Acadian Program

In Regional Conservation and Stewardship

The Acadian Program is a summer short course focused on large landscape-scale conservation for the next generation of public, private, and non-profit conservation leaders.

The program brings participants from around the world to learn about community‐based, landscape scale conservation using the Downeast Maine and Atlantic Canadian region as a living classroom and laboratory. The region, with its remarkable history and promising future, is an extraordinary training ground for participants from North America and abroad. In this magnificent setting, students confront the enormity of the conservation challenges ahead. The program enables them to design innovative conservation strategies using the vast array of public, private, non-profit and academic resources available. The program provides students with a better understanding of large landscape conservation, and experience with key aspects of conservation first hand. Just as importantly, the program strengthens cooperation and builds new landscape-scale conservation capacity with cooperating agencies and organizations.

Acadian Program participants take a formative step toward becoming key conservation practitioners, partners and leaders of the 21st century, while also having a measurable impact on the capabilities of conservation and community organizations across the Acadian Region. Our aspiration is that these students and the professionals and practitioners working with them will be able to articulate an ecologically sustainable, economically resilient, and socially responsible vision for future of the Acadian region – and regions like it around the globe – working across sectoral, jurisdictional, and even national boundaries to achieve measurable conservation and economic development goals.  Program partners include the Quebec-Labrador Foundation (QLF), the University of Maine, and the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.

Since launching in 2011, we have trained nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate students from over 13 countries, placing them for summer field work experiences with over one dozen state, local and international conservation organizations.