News

…a strange winter like this….

Two winters ago, we had heaps of snow. This past winter, we wore short sleeves in December, and watched in amazement as the garden confusedly attempted to grow months in advance of the regular season. So what’s going on with the weather in Maine? And what does it mean for managing our national park and other […]

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Rockweed: Habitat, “manure” or bovine Viagra?

Ascophyllum nodosum — more commonly known as rockweed — is an intertidal seaweed that grows along our rocky Maine coast. This innocuous-looking brown alga serves as habitat and food for more than one hundred species of fish, crustaceans, and birds. It is also harvested for human food, fertilizer, and other value-added products. Currently, rockweed harvest is a […]

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In April, Loons Return

Loons spend the winter on the ocean, but in April, they start returning to our lakes. Why do they make the journey? To raise chicks, of course! Have you spotted any recently returned loons on your lake? Find out more about the loons’ annual migration in this short and informative article.

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Recognizing Spring, Scientifically

Sunday March 20th marked the Spring Equinox for us here in the northern hemisphere. Calendars announced the start of spring that day, but Mainers know March still requires mittens and wood stoves. So how do we figure out when the winter season ends and a different one begins? Is it a date, a specific temperature, […]

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Warm winter could mean early bloom for DC’s cherry blossoms

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is annual event in Washington, D.C. that celebrates the beautiful unfurling of pink and white petals on thousands of trees across our nation’s capital. But unlike other annual events, the timing of the festival is highly dependent on winter weather and temperature, making it hard to predict peak bloom. This […]

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Spring Budburst in a Changing Climate

Henry David Thoreau’s 160-year-old field notes document the changing life in the woods, as a warming climate jumbles the timing of annual springtime schedules. Richard B. Primack, Amanda S. Gallinat The leafing out of trees in the spring is one of the most dramatic events of the year in temperate regions of the world—whether New […]

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December Heat Wave — What’s Happening?

December Heat Wave, an article and OnPoint audio recording, focuses on the source and consequences of our unseasonably warm weather, El Niño, and other winter happenings, ecologically speaking. While our plants and animals are resting in Maine, you can continue to make observations and post about the changes you see in the environment at I See […]

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Forecasting Future Climate Response using Tree Cores

Dr. Ailene Ettinger is a Putnam Fellow at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Her current research examines factors that may influence a tree’s response to warmer or colder years. Through an analysis of tree core samples and individual traits, she hopes to improve scientists’ ability to predict the climate sensitivity of plant species. Read more.

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Phenology Research Project Examines Plant Species on Deer Isle

Natasha Krell is an undergraduate researcher, class of 2016, at College of the Atlantic. One of her current projects is a study of two plant species on Deer Isle. In this interview, Natasha explains how she got started into the field of phenology and where her path has lead. Read more.

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