Project ASCO (Assessing Seaweed via Community Observations)

What is the project all about?

The goal of Project ASCO (Assessing Seaweed via Community Observations) is to get interested participants out into the intertidal zone to collect data about rockweed while exploring the beauty of the rocky coast between the tides. Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum, or “Asco”) is the dominant species in most of the rocky intertidal zone of Maine and provides habitat for other species living in and visiting the intertidal zone. Rockweed is currently harvested in Maine and sustainable management requires knowledge of the total amount of rockweed throughout the state. Participants in Project ASCO can help answer the question, ”How much rockweed is there?” The data collected by Project ASCO participants will be analyzed and shared by scientists at Schoodic Institute to inform resource management. Along with rockweed, this project allows for learning more about other seaweeds, periwinkles, mussels, crabs, birds, and the occasional seal or whale.

How do I get involved?

Check out the 2021 project launch webinar to learn more about the project or attend in-person training in Maine this year. In-person training sessions are being planned for this summer. The in-person training sessions will be spent outdoors and in the field, collecting data. No prior knowledge is required; participants will be given the supplies and training needed to safely enter the intertidal zone and collect data about the “Asco.” Precautions will be taken to ensure a safe environment. In the meantime, here are a few resources available to read up on rockweed and the rocky intertidal zone.

We expect to post our summer training schedule by May 1. Check back for the announcement of our 2022 training schedule! Follow along with us throughout the field season on Instagram.

Project Resources

Check out the data from Project ASCO’s on Anecdata

An introductory webinar was held on August 19, 2021:

For more information, contact Hannah Webber, hwebber@schoodicinstitute.org