Mitchell Center helps Katahdin region assess its economic and community resilience

In March 2016, University of Maine community psychologist Linda Silka wrote an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News describing the deep commitment of many UMaine faculty and students to work with towns and cities in tackling complex or “wicked” problems at the intersection of economic, sociocultural and environmental issues.

Jessica Masse, a community leader in the Millinocket region and member of the Katahdin Revitalization Group, read the op-ed and invited Silka, a senior fellow at UMaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, to come and talk about “how we might be able to use UMaine research, particularly the ‘knowledge-to-action’ work at the Mitchell Center, to help our community tackle our transition from a papermaking community to a diversified economy that can flourish in the globalized economy.”

Today, the Mitchell Center is supporting research for the Katahdin region by an interdisciplinary team of UMaine students and faculty, led by Adam Daigneault, assistant professor of forest, conservation and recreation policy and a Mitchell Center fellow. Additional support for the project is being provided by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.

Community leaders and residents in the region’s eight towns — Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Sherman, Stacyville, Patten, Mount Chase and Island Falls — asked the team to provide an unbiased assessment of the economic and social well-being of their communities.

A full story about the Mitchell Center research project is online.