning with Acadia's bat efforts • Should you see a bat locally, let COA's bat afficionado Bruce Hazam '92 know the details: email@example.com
other projects. The park also hired the Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute, or BRI, to assist with monitoring. Using passive ultrasonic acoustic receivers, crews monitor and record bat calls—mostly pitched too high for humans to hear—and raise nets near bat habitats to gently capture the small mammals, band them for identification, check them for disease, and attach transmitters for tracking on a select few, since the gear is limited. The most sensitive period for bats is pupping season, from June 1 to July 31. A female bat has only one pup a season. But protecting bats in this critical period has impacted 16
other park plans. Bruce explains, "For many years the park had sought funding to clear foliage so as to open vistas that were part of the original park road system." The funding finally was awarded in 2015, only to conflict with the guidelines protecting the northern long-eared bat. Notes Erickson, "Among the most interesting human ecological quandaries in working for the park is trying to manage all these different resources and values for the visitor, but also for the wildlife, for nature, for historical preservation purposes. When those come into conflict, how do you resolve them?" In this case the cutting was able to be delayed until after the pupping season.
Bat stalking At dusk on a Tuesday evening in June, I join Erickson and scientist Corinne Michaud on a drive up to the Jordan Pond Gatehouse. We are tracking an eastern small-footed bat that had been netted just north of Jordan Pond earlier in the season. She was pregnant and showed no signs of white-nose fungus. One of the park's ten tiny antennae had been placed on her to monitor her activities as she comes to term, though most of the antennae are reserved for northern long-eared bats. After she was released, she was found roosting in the Jordan Pond Gatehouse. We check in with two BRI staff members setting up to watch her leave the gatehouse. We then drive along the carriage road, crossing the bridge at Jordan Pond, and climb along the western edge of the pond, where we park. From the back seat, we grab an ultrasonic receiver and portable antenna. The assumption is she will fly northwest over the pond to feed. We wait above the pond as mosquitoes and no-see-ums—bat food—chomp on us. Corinne holds the receiver high. If the bat is present, we'll hear a beep. "Will we see her?" I ask. "She is very small," replies Erickson. "We might see her, or a silhouette over the water if the light is right; we may only hear her." We wait. Hunger is the main driver bringing a bat out, but that is balanced against concerns over predators. After two nights of rain, we are hopeful hunger will win. The BRI folks report she has left the roost flying southwest—the opposite of what had been expected. We head to the Stanley Brook parking area, hooking the receiver to the car antenna. It is multidirectional; we will pick up the bat if she is nearby. Sure enough, as we approach the bridge we hear a beep. Excited, we hop out with the portable receiver, heading south toward the beeps. They stop. We turn north toward the pond. The beeps pick up. She seems to be flying above us. The direction changes again, off she goes toward where we had originally been COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
waiting. She had gone northwest to feed. We decide we have enough information; it is time to help with netting. Waiting for a bat The rest of the BRI team is above Hadlock Pond, stringing nets across the carriage road and an adjacent stream. We drive until we see a barricade, park, and approach the first of three, thirty-foot tall nets placed near natural overhangs that should cause the bats to swoop down, hopefully into one of the nets. We come to a circle of camp chairs around a worktable and join the six BRI researchers. Soft conversation ensues for twelve minutes, then everyone stands, snaps on headlamps, and leaves to check for bats. Erickson and I visit the first net. Nothing. We return to the circle. No bats. We converse for twelve more minutes. This time, Erickson and I head north with our headlamps, checking the net over the stream and one more, further up. No bats. We return. Silence. More random
conversation. More checking. Around midnight, Erickson announces that he is due at work at 7:30 a.m., I leave with him while the BRI team spends a few more hours waiting for bats. In the summer of 2016 there were three sessions of nightly net surveys, each for two to three weeks. If a bat is netted, it is identified by species and checked for disease, gender, age, pregnancy, and lactation. The biologists are specifically looking for how the disease affects bats as they mature. Hope arising from concern A second critical period for bats is hibernation, though there are still questions about where MDI bats hibernate. One potential hibernaculum was discovered by chance. Bruce got word the park wanted to work on the motor road bridge over Duck Brook, which is hollow. After checking the blueprints and being trained to enter confined spaces, Bruce and two others explored the bridge. They found bat guano, which has been sent for testing. Monitoring the site, Erikson
and the others saw eighteen bats foraging one Thursday in May, "the most I've ever seen!" exclaimed Erickson. Work on the bridge has been suspended for now. Some bats are surviving the syndrome. One, tagged in 2013, was recently recaptured, indicating it is not just the young that are surviving. Looking out five years, Bruce is hopeful surveys will "confirm more juveniles that are healthy," and that hibernating bats, "will have adapted or become resistant, or at least have a greater immunity to white-nose syndrome." It wasn't that long ago that island residents saw dozens of bats swirling at dusk. The summer's research revealed that of the 115 bats netted, as many as 65 percent showed no signs of the fungus, which implies that some portion of Acadia's bats are still finding hibernacula that have not been exposed to the fungus. Through continued protection, it is possible that bats may once again be able to successfully reproduce, feast on mosquitoes, and cuddle as they roost and hibernate.
Nighttime bicyclists encounter a closed carriage road as researchers raise nets in an attempt to catch bats to assess age, gender, reproductive status, and health. Photo by Julia Walker
Thomas '12/Friends of Acadia.
Andrea Lepcio '79 spent her early career in banking and real estate, discovering playwriting in her thirties. She holds a master's in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University and has been a full-time playwright since 2000. Her Looking for the Pony was a finalist for the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award and the NEA Outstanding New American Play Award. Recent productions include Tunnel Vision, Dinner at Home between Deaths, The Gold, and Strait of Gibraltar, to be produced by Atlanta's Synchronicity Theatre in April 2017. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
In Their Own Words COA Alumni & the Park Collected and edited by Marni Berger '09 Photo by Charlie Jacobi.
Working, Connecting, Recharging: Jonathan Gormley '78 Jonathan Gormley '78 began working at Acadia National Park's Blackwoods Campground in 1987. He remained for ten seasons before serving as an interpreter at the Precipice Trail, talking to visitors about the peregrine falcons nesting on the cliffs above. He then coordinated park volunteers until becoming "funemployed"—or retiring—in June, 2015. A month later, Jonathan received an award for public service from Friends of Acadia. My first job at Acadia was at Blackwoods Campground, one of the few places in the park where you could really get to know the visitors because you'd often see them more than once. You'd greet them when they checked in; they might ask about a hike, then return with another question. You'd see them later while making rounds, and ask about their adventures. The people there wanted to enjoy the park like I enjoy it. They wanted to hear night sounds, go hiking, bike the carriage roads, explore tide pools. I'm friends with some of those same folks today. Before COA I had been involved with some environmental education programs, primarily in curriculum design. The people I worked with had heard about COA, so I visited one cold February week. I was hooked. What drew me in were the people. And the curriculum design work I was doing led me to want to get in on the ground floor and shape the future of this new college. That was 1973. Year Two. I was into natural history with some interest in education at the time. I found that at Blackwoods, whether it was answering questions about tide pools or birds or talking about Leave No Trace or a recycling program, I could still be an educator, but focused on the resource right in front of us. I spent ten years at Blackwoods, a year as a park naturalist, and seventeen 18
years as the volunteer coordinator, working with Friends of Acadia's volunteers and also encouraging international volunteers. My favorite spots in Acadia? As a student, Bar Island was one of them. It was fun to sit and watch the tide come in and be marooned on the island for the next six or seven hours. These days one of my favorite views is where Kebo Street meets the Park Loop Road. Each day it's different. The summit of Cadillac Mountain might be in the clouds one day; the next day the fog will fill the valley and the mountains will be clear. In the spring, shades of green work their way up the hillsides. The maples and poplars are brilliant in the fall. Acadia has changed a lot. Certainly there's been more use. Roots and rock come up because the soil is being worn down or pushed away. Trails get wider. Muddy spots where you might have had one path around now have three or four paths around. Some changes have been good—like the return of the peregrine falcons. But I have not heard a whippoorwill on the island for years. The park is a place to recharge. I consider myself very fortunate to be living here in this incredible landscape that millions of people come to visit every year. But who knows, maybe when my wife, Nina Gormley '78, retires, we'll volunteer at other parks. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The View from the Park
Photo by Robert "Fitz" Fitzhenry, US Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry.
Bringing Back the Peregrine: Kyle Jones '82 Kyle Jones '82 worked with COA ornithologist Bill Drury in Acadia's 1984 effort to reintroduce peregrine falcons. He is now a natural resource manager at MarshBillings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. Reintroducing peregrine falcons to Acadia was a big deal in 1984. Peregrine falcons were historically on Mount Desert Island and in Maine, but they were extirpated in the fifties and sixties. Then the Peregrine Fund, based at Cornell University, came up with a way of releasing peregrine falcon chicks into the wild and started doing that in other parts of the country. It just seemed Maine was ripe for it. That's when the National Park Service, COA, some folks from Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the University of Maine got involved. We never touched the falcons. We raised and fed and cared for them without pretending to be a parent. We conserved a bird that needed a lot of help using techniques developed by falconers. In that way, everybody was contributing to the conservation of this animal. And it worked really well. I see Acadia as defined by the intersection of land and water. I can remember being out on the Maine ocean on a really calm day and floating into a raft of shearwaters that were sitting on the water. It was amazing. I really loved the juxtaposition of the park and the college. It's what attracted me to COA. I started with the park service at Acadia and I've stayed with it. At MarshBillings-Rockefeller we have an active forest management program—we're unlike the other park service units in that respect. When I first heard that a national park in Vermont was created, I was really interested because of Vermont's rural landscape—it seemed like the kind of place where I wanted to spend time. And it is. I've been here close to twenty years. Typical days? There really aren't any. In the summer I work with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew and Student Conservation Association interns, and coordinate job assignments. The crews do a lot of trail work, manual forest management, and invasive plant removal. I also COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
"College of the Atlantic students can experience Acadia National Park within a relatively short distance … a walk, bike, or drive, part of coursework, an independent study, thoughtful reflection, and just having fun in the outdoors. While this is fortuitous enough, the beauty of COA and Acadia sharing this island now and in the future is of a substantial benefit for all of us. The premise of human ecology and the mission of the National Park Service ultimately depend upon each other as a place of practice and of action. Human ecology can remind us the world is a system, it is complex and endlessly overlapping, and humans are a part of the solution, not just the problem. Through their human ecological lens, COA students bring a fresh and challenging perspective to the issues and opportunities Acadia is facing and will face in the future. The park mission is to preserve and protect heritage for future generations. To realize this mission in an increasingly interrelated, interdisciplinary, awesome, hopeful, and ultimately meaningful co-future, we will need many universes of ideas and solutions from places like COA." Kevin Schneider Superintendent, Acadia National Park and Saint Croix Island International Historic Site nps.gov/acad nps.gov/sacr 19
do public programs in summer, most geared to people interested in working hands-on with their woodlots. Some are about forestry and some about management for birds. But some are nature-oriented, like identifying ferns. We have a rich fern biota here. And recently I've gotten more involved in climate change adaptation. In the fall we do our big equipment forestry work. In
the winter I'm not out as much as I'd like because there's more planning and budgeting. I've always lived and worked close to nature. I grew up in Ohio, a rural environment, and I've taken a very slow road to upward mobility so I could spend more time outside and not in the upper management level roles—in meetings and meetings and meetings.
Launching Summer Field Studies: Vicki Nichols Goldstein '84 In 1985, Vicki Nichols Goldstein '84 founded COA's Summer Field Studies program, a day camp engaging young people with Acadia. She stayed four years, leaving to get her master's in marine policy and planning at Yale University. Vicki now lives in Boulder, Colorado where she launched and runs the Colorado Ocean Coalition, "to inspire an inland community to be stewards of our oceans." My love for the island and the ocean and Acadia and COA inspired me to stay after I graduated, when I was invited to be acting director of the natural history museum, which turned into the directorship. At the time, it was only a summer museum. Over the next two years we created a year-round entity and moved it into Turrets. The summer was great, I was working in an amazing museum—but I was inside every day! That summer I began raising an abandoned baby squirrel in the museum. It would sit on my shoulder and stick its head out when visitors came through. I also had baby leeches and baby snapping turtles. Surrounded by these animals, I started thinking about a field studies program, taking young people outdoors to experience the
beauty of the island and the park. I had a Maine teaching certificate and had been traveling with COA's Whales on Wheels program, bringing a minke skeleton and replica pilot whale to schools, and training COA students in interpretative techniques. I spoke with many staff and faculty members, including former administrator Ted Koffman and Ron Beard, current trustee. They introduced me to Barbara Lawrence. She shared a similar vision and helped fundraise. We needed field materials, a van, scholarships. I formed a team and developed the curriculum, picking different ecosystems. I wanted mudflats, where the kids could get muddy and really dig deep; I wanted hiking—I knew we would do a lot of trust games in the forest, holding hands with blindfolds
Vicki Nichols Goldstein '84 leading Summer Field Studies in the 1980s. Photos by Michael Train. 20
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on to get everyone to work together. We spent hours on the bay in kayaks exploring the flats and experiencing the tides. It was all about discovery—being outside, connected to the environment, and having just enough thrill to get the kids a little nervous and have them feel a sense of achievement. I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just made this up—and it's working! There was so much excitement—we were creating this together. We talked about natural history, and also about pollutants. How, for example, bivalves filtered water, so if we contaminate our oceans, we contaminate the bivalves, and that would work its way up the food chain—to us. Acadia was a beautiful, outdoor, environmental lab that we never tired of. There was the magic of mountains and oceans and wildflowers and fresh, running streams; carriage trails and hiking paths, beaches and rocky shores. It was the most enchanted place. But most thrilling was the enthusiasm of the kids every single day. Really wanting to be there. Showing initiative. And all the hugs! You can hear it in this quote from a camper in a 1987 Bangor Daily News article: "The best part of canoeing was that we saw three bald eagles, and it was fantastic! We also went mountain climbing, exploring woods, swimming, tracking animals. And we learned a lot about plants and trees. While you are having fun, you are also learning."
Identifying the Plants of Acadia: Glen Mittelhauser '89 Glen Mittelhauser '89 was the lead author of the award-winning 2010 field guide, The Plants of Acadia National Park, making plants identifiable to the average non-botanist. Glen has also collaborated on Sedges of Maine: A Field Guide to Cyperaceae and The Plants of Baxter State Park. He directs the research nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory. His son, Pepin, is now in his second year at COA. As a prospective student, I drove up to COA for a visit during Christmas break. There was hardly anybody on campus. I didn't tell anyone I was coming. I just showed up, walked around the buildings and the island, and thought, Yup, this is the place for me. It was the habitat—islands, mountains, water. Those were the things I was passionate about and they were all in one place. I packed everything I owned in my car; I was coming up to live. I came thinking I wanted to study marine biology; whales in particular. But there were no whale classes my first term, though there was an introductory botany class that Craig Greene taught, and a group-study ornithology class. I learned a ton taking classes from Craig. And the same with ornithologist Bill Drury; I couldn't get enough of his field classes. I got side-tracked immediately and never was able to fully choose between birds or plants, so I study both. What COA does well is hands-on education. When I graduated, I applied to work on a field project in the park. After accepting the position I heard that there had been some PhD and master's students who also applied, but I had more field experience—all from my COA classes. The project was an Earthwatch study of the flora and fauna on all parkowned small islands. We took volunteers, camped out on the islands for a week, and did everything: inventoried plants, trapped mammals, looked at bird populations and the structure of the island forests, and searched for amphibians and reptiles. We'd spend a week out with a group of volunteers, come back and do another island the next week. I've now been working on projects in Acadia for more than thirty years, so I have a strong connection to it. I did a bibliography of research with Craig COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The View from the Park "Few college students and few parks have opportunities born from being neighbors, and fewer have similar missions to understand the relationships and bonds that place humans and protected areas together in the same time and space. However, that is exactly the setting that students from College of the Atlantic and staff from Acadia National Park find themselves in on Mount Desert Island. Both college and park are challenged to increase our understanding of the human presence in the changing and complex ecological systems found here and around the world. As neighbors we can teach each other about the challenges we and other humans face, and continue to identify solutions and actions to protect the systems and values that we depend upon and that enrich us. Doing so gives students ample opportunities to learn while also supporting the park's mission to preserve the resources and heritage of this island and park for future generations. With every year our paths become more entwined and enriched— benefiting students and staffs of both the park and COA." Bruce Connery Biologist, Acadia National Park nps.gov/acad
The View from the Park "I see COA's deep commitment and many connections to Acadia as part of my work here every day. The research, questions, projects, and just plain hard work constantly generated by COA students and faculty help the park and surrounding communities protect what is special about this place while looking toward a sustainable future. Meanwhile, Friends of Acadia itself is fortunate to have so many COA grads among our seasonal and permanent staffâ€” their impact here continues to grow over time." David MacDonald President, Friends of Acadia friendsofacadia.org
Glen Mittelhauser '89 is on the right with biologist Linda Welch just off The Thrumcap in Frenchman Bay. He is measuring a purple sandpiper on a cold December day. Photo by Darrin Kelly '10.
when I was at COA, my senior project was in the park, as was my grad school projectâ€”both on harlequin ducks. This year I'm working on a study looking at Acadia's salt marsh plants. Two major phases led to the publication of The Plants of Acadia National Park. Craig was working on a flora of Acadia for twenty or more years. I helped him on the field work for a summer. When he was getting sick, a couple of students helped publish his information in journals. That was the first phase. I had talked with Craig about the second phase, publishing a field guide to make the flora more accessible to non-botanists. We started after Craig passed away. It took the authors, who include Linda Gregory '89, sometime COA teacher Jill Weber, and fellow biologist Sally Rooney, five years to complete.
Encouraging Middle School Adventuring: Alexa Pezzano '00
COA's Acadia trailmarker. Photo by
Seven years after graduating from COA, Alexa Pezzano '00 thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, thinking she might find a home outside of Maine. Instead she became a ridge runner for Friends of Acadia, and in 2008 began working directly for the park, where she runs the Schoodic Education Adventure program for middle school students as an educator and interpreter. At COA, I bounced around a lot. I was interested in natural history, but nothing really concrete. Looking back, it all makes sense. People ask me, What did you study to be a park ranger? The answer: I studied kind of everything. I work out of the Schoodic Education and Research Center in Winter Harbor. In summer I teach public programs that vary from forest ecology to climate COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The View from the Park
Alexa Pezzano '00 looks for insects during a bioblitz, a time when scientists and volunteers seek to record all living species within an area. Photo courtesy of the National
change. That's a facilitated dialog program, connecting through conversation. We also have a marine touch tank to talk about adaptation and marine history, and engage with the scientists and researchers here, translating their science for the public. In the fall I work primarily with middle school students for the Schoodic Education Adventure, or SEA program, teaching similar sessions, but aligned with Maine's curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards. The kids live in the bunkhouse on site for about three days, and we keep them outside as much as we can, immersed in the resource and the research. We take them tide-pooling, do marine chemistry, soil science, geology, tree identification, photojournalism, art, GPS, mapping, and we have a night hike and a campfire. We attract local schools from Washington and Hancock counties, but also schools from Aroostook County, even Vermont and New York. Some kids have never seen the ocean before! I find myself talking more and more about human ecology, not essentially in those words, but about the interconnectedness of habitats. Understanding human ecology was definitely a huge help in wrapping my mind around the way systems work. My favorite place? Schoodic Head, the little mountain we have here, is one of them. It's only about 440 feet, but I try to go up at least once a week on my way to work. There are some really wonderful spots of rocks and ferns and beautiful lichen. I have to be at work at seven, which puts me on the mountain at six in the morningâ€”it's so peaceful and quiet there at that time. I also go out in winter. On Mount Desert Island one winter, I decided to summit every peak in the park. Just getting to the trailheads was often a challenge. Some of the hardest hikes were the Bubbles because no one had been there. I was snowshoeing in thigh-deep snow. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
"The ties between College of the Atlantic and Acadia National Park are long and strong. COA's highly skilled and motivated students and its gifted teacher naturalists have been contributing to our understanding of park resources since the college's founding. Over the span of my thirty-five years at Acadia, I've worked with COA students, alumni, and faculty and have experienced first-hand their important contributions, not just at Acadia, but at other park units. The park's never-ending need to better understand and steward its amazing natural and cultural laboratory that's in COA's backyard is well-served by our vital partnership. A win-win for all!" Judith Hazen Connery Natural Resource Program Manager, Acadia National Park nps.gov/acad
I feel a very strong connection to this place. I've lived here for close to twenty years and things have come full circle for me, in a way. We had an intern this summer who
is a COA student. She's been a great worker, with so much good energy. It's been neat to mentor someone who is in a place where I once was.
Surveying Salamanders, Monitoring Mollusks: Sarah Colletti '10 For her senior project, Sarah Colletti '10 obtained salamander baseline data in Acadia, designing an ongoing, volunteerbased monitoring program. She then worked for the US Forest Service as an AmeriCorps member in West Virginia before conducting freshwater mussel recovery for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The through-line? Studying the smaller creatures of our world that reflect a larger picture of ecological health. I caught salamanders and frogs as a kid, but it was COA's three-credit experiential Maine Woods course that piqued my interest in amphibians. Before the course I remember thinking, Why amphibian biology? Why not just ecology? Then I caught a spotted salamander and I thought, Oh my gosh, they have these cute faces! (See COA, Spring 2009) I was trained to be observant in my COA ecology classes. Having the park so near offered the opportunity to go into the field with professors. You never knew when you might be asked a question like, Why do you think that plant is shaped like that? Then I'd have to look at it again. Soon, I saw working with amphibians as a way to tie together my interests in science, education, and policy. You're crawling around on the ground, turning over logs, and you find these treasures underneath. Salamanders are in every kid's backyard, making them a perfect educational tool—as opposed to large mammals like polar bears or tigers, which you learn about, but you can't see and touch. I did an independent study at COA to test different ways of sampling salamanders. I'd go into Acadia on rainy nights because that's when most of the salamanders were out. I got so used to looking at salamanders, at paying attention to the little things, that soon I could also see tiny little spiders, and light reflecting off their eyes. When I started my current job, I didn't think mussels would be as charismatic, but they're pretty cool creatures. In order to complete their life cycles, freshwater mussels have to be parasites on fish, and they have really unique ways of getting their larvae onto fish hosts. Parts of their body will mimic a fish to lure a larger fish to bite, and then they will release their larvae into that fish's mouth. Some will actually grab onto the fish's face and hold it while releasing larvae. Mussels may look like rocks out in the
Sarah Colletti '10 tags a federally endangered mussel for later identification. Photo by Joe Ferraro.
river, but I've come to love them as I understand their complexity. There are definitely similarities between mussels and amphibians. I'd always heard that amphibians were the most endangered, but actually in North America it's freshwater mollusks. More than 70 percent of them are threatened or endangered in some way. There's the water connection, too. Mussels filter the water, and because some live decades they can tell a story of what's been in the stream—heavy metals, bacteria, whatever. Looking back, Acadia was a great way not only to get into amphibian biology, but any field science. If I was curious about something and really wanted to see it, I could just walk out there and do it. Now, if it's a rainy night in the spring and I want to go find amphibians—we call it herping—I have to obtain access from landowners. In Acadia, I always knew where to go.
***** Marni Berger '09 holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. Her short story "Waterside" was published in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Glimmer Train. Marni's work has also appeared at The Common, The Days of Yore, The Millions, Fringe Magazine, and COA; her fiction frequently has been a finalist or received honorable mention. Her novel-inprogress, Love Will Make You Invincible, is a dark comedy about a precocious tween. 24
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The Stepping Stones By Christian Barter
Leaning up against the cut-up pieces
trapped in the era's costume. "The youth
of an old footbridge at lunch, we are
is sexting and listening to Fox News," Dave says,
talking about politics: the Copenhagen
and recloses his eyes, up late last night
global-warming summit, Afghanistan,
with his girlfriend out of town. The leaves
an interview with Nader who said
have started turning, single trees
that only the super-rich
gone suddenly red in a valley of green
can save us now. The little beach
like clear, high trumpet notes and the season
looks out on a pond between two mountains
of RVs has started, tin garages
that cup the clouds between them
leaned out on shoulders all along
in a light-washed blue. The ozone days
the Loop Road, stern retirees snapping
are over, and it's like the dust has blown
photos from their tailpipes. Last night
from the trees that porcupine the ledges.
I dreamt I had traveled back to college
Cars drift somewhere in that distant groan
and stood looking up at the house where I had
as constant here as breathing. "Too little
drunk away two entire years. "Sexting?"
too late," I answer Clark about the talks.
says Clark, snuffing out his butt with his
"We're basically screwed," adds Michael and laughs
thick, former-boxer's hands. He has declared
a laugh that seems to slump down
he's going to quit so many times
with his shoulders, a little lower
we've started a pool on the boss's whiteboard
since the birth of his third. Clark,
where everyone's guess is a joke:
in his fifties now, in his tie-dyed bandana,
This Sundayâ€”okay, some Sunday;
says the youth is really getting
Right after the funeral;
involved, you know? "There's so much positive
When the poles reverse, and now that it's been weeks:
energy out there right now," he says
When Gary finally erases the whiteboard.
through puffs of an American Spirit. Behind us,
"I just see all this positive energy," he continues,
giant stepping stones span the outlet.
lighting another American Spirit.
They were built by George Dorr in 1915,
"That's got nothing to do with it, Clark," Michael says
who gave all the land we can see from here
and we all laugh, even Clark, because
and died penniless. In the picture we're using
the beauty is all that ever feels real, and Dave,
to set each stone as it was, he looks
without opening his eyes, mumbles,
like a normal man: distracted, tired,
"And I think your stone's crooked."
Reprinted with permission from Christian Barter's In Someone Else's House (Kansas City, Missouri: BkMk Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2013). Christian is a poet, Acadia National Park trail crew supervisor, adjunct instructor of poetry at COA, and Acadia's poet laureate. His first book, The Singers I Prefer, was a Lenore Marshall Prize finalist. In Someone Else's House was the winner of the 2014 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. His book-length poem, Bye-Bye Land, received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award. It has just been released by BOA Editions.
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Recent Research Nesting Islands
Leach's storm petrels, black guillemots, common eiders, herring and greater black-backed gulls, double-crested cormorants, razorbill auks, Atlantic puffins, and several tern species choose islands for nesting. As many as half of all breeding seabirds on the nation's east coast nest on Maine's offshore islands. These birds often build their nests on the ground or beneath it, in burrowsâ€”one reason they prefer islands where mammals haven't arrived to nose out their young. Another might be that seabirds take a relatively long time to hatch and fledge. Still, islands are exposed to flooding waves from storms. This might well increase in the wake of climate change, which is also causing rising sea levels. Predictions range from a six-inch increase to as much as six feet over the next century. Concerned about the impact on nesting seabirds, officials at Acadia National Park asked John Anderson, faculty member in biology, to survey the islands under park jurisdiction. Between 2011 and 2014, for more than eight summer months, fifteen students roamed and circled thirteen nesting islands. On some, they recorded every nest and egg of gull, eider, and cormorant, and nudged between rocks to find burrowing guillemot and petrel. They also noted wave action. A bird wouldn't want to nest where the water might splash. Back at COA, John and the students modeled the geography against potential flooding. They found that if the sea level rose just one meter, half the islands would lose habitat; four wouldn't be habitable at all; only three wouldn't be impacted. But that wasn't all. Islands that previously had been covered with seabirds were much quieter, especially when compared to a 1995 survey. The culprit? The return of our national bird. Bald eagles forage off the islands' eggs and young, whose only protection is a furious rise of the parents to mob the approaching predator. So while nesting islands will surely be altered over the next hundred years, the recovery of the eagle is bringing change right now.
In Progress: Surveying Stream Discharge Rivers and streams flow throughout Acadia, carrying nutrients and sediments of various kinds. To understand their health and any changes, we need to know how much water is moving through the system and how swiftly it moves. To establish a baseline of river discharge, William Minogue '16 installed seven surface water discharge monitoring systems within the island's major drainage basins for his senior project. The watersheds also will be occasionally sampled to measure the abundance of various chemicals, such as dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. The data will highlight seasonal and annual fluxes in discharge, and chemicals found in the water. Will created this project in coordination with Acadia National Park, Friends of Acadia, Wild Acadia, the US Geological Survey, and COA. He hopes the monitoring equipment will be upgraded eventually to record precipitation, wind magnitude, and other surface water and weather factors.
Will Minogue '16, on the left, is working with park employee Kyle Grossman ('16) installing a monitoring station at Cromwell Brook. Photo by Sarah Hall.
In Progress: Revisiting the Warblers of a Spruce Woodlot Thanks to a seminal paper researched in Acadia by Robert MacArthur in the 1950s, scientists believe that different warbler species easily coexist within the spruce forest, even within the same trees, because each has a slightly different foraging specialization. For his MPhil degree, Bik Wheeler '09, MPhil '17, is reviewing this classic study. He has found that the original research was conducted during an outbreak of the spruce budworm caterpillar, offering the warblers an atypical wealth of food. Much else has also since changed in habitat, warbler species composition, populations, and behavior, says Bik. His work was discussed by Irby Lovette, Fuller Professor of Ornithology at the Cornell Lab, in the summer 2016 Living Bird. Writes Irby, "Whatever Wheeler ultimately finds, his revisiting of this classic study system is bound to tell us something new about how bird species coexist across time in ecological communities, even beyond the foraging divisions that MacArthur documented."
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Acadia's Nature Center 4 5 6
Acadia National Park's Sieur de Monts Nature Center reopened this summer, entirely redesigned. The initial design team? Students within a COA class (see COA, Fall 2013). In the spring of 2013, thirteen students in the one-credit, collaborative class, National Park Practicum: Designing the Acadia National Park Nature Center, worked with Lynne Dominy, Acadia chief of interpretation and education; Ardrianna French McLane '02, former Acadia ranger; COA's Dianne Clendaniel, formerly with the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, later with alumni relations; and faculty members Dru Colbert, arts, and Steve Ressel, biology. While the students' designs were finalized by designer Mike Kelly of Northern Arizona University, their concepts, research, approach, and many essential ideas remain.
Why students? Why COA? Says Lynne Dominy, "We wanted a youth voice and perspective in the park. COA students are here, involved, and have a good idea of what's going on with the landscape." Themeâ€”Climate Change: The Nature Center, a place of orientation, excitement, and education, would also focus on how a changing climate impacts the park's various habitats, a theme chosen by Acadia personnel. Invitation: "WANTED! Creative minds to help shape the future of Acadia's Sieur de Monts Nature Center. Must love sharing the wonders of nature with others." Process: Divided into four teams, students created four distinct designs based on the theme of a changing climate.
Research: Students interviewed scientists and investigated previous and current research projects and park archives, creating the very content of the exhibit. Communication: Translating scientific facts and findings into exhibits is clearly a challenge. When the facts are complex, controversial to some, and also something of a downer, the task can be overwhelming. Through research, conversation, and brainstorming, the students created interactive, encouraging, even humorous exhibits to engage visitors. Organization: Centered around the  ranger station to better connect park personnel to visitors, exhibits progress from sea to summit, with a  map for orientation.
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Stories : Students also wanted to offer a glimpse into the lives of people who work in and around the park. For her senior project, Sarah Duff '14 videoed interviews of four people speaking about the changes they've witnessed. Each has a connection to COA. Featured are Eddie Monat '88, aka Diver Ed; CJ Walke, Peggy Rockefeller Farms farm manager; Ruth Grierson, widow of Stan Grierson, whose exhibit design classes launched the Dorr Museum of Natural History; and Bernd Heinrich, author and naturalist who holds an honorary MPhil from COA. Call to Action : Seeking to reach beyond a visit to Acadia, students encourage people to get outside wherever they are. They also suggest ways visitors might lessen the pace of climate change by providing a spectrum of engagement possibilities, from recycling plastic to contributing to citizen science, depending on the visitor's interest. Exhibits:  What's for dinner: Menus serve as a gentle means of showing oceanic climate change, a direct student idea.  Imagery: For a greater sense of immersion, students asked for mural-sized photos.  Warm & Stormy Gulf—students created title  Climate danger: photo shows the damage wreaked
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on COA's Mount Desert Rock marine research station by Hurricane Bill.  Bird Bed & Breakfast—students created title  Soundscapes: To plunge visitors within the sensory experience of the park, sounds of surf and birds are heard.  Connection: Students wanted visitors to look closely, to observe. The solution? Magnifying lenses. Sensory Awareness : The park experience is more than visual—there's the gull's cry, the pounding of surf, moss' softness, the differing size of birds and their eggs— and there's taste. Lobsters, mussels, clams. Sound, touch, sight, taste. Those are changing. Writing : Once the exhibit was finalized, Anne Kozak's technical writing class wrote preliminary text and titles, working with Acadia curator Marie Yarborough. Results: Having presented their ideas in the form of three-dimensional models, written concept plans, and PowerPoint explanations of four possible designs, park personnel were delighted. Says Lynne, "The students did an amazing job. The exhibits were extremely different, extremely original, and also had elements that the students thought were really important."
Drawing the Forest & its Leaves
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Each spring, COA artist and art historian Catherine Clinger teaches Drawing Mineral and Botanical Matter in the Forest. Leaving the studio for Acadia National Park, island gardens, or just the campus, students draw rocks and water, moss and crabs, trees, leaves, and flowers. "From the start," says Catherine, "I try to wick away what students think they believe about what it means to draw, what it means to look at something. The course is taught with a nearly imperceptible program of deprogramming, so as to re-illuminate experience. Students don't know what is happening and I don't tell them; they discover it—all of them. I assist in removing assumptions and perceived rules that prevent them from seeing with a quality of empathic vision. Instead of drawing what they think they see, I remind them that seeing is as much about remembrance and memory as it is about making marks to record a view." In typical COA transdisciplinarity, as students pursue line, shape, and grace on the page, they also find they're learning about bark and leaf, contemplating chlorophyll, geology, and their own take on the world. But mostly they learn to see—to look closely and carefully, to notice the detail of what is. As Casimir Pellegrini '19 says, they're developing "a language with pencil and paper." The language might be sensual, as it is for Sibia Inay Ortega '19, who considers "the tenderness and lightness of the flower versus the heaviness of the leaves." Or it might be intellectual. Emma Kimball '17 finds botanical illustration, "the best way to understand plants." Sea creatures, too, she adds. "Though they're harder because they move!" Whether students comes to the class quite focused in one subject, as did Ian Medeiros '16, whose senior project in botany pioneered a description of the vegetation of serpentinite outcrops in Massachusetts, or as a generalist connected to art, field biology, and education, like Jessica Arseneau '18, they leave with a changed vision. "You notice more when making the marks yourself, you're really looking at the proportions; figuring out the relationships," says Ian. Jessica recalls a study in which Catherine asked the class to look so closely at tree bark, they only saw the patterns, not the tree. "I looked at the tree in way I hadn't before," Jessica says. "It made me realize that the way I imagine a tree in my head, the marks we think we have to make to make someone feel like they're seeing a tree, are not always the ones that represent a tree best." Focused on the subtle color variations of a piece of rock, the ridges within hemlock bark, and also the minute striations on a leaf, Connor O'Brien '17, a musician who chose COA in lieu of a conservatory, notices his cognition expanding from spring's daily changes to the epochs of geologic time. As he paints blossoms on a May afternoon, he muses not only about the plant and its flowers, but also about the watercolors themselves, "made of water and minerals—what everything is made of."—DG
This spread, drawings by Jessica Arseneau '18. Overleaf, excerpt from an illustrated three-page discussion of deciduous conifers created by Ian Medeiros '16. In the page that is missing, he describes short shoots, which are a form of bud at the end of a branch that remains relatively short.
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The Wild Gardens of Acadia Anne Kozak and Sue Leiter Arcadia Publishing, 2016
Cardinal flower. Each spring, beginning in the 1960s, volunteer Mary Hodgkins would bring to the Wild Gardens the cardinal flowers that flourished in her home garden, as they seldom survived the winter in the park. Now, however, they are quite prolific. 36
Tucked away behind an elegant wooden gateway in Acadia National Park's Sieur de Monts Springs are the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Within just threequarters of an acre, this living museum offers a baker's dozen of landscapes, each its own distinct habitat. The plants and trees you see as you travel through Acadia, whether beside the Park Loop Road, atop Dorr Mountain, or by the seashore—four hundred of them—are here: lowly moss, maidenhair fern, majestic hemlock, even the blueberry, though not for picking! Most important, they are labeled. And because they are identified we know what these plants are, and so we pay attention. Always, the roadside plot grabs me. When I'm not driving the roads of Maine, I'm biking them. As I do I pass—well, what? Greenery, sometimes with a spark of blue, or purple, or ruffled Queen Anne's lace. I know that one. The rest I hardly notice. But one visit to the roadside habitat of the Wild Gardens, and there they are—my plants! Now as I travel I look, seeking identities. Always, too, I've wondered how it was possible to place a wetland beside a dry mountaintop, close to a beach. Thanks to The Wild Gardens of Acadia, the 2016 volume written by faculty member Anne Kozak, who directs COA's writing center, and Sue Leiter, a retired Connors Emerson School library media specialist, we all know more. Anne and Sue are friends who have volunteered in the park since the 1970s, immersing their hands in the garden's soil and stream while also seeking funds for its upkeep. Susan coordinated the work of volunteers and supervised interns for more than twenty years; Anne currently co-chairs the Wild Gardens committee and helps with fundraising. The volume is packed with images, including many by COA photography lecturer Josh Winer '91. We learn that the gardens began in 1961, a realization of the vision and hard work of a group of volunteers. "We took an undifferentiated piece of land," remarked Janet TenBroeck, a co-founder of the gardens, "and made it seem as if the deciduous and coniferous woods, meadow, bog, and pond were always there." Yet, according to this lovely photographic
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history, what the volunteers began with was no more than "a mass of tangled blackberries and scarred red maples, but fortuitously it had a brook and along the brook a stand of royal ferns." There were no boulders, however. To create the mountain area, these were trucked in and arranged to echo a summit. Emerging between the rocks is the native columbine (once regularly grown and watered by Elizabeth Thorndike, whose involvement with COA is celebrated in the naming of the Thorndike Library for her and husband Amory). Because stone settles, this habitat had to be twice reconstructed and replanted, most recently with the help of landscape architect Dennis Bracale '88. Only native plants are allowed in the gardens—but none can be collected from the park itself. That set off hunting expeditions by early volunteers who located and nurtured the native plants, often collecting and drying seeds, even overwintering them in their refrigerators. Since the founding of COA, students have joined the effort, volunteering, studying, drawing, interning, and working. The park maintains the infrastructure and provides other support, while Friends of Acadia funds an intern and one staff member, a supervisory gardener. In 2007, that was Tanner Harris '06. Since 2009, it has been Geneva Langley '94, who also curates the College of the Atlantic/Acadia National Park Herbarium. Housed on campus, this collection of 15,000 specimens documents the vegetation of the park, the island, and beyond. Geneva spends her days supervising the intern and volunteers, answering questions, pruning some—though not all—of the dead wood, every so often sprinkling salt water over the beach habitat, and subtly tending each plot to maintain its wild but visible shape. —Donna Gold For more, visit arcadiapublishing.com or friendsofacadia.org. All proceeds from the sale of The Wild Gardens of Acadia support the gardens; Josh Winer's photographs were also donated.
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Trailing arbutus, or mayflower, a lowgrowing evergreen, is found on mountains and along Acadia's drier roadsides in early spring, one of the first plants to bloom.
Large yellow lady's slipper flourishes in the Mixed Woods habitat in early spring, before the deciduous trees have leafed out. Photos by Josh Winer '91.
COA Is Not Just Any College:
Neva Goodwin & the Rockefellers It was a Columbus Day weekend in the late 1970s. A minke whale had washed ashore on Campobello Island. COA biologists Sentiel (Butch) Rommel and Steve Katona (later COA's fourth president) were heading up to autopsy the animal and retrieve its skeleton for the college's budding natural history museum. They wanted students to join, but needed a large car for transport. Butch called Neva Goodwin, who showed up with her roomy Suburban wagon, five students, and her own willing hands—though when they got there, the smell of the decomposing whale so overwhelmed all other sensations that for a long time she didn't notice the cold as she stood hip deep in the North Atlantic. In October. Among the many links between Acadia National Park and COA, Neva is one of the strongest. A trustee from 1981 to 1991, she is the granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a park founder along with George B. Dorr and Charles W. Eliot, and Acadia's premier bridge creator, supervising the building of its nearly sixty miles of carriage paths with their many stone archways. On a recent summer afternoon, settled in an old metal rocker overlooking the delphinium and clematis of her Mount Desert Island home, Neva recalls childhood excursions from this same house, catching crabs in tide pools, building caves in the hills, hiking, and admiring, especially, the forest's mosses, ferns, and lichens. She also remembers a sweet grandfather who knew how to talk to children. "He came to our level." On her last visit to his summer home, the Eyrie, Neva and a friend brought him some blueberries and discussed her friend's new kitten. Recalls Neva, "He asked the name of the kitten and my friend said, Minihaha. He responded, Oh that's no name for a kitten— when you call her, she'll think you're 38
laughing. She won't take you seriously!" Neva's connection to COA began with some math tutoring from Butch in advance of her return to academia, and continued with a conference on the meaning of human ecology that she organized with her husband, MIT professor Bruce Mazlish (father of current trustee Tony Mazlish). As a trustee during COA's troubled years, when a fire destroyed what had been the college's main building and its second president resigned under pressure, Neva helped hold things together. Her proudest contribution to COA, she says, was persuading fellow trustee Tom Hall to become board chair in 1984. Meanwhile, Neva was obtaining an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Public Administration and a PhD in economics from Boston University. Hired by Tufts University, she co-founded the Global Development And Environment Institute where she works to systematize an economic theory appropriate to contemporary real-world concerns, both social and environmental. Focused on conveying a fuller understanding of the economy, Neva is lead author
of three economics textbooks published in several languages. She also heads the Mount Desert Island Land and Garden Preserve board, which owns and manages much of the land between Northeast and Seal harbors south of Acadia, including the Azalea and Thuya gardens. Her mother, the late Peggy Rockefeller, was passionate about farming—what Neva calls, "the system that most intimately connects humans with nature." Knowing that COA shares this passion, Neva encouraged her father to donate to COA the two island farms her mother stewarded. The Peggy Rockefeller Farms are now a vital part of the college's curriculum. Supporting COA is a matter of family values, Neva adds. "COA is not just any college. Its degree is in human ecology, and that mission is so exciting. My family members are all environmentalists. Everything about our upbringing causes us to appreciate nature, to seek to understand the interactions between humans and nature, and to help create institutions that would improve those interactions." —Donna Gold
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Leave No One Behind COA commencement address, June 4, 2016 By Barry Lopez
The first thing I want to do this afternoon is express my gratitude for the invitation to speak with you today. I feel honored, knowing you've read work of mine and decided I had a place in this moment, the moment when you look back over your shoulders but also look ahead to the road you're about to embark on, or maybe to the open water south and east of here that you intend to sail—a road less safe, and a waterway trickier than those you've known here. I want to ask you to travel a little with me this afternoon. At your age I secretly wished to become a writer, but I had no clear image of what I would do as a writer. The topics I hoped to address were too broad, and the life of a writer, as I understood it then, too problematic. So I matriculated in graduate school. Hiding out might be a better term for what I was doing. What I did know was that I didn't know; and instinct told me the way out of this innocence and ignorance was to travel. To put this succinctly, I needed another, different epistemology than the one I'd gotten in my years of formal education, another way of knowing the world than the one I had been taught was the right one. I wanted to see the great Earth—the Shiretoko Peninsula, on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, the last redoubt of remnant Ainu people; the Strait of Magellan, the country, once, of Selk'nam, Yamana, and Kawésqar people—peoples from the edge of the world. Like so many, they would fall victim to the predatory instincts of Western civilization, and in the process be disparaged as dim-minded and atavistic by nearly every Western historian who followed after Magellan. I wanted to see the interior of Antarctica, COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
a landscape no people, no human culture, had ever occupied. I wanted to float the Yangtze; stand on the north shore of Tahiti in French Polynesia at Point Venus, as Cook had; travel with Warlpiri people in the Tanami Desert, in Australia's Northern Territory. I wanted to see wolves and polar bears and orcas on their own ground. I wanted to see it, see the varied Earth and meet those living in it and on it. As it's turned out, I was able to do all of this. I can't tell you how. I can only say I wanted it. I desired it. When I was your age, I wrote Louis Leakey, the great paleoanthropologist, sending him my shallow and inadequate resumé and saying I wanted to come to Olduvai Gorge and work for him there in Tanzania, to do whatever camp chores were required in his and his wife, Mary's, search for the origins of man. To my utter surprise, he sent back a welcoming letter; but we could not arrange our logistics in time, and then I was on to other things. My desire to witness this search for the fossilized bones of our deep ancestors, however, burned on in me. Twenty-five years later I flew in to Nariokotome on the western shore of Lake Turkana, in northern Kenya, to search with Louis's son Richard's "hominid gang" for further hard evidence of hominin evolution. What I'm saying here, of course, is to follow your instinct now, as you walk out of here. Where your hunger is concerned—for social justice, for scientific inquiry, for protecting the Earth, for education, for economic reform, for writing or for painting—be tenacious. Do not quit when it becomes too much, too daunting, too lonely. Be like wolverines. 39
So that one thought: Hold on to your desire. Feed it. And know that your rational mind will periodically offer you no support at all. Don't let it have the final say every time.
cavernous holds. On the wall in my hotel room was a placard warning me not to drink the tap water, and to shower only briefly, and not more than twice a week. The air in the town's bars was rancid with cigarette smoke, the air combusting in them like lit fuses in a dynamite bunker. A few moments ago I asked you if you would please travel The rooms themselves shook from the jackhammer music a little bit with me. I had in mind places of adumbration, roaring on, unnoticed by men with thousand-yard stares, places where you might sense the larger outlines of your making $200,000 a year driving ore trucks up out of the own life, events and moments you might go back to again pits. and again, because they prefigure, in some vaporous Out in the country beyond, an Aboriginal man, a or symbolic way, what is coming for you, and, if you are traditional man, speaking of his poverty and describing someone with a sense of social responsibility, what is the unraveling village in which he used to live, answered coming for your people. my question about what had happened here. "Natural Many years ago I was on the upper Yukon River just resource extraction happened to us," he said. south of the Arctic Circle, about forty miles west of The ore ships were headed to China, nearly every one Alaska's border with the Yukon Territory in Canada. I of themâ€”a country not sending troops to the Middle East, was traveling with my friend Bob Stephenson, a wolf or to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram, or anywhere else, but biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. gathering the last major deposits of iron ore in Western It was midday, and for some reason we became aware Australia, and of copper in Afghanistan. of what seemed like an inviting spot on the south bank Do I need to add anything about sociopathic of the river. We tied the canoe off on the roots of a fallen speculators in our own country trying to secure the last spruce tree, climbed the large reservoirs of fresh cutbank and walked off into water in South America, or So that one thought: Hold on to your a clearing. We didn't know sex trafficking in the fracking what we were looking for, we camps of North Dakota, or desire. Feed it. And know that your just felt drawn to the place. rogue fishing fleets in the rational mind will periodically offer you After a few moments we both Pacific? halted suddenly and looked no support at all. Don't let it have the at each other. Uneasy now. Last week I was in Occupied final say every time. Wary. Without exchanging a Palestine, traveling with word we moved to leave. On several other writers to cities the way back to the canoe in the West Bank to read and Bob stopped abruptly ahead of me and pointed with present. I had arrived in the Middle East a few days earlier his chin. There in the brush, not thirty feet away, was a and was staying in Amman before our tour began. One fresh caribou carcass. The left haunch was ripped open. day I took a chair with me and sat by myself on the barren It glistened with blood. The animal's twisted neck was edge of a bluff that fell down to the Dead Sea on the broken. Our flesh hummed with the knowledge that a Jordanian side. This sea lies in the lowest part of a visible bear was certainly very close. We choked down panic. geological feature called the Jordan Rift. The Jordan River, It's like that now. Out there in the real world. Quite which flows into the Dead Sea, drains the Sea of Galilee, or dangerous. A world threatening eruption everywhere, Lake Tiberius as the Palestinians have it, which itself takes in the same moment that we're idling along, most days, flash flood waters from a series of wadis in southwestern confident that things are going to work out, somehow, Syria, south of Damascus. The Jordan Rift continues on believing the danger is far away, in Syria, say. In North south of the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba, the eastern Korea. On Wall Street. spur at the northern end of the Red Sea, the western spur In the austral fall of 2012, I was traveling in the being the Gulf of Suez. This geological fault continues Pilbara, in the northern reaches of the state of Western south, past Jeddah, the port for Mecca, until at the Gate Australia. A painter, a landscape photographer, two of Tears, at the southern end of the Red Sea, this line, American writers, an Australian writer, and our guides. which marks the tectonic boundary between the Saudi We were looking at how iron-ore mining was changing the Arabian plate and the African plate, turns southwest, countryside, and had changed the lives of the Aboriginal bisecting Djibouti and the Omo River Valley of Ethiopia, people living there. I'll skip to the end of this complex trip where the fossilized skeletons of "Lucy" and other and say that when we came in off the desert and saw Port australopithecines ancestral to us have been found. The Headland, the harbor from which much of the ore was fault continues through Lake Turkana, in Kenya, where being shipped, the town looked like Mordor to us. The sky paleoanthropologists are looking, right now, as we're orange from iron ore dust; the nearly incomprehensible gathered here in Maine, for hominin and hominid fossils. sprawl of an automated operation loading the faceless It then follows straight on to Lake Malawi, passing through ships; the seething noise of dry ore being poured into Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania along the way. This particular 40
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section of the fault lines that run from Damascus in the I think of this indictment here today because I have Middle East to Lake Malawi in Africa is called the Great Rift just returned from a distant shore, and feel responsible Valley of East Africa. to offer you some kind of wisdom that grew out of what I I've been staring at this line for a while now, at these saw; but all I have, at the moment, are painful memories, several landscapes of our human origins: in northern paradox, and threats to my sense of hope, which, God Kenya at a paleoanthropological dig that gave us the willing, I will write my way out of in the months ahead. nearly complete skeleton of a Homo erectus youth in And if I cannot find a language that will serve as a 1989; near Djibouti, at a landscape of predatory drones foundation for hope in Palestine, I will not write a story, setting their Hellfire missiles loose over Yemen; and near out of respect for those whose vision for peace there Bethlehem, at refugee camps where third-generation continues undisturbed. Palestinians continue to hope for intervention. Also, I think there is no Ben to offer us advice. No one I would like to offer you something coherent and is coming over the horizon to tell us what to do. What we insightful about all this, including the refugee camps need to do we will discover only in deep and sustained in southern Ethiopia and South Sudan, and along the conversation with each other. Jordanian border with Syria, northeast of Amman. But I am still reeling from what I saw two weeks ago. I have I want to tell you about one more place, a place that nothing to offer you this afternoon but the fact that gave me a kind of blueprint for dealing with our modern everywhere people are running, running hard, like problems, many of which seem intractable, and which are they were running out of that ticket lobby in Brussels a too often addressed in public by people with pedestrian few months ago, running from war and drought, from ideas and selfish motives, by people who offer us, in place military occupation and corrupt governments, from of leadership, a personality disorder, in place of ethics, desertification and extreme venality and cowardice. poverty. For them, the illusion In 1981 or so I was traveling What eludes us, really, is the secret … of safety has been completely with Inuit hunters in northern shattered. They're all running Baffin Island. We were out of leading morally successful lives, ones from Hellfire missiles of one on the sea ice in Admiralty that do not leave injury and mayhem sort or another. Inlet, hunting at the ice edge, when a light wind that had in their wake, and which create inner In Death of a Salesman, been blowing from the north peace. Arthur Miller's enduring came around to the south. 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning We broke camp quickly play, a man who cannot and headed south as fast bring reality and the wishful dreamscapes of his own as we could move. Admiralty Inlet is about the size of aspirations together, in order to create and maintain Chesapeake Bay. Where we were camped, the inlet was an informed—you might also add ethical—life, this perhaps twenty miles across, and we were about forty salesman hallucinates at one point about a visit from miles north of a peninsula where the hunters' families his entrepreneurial brother Ben, who is just back from were camped. To get to the camp we had to cross three a successful venture of some kind in Africa. Ben, a sort transverse cracks that ran east and west through the sea of Cecil Rhodes, scolds his younger brother, urges him ice. When the wind was coming out of the north it kept to get out there in the world, get out there and make a these cracks closed. Coming out of the south now, the killing. The play works, in part, because Miller, who was wind was slowly widening these cracks, creating leads incisive about the type of folklore that fed American lives, of open water. If the leads widened too much, we'd be understood that we are eager to hear from men who are trapped on the massive ice floes we were racing across, financially successful, eager to know the secret of financial and possibly swept out into the open waters of Lancaster success. But of course there is no secret. What eludes us, Sound, where we would be in real trouble. really, is the secret, if you want to call it that, of leading We crossed the first two of these traverse cracks, morally successful lives, ones that do not leave injury and which were only three or four feet wide, without incident. mayhem in their wake, and which create inner peace. When we reached the third crack we were looking at ten I saw the play on Broadway once, fifty years ago, and feet of open water. Instead of some dominant personality I remember being transfixed by the figure of Ben. In my emerging, stepping forward to say what we should do, as adolescent mind he embodied the will to break free of might happen in our culture, each one of about twelve the fear of failure. It was years before I understood what men spoke about what he had done in the past in a similar Miller was really saying was that delusions of one kind situation. He offered us detailed information about the sometimes feed delusions of another kind, to the point of weather, the sea ice conditions, and the size and nature tragedy, to suicide in Willy Loman's case. To be successful, of his komatik, his sled, and said whether he had been it is necessary to confront one's cherished delusions and traveling with dogs or by snow machine. After all the men dismantle them. had spoken, each person decided which was the best COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
choice for him, and went ahead with his plan. Everyone threats. You got that here, many of you, the knowledge did something a little different. All but one of us got about what to do, the confidence to step into the work across the lead of open water successfully, through a set that is calling you into the future, the preparation to of deft but dicey procedures. The one we almost lost, we understand what has gone wrong in Syria, or Kashmir, or rescued. America, if I may say that. This incident has stayed with me for many years, Most of you arrived here, as I look at it, with two because the successful solution did not lie with the questions; and you have discovered here, I hope, two opinions of a strong personality but with each man saying skills. The questions that define a college education, what he knew, everything he knew, and not more than for me, are these: What do I mean by my life? And, How what he knew. can I say what I mean? Shall I say it as a humanitarian The idea was to get everyone safely across. The aid worker, as a physician, as a computer programmer, authority for a successful crossing lay with the sharing as a sculptor, as an educator, as a parent? If you know of knowledge, not with following any single charismatic at this point what you mean by your life, what you want personality's institution or dictate about what to do. This your life to stand for, ethically and spiritually, and if you was not Follow me but Let's not leave anyone behind. can discern the general outline of how you will conduct I would offer you this strategy, to leave no one yourself as you walk out the door here, then you have behind, at a time when too much of what is important accomplished something hard already, and we here are for us as a people is being decided by those who say fortunate, because we, the ones who are older, share a Follow me. Instead of proposing their views, they seek fate with you. to impose them. This is yet one more expression of the The particular skills I hope you have learned here "cult of personality," of have little to do directly which America is so greatly with your major area of Be careful in what you say, so that you enamored. This is not a academic interest, which, helpful approach in my mind, really, is just a matter of do not destroy someone's sense of when you consider what your intellectual comfort hope, or frighten them when they are we're facing. So, I'm urging with a certain metaphor, like you not to strive, when physics or history or design. already feeling afraid. addressing those issues that The skills I'm thinking about lie out there on the road have to do with navigation, for you, not to strive to be noticed or seem interesting to how you will navigate from here to wherever you want others. Strive instead to understand, to let others speak, to go with as little trouble as possible. One such skill and to listen. Generally, in my experience, successful would be the ability to be discreet. I'm not talking about communities are composed of people willing to let others steering clear of gossip, though that's usually a good speak for them because they know these other people are thing to do, or covering up for bad behavior, which we're good listeners. You are not depending then on the narrow all prone to do because we're human, but about another quest of an individual ego but dealing with the reality kind of discreetness. One time a senior person to me, of a common fate, which, like global climate change, is an indigenous woman I met in Oregon, said to me, You indifferent to the desire of any one individual to be proven know, Barry, we don't tell all the stories to all the people. She right. meant you must be careful in what you say, so that you do not destroy someone's sense of hope, or frighten them So, where from here for you? You can sense the bear in when they are already feeling afraid. that clearing on the upper Yukon, whatever you might The particular skills I want to stress this afternoon name it: ocean acidification, methane gas pouring out however, as you look out the figurative door here to see of the tundra this summer, volatile national economies, what has your name written on it, are the ability to be anomalous drought and wildfire, the coming fight over discerning and the ability to discriminate. To be discerning fish in the territorial waters of the Sprately Islands in is to be aware of the nuances in any given situation. It's the South China Sea, plans in the winds now in some an ability to recognize both the small within the large countries for mining and drilling in Antarctica, despite (the tree in the forest) and the large within the small (the the existence of the Antarctic Treaty which prohibits such forest made of trees). It's the ability simultaneously to development. You can see the Four Horsemen out there. accept multiple points of view and to accept the validity You can already articulate your desire to play a role in of the ones that differ from your own. In a way, to be finding ways for humanity to successfully meet these discerning is to approach the world with an attitude
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opposite that of a fundamentalist's, the polarizing your own culture. Learn what others are facing, and how attitude of someone who doesn't or can't see the world as they are coping. Think more often of what might work nuanced, or who is frightened of change. To be discerning for everyone, instead of what will work for the chosen is to be comfortable in the world outside the known self, few, among whom you will no doubt count yourself. Read to go deep where art is concerned, and to be at ease when about the lives of those you admire—Thomas Merton, awe is the proper response to mystery, not analysis. Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Aung To be discriminating is something different. It is the San Suu Kyi, and take in the meaning of each one's flaws. ability to distinguish between two things that look, at Be cautious if you feel an urge to become well known. first glance, as though they are the same. In order to Remember that sometimes reverence, not efficiency, be discriminating you have to pay close attention to is the way to a solution. And remember that it is more whatever is unfolding before you, to distinguish between important sometimes to be in love—with the Earth, with the authentic and the fraudulent. To be discriminating is, each other—than to be in power. I suppose, simply the ability to know when someone is In the years ahead you will find that it is extremely lying. difficult to lead a good life. Every life, sooner or later, In your years here you have developed the scaffolding meets tragedy and despair, injury and injustice. Every of your "philosophy of life," which you will strengthen in life hears the seductive call of cynicism and detachment, the years ahead, and which will be your guide in both lay offering you a way out. If you hear those calls, if you and spiritual matters. But these skills I've mentioned, falter, go to those you've come to trust, and seek their to be discerning, to perceive the nuances, and to be counsel. Remember those Inuit men on the ice, who had discriminating, to recognize to move quickly when the the authentic, will be useful wind shifted. Listen, and then I am inspired by your vision, and at every turn. You will be choose your way. misled less often, and you If you do well out there, impressed by your capability, and I will move more quickly to the after the safe years in an have been revitalized by your energy heart of what it is you are academic community, all after. of us together here this and enthusiasm, and I should say by afternoon—those with me your daring. So, now the road opens, on this stage, your parents, and you are out of here, like your teachers—will do well. Huck Finn lighting out for the We share a fate, and now we territory where you will make your mark. I admire your welcome you to the work that needs doing, from one end bravery, your diligence in getting as far as you have. I also of the Earth to the other. respect the desire in some of you to go no further just I have spent only a few hours in your company, now, to wait until the road ahead seems less obscure. and have come here from a far away geography and a I hope some of you will choose to join the women and different human community altogether. But I am inspired men of my generation, and those born in the fifty years by your vision, and impressed by your capability, and I separating us, to ferret out ways of life that are more just, have been revitalized by your energy and enthusiasm, and less cruel, more compassionate, and more enlightened, I should say by your daring. considering what we are all facing. You represent something magnificent. Now the real On your way out the door, then, here are a few work begins. For God's sake, take care of each other. thoughts. Step away from the unconscious confines of Thank you.
Barry Lopez has been publishing short stories and essays for more than forty years. His volume Winter Count was read in the Human Ecology Core Course by the class of 2016 when they entered in 2012. Said Galen Hecht '16 in introducing Barry during commencement, "We are honored to have with us someone whose true calling is as a storyteller and storywriter, who lets the poetry of the earth rise up through his shoes, a writer whose stories of this magnificent world are testament to the astonishing and trying reality that we are all here, alive, on this earth." Barry Lopez now holds an honorary Master of Philosophy in Human Ecology.
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ALUMNI NOTES Alumni, please welcome Amanda Mogridge, our new alumni relations coordinator. She is sure to be in contact with many of you just as soon as she returns from maternity leave. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Alaska, Paula Cullenberg writes, "I attended COA for one year and really loved my time there. Currently I'm director of Alaska Sea Grant. I've lived and commercially fished salmon here for 30 years, and am happy to talk Alaska with any COA folks headed this way!"
"In 2015, my wife and I finished our second winter and spring field season on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California conducting an annual census of southbound and northbound gray whales," writes Scott Mercer, who was a COA visiting student. They also census humpback and killer whales, and right whale dolphins, presenting their findings to a marine mammal biennial conference in San Francisco. At the November North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium in New Bedford, MA, Scott connected with COA marine biologist Sean Todd and his students. Find him on Facebook at Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study.
Last fall, Sue Inches led a group of 14 Maine legislators and business, municipal, and environmental leaders on a climate tour of Denmark, culminating in three days on carbon neutral SamsĂ¸ Island, helping, she writes, "keep the sustainability conversation alive during a difficult and anti-renewable administration in Augusta." As a consultant at Tilson Technology, she helps communities in Maine and across the country plan and implement broadband strategies for improved internet services. "Telecommunications is a fun and fast-changing field, with enormous implications," she adds. "I have been happily living in Bar Harbor with my partner France 44
Hilbert, a painter and sculptor since March 2015," writes Andrea Lepcio. "This winter I will be teaching business writing at COA. I also launched a writing coaching practice, working with novelists, memoirists, playwrights, nonfiction, and other writers in person and via Skype. I had a play open in Los Angeles in April and a musical in New York in August. Next up is a world premiere in Atlanta in March 2017." Find more at andrealepcio.com.
Marti Gudmundson is in her second year of a master's of social work program at Northwest Nazarene University near her home in Caldwell, ID. Her specialization is medical and mental health social work. She hopes to work with refugees in Idaho and eventually go into the Peace Corps with her husband, Nick Molenaar.
offering information on cost-effective resources for improving thermal comfort and performance, including renewable energy options, energy efficiency measures, financing strategies, and incentives to make improvements affordable.
In July, Christie (Denzel) Anastasia, Acadia's deputy chief of interpretation, spoke with COA law and policy faculty member Ken Cline during a COA Coffee & Conversation about the challenges and opportunities encountered by national parks and protected areas.
After 13 years of a psychotherapy practice, Ker Cleary (formerly Rachael Merker) is concentrating on the channeling she's done for 30 years, and on Bach flower remedies. Ker and her partner, Julia Trippe, celebrate 25 years together and their third wedding anniversary ("Yay, marriage equality!") in November. They have an urban homestead in Eugene, OR with chickens, fruit trees, raised beds, a new asparagus bed, and dogs Max and Tilly. Visitors can stay in their 18' 1968 Kencraft trailer with original birch veneer and turquoise appliances. Find her at bluestarchanneling.com.
Teny Bannick consults as a team member with UpGrade Ohio to motivate residents and business owners to shift to clean energy solutions. She provides one-onone client interaction with home and business owners and renters,
In May, Jeffrey Miller launched DC Cycling Concierge, a private bike guiding service. Among his guests was former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It was pretty surreal watching the wave of reaction from people walking, biking, and driving around DC as we rolled by," writes Jeff. On their second ride, he adds, they biked "along the Mall to the Capitol where guards asked the governor if there was something he wanted. He said he'd like to go in, so they opened a small fence to let him climb the steps of the Capitol, where he found the door locked. As he jokingly pounded on the door, saying, Let me in, it's the people's house! a couple of SUVs rolled up and out stepped Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who gave us an impromptu, personal tour of the Capitol." Continues Jeff, "All my guests are given the VIP treatment, COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
some are just a bit more famous— and I'm so grateful to so many COA friends for supporting this new venture!" Visit dccyclingconcierge. com.
The Adventures of Kermit the Newf, written by Bonnie (Tischler) Giacovelli and her mother, Mollie Tischler, was published by Mascot Books in April. It is the first in a series featuring Kermit, Bonnie's Newfoundland dog, and his reallife adventures. Find more at kermitthenewf.com.
In Sept. 2015, Heather Sisk was board-certified as a clinical anaplastologist. A month later, on Oct. 24, she married Craig Gordon, who writes about politics and the perverse. They have now moved to Boca Raton, FL and have created several holistic and green online directories, blogging about health, food, policy, and environmental news. Adds Heather, "I continue to sculpt and miss Maine!"
Sonja Johanson released her third poetry chapbook, Trees in Our Dooryards, by Red Bird Chapbooks, and had a poem read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac. COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Shelagh Harvard is on a year-long adventure, wandering around the nation, following years in healthcare management. She writes that she's, "taking the time to slow down and see what I like and who I am after a few tumultuous years, spending time with new and old friends, photographing, drawing, and writing every day." She's looking for places to camp or crash, and COA alumni to talk with along the way. "I'd love to come and see what you do, especially if your work revolves around food or healthcare in some way." Find her at email@example.com or tracingtheedge.com.
After 13 years traveling with, working for, and researching traditional and contemporary circuses, including Circus Smirkus, Big Apple Circus, and Cirque Du Soleil, Amity Stoddard writes that she and her husband, Sellam El Ouahabi, are opening The Sellam Circus School in Biddeford, ME. "Sellam has been a performing artist for more than 30 years, doing aerial straps, trapeze, acrobatics, hand balance, human pyramid, wheel of death … you name it." He's also been a coach for 20 years. The school will offer recreational classes, a professional circus arts training program, and eventually a traveling circus academy. Find more at thesellamcircus.com.
Sue Fox is working as an artist, gardener, and farmer on Mount Desert Island.
Raechelle Edmiston-Cyr moved from Orono to a log home with a couple of acres in Charleston, ME. "My sons and dog love it!" she writes.
In May, Meghan Pew received a BSN from Norwich University. She now works as a registered nurse in intensive care in central Vermont where she lives with her daughter, Mavis, 5.
Asa Orion Cuffari was born at home on Jan. 16 to Katie Dube and Peter Cuffari. On her maternity break from tattooing, Katie found herself collaborating on a coloring book. Color Acadia is now available in many MDI shops, or at coloracadia.com. "A big year for creating!" she writes.
Anne Mary Myers and husband Matt Blakeley-Smith welcomed son Owen this January. Anne Mary is a wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Corvallis where she and her family enjoy gardening, hiking, foraging, chicken-keeping, swimming, and the abundant organic produce of the Willamette Valley. 45
Learning Excellence for her work as a GIS professor at the University of Maine Machias. The statewide award recognizes faculty who integrate community or public service into their curriculum.
On June 4, Rickie (Bogle) Drake and husband, Justin, welcomed their first child, Sawyer Livingston Drake. Rickie is taking time off from her massage practice, but will continue Lola Arts, her ceramic business, part-time from their Portland, ME home. "We are soaking up every moment as a new family!" she writes.
Tora Johnson, MPhil and former COA GIS instructor, received the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service
On March 14, 2017, Demitria Lunetta will release Bad Blood, a paranormal thriller set in Edinburgh, Scotland, her third novel for teens. Demitria interned at the Centre for Human Ecology in Edinburgh in 2003.
Mukhtar Amin and Sarah Hurlbert '02 moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late 2015. Mukhtar writes, "It has been a great move for all of us. The kids have adjusted, we're enjoying living in Addis, and our careers are going well. I am working for Dalberg,
WHY WE GIVE Sean '00 & Sarah '05 Keeley
COA is part of us. COA's values align with our values and its mission speaks to the core of who we are. We believe environmental stewardship, social justice, and cross-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving are desperately needed in this world and we see the college as being at the forefront of these issues and more. When we make our modest donation every month we know that this is a small way of bringing the kind of world we want to see into being. Besides, after moving back to Bar Harbor two years ago, the campus has become a kind of oasis for our family. How do you value the big swing on the North Lawn's white pine, or jumping off the COA dock in summer, or hunting for sea glass with our kids on the beach? For us, giving to COA is about giving back and doing our small part to create a better world.
a management consulting firm. Sarah is Harvard School of Public Health's deputy country director."
Allison Rogers Furbish is in her third year at the nonprofit Vital Communities in Vermont, where she manages communications and the database to support regional work around local agriculture, transportation, economy, energy, civic engagement, and sense of place. Her second child, Ezra, was born in April 2015. She enjoys connecting regularly with fellow alumni, including Nikki Grimes '96 (also a nonprofit development professional), Matt Protas '06, and old friend Erin Kavanagh '04 (on the left with Allison and all of their kids on a summer visit).
Annie Harris recently graduated from the two-year wooden boatbuilding and restoration program at Newport, RI's International Yacht Restoration School and has joined the Salmon Falls Canoe crew in Shelburne, MA, building and restoring wood canvas canoes and other small boats. When not in the workshop, she can often COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
be found paddling the waterways of southwestern New Hampshire with her fiancée, Nell, a music teacher, and their two dogs.
Kidd was born at home on April 20 with a midwife and doula. They are living in Santa Fe, NM.
Community Foundation, another significant institution founded by Ed, who is in the Mt. Desert Islander photo with Elsie, left, and Ellen Dohman, volunteer executive administrator.
In June, Sanjeev and Rachael (Rapacz ('05)) Shah welcomed their second child, Rowan Sur Shah, in St. Paul, MN. The entire family, including big brother Cedar, 3.5, are enjoying the new addition.
Jacquie (Ramos) Bullard and Anthony Bullard welcomed daughter Ariana Bullard on May 25 in San Francisco. They've moved to Fremont, CA to watch her grow.
Naturopathic physician Jessica Hardy graduated from the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine and is applying to master's programs to also become a licensed professional counselor. She hopes eventually to offer holistic care to trauma sufferers.
Sam Miller-McDonald has been working with Matt Maiorana '10 to launch ActivistLab.org, an online publication dedicated to social change innovation. He has also begun a PhD program in the School of Geography and the Environment at England's University of Oxford.
Ryan Higgins' Mother Bruce saga continues with October’s release of Hotel Bruce by Disney•Hyperion. In addition to awards mentioned in last spring's COA, the book was named an E.B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book of the Year, Winter 2015–2016 Kids' Indie Next Top Ten Book, Kirkus Best Book of 2015, and was a Junior Library Guild Selection.
On July 3, Jeanne Lambert Kidd married Stirling Kidd at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM. Daughter Marian Ellis COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Executive director of Healthy Acadia, Elsie Fleming, has been working with Ed Kaelber, COA founding president, on the neighbor4neighbor fund he launched with his late wife, Ann Sewell. The fund offers minigrants to Hancock and Washington county seniors facing unexpected expenses, such as creating handicap accessibility at home after an illness, replacing eyeglasses, fixing a leaky roof, or fitting a set of dentures following cancer treatment. "The idea behind the foundation was actually rather simple," Ed told the Mount Desert Islander. "There are a lot of old people who are not necessarily impoverished, but have all kinds of little needs they can't meet." Currently, the fund generates about $6,000, offering $250 to $500 to some 12 to 24 people a year. The aim is to raise about $1 million, generating about $40,000 dollars annually for grants. The funds are administered by the Maine
Alyson "Aly" Bell completed her master's in library and information science from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. She is now coordinator of stewardship and donor relations at the University of Illinois' College of Engineering. She writes, "The University of Illinois is ranked as the #1 program for library and information science and #7 for engineering, so I am honored and excited to be a member of both prestigious groups!" In April, Noah Hodgetts was engaged to Sandra Woods of Lebanon, NH. In August, COA's 2016 Udall scholars, Laura Berry '17 and Matthew Kennedy '18, attended the Udall Scholar Orientation in Tucson, AZ, facilitated by Udall Foundation staff member Lauren Nutter, a 2008 scholar (in center of photo, next page). Lauren has just begun a master's degree in law and 47
continuing my farming work while educating future farmers as part of the community college system here in Maine!"
diplomacy at Tufts University's Fletcher School.
Natalie Barnett, managing director of operations at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream in Bar Harbor and Portland, ME, is working with partners in Washington, DC to open a branch by late 2016. She'll be traveling between Maine and DC, as well as to other East Coast locations, facilitating the opening of the new store and scouting possible future locations. Lillian Bronson completed her master's of science in nursing at New York's Columbia University and is taking certification exams in nurse midwifery this fall. As a student midwife she attended more than 30 births in Brooklyn and the Bronx. She writes that she is "very excited to continue to provide compassionate, revolutionary healthcare rooted in feminism as a new midwife." Since last June, Marston Leff has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama where he is developing a site for sustainable agriculture in Los Uveros, a mostly jungle region of Lake Gatun in the Canal Zone watershed, a community accessible only by a walking trail about an hour off the highway. Read his blog at panamonzo.blogspot.com. On June 11, Kate Ross and Austin Bamford '13 were married on the Turrets lawn. Friends, family, alumni, faculty, and staff joined in the celebration which also included lupines, a campfire, and a little rain for luck. The two met at COA in 2009 and are now living in Providence, RI where Austin is pursuing a master's 48
in landscape architecture at RISD. In the photo (by Wylde Photography), Jason Barton '12 and Megan Laflin are second and third on left. Second to last is Matt McElwee '12.
Sarah Gribbin and Phinn Onens '13 held their stateside wedding celebration on June 26 in Vermont, surrounded by love with close friends and family, including many COA alumni. They're excited to begin life together in the same place after spending two years apart, though Sarah is working for the COA admissions team this fall, while Phinn studies orcas off the west coast of Canada. Pictured, left to right are, kneeling: Julia De Santis and Sima Haigh; on hay bales: Danielle Meier '08, Yuka Takemon '14, Phinn, (holding the cardboard face of Becca Hamilton '13, see page 49), Sarah, Andrea Garcia Molina '13, and Emily Hollyday '15; standing: Ian Yaffe, Eliza Ruel '13, Devin Altobello '13, Khristian Mendez '15, Hannah Viens '13, Marketa Doubnerova '13, and Annie Cohen '13. Attending but not pictured is Chris Hamilton '85.
Writes Bo Dennis, "My exciting news is that I am now the farm manager at Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley, ME, managing the 120-acre farm that functions as the learning lab for its hands-on, vocational, sustainable, agriculture program. We grow three acres of certified organic crops, and raise sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, and ducks on pasture. I am happy to be
On April 19, Michelle Klein and high school sweetheart Steve Seyler eloped along the west fork of Oak Creek in Sedona, AZ. Though their long-distance relationship has turned into a long-distance marriageâ€” Michelle is a fisheries biologist at
After earning an MS in resource management and conservation from Antioch University New England in Dec. 2015, Hazel Stark incorporated Maine Outdoor School, L3C (maineoutdoorschool.org) with co-founder, co-CEO Joe Horn. The two were married in July, surrounded by many COA alumni. With Joe and Hazel in the photo are Brianna Larsen, Vivian Lambert '12, and Hale Morrell '12.
Lucy Atkins completed her Kâ€“8 teaching certification from the Extended Teacher Education Program at the University of Southern Maine. She's now enrolled in a long-term master's program.
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JOIN THE BLACK FLY SOCIETY! The Black Fly Society was established to make donating to COA's Annual Fund easier and greener. It's the paperless way to give to the college. We hope you'll join this swarm of sustaining donors by setting up a monthly online gift. Follow the instructions at coa.edu/donatenow. If you want to give by mail: COA Annual Fund 105 Eden Street Bar Harbor, ME 04609 (Please make checks out to College of the Atlantic.) Questions? Call 207-801-5625.
NOAA in Gloucester, MA and Steve an aerospace engineer at Orbital ATK in Chandler, AZâ€”the two enjoyed an epic cross-country road trip this fall.
experience, kind of like life at COA, but with a Nepali twist!" In the photo she is flanked by her parents, Patti and Chris Hamilton '85, and her host parents.
Their work is in the show, Masters & Apprentices: Work from Maine's Craft Apprentice Program at LA Arts in Lewiston, ME until Nov. 7. See mainecap.org.
After a year as an admission counselor at COA, Khristian Mendez has moved to Texas for a threeyear MFA program in performance as public practice at the University of Texas at Austin. His project is inspired by COA's Guatemala program, performance faculty Jodi Baker's coursework, as well as his family history. He writes, "It will be a piece about the Guatemalan armed conflict and genocide, possibly involving comedic elements." Khristian was the only applicant accepted to the 2016 MFA program, and received almost full funding in addition to a teaching assistantship.
Kyle Shank is now MDI Biological Laboratory's bioinformatics training specialist. He's also a board member of Kids' Corner and the Island Housing Trust.
2015 Becca Hamilton is in her first year of Peace Corps service in Nepal. She writes, "I live in a small village on the top of a ridge, surrounded by corn fields and jungle. I am part of the food security project here in Nepal, focusing on health and nutrition education in local schools. When I am not having my crayons stolen by first graders and trying to integrate experiential education into a rather rote educational system, I am helping to build waste water collection tanks to increase home garden productivity during the dry season. It is a crazy and wonderful COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Both Jacquelyn Jenson and James Crawford are in the inaugural year of the Maine Crafts Association's Craft Apprentice Program. Jacquelyn is apprenticing with COA adjunct teacher Linda Perrin of Ellsworth's Atlantic Art Glass; James is with blacksmith Doug Wilson in Deer Isle.
For five months next year Matt Messina will be working for Cornell University as a non-degree master's student in the Bartels Scientific Illustration Internship. He'll illustrate the Living Bird magazine, visually depict research, and teach classes. 49
FAREWELLS COA is a more than a college. Some see it as a family; certainly it is a community. We embrace those who come to work for us when they arrive, and also when they move on to new adventures and challenges.
Anthropologist Heath Cabot is now at the University of Pittsburgh after five years at COA. Writes Darron Collins '92, COA president, "Heath had a tremendously successful career at COA as a teacher, scholar, collaborator, and institution builder. While here, she received a Fulbright to continue her studies of migration in Greece, and published her first book, On the Doorstep of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece. Given how migration shapes our world, that text will only resonate more forcefully with time." Adds Amber Igacia '15, "Heath's classes asked students to look at the world and question accepted notions like family, identity, legibility and autochthony. Questions like: What makes a family without blood? What creates a national identity outside of nation states? How do you exist without papers to identify you to a government? This funny, kind, generous, sweet, and ridiculously intelligent firecracker of a woman pushed me to improve, sometimes beyond what I believed myself capable of."
Dianne Clendaniel came to COA as an instructor for Summer Field Studies, later overseeing that program as education director at the natural history museum until taking the position of alumni relations and development coordinator. After twenty-six years, having longed for the environmental education setting of a museum, she has moved across the island to work with alumna Nina Gormley '78 at the Wendell Gilley Museum. Says Lynn Boulger, dean of institutional advancement, "Dianne has been a wealth of institutional knowledge. She's done so much to connect alumni back to the college, increase our outreach and COA's alumni giving programs, and educate students on the role of philanthropy. To say she will be missed doesn't come close." Cerissa Desrosiers '00 sums up the many alumni responses to her change: "Thanks for making the alumni experience friendly and personal, and keeping the community alive. You are an awesome human—you will be loved wherever you go!"
Charlie Farley retired in May after thirteen years at COA. Writes Millard Dority, buildings and grounds director, "Hired as a dorm custodian, Charlie quickly became responsible for the care of all buildings south of Turrets, taking great pride in his work. Thanks to his wide-ranging knowledge, he became a consultant for the rest of B&G on many sticky situations—mechanical, structural, and automotive. But the better I knew him the less we talked about work and the more we talked about life. I always appreciated his advice— as did many students." Adds Anne Hurley '15, "I bumped into Charlie my second day at school. We talked about home, interests, and Zagnut bars. His smile was just what I needed after the big move from home. Passing him between classes, I could always count on a smile and chat. He's a very hard worker and an incredibly genuine listener. I feel privileged to have met him that day and to have him as a friend every day after."
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Puranjot Kaur Khalsa '05
Nishanta Rajakaruna '94
Puranjot Kaur Khalsa '05, formerly Lauren Rupp, has moved on from COA's wellness and campus engagement coordinator to join the yoga-focused company Spirit Voyage. Writes Sarah Luke, dean of student life, "During her five years here, Puranjot brought a deep sense of compassion and justice to her work in health and wellness, particularly in the support and resources for students in need and Title IX issues. I miss her wonderful sense of humor and the insight she brought to our work together." Adds Joshua Tohn '16, "Puranjot brought an awesome level of energy and originality to life here, offering us countless chances to help design events for students, and making space for students to execute and orchestrate the events themselves, taking campus life to a new level." And Lucy Allosso '15 says, "A devoted care-taker of herself and others, Puranjot enriches the lives of all those she comes to know. I am grateful for all the listening, the thoughtful conversations we've shared, and the projects we've worked on."
Botanist Nishanta Rajakaruna '94 is now at California Polytechnic State University after ten years at COA. Writes Darron Collins, "Anyone who knows Nishi knows his great heart and mindâ€”he's a tremendous scholar, teacher, and human being. Nishi will always be part of COA, no matter what university, bog, woods, or field he finds himself in." Adds Ian Medeiros '16, "Nishi sets high expectations of his students, knowing that reaching them would give us the confidence to pursue even greater challenges. After four years of working with him, I'm more excited than ever before to follow my dreams of a career in botany, knowing that I have in Nishi a teacher, mentor, and friend who will continue to support me and my work in the years to come." And Philip Kunhardt '11 writes, "In my senior year, through multiple classes and several delicious botanical dinners, Nishi helped me sharpen my focus and find my career pathâ€”I now have a master's in forest science from Yale and have conducted research in Brazil's Atlantic Forest."
After seventeen years, Jean Sylvia has retired. She began working in the development office, then added purchasing, then moved to the Blum Gallery, and later shifted to summer programs, eventually becoming associate director of summer programs, while continuing purchasing. Writes Jill Barlow-Kelly, internship and career services director, "Jean has been one of the most dedicated, supportive staff members, ready to help with whatever needs to be done. A longstanding member of the internship committee, she took a personal interest in students and their wellbeing, and always offered positive feedback on their development through their internships. She's been a constant volunteer at local community dinners as hostess, chef, storyteller, and dishwasher. Her love of life, dedication to a job well done, and ability to meet and greet all, will be missed. She is a good soul!" Adds Marie Stivers, administrative and academic services director, "Most important, Jean is a great person to have as a friend."
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COMMUNITY NOTES Over the summer, John Anderson, the William H. Drury, Jr. Chair in Evolution, Ecology, and Natural History, along with Kate Shlepr '13, deployed eight solar-powered GPS tags on herring gulls nesting on Great Duck Island as part of COA's initiative working with the Fund for Maine Islands, tracking the birds' locations and altitudes every 10 minutes. The results were presented at the 40th anniversary Waterbird
Society meetings in North Carolina. Also presenting original research were Caroline Brown '17, Mike Cornish '19, Molly Finch '19, Audra McTague '19, and Gemma Venuti '18. In April, the special edition of the society's journal, Waterbirds, focusing on gull declines in the northwestern Atlantic, was published. It was introduced by John and Kate and co-edited by them, along with researchers from Canada and the
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United Kingdom, and dedicated to the late COA biologist Bill Drury. Cover art (pictured) was by Lindsey Nielsen '13. Art faculty member Nancy Andrews returned to Ohio's Wexner Center for the Arts Film and Video Residency Program in June to edit eight tenminute episodes of her film The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes to be released on the web this fall—keep an eye out! In September, the film's lead, Michole Briana White, joined Nancy at the No Borders section of New York City's Film Week, connecting feature filmmakers and series creators with industry members. Additionally, five drawings and Nancy's previous film, On a Phantom Limb, are in the exhibit Phantom Limb, on view through December at the Victoria Gallery and Museum of the University of Liverpool, UK. This interactive portion of the Liverpool Biennial 2016 Fringe reflects on medicine, memory, and the treatment process from personal experience of operations, illnesses, and the physical and mental impact of memory on body. In April, psychology faculty members Rich Borden, the Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology, and Ken Hill, academic dean, were co-chairs of the XXI International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology (SHE), with the theme, Shaping a Livable Future: Research–Education– Practice. At the Santa Ana, CA conference, Rich chaired a session on networking human ecology programs worldwide, conducted a symposium on ecological values and knowledge, and gave the presentation "Rewriting Nature's Story: Lessons from a Century of Ecological Science." Rich had a sabbatical in spring, during which he visited Portugal's Universidade Nova de Lisboa, the 2018 SHE conference site. While there he gave a talk on COA and the history of human ecology, and served as an outside reviewer for four PhD human ecology dissertations.
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An interview with Bill Carpenter, faculty member in literature and creative writing, is included in the 2016 book Salt in Their Veins: Conversations with coastal Mainers by Charlie Wing. In it, Bill reflects on the formation of COA. In June, Bill was part of a poetry reading at the Northeast Harbor Library along with Christian Barter, adjunct poetry faculty, and Kate Macko, former assistant to President Darron Collins '92. His poem "Rain" was read over the radio by Stu Kestenbaum, Maine's poet laureate, as part of the series, Poems from Here (mainepublic.org/programs/poemshere). And his poem "The Husbands," set to music by Tom Cipullo, will be performed as part of Opera Bites at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, Nov. 11–13. In addition to launching COA's Community Energy Center (see page 9), Anna Demeo, director of energy education and management, gave a speech to the Lamoine Conservation Commission on "Rethinking Energy: Opportunities and Challenges for Communities and Individuals;" took students from COA and DC's Trinity Washington University to Denmark to work with the Samsø Energy Academy on the challenges of community energy work; presented at the AASHE conference in Maryland on the connection between Samsø, COA, and Maine islands through the Fund for Maine Islands; and assisted in building a greenhouse at the Pemetic School of Southwest Harbor, along with Haleigh Paquette '17 and Gillian Welch '19.
During the summer, Dave Feldman, faculty member in physics and mathematics, taught Dynamical Systems and Chaos, his massive, open, online course (MOOC) to more than 1,600 students. His Fractals and Scaling MOOC will be offered in the winter of 2017. It was recently ranked among the top-50 MOOCs of all time by class-central.com. Among mathematics MOOCs, that class is ranked #3 while Chaos and Dynamics is ranked #1. For more, visit complexityexplorer.org. Word about the abundance cycle framework developed by Jay Friedlander, the Sharpe-McNally Chair in Green and Socially Responsible Business, has spread, thanks to articles in MIT Sloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Forbes, and Virgin, along with presentations at Brown University, a tweet by Sir Richard Branson, and Jay's inclusion in the July issue of The Maine Magazine as one of 50 people shaping the state's future. Read about the model, which blends sustainability and business strategy, and find more articles at abundancecycle.com. In addition, Jay led a program for professors at Hamilton College on embedding solutions to pressing issues in teaching across the curriculum.
Along with Ken Hill, academic dean, Jay taught a program on the Japanese island of Osakikamijima to help establish a new university based on the COA model. From there, Jay headed to Germany to colead the "Future of Sustainable Food Business" with the German Society of Human Ecology.
In April, Sarah Hall, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair in Earth Systems and GeoSciences, accompanied Ian Medeiros '16, Alba Mar Rodriguez Padilla '18, and Gemma Venuti '18 to the Geological Society of Maine meeting in Orono where the students presented their independent geoscience research and all three were distinguished as outstanding presenters. In June, Sarah conducted reconnaissance fieldwork in California's Sierra Nevada for the National Science Foundation-funded experiential class, Environmental Geoscience Field Methods, which she will lead with colleagues from Mt. San Antonio College, University of San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. At the quadrennial 2016 Tokyo Argumentation Conference in August, Jamie McKown, the James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity, gave a talk on the role of debate in civic education reform in late 19th century American colleges and universities. While in Japan, Jamie spent some time researching and collaborating with colleagues at the Meisei University Abraham Lincoln collection, the largest such collection outside the United States. His chapter, "Renewing a Very Old Means of Education," will be included in the National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored anthology, Speech and Debate as Civic Education, published by Penn State University Press this winter. Barbara Meyers '90, COA head gardener, joined the statewide effort to bring back the chestnut tree last April by helping to plant 75 chestnut seedlings and 75 chestnut seeds in the Dixmont, ME community forest, creating the forest's new chestnut research plot. Amanda Mogridge stepped into a new role this summer as the alumni relations coordinator, and on Sept. 2 at 6:56 a.m., she and her husband, Alan, who married at COA last
summer, welcomed their first child, Eve Madeline into the world. The family is overjoyed and doing great! After six years, Suzanne Morse, the Elizabeth Battles Newlin Chair in Botany, completed her six-year fall appointment at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, teaching agroecology with an emphasis on participatory research. In winter, Suzanne brought six students to the Organic Seed Alliance conference in Oregon. Upon their return, they presented seed-saving efforts to COA's farms, "the ultimate in selfsufficiency," as long as the quality remains, she says. Black bean seeds are being saved at the Peggy Rockefeller Farms, along with squash seeds that are being pollinated by hand to breed true. In April, Steve Ressel, faculty member in biology and zoology, was awarded a three-year National Park Service scientific research and collecting permit to study the ecology and physiology of amphibians that breed in saline water. Steve aims to involve at least three students each season in this project. In June, Steve participated in the 2016 EcoLeague Retreat held at COA. There, he and Katie Stumpf of Northland College were awarded a faculty development grant to fund curriculum development for a future joint EcoLeague course in tropical biology. Initial planning took Steve to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park in August to scout field sites and establish relationships with local conservation organizations.
In May, Doreen Stabinsky, faculty member in global environmental politics, presented her analysis of the loss and damage provisions of the Paris climate agreement to a workshop on transitional justice held by the international think tank Climate Strategies at the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn in Germany. At the July Swedish political gathering Almedalsveckan, she was the lead discussant on the panel, "Now that we have the Paris Agreement on climate changeâ€”what next?" Doreen ended her visiting professorship in climate change leadership at Sweden's Uppsala University in August as a panelist at the opening lecture by the incoming professor. And in September she was an invited speaker and resource person at a workshop on agroecology and climate sustainability in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. With partners from the Island Institute and Rural Aspirations Project, Bonnie Tai worked with COA's educational studies program to organize and host the first summer teacher institute of the Sustainable Coastal Communities, Educators, Students, and Schools (SuCCESS) project, funded by the Fund for Maine Islands. Twentyfour island and coastal teachers, school leaders, and community partners gathered at COA to deepen and apply their understanding of experiential and place-based education to develop curriculum that contributes to the social, economic, and ecological sustainability of their communities. In August, as part of furthering her studies in Buddhist literature, thought, and practice, Bonnie participated in an in-house retreat at the Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Canada.
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IN MEMORIAM Polly Guth March 4, 1927–June 22, 2016 These youngsters need some dirt under their fingernails, Polly Guth would say in her glorious, eloquent voice, when I visited her. Polly helped COA build one of the strongest, most innovative programs in sustainable food systems in higher education. She understood the transformative power of farm work—and the linkages between food production and human health, economics, and ecological sustainability, helping us articulate the human ecological nature of farms. Polly also understood the power of cooperation, helping to inspire the college's partnership with the Island Institute. She loved islands and the resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurship of the people who made islands their year-round home. Her understanding of island communities was neither nostalgic nor quaint, she loved islands for their dynamism as much as for their beauty and iconoclasm. But I cannot think for one second about Polly without remembering her as a friend. Polly Guth took me under her proverbial wing in the summer of 2011 and became one of my dearest friends and greatest mentors. She got the biggest kick out of my frequent kayak pilgrimages from MDI to her home on Sutton Island. We would spend summer days talking about things great and small over coffee and eggs, looking out over the channel as sailboats raced back and forth. I miss Polly terribly, but the world is so much better because of her and the life she led, and that gives me tremendous hope. —Darron Collins '92, COA president
Forrest Mars, Jr. August 16, 1931–July 26, 2016 Forrest Mars, Jr., grandson to Franklin Clarence Mars, founder of Mars, Inc., was a kind, resourceful, accomplished person. I first met him while guiding in the Antarctic. He had sponsored a trip aboard the M/S Silverseas Explorer to take a group of students and teachers from his alma mater, the Hotchkiss School, to South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula; I was one of the guides. I took a second journey with Forrest to the Southern Ocean, where he had considerable experience and knowledge; we had planned a third. Thanks to his philanthropy, the South Georgia Heritage Trust achieved its plan to entirely remove invasive Norwegian rats brought to the island by early whalers, devastating local species. Additionally, Antarctic Heritage Trust received a new building to support the museum staff at Point Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula. As a businessman, Forrest and his brother globalized and diversified Mars, Inc., bringing the company to developing markets in Russia and Africa. It is now widely regarded as one of the nation's most successful privately held companies. Forrest was passionate about the preservation of the ocean. With his wife, Jacomien, he helped COA rebuild much of the facilities at Mount Desert Rock's Edward McC. Blair Marine Research Station after the 2009 devastation of Hurricane Bill. The new buildings are dedicated in their honor. Forrest and Jacomien have also supported the college's marine program. COA and I have lost a great friend. —Sean Todd, faculty member in marine mammal biology and Allied Whale director
Robert Nagle January 22, 1948–April 15, 2016 Robert Nagle, Thorndike Library assistant and daytime weekend supervisor since 1998, died peacefully following heart bypass surgery. Kate Gordon, his partner of thirty-six years, and grown son, Sam, were by his side. Robert had been recovering at home when he suffered a setback that returned him to the hospital with additional heart and added kidney problems, complicated by diabetes. Robert cared deeply about the students with whom he worked. He also cared about the homeless, spending much of the past eight years working at the Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Ellsworth. Previously, Robert had been a library assistant at the Boston Public Library and the Fogler Library of the University of Maine. He served in the US Army as a radio teletype operator and radio-wire integrator from 1967 to 1970. He was also an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan, taking trips to Florida to watch the Red Sox practice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter at 51 Main Street, Ellsworth, ME 04605. —Jane Hultberg, Thorndike Library director
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Our Back Pages Five Miles in Seven Hours
How the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History got its name A century ago, when Acadia National Park was Sieur de Monts National Monument and George B. Dorr its custodian, Dorr's office was at the corner of Bar Harbor's Main and Park streets. Eighty years on, the building remained, unused, right where the YMCA was about to expand. That's when Millard Dority, COA's director of campus planning, got a call. Want it? Millard knew it would be the perfect home for the natural history museum, then housed in Turrets. But while a museum building was a goal, fundraising hadn't begun, and the move had to be immediate. And the building was tall. Lifted onto a trailer, it would hit phone and power lines—including the hospital's—requiring numerous utility trucks to raise the lines. Costs mounted. Ah, but if they took the long way, via the Park Loop Road (closed for the season), there would be fewer lines, reducing the power and phone company's workload—not quite as costly. At six a.m. on October 30, 1996, escorted by the police on public roads, park maintenance in Acadia, and some half-dozen phone and power vehicles, Millard and crew set off. He had visited every homeowner along the route, saying, We believe we can get under your tree, but if we can't … can I nip off an edge? No one objected, though the park asked that they shield the roof with a wooden prow-like covering to protect Acadia's trees from the building's protruding dormers. "It looked like a Mad Max vehicle, but we parted the tree canopy without damage," recalls Millard. Lumbering along at five miles an hour, the parade headed up Paradise Hill. One turn took a full hour. Still they were doing well. And then … snow. "We're on Paradise Hill, we're getting ready to take the steep slope down Highbrook." Millard was speechless. They made it through the flurries, but in those days columns graced both sides of COA's entranceway. "We come down over Highbrook hill fine, we cross Route 3, and then we get between the columns at just the wrong angle, so we're sticking out onto the road." Millard and workstudy Amanda Robbins '98 had measured every low-hanging tree along the route and the width of every road, but not every possible angle they might take. Backing and straightening, backing and straightening, mover Kenny Jordan got the building on campus by one p.m. By six, the crew raised a ladder, entered, and there—in that empty, dusty, historic structure—uncorked the champagne. 56
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HELIO Human Ecology Lab & Island Odyssey By Clement Moliner-Roy '19 After months of discussion with Japanese leaders, twenty-four students spent two weeks on the island of Osakikamijima planning a college modeled on COA. The impetus was the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In its aftermath, some Japanese officials felt that the memorization and specialization of their educational system might have contributed to the string of bad decisions escalating the disaster. This led to an interest in interdisciplinary education featuring collaboration and critical thinking, hence the connection to COA. The following report was written by a participant in HELIO, the summer's Human Ecology Lab and Island Odyssey. We were a team of twenty-four students from around the world, the first cohort of a new Japanese school, hoping to spark an educational reform during a twoweek experiment. There were eight students from Japan, eight from COA, and eight from Ashoka schools around the world. (Ashoka is a global organization supporting innovative, practical ideas to solve social problems.) We were artists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, all with the common hope of making the world better. One of our main tasks was to generate ideas of what education would be like for future HELIO groups. Diving deep into the community of Osakikamijima, the small, gorgeous island in the Seto Sea where the school would be located, we talked with locals, visited sites, split into focus groups, and generated ideas of what the ideal education model would be. My group's theme was agriculture, so we visited lemon, avocado, and watermelon farmers—some certified organic, some not—to hear their views of the farming situation, the opportunities, and the education model that would help create the next generation of farmers. Themes recurred, like the need for more hands-on education in farming and in the holistic range of skills that turn farms into businesses. One day we realized that all the farmers we talked to were growing similar crops, so we asked our organizer if we might speak with a fish farmer. In five minutes, the organizer came back to us: Tomorrow for lunch you are visiting a shrimp and oyster farmer. I wish every student would have access to such flexibility and support in their research.
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The students were incredible, each with a unique dream for improving the world. Some owned non-profit organizations fighting for food security, some worked for business incubators, others were involved with various social businesses. Never had I felt so surrounded by leaders. I learned so much from the others' stories; their energy charged me! One day, the vice-minister of education in Japan shared his educational vision with us. After his presentation I asked, What do you want to see from this school we are creating? His answer: that our education model would change people's definition of happiness from just making money, just increasing the GDP. At the end of the week, each group synthesized what they learned to create a collaborative presentation to stakeholders—including mayors and investors who might support the future cohorts of this school—in hopes that it eventually becomes a university. The presentations served as proposals. Our group suggested a farm near the school where students could practice agriculture as well as the skills associated with running a farm, from accounting to cooking. I thought most of the ideas generated should be implemented in colleges around the world. We don't know what HELIO will become: Summer program? Gap-year school? The ultimate goal is an accredited university—or maybe a new-versity. The two-week program was so transformative, I could list a hundred ways it changed my view of the future. I really hope the program will sustain itself and transform others.
The College of the Atlantic Magazine 105 Eden Street Bar Harbor, ME 04609