Posted in

A message from President and CEO Nicholas Fisichelli

Dear Friends,

Like you, Schoodic Institute staff have had our lives upended in many ways. We are safe and well and continue to advance our mission, though with challenges we had not foreseen.

We are following the state executive order to “stay healthy at home” and are working remotely. Campus is mostly quiet right now, yet spring migrating birds continue to arrive and the first flowers of the year are opening (aspen, alder, and hazelnut). Many plans for groups coming to campus have been postponed, this includes the spring session of Schoodic Education Adventure and many university classes that typically crowd campus in May. All research within Acadia National Park has been suspended while the state executive order is in place. Nonetheless, we continue our efforts and are working with local students and teachers through online platforms, collaborating with partners, analyzing data, sharing discoveries, writing stories, making citizen science observations from home, and planning for the future.

I did not envision that I would be using my training and skills in climate adaptation to help Schoodic Institute navigate the ongoing pandemic. I did not realize that these same skills–being forward-looking, identifying and understanding uncertainties, and communicating science– would apply to a global public health crisis. Now, I realize with even greater conviction than ever, that science literacy, data literacy, critical thinking, and sincere communication are essential skills that apply far beyond the response to climate change and are needed for society’s response to every major challenge we face as we attempt to steward a planet for eight billion people and millions of species.

Our work at Schoodic Institute will continue to focus on understanding the consequences of environmental change and engaging people in the science and solutions, but these skills apply far beyond the boundary of Acadia National Park, the intertidal zone along the whole Gulf of Maine, or the forests of eastern North America.

We don’t yet know when we will be able to get back to our offices and to convening groups on campus, but we know our work is critical and will continue in every individual, remote, and social-distanced way that is possible. We need science, we need parks, and we need engaged people working together. Be well, be safe, and join us in this work.

– Nick Fisichelli, President & CEO

Sign up for our monthly newsletter for news, science and education updates, and stories.