Second Century Stewardship

At the dawn of the second century for the US National Park Service (NPS) and Acadia National Park (ANP), the opportunity exists to more powerfully engage science for the benefit of parks and society.  More than 400 parks in the US national park system attract more than 300 million visits annually.  These parks provide a remarkable platform for public engagement in science.

The Second Century Stewardship collaboration between the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, NPS, and other institutions aims to:

  • Advance conservation science and provide science that informs stewardship of natural and cultural resources by expanding scientific research programs in parks;
  • Strengthen and broaden public understanding of the value of parks for science and science for parks and society by building on the positive public perception of national parks;
  • Enhance science understanding and appreciation among the public by leveraging park science for education and public outreach.

View the feature-length film, Second Century Stewardship from David Shaw on Vimeo.

Second Century Stewardship from David Shaw on Vimeo.

The Second Century Stewardship partnership was announced and launched on June 25, 2016.


David Shaw’s generosity, vision, and enthusiasm are bringing national science leaders – starting with AAAS – to partner with Schoodic Institute and Acadia.  We are honored to pilot this integrated approach to advancing science research, education, and communication.  We aspire to bring this work to national scale with parks across the country.

Collaboration between AAAS, Schoodic Institute, and NPS offers attractive opportunities to advance science and engage with and inspire audiences of all ages, inviting visitors and others to view national parks through a “science lens” and providing authentic learning experiences both in and out of the park,  to enhance understanding and appreciation of science.

Engaging the public in science is rapidly advancing research of great importance as we face complex challenges in a changing environment. At the same time, opportunities to learn about the threats park ecosystems face–and the science that is helping to address them–inspire visitors and others to be effective stewards of the national parks and motivate conservation action.

The Second Century Stewardship collaboration focuses on science issues associated with Acadia National Park, with the intention of scaling nationally over time. The initiative offers fellowships for park-based investigations and connects scientists and their research with educators, students, and the public to support science understanding, appreciation of the natural world, and park stewardship both locally and nationally.

About the Collaborators:

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is a close nonprofit partner to the NPS that is dedicated to advancing ecosystem science and learning for all ages. The Institute helps the NPS achieve the original vision for Acadia as a destination for science and inspiration.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 411 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial in 2016 and is using this opportunity to invite a new generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), based in Washington, D.C., is an international non-profit membership organization established in 1848 to advance science for the benefit of society. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of leading scientific journals, including Science.

The Carnegie Institution for Science is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the United States. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

David Evans Shaw is managing partner of Black Point Group LP, with wide-ranging interests in technology companies and public service. His business creation, leadership, investment and board experience includes numerous science-based companies including IDEXX Laboratories, Ikaria, Curiosity Stream, Ironwood, Physion, Vets First Choice, Modern Meadow, and others. Shaw’s public service experience includes AAAS, the National Park Foundation, the Jackson Laboratory, the Sargasso Sea Alliance, State of Maine, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Maine Medical Center, Hurricane Island Outward Bound, the US-Israel Science and Technology Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, Service Nation and others. He is a lifelong beneficiary of experiences in marine and terrestrial parks around the world.

For more news about the Second Century Stewardship initiative, see:

Second Century Stewardship Names Three Fellows to Conduct Research in Acadia National Park


Dr. Abbey Paulson awarded Second Century Science Fellowship


Media Coverage

WATCH: Dr. Elizabeth “Abbey” L. Paulson, the first participant in the Second Century Stewardship fellowship program, in a video shared by AAAS – The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Paulson has been studying multiple aspects of Acadia National Park as part of a larger effort to promote national park stewardship through ecosystem science and conservation.