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At the the start of the new year, we look back on the work of our ecology technicians and interns, without whom we simply would not be able to accomplish our mission to document, understand, and respond to our changing environment.

In 2019, technicians and interns worked with 94 Earthwatch volunteers, ages 14 to 81, for nearly 500 hours teaching and leading data collection efforts.

For our cross system (“sea to trees”) research, they established 11 sites on Schoodic peninsula and islands. Together with Earthwatch volunteers, they collected biodiversity data every 20 cm (upland transects) or 10 cm (intertidal transects) to compare the trees, plants, algae, and animals in the shoreline and the adjacent forest. In total they documented biodiversity at 1.4 million points along 198 km of transect, which is 123 miles, or driving from Schoodic to Bangor and back.

They helped establish 15 intertidal research sites (including 330 holes drilled for hardware installation and 12 drill bits broken).

From early September to late November, SeaWatch monitor Hallie Daly conducted 59 daily bird counts totaling more than 300 hours of observation. In addition to recording wind direction and speed, visibility, and temperature each hour, she identified 128 different species, 41 of which were migratory waterbirds totaling 75,961 individuals. For every hour of observation, Hallie counted an average of 249 birds per hour. She also spoke with 120 visitors to SeaWatch during the course of the season.

In total, technicians and interns worked 5,020 hours (which is 125 weeks, or basically 2.4 full-time equivalent years).

Clearly, Schoodic Institute and Acadia National Park benefited from their efforts. But they got something out of it, too–the knowledge that they contributed to important research and education, all while forming memories tied to this place that will inspire them for the rest of their careers, and their lives. We’ll be sharing more from their work in the coming months.

In the meantime, here they are, in their own words, saying thanks.