The unique public-private partnership between the Schoodic Institute (501(c)3 non-profit organization) and the National Park Service allows the two organizations to accomplish more together than they could independently.
Schoodic Institute helps achieve the original vision for Acadia National Park as a destination for science and an inspiration for further conservation. Through private philanthropy, Schoodic Institute leverages NPS investment to create greater impact for science, education, and conservation.
Research led and facilitated by Schoodic Institute is addressing questions that are important to stewardship of Acadia National Park and the broader region. The Institute’s setting provides research and life-long learning opportunities within one of the world’s great natural laboratories. The Institute and NPS 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.
SHARED RESEARCH AND EDUCATION GOALS
NPS and Schoodic Institute have the following shared goals for research and education, which are more broadly adopted in a 2015 Strategic Framework for NPS Research Learning Centers:
- Promote national parks as premier places for scientific inquiry.
- Facilitate and promote the use of science to make resource management decisions.
- Improve science literacy by incorporating science into park visitor and staff experiences.
- Assess and evaluate activities and adapt as necessary to achieve the vision.
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.
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 Superintendent
Christie Anastasia, Public Affairs Specialist
Rebecca Cole-Will, Chief of Natural & Cultural Resources
Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator*
Lynne Dominy, Chief of Interpretation
Kate Petrie, Acadia Education Coordinator
Alexa Pezzano, Schoodic Education Adventure
Stuart West, Chief of Resource & Visitor Protection
Dylan Mroszczyk-Macdonald, Schoodic District Ranger
Kevin Langley, Chief of Administration
Dianna McKeage, Volunteer Coordinator
Keith Johnston, Chief of Facilities
Matt Fahey, 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.