What is the project all about?

Group of four people measuring rockweed in intertidal zone.
Photo by Olivia Milloway

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.

To learn more, check out the video below: What is Project ASCO?, an interview with Maya Pelletier produced by ‘Somewhere in Waldo County’ and Belfast Community Media.

How do I get involved?

You can reference this 2021 project launch webinar to learn more about the project, or attend in-person training in Maine this year.

Looking Ahead: 2023 Trainings

Coming soon!  Please check back for updates regarding 2023 training dates and locations. If you are interested in participating in Project ASCO in the 2023 season or learning more about our research, please fill out this form. If your organization is interested in co-hosting a training, please reach out to mpelletier@schoodicinstitute.org.

2022 Trainings

Wednesday, July 6, 9:00 am, Lamoine Beach Park, Lamoine (completed)
Tuesday, July 19, 8:30 am, Reversing Falls Park, Pembroke (completed)
Thursday, August 4, 8:30 am, Frazer Point, Winter Harbor (completed)
Friday, August 5, 9:00 am, Wright Landing, Wiscasset (completed)
Saturday, August 20, 10:30 am, Moose Point State Park, Searsport (completed)
Friday, September 16, 8:00 am, Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport (completed)
Saturday, September 17, 9:30 am, Frazer Point, Winter Harbor (completed)
Wednesday, September 21, 12:30pm, Ocean Avenue Shore, Biddeford (completed)
Sunday, October 2, 8:00 am, Potts Point Preserve, Harpswell (completed)

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, below are a few resources available to read up on rockweed and the rocky intertidal zone.

Project Resources

Check out the data from Project ASCO on Anecdata

An introductory webinar was held on August 19, 2021:

For more information, contact Hannah Webber at hwebber@schoodicinstitute.org or Maya Pelletier at mpelletier@schoodicinstitute.org.


Header photo by Julia McLeod