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Stories of Change Recordings

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust
October 26, 2021

See below for video recordings of past webinars in our 2021 “Stories of Change” series.

Rockweed Research from the Bottom up with Hannah Webber

Click here to watch a webinar recording from October 26, 2021.


Rockweed, Ascophyllum nodosum, covers much of the rocky intertidal in Maine; it is ecologically and economically important. This talk will focus on the natural history of rockweed and some of the current rockweed research happening in Harpswell and throughout the state.

Hannah Webber is the Director of Marine Ecology at Schoodic Institute, where she mainly focuses on intertidal ecology, intertidal health and stakeholder engagement. Her research focuses on rockweed ecology, and she works on understanding the connection of the intertidal to upland ecology and to ocean ecology, and how to engage people in the process of science.

From Global to Local: Connecting the global climate justice movement to Maine with Ania Wright

Click here to watch a webinar recording from September 13, 2021.

Ania Wright joined Sierra Club as the Grassroots Climate Action Organizer in August 2020. In her position, Ania works closely with Sierra Club Climate Action Teams to support their goals and further their efforts. She also works to engage and support youth in climate justice initiatives, and to further the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of the chapter. Ania recently graduated from College of the Atlantic, where she majored in Human Ecology with a focus in Environmental Policy and Climate Justice. She has been extensively involved in climate justice activism in the State of Maine as a founding member of the youth-led coalition Maine Youth for Climate Justice, which supports young people in their work for climate action. She also sits on the board of Maine Climate Action NOW, a coalition of grassroots organizations in Maine pushing for just and equitable climate policy. Ania is also serving as the Youth Representative to the Maine Climate Council, where she is working with her fellow representatives to write a new Climate Action Plan for Maine. Ania lives in Bar Harbor with her partner, DJ, and spends her free time hiking in Acadia National Park and working in her garden.

Bats, Behavior, and Wind Farms: Balancing conservation and green energy with Trevor Peterson

Click here to watch a webinar recording from August 31, 2021.

Bats are one of the most diverse and fascinating groups of mammals and occupy a wide range of ecological niches across the planet. Bats are important pollinators and voracious insect predators, providing billions of dollars in estimated agricultural pest control in the United States. Like many species, bats are feeling the pressures of habitat loss, disease, climate change, and other factors. Bats are also susceptible to turbine-related mortality at commercial wind farms and are thus the focus of a lot of discussion and debate related to continued expansion of the wind energy industry. Peterson will summarize the biology and behavior of bats in Maine, introduce some of the tools bat biologists use to study bats, and describe his research on how to minimize risk to bats at commercial wind farms while continuing to generate renewable energy.

Trevor Peterson studies interactions between bats and wind turbines in his work as a senior wildlife biologist at Stantec Consulting, where he has worked since 2003. His recent graduate work at the University of Maine pioneered the use of acoustic bat detectors to manage risk to bats at commercial wind farms. Dr. Peterson’s previous research also includes using acoustics to document distribution and species composition of bats offshore and tracking bats using nanotag technology. Before joining Stantec, Trevor worked seasonally for the National Park Service at Acadia and Isle Royale National Parks. As a student at Bowdoin College, Trevor found Midcoast Maine to be a wonderful place to live, and has stayed in Brunswick ever since. Trevor and his family can often be found exploring the outdoors, playing music, and getting their feet wet in Casco Bay.

Words and Watersheds with Gary Lawless

Click here to watch a webinar recording from Thursday, July 22, 2021.

On graduating from Colby College in 1973, Gary Lawless took an unusual next step. Instead of going on to graduate school, he wrote to his favorite living poet (Gary Snyder) and asked to go and live with him as his student (or apprentice as it was called during the Renaissance). Arriving in northern California after hitchhiking across the country from Maine, Lawless found himself living in a community where the hot topic was not poetry but the idea of bioregionalism, or watershed consciousness. The community around Snyder (poets, teachers, Buddhists, scientists, Native Americans, musicians, ethnobotanists…) were involved in a conversation about living in place, and trying to understand your place in watershed terms, including what defined your place (plants, animals, soils, wind, weather…) and what the boundaries were (rivers, mountains, stories, languages…). The poets and artists were trying to find ways to get beyond the human stories to also tell the plant stories, the animal stories, the stories of wind and rock and water and the connections between these stories. As we learn more and more about the conversations, the natural systems and the relationships, we learn how to be good citizens and how to live within a place rather than on top of it. As a poet, Lawless’ work has been to find ways to express these ways of belonging in a human language, not speaking for the plants, the animals, but listening to the place and trying to speak with it.

Gary Lawless is co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, and a widely published poet. He has taught at SAD 75, Bates College, and MidCoast Senior College. He has been artist in residence for Isle Royale National Park, the Island Institute of Sitka, Alaska, Preble Street Center in Portland, and Spindleworks in Brunswick. He was given an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Southern Maine. He has published 19 collections of poems in the US, and 5 in Italy. He lived for 10 years in South Harpswell, and now lives in Nobleboro, Maine.

Bailey Island to the Barrier Reef: Sea Stars as Sentinels of a Changing World with Jonathan Allen

Click here to watch a webinar recording from June 24, 2021.

Hear about Dr. Jonathan Allen’s research in Maine and Australia and the links between the two ecosystems that are sometimes rather surprising. Dr. Allen will discuss new discoveries about the ecology and development of sea stars and how studies of basic biology based on sea stars from Harpswell have had big impacts on the way scientists think about trying to manage sea stars and conserve corals on the Great Barrier Reef. In particular, he will focus on the unexpected ways that coastal runoff can lead to devastating outbreaks of coral-eating sea stars.

Dr. Jonathan Allen is an Associate Professor of Biology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Research in the Allen Lab focuses on the life histories of marine invertebrate animals. Since 2005, Allen has conducted research in the summers at Bowdoin’s Schiller Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island.

Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Environmental Movement with Amara Ifeji

Click here to watch a webinar recording from May 10, 2021.

Listen to Amara Ifeji speak to her lived experiences as a BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) individual, the marginalization she faced in fostering a connection to place with the environment, and how her self-sought passion for water justice led her to not only foster this connection herself, but to also serve as a conduit for other BIPOC and female-identifying students like herself.

Amara Ifeji is a freshman at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S in Politics, Philosophy, & Economics with a concentration in Environment and Energy Policy. In high school, her lack of environmental education prompted her to self-seek such learning opportunities through leading her school’s student-driven water quality management team for BIPOC, female-identifying, and lower-income students, co-organizing school-wide climate education learning initiatives, and conducting internationally-awarded environmental research. At the Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA), Amara advocates for intersectional climate justice solutions, equitable access to the outdoors, and empowering youth to spark change in their local communities through MEEA’s Changemakers and JustME for a JustUS youth networks. She also works with the Nature-Based Education Consortium (NBEC) on local and state-level policy advocacy through NBEC’s Climate Education and Local Outdoor Learning Advocacy working groups, Steering Committee, and co-chair of the NBEC Communications Working Group. For her work in promoting environmental education, she was awarded the Global North American Environmental Education 30 Under 30 International Award—one of only six people under 30 in the USA–and the National Geographic Young Explorer Award–one of 24 youth in the world.

Restoring Sea-run Fish to the Penobscot River with John Banks

Click here to watch a webinar recording from April 14, 2021.

The Penobscot River is New England’s second largest river system and the historic home of the Penobscot Indian Nation. Over 17 years, culminating in 2016, the Penobscot River Restoration Project collaboratively worked to balance fisheries restoration and hydropower production. The project successfully restored habitat for the river’s sea-run fish, including Atlantic salmon and sturgeon. John Banks will speak about the restoration project, the history and culture of the Penobscot Indian Nation and their connection to the river.

John Banks is the Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Indian Nation, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Maine. He has served the Penobscot Nation in this capacity since 1980, following the enactment of the Maine Indian Land Claims settlement Act of 1980. As Natural Resources Director, John has developed and administers a comprehensive Natural Resources management program for his tribe, which advances an integrated management approach, in recognition of the inter-connectedness of all things in the natural world. He has served on many local, regional, and national organization boards including the National Tribal Environmental Council, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, National Indian Policy Center and the Tribal Operations Committee with USEPA. John is the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Maine School of Forest Resources

The Secret Lives of White-tailed Deer with Ed Robinson

Click here to watch the webinar recording from Thursday, March 25, 2021.

Join us to learn more about the graceful white-tailed deer. While we see these lovely creatures in our yards or neighboring forests and fields, many of us know little about them. Through photos, stories and interesting facts, this presentation will help you understand the deer life cycle and habitats, as well as how deer populations have changed over time and the impact this has had on the local populations of ticks.

Ed Robinson, avid photographer and writer, grew up in the Finger Lakes of western NY and developed a deep love for the natural world around us. Since moving to Orr’s Island from England in 2007, he has been exploring our gorgeous state and writing extensively about the creatures that live here. He is a past trustee of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and wrote the 2018 book: Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.

New Politics for Rural America with Chloe Maxmin

Click here to watch the webinar recording from February 24, 2021.

Senator Chloe Maxmin will talk about her 2018 and 2020 state legislative races in rural Maine districts.

Chloe Maxmin, hailing from rural Maine, is a Maine State Senator. She founded the Climate Action Club at Lincoln Academy and co-founded Divest Harvard at Harvard College, a campaign that grew to over 70,000 people. She was elected in 2020 after unseating a two-term Republican incumbent and (former) Senate Minority Leader. In 2018, she served in the Maine House of Representatives after becoming the first Democrat to win a rural conservative district. Chloe is about a new politics for rural America. She and her campaign manager, Canyon Woodward, are writing a book for Beacon Press on their work. She is 28 years old and the youngest woman ever to serve in the Maine State Senate.

Time on a Moving Island with John Anderson

Click here to watch the webinar recording from January 27, 2021.

Great Duck Island lies six miles to the southeast of Mt Desert Island in eastern Maine. The island was farmed for over a century and was also the site of an intentional community and psychiatric clinic. Today it is home to one of the largest and oldest seabird colonies in the eastern United States, and is protected as a research and education site by the Nature Conservancy, the State of Maine and College of the Atlantic. This talk will discuss the history and natural history of the island, emphasizing how patterns of human use intertwine with the lives of the island’s avian inhabitants.

John Anderson is the W.H. Drury Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic. He has spent the past 32 years studying seabirds in coastal Maine.