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by Olivia Milloway

Sea to Trees is a podcast that tells the stories of the science happening in and around Acadia, from the rocky shoreline to the evergreen forests to the granite mountaintops.

Two people crouch on the ground holding up a piece of rockweed to measure it with a tape measure. One person is standing up holding the rockweed slightly out of frame and another stands in the background watching.
Citizen scientists Ann Hoffner, Tom Bailey, and John Grotton measure rockweed as a part of Project ASCO with Maya Pelletier. You can hear the voices of these three citizen scientists in this episode of Sea to Trees.

In this first season of the show, we’re exploring the ever-growing field of citizen science – the participation of non-scientists in research at any level – and how it can help answer questions about our changing world. 

Maya Pelletier, the Cathy and Jim Gero Acadia Early-Career Fellow in Science Research, calls a type of seaweed called rockweed “the van Gogh of the intertidal.” When the tide is low, the algae drapes across the rocks in the intertidal zone and creates green-brown contours that look like the artist’s famous brush strokes. Though rockweed is a harvested marine resource, there’s no coast-wide estimate of the state of rockweed on Maine’s coast. Could a citizen science project called Project ASCO help paint a picture of Maine’s rockweed?

This episode, we’ll talk again with Hannah Webber, Marine Ecology Director at Schoodic Institute, along with Ari Leach, a biologist at the Maine Department of Marine Resources. We squelch through the seaweed with citizen science volunteers, weighing, measuring, and counting rockweed. Visit the links below to learn more. 

Sea to Trees is possible with generous support through The Cathy and Jim Gero Acadia Early-Career Fellowship, a partnership among Schoodic Institute, National Park Foundation, and National Park Service.

Illustrative graphic cover art for the podcast. Sea to Trees, which depicts a tree in the foreground, the intertidal zone in the mid ground, and ocean at the left with the horizon line off in the background. A cool color palette is used for the image - blues, deep greens, and grays.