Short Course on Harpswell’s Habitats and Fisheries, Fall 2018

Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) is offering a Short Course on Harpswell’s Habitats and Fisheries in 2018. This series provides a stimulating, in-depth learning opportunity for adults. We recruit knowledgeable and passionate instructors and class sizes are kept small.

Fees are $20 for a two-session topic. This includes a one and a half hour classroom session and a two to four hour field trip. You are also welcome to sign up for the classroom session only for $5. The first topic is a field trip only and the fee is $15. Please do not sign up for the field trip if you don’t expect to also attend the classroom session on the same topic.

Scholarships are available.

Registration is first-come, first-served. We will maintain a waiting list when courses fill to capacity.

Oyster aquaculture: A hands-on tour with Quahog Bay Conservancy

  • Field session only:  Tues., Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., leaving on a boat from Quahog Bay Conservancy headquarters, 286 Bethel Point Road, Harpswell.
  • Second field session (identical to the first):  Thurs., Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. leaving from the same location. This session is full. Email Julia McLeod at outreach@hhltmaine.org to be placed on a waiting list. Please note that this session was rescheduled from its original date of Oct. 11 due to weather.

Learn about oyster aquaculture through a trip by boat to Quahog Bay Conservancy’s (QBC) oyster aquaculture operation. Hear from QBC staff about aquaculture in Quahog Bay and how it fits in with the big picture of aquaculture in Maine. Learn about the nuts and bolts of running an oyster farm, as well as the ecological benefits of oyster aquacuture. And you get to taste oysters! Please note that there is no classroom session and the fee for this class is $15.

The field trip will be taught by Quahog Bay Conservancy staff: David Hunter, Peter Valente, Alec Bollinger, Donnie Foster and Nicole Twohig. The mission at QBC is to restore the once pristine ecosystem of Quahog Bay to a robust and flourishing state. Through restoration and education objectives, they aim to conserve the natural habitat, native wildlife and foster local environmental stewards that will protect the bay for generations to come. Click here for more information about QBC.

Marine invasive species and coastal habitats with Jeremy Miller of Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

  • Classroom session:  Tues, Sept. 18, 4:30-6 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell
  • Field session:  Sat., Sept. 22, 3-5:30 p.m. at Pott’s Point Preserve, park at the very southern end of Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell

Come learn about marine invasive species, their ecology, and their impacts on coastal habitats in the Gulf of Maine. Marine invasive species, such as the European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas), are a major threat to coastal habitats and the native species which live there. Invasive species also have social and economic impacts on our coastal communities, including impacts on fisheries, aquaculture and even recreation and tourism. The Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) is a network of trained volunteers and scientists who monitor marine invasive species throughout the Gulf of Maine. Come get some hands-on experience with collecting and identifying these “alien invaders” in the field, and learn how you can get involved with the effort!

Jeremy Miller is a Research Associate at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, where he has been managing the reserve’s monitoring programs and research laboratory since 2004. The Wells Reserve is one of 29 NOAA funded research and education facilities around the country focused on research, education and stewardship of our nation’s coastal habitats. Jeremy has been working with marine invasive species in the Gulf of Maine since 2008 as the Maine State Coordinator for the Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative or “MIMIC.” Jeremy graduated from the University of New England in Biddeford Maine in 2003 with a double major in Environmental Science and Marine Biology. He lives with his wife Sarah and two children (Lucas and Camille) in Buxton. Click here for more information about the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.

All about clams with Sara Randall and Dr. Brian Beal of Downeast Institute

  • Classroom session: Wed., Oct. 3, 4:30-6 p.m. at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell
  • Field session: Sat., Oct. 6, 2-5:30 p.m., meeting the Freeport Wharf in South Freeport (next to Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, 36 Main Street, South Freeport)

Explore the world of soft-shell “steamer” clams — one of Maine’s most important (and delicious) fisheries. Learn about actions that scientists and clammers are taking to protect this vital species from increasing water temperatures and predation by green crabs. During the field session, travel to the intertidal to collect and process data on a groundbreaking field experiment that gives an unprecedented look into the productivity of the intertidal ecosystem.

Sara Randall is Associate Director of the Downeast Institute in Beals. Applied marine field research she coordinated led to the discovery that predation, driven by warming ocean temperatures, is the root cause of southern Maine’s clam decline. Dr. Brian Beal is considered the world’s top expert on soft-shell clams and has been growing and researching clams in the hatchery and in the field for 30 years. Brian is a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias and the Director of Research at the Downeast Institute. Click here for more information about Downeast Institute.