The unique public-private partnership between the Schoodic Institute and the National Park Service enables the two organizations to work together to bring researchers, educators, and students to the park to use the park’s diverse ecosystems as classrooms and to conduct field research.
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization created by Acadia National Park and interested individuals, provides research and life-long learning opportunities tied to its National Park setting within one of the world’s great natural laboratories. The Institute expands the traditional role of a national park as a vacation destination into a regional and community catalyst for ecosystem research, conservation training, and education. It uses its bold physical and inspirational location as a place of personal and professional transformation.
Scientists, educators, and citizen scientists of all ages collaborate on the ambitious vision of a better understanding of the biodiversity and resources of all of Acadia National Park and its environs and of investigating national and global environmental issues. A major component of the Institute’s educational efforts is providing opportunities for youth to learn about and be inspired by the out-of-doors. A host of academic and institutional partners cooperate closely with the Institute. Natural resource managers at Acadia National Park rely on the research to restore Acadia’s ecosystems and improve their resiliency in the face of challenging environmental changes. Much benefit is already being brought to the Park and the local economy by Schoodic Institute, with greater impact anticipated in the future. Those engaged in science and education at the Institute are drawn from many parts of Maine, the nation, and other countries.
A signature feature of Schoodic Institute is the linking of its research community to powerful educational experiences and to opportunities to reach millions of Park visitors each year. With its partners, the Institute uses this science community to guide teachers, students, and citizen scientists to a greater interest in and respect for nature, as well as a deeper understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
On the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus and beyond, Schoodic Institute and its partners are developing meaningful programs benefiting not only Acadia but also other national parks and other conservation efforts around the world.
Key Acadia National Park and other National Park Service personnel associated with Schoodic Institute include:
Acadia National Park:
Kevin Schneider, Superintendent (effective Jan. 25, 2016)
Mike Madell, Deputy & Acting Superintendent
Rebecca Cole-Will, Chief of Natural & Cultural Resources
– – – Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator*
Lynne Dominy, Chief of Interpretation
– – – Christie Anastasia, Deputy Chief of Interpretation
– – – Kate Petrie, Schoodic District Education
Stuart West, Chief of Resource & Visitor Protection
– – – Bill Weidner, Schoodic District Ranger
Kevin Langley, Chief of Administration
– – – Alicia Fortier, Schoodic District Volunteer Coordinator
Keith Johnston, Chief of Maintenance
– – – Phil Church, Schoodic District Maintenance
National Park Service:
Timothy Watkins, Research Learning Center Network Coordinator
* Abraham Miller-Rushing, Ph.D:
Abe is the Science Coordinator for Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Education and Research Center. He is responsible for setting the science priorities for the Park and as a result plays a key role in the Schoodic Institute’s science programs, notably including citizen science. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at Boston University and did postdoctoral research in Colorado, Arizona, and Maine. His expertise is in forest ecology, climate change, and citizen science.