Skip Navigation

MISN Planning Meeting – MINUTES

Room 329 Marquardt Building, Eastside Campus, Dec. 18, 2018 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Attendees in Augusta: Gary Fish, Kathy Murray, Mary Yurlina, Karen Coluzzi, Pam Bryer, Tim Basham.

Attendees calling in: Sara Williams, Jesse Wheeler, Jeff Gillis, Andrei Alyokhin, Rebecca Jacobs, Frank Drummond, John McPhedran.


  1. Updates
  1. EAB (Fish): Found in Madawaska area and Lebanon/Acton area.  Stop movement orders now; quarantines proposed.
  2. Milfoil in the St. John river (McPhedran): no update from Canadian partners; spring 2018 detection, some dense patches; Eurasian milfoil.
  3. Himalayan Balsam in Knox County (Jacobs): seems to be increasing significantly, is this statewide? In nearby counties?  Should it still be an “early management” species?  Conversations with folks managing it point to 6-7 year viable seed bank.  Williams: not on islands in Rockland area.  Wheeler: not in Acadia NP but on MDI in gardens small bits.   Olmstead: there is no official “early management” list etc.
  1. MISN Facebook update (Yurlina): as of when Mary took over fb group ~last year, 16 members, now >250!  Mary tries to post ~1x/week, cross-taxa.  There are several other Administrators of the group.  Discussed ways to maximize benefits of the fb group.  Noted that different people use twitter vs fb.  Noted that having it as a fb “group” vs “page” may limit detection of the site for people searching for it.

TO DO:  Yurlina to send Alyokhin a link so fb can be posted on MISN website.

  1. Discussion of our website and listserv (Alyokhin): both are fairly inactive lately do we like it this way, or do we need to do something to make them more lively?  Andrei tries to skim the listserve and post things on the website that have enduring value >6 months into future.  Noted value of covering all different media (social media, email listserve, website) for catching range of users.  Consensus seems to be that people are generally content.  Andrei reminds us that public events can be circulated to the listserve in addition to articles etc.

TO DO: All – send Andrei content for posting on website. 

TO DO: Andrei to see about making link for how to join MISN listserve more prominent on the website.

  1. Discussion of pros/cons of having an annual meeting in spring 2019, vs skipping a year and/or doing a meeting (or, field tour/work day etc.) in summer or fall? (All):  Probably too late now to begin planning for a meeting in Feb/March.  Likely more scheduling conflicts with later in the year/growing season.  The thing that has been taking most planning time/energy in recent years has been fundraising.  Recent costs ~$5000 (2017), or $3000ish (2015, 2016), mostly for venue and food.  Will we tap out sponsors if we keep asking annually?  Last year charged $10 and this did not negatively affect attendance.  Discussed potential of making meeting biannual instead of annual.  Danger if we skip is we lose momentum.  Could the meeting be lower key, BYO lunch, hosted at a free or very low cost venue?  There was appetite for this since this would greatly reduce the planning burden.  AGREED that a lower-key, BYO lunch, free venue type meeting, a bit later (April-ish) will work for 2019.  Alyokhin willing to help as fiscal agent; Jacobs, Olmstead, Yurlina, and Coluzzi, willing to serve on planning team also; Murray willing to help with venue.  Fish willing to be moderator at meeting.  Some discussion of possible venues.  Meeting has been in central Maine and Waterville last few years.  One year it was at Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland.  Noted that parking is an issue to consider when choosing a venue.
    TO DO:  Drummond agreed to look into Bowdoinham Grange. 

TO DO:  Olmstead to send doodle to small group to set a meeting. Once a date is set, send invitation to MISN for others to join.

  1. Suggested topics for sessions at annual meeting
    1. How to engage municipalities in invasive species work, plants and others.  Work with MMA on this?
    2. Browntail moth.  Ellie Groden does research on this
    3. EAB update.  Noted that this could take many hours, need to specify/clarify
    4. eDNA research: potential new technology for detection in some environments.  Jeremy Miller at Wells NERR involved in project.  Also Wheeler noted there is a CO researcher who is at ANP in summer working on this in freshwater systems.  McPhedran noted that there is some eDNA work going on in freshwater systems in NH as well.
    5. Invite representatives from towns with strict pesticide ordinances to discuss how they are dealing with invasive species?  There is interest in grazers e.g., goats which could maybe be discussed as an aspect of this (e.g., in SoPo this was done and they are a ordinance town).
    6. New research on garlic mustard from Stinson lab at UMass?
    7. Biocontrols, examples/case studies of these at work in Maine, maybe a panel of folks.  Joan Griswold as a volunteer who is leading an effort was mentioned. Also Drummond has done work with spottedwing drosophila.   MFS has done winter moth biocontrols.
    8. Marine invasives – e.g., alga in Damariscotta River, green crab, concerns of lobster fishers regarding alternative bait to herring
    9. Working group on vector management, education and outreach for preventing spread of invasive terrestrial plants – possibly could be a breakout group or additional stay after session.
    10. Clarification of the different invasive plant/species lists (e.g., regulatory plant list, advisory plant list, MISN list posted on MISN website.  Olmstead noted that the advisory list of invasive plants has been revised and will be released/discussed at the meeting, also the Field Guide will be ready by then.
  2. Organization structure.  Is there desire for “formalization” of MISN.  Not at this time, seems to be ok as is.  In terms of UMaine leadership, it was noted that Matt Wallhead is in first semester teaching, very busy, perhaps could be involved/will respond later.
  3. Big-picture needs of invasive species/MISN community?  Roles MISN could help fill?  It was noted that some of the language on the MISN website over-states the current role/functions of MISN e.g. collaborative research, etc.  But some of it is still accurate e.g., the listserve can be used to share funding opportunities, new research, etc.

Meeting adjourned at ~11:30.