Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Schmitt as Science Communication Specialist. In this new role at Schoodic Institute, Schmitt will communicate the work of Schoodic Institute scientific staff and Second Century Stewardship research fellows, as well as research in Acadia National Park, past and present.
Schmitt has a background in both science and writing, including a master’s in ecology and environmental science from the University of Maine and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA program. Schmitt is a frequent contributor to newspapers, magazines, and literary journals, and her writing about Acadia has appeared in Friends of Acadia Journal, Island Journal, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, and Mount Desert Island Historical Society’s magazine, Chebacco. Her most recent book, Historic Acadia National Park, was part of a series by Lyons Press in honor of the National Park centennial in 2016.
“Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is excited to have someone of Catherine’s talents and commitment help us pursue collaborative solutions to critical environmental challenges through discovery and learning,” said Schoodic Institute President and CEO Don Kent. “She will help people make sense of their environment, sense that leads to healthy and prosperous communities.”
“The Acadia region has a long and rich history of science, including participation by students and citizens. I am excited to share these stories, as well as to highlight current research in the Park,” said Schmitt. “Science is an important part of understanding the many environmental changes affecting Acadia and other parks across the country, and enhancing understanding of the world around us is crucial to finding solutions to many of today’s problems.”
Schmitt has taught courses on science writing, science communication, and composition at the University of Maine, and often presents on science communication to students, scientists, and outreach professionals.
“We welcome Catherine and her depth of experience in science communication to the Schoodic Institute team,” said Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “A significant role in managing natural and cultural resources involves communication to create understanding and support for the research and science conducted in Acadia National Park.”
Schmitt previously directed communications for the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine. Prior to joining Sea Grant as a science writer in 2004, she was a research assistant at UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center. She has conducted a diverse range of field work throughout the Northeastern U.S., from wetland delineation and environmental site assessment to monitoring salt marshes, coastal waterbirds, and water quality in lakes and streams. She has studied the environmental history of the Penobscot River watershed and wild Atlantic salmon, covered in her book, The President’s Salmon: Restoring the King of Fish and its Home Waters.