2019 Year in Review

2019 was a big year for Second Century Stewardship. We awarded three new fellowships for research in Acadia National Park. The fellowships act as a catalyst to strengthen relationships between park resource managers and the research community, while generating knowledge that is being applied to park management. We describe this in more detail in an article in the inaugural issue of Parks Stewardship Forum, which we wrote in partnership with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the NPS Natural Resource Science and Stewardship Communications Office.

“Second Century Stewardship advances our service-wide priority of science access and engagement. It serves the critical needs of individual parks and provides a template that can be replicated across the National Park System,” said Raymond Sauvajot, Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, National Park Service

We also worked with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the Pacific Region on a science communication training in California, building on workshops we offered at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Louisville, Kentucky and a communication workshop for 2018 and 2019 Fellows at Acadia in July.

According to workshop evaluations, participants now value and place greater emphasis on engagement with the “how” of science and inspiring audiences, rather than just sharing findings. They also made connections with people in park interpretation, and understand their challenges in communicating about the science with the public.

In 2019 we worked with an additional 10 parks and NPS offices. With support from the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, Second Century Stewardship is expanding across the National Park System. From additional citizen science and science communication workshops and collaboration with the new NPS Communication & Engagement Community of Practice to a new project on the impact of coastal storms in the Northeast Region, it is clear there is great need for and interest in “second century stewardship.”

“We are applying the Second Century Stewardship approach in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and are excited to work with the SCS team to expand the approach throughout western parks,” said Christy Brigham, Chief of Resources Management, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Meanwhile, most of the SCS Acadia Fellows were busy with their research and outreach:

  • Stephanie Spera launched a media campaign to recruit citizen scientists to contribute to her research on fall foliage, resulting in many news stories and a growing network of participants.
  • Kate Ruskin brought University of Maine students to Schoodic and presented on integrating social and ecological science at the Acadia Science Symposium.
  • Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie began a partnership with the Wabanaki Studies program at the University of Maine, and presented at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum.
  • Jenny Smetzer held a workshop to share her findings on climate change refugia with staff from NPS, other federal and state agencies, and conservation organizations, who provided feedback which was incorporated into project outcomes. Her team has received a grant from USGS-NPS to continue work with parks throughout the Northeast. Their work was featured in three news stories.
  • Allison Gardner and her team of students presented to Acadia staff and partners, and she continues to work with the park as her findings get incorporated into management and visitor outreach. Public awareness was aided by a prominent news story.
  • Allyson Jackson presented on science communication at the National Park Foundation’s Citizen Science 2.0 workshop in November.
  • Alessio Mortelliti published his research in the journal Oikos.
  • Chris Nadeau completed his data collection, and created a video about his project.

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings.