Blogs

Fall 2016 Field Season

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On this snowy day in February, we thought it would be a great chance to reflect on the amazing Fall 2016 field season that the Vital Signs Community had. This was an exciting fall, with new community members from all across the state and into NH participating and gathering data!

Deer Isle Students Reopen School Nature Trail

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Guest blog post by: Mickie Flores, Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School

The seventh and eighth graders at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School took science out of the classroom this Fall, collecting and analyzing data on the school's old nature trail, and now the students are ready to reopen the trail to the public this upcoming spring. Everyone has been hard at work identifying native species and learning about the relationships between the living and nonliving components of the site as they cleared the trail, which now extends from the elementary school playground toward the high school.

Portland student working on an invasive species cookbook

Have you ever wondered what you can do with invasive species? One high school student, Oliver Curtis, started a project with the Telling Room (a non-profit writing center in Portland, ME) that will end in him publishing a book, an invasive species cookbook!

Read more about this story HERE.

Spring 2016 Fieldwork Activity

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From coastal to upland, and into freshwater habitats, the Vital Signs community has had a productive spring. We had participation from grades 3-12 and also had some amazing work done by citizen scientists/students in their spare time!

Teachers Inspire Our Future Scientists

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Pat Parent, an amazing teacher from Massabesic Middle School, works each year to engage his students in authentic science that is relevant to their lives and their community. A piece of that work is doing citizen science with Vital Signs throughout the year.

Vital Signs Citizen Scientists - Future Maine Conservation Leaders

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It's easy to get discouraged in the face of the many challenges we observe in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. Whether it's a warming Gulf of Maine, or the spread of invasive species throughout our watershed, I'm thinking about these challenges on a daily basis.

Hot Topic! Emerald ash borer – Invasives on Maine’s doorstep

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Picasa, DAB3218

First detected in Michigan in 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has now spread to at least 24 states and two Canadian provinces. EAB infestations have been reported in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. So, although Maine has not had any recorded infestations, EAB is only 20-30 miles away and the Maine Forest Service says they are preparing for the inevitable. Maine citizen scientists can help by monitoring with Mission: Emerald ash borer.

Help Maine Forest Service Cooperators Track the Spruce Budworm in Maine

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Guest blog post by: Emily Owens, Healthy Forest Partnership

The Budworm Tracker Program, a component of the Healthy Forest Partnership, is looking for additional volunteers to join its Budworm Tracker citizen science program in Northern Maine.

Messalonskee Middle School Mission: Are the crayfish in our pond invasive?

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Guest blog post by Amanda Ripa's students from Messalonskee Middle School:
At Messalonskee Middle School, we have a stormwater pond behind our school. Despite collecting polluted water, there are many living things. During nature journaling, we noticed that there were a lot of crayfish! We put out a trap and the next day, the trap was full! From this observation, we wanted to answer our research question, “Are the crayfish in our pond invasive?”

A Field Day with New England Cottontails!

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Despite the cold and wet weather this past Saturday, 17 hearty souls left the comfort of their warm beds to learn about the new Vital Signs Mission: New England Cottontail.

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