Two people wearing backpacks pause at a log in the woods to review maps

It’s field work season in Acadia

photo by Linda Moses

Despite delays and complications presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic, Second Century Stewardship fellows are proceeding with field aspects of their research.

Jay Wason set out on July 3 to locate six sites in Acadia National Park used by Ronald Davis in his authoritative study of Maine’s coastal spruce forests in 1959. Says Jay, “We found them all! They were really interesting with diverse structure and composition. Saw some really nice big old spruce trees on Bernard Mountain and lots of downed woody debris.”  He and Shawn Fraver will be back later this summer to count, monitor, and measure vegetation in the 100-square-meter plots.

Another 2020 fellow, Bonnie Newsom, and two student assistants will be meeting with members of the Abbe Museum’s archaeological advisory committee which includes representatives from Maine’s tribal communities, the Abbe Museum, the National Park Service, and others. This outreach activity will help the team to identify stakeholder questions and interests regarding archaeology sites and data.

Matt Farragher, a UMaine graduate student advised by Jasmine Saros, is helping 2020 fellow Rachel Fowler with lake and pond water sampling on Mount Desert Island.

Steph Spera, 2019 fellow, has a student analyzing data this summer, and she is still searching for old (pre-2000) photographs of Acadia in the fall, as well as the State of Maine official “Fall Foliage Reports” that began appearing in newspapers in 1959 (anyone have a pile of these in their garage?). Closures of libraries and archives have affected this historical research, but Spera hopes that people going through old photos as part of “pandemic projects” may have found vacation photos of Acadia in the fall.

Kate Ruskin has shifted her research. Instead of intercepting people in person, she and students Andrea Knapp and Dominique DiSpirito posted signs at several locations directing visitors to a survey about management of Acadia’s lakes, ponds, and streams.