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New article on Dragonfly Mercury Project research

The foundational work on the Dragonfly Mercury Project was published today in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, “A national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in United States national parks using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels through a citizen-science framework.” Working with citizen scientists, National Park Service scientists and research partners assessed mercury concentrations in dragonfly larvae […]

Science knowledge is a blessing…and a curse

by Catherine Schmitt, Science Communication Specialist with Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park Scientists often express frustration over their attempts to communicate with public audiences. Through our workshops and presentations, I’ve come to believe that one root of this frustration is the difference in nature-related knowledge and experiences between scientists and their audiences. Unaware of […]

Three new fellows to conduct research in Acadia National Park

Three scientists have been awarded fellowships to conduct research in Acadia National Park as part of Second Century Stewardship, an initiative of the National Park Service, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, and the National Park Foundation. Second Century Stewardship was launched in 2016 upon the centennial of the National Park Service to provide relevant […]

An Earth Day message from our founder

Earth Day was created in 1970 to celebrate the health of our planet. The half century since then has been a time of momentous change including astounding breakthroughs in our ability to explore and understand our natural world. One thing is clear: stewardship of parks and protected areas is more important than ever. This short […]

ESA grants award to MacKenzie, coauthors for climate change research

The Ecological Society of America has selected Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie and coauthors for the Mercer Award, in recognition of an outstanding, recently-published, ecological research paper by young scientists. In the paper “Phenological mismatch with trees reduces wildflower carbon budgets.” J. Mason Heberling, MacKenzie, and coauthors “show creative and powerful integration of historical records and contemporary […]

Psychological distance from nature as a science communication challenge

by Catherine Schmitt, Science Communication Specialist with Schoodic Institute Due to health and safety concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, many local, state, and national parks have closed, including Acadia National Park, after experiencing a surge of visitors seeking solace and space during otherwise stressed and isolated days of social distancing. Of course people are seeking […]

A human hand holds a black bat between thumb and forefinger

The Bats of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Need Your Help

by Catherine Schmitt About one-fourth of all mammals (nearly 1,000 species) on Earth are bats, a misunderstood and underappreciated denizen of the night. Many bat populations are declining from various causes, ranging from destruction of their nesting caves and other habitats to  “white nose” disease caused by an invasive fungus. Since it emerged in New […]

National Science Foundation grants award to Mortelliti

2017 Second Century Stewardship Fellow Alessio Mortelliti, University of Maine assistant professor of wildlife habitat conservation, has been awarded an $875,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study the ecosystem consequences of small animal personalities. According to Mortelliti, most classical ecological models consider all members of a population to be more or less identical. However, […]

Announcing the Parks Stewardship Forum

Second Century Stewardship is featured in the inaugural edition of Parks Stewardship Forum, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Place-Based Conservation, published by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity and the George Wright Society. This new open-access journal will “serve the global stewards of parks, protected areas, cultural sites, and other forms […]

Rocky shore with black crowberry and spruce tree, ocean in background

Finding refuge from climate change in the national parks

National Parks include within their boundaries pockets and patches where temperatures stay cool even when the surrounding landscape is heating up. Scientists call such places “climate change refugia.” Knowing how habitats and species will shift in the future can guide management of landscapes in the present. A recent article in The Working Waterfront featured the […]