Ruskin awarded fellowship to study in Acadia National Park

Two University of Maine researchers have been awarded fellowships to conduct studies in Acadia National Park as part of Second Century Stewardship, an initiative of the National Park Service and Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.

The 2019 research fellows from UMaine are Kate Ruskin, lecturer and undergraduate coordinator in ecology and environmental sciences, and Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at the Climate Change Institute. Stephanie Spera, assistant professor of geography at the University of Richmond, also has been named a fellow.

McDonough MacKenzie is building on her current research into the ecological history of subalpine plant communities in Acadia, using paleobiology to examine records of pollen in the sediment of a pond on the western slope of Cadillac Mountain. McDonough MacKenzie hopes to complement these records with insights from discussions with Wabanaki community members to provide a fuller picture of Acadia’s past landscapes, according to the Schoodic Institute.

Ruskin plans an evaluation of human values of Acadia’s freshwater resources to help park staff manage diverse uses of lakes and streams.

Second Century Stewardship was launched in 2016 upon the centennial of the National Park Service to provide high-quality scientific research for park stewardship, build public appreciation for science, and pursue solutions to critical issues for parks and society. The collaboration is initially focused at Acadia National Park in Maine, with plans to partner with national parks across the country currently underway.

The full Schoodic Institute news release is online.