Sustainability Partnerships

I work in partnership with local communities and organizations in Maine, state agencies such as the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and national and international academic groups. As partners we are collectively working to address complex sustainability and social-environmental justice issues through applied, student-led, and grant funded projects.

Here are some of examples of existing partnership and links to learn more about opportunities to connect with these ongoing efforts:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Diana Davis Spencer Fellows with the Partnership for a Sustainable Maine

Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions:  As an affiliated faculty with the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, I participate in and support a wide range of activities that support the Center’s focus on addressing complex problems through interdisciplinary partnerships and stakeholder engagement. I have been working with the Mitchell Center since 2010 when I was a Ph.D. student with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) where I studied the 20 interdisciplinary teams to identify how communication was shaping the process and outcomes from these collaborations. I then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Mitchell Center and the New England Sustainability Consortium’s Safe Beaches and Shellfish Project and continue to work on several research projects that were launched through this initiative. I am currently involved in several projects associated with the Center, including the Future of Dams, a social science study of salmon restoration efforts, and the development of communication workshops for policy-focused partnerships.

Students
The Frenchman Bay Partners support shellfish science and monitoring in the Bay.

Frenchman Bay Partners and the 610 Project: I did my dissertation research with the Frenchman Bay Partners, which was a newly formed network that was advancing a conservation action planning process in the watershed of Frenchman Bay. My role with this group was to study and shape the collaboration, and I worked closely with the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee to develop the plan’s focus on intertidal ecosystems and shellfishing interests. Water quality became a key concern for this group, so we initiated the 610 Project, an effort to open the 610  acres of restricted mudflat in Frenchman Bay. With two grants from the Maine Community Foundation, we have made substantial progress in finding and fixing pollution sources, and also conducting extensive water quality monitoring to try to prevent closures in Jordan River.

Maine Lake Science Center and the Maine Lakes Collaborative: The Maine Lake Science Center is based at the Lakes Environmental Association  (LEA) in Bridgton, Maine. I served as the conservation and education director at LEA from 2001 to 2010, and then served as a board member from 2011 to 2015. Most recently, I was a consulting executive director for the development of the Maine Lake Science Center where I help grow the Center’s capacity for sustainability science.

DSC_0117
Glen Melvin, fellow member of the Maine Shellfish Advisory Council, and I at the “super hod” he built to celebrate the culture of clamming.

Maine Shellfish Advisory Council: As a member of the Maine Shellfish Advisory Council, I support efforts to strengthen the shellfish industry and advise the Maine Department of Marine Resources on policy issues related to water quality, shellfish management, and research priorities. We also assist with planning the annual Shellfish Focus Day at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, one of the most important learning events for shellfishing in the State.

Diana Davis Spencer Partnership for a Sustainable Maine: With funding from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, David Hart and I created the Partnership for a Sustainable Maine and the Spencer Fellows program. This program supports emerging leaders and social entrepreneurs who are focusing their undergraduate and graduate work on coastal resilience, and especially  fisheries innovation.