Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Updates from the last two weeks at Falmouth Audubon.

It has been a crazy past few weeks! The season is ramping up and anglers are signing up for different ponds and streams. We are completing the reviews for Wildlife Roadwatch and ensuring all backlogs are caught up on as we begin to focus our attention on new volunteer opportunities for incoming citizen scientists. In between data entry and volunteer coordination, I'm working on little journal entries of wildlife observations as interesting ones are posted on the roadwatch page.

More to come! I have a presentation with Jack Hopkins next week as my internship wraps up. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Return from Break

This was a pretty good week back at Waterfall Arts. I worked on getting all the info for the upcoming summer classes organized and formatted for the website. I got to meet with Ando Anderson and complete our interview for the blog, so next week I might begin to post in the WA blog. On Friday the 6th, I was introduced to two residents of the Waterfall Arts building who also have a boat that they live on. Meg would like me to interview them as well for the blog, and I can't wait because they are really interesting people and fun to talk to! The open-call event "Oceans" opened that night as well, and I took photos of the event and counted attendance. I also ran into Maxwell Nolin, one of the artists I'm going to interview. He had a beautiful piece in the show, and we connected about the interview and had a nice conversation. All in all, it was an eventful week, and the next one is going to bring more interviews and blog work. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Audubon: Busy season & notes from the State House.

Things are getting busy with Audubon and we have just released our final report on the Brook Trout Survey from 2017 that I have helped finalize with Annica for Inland Wildlife and Fisheries. We are still working out some kinks now however because IFW had some data we were not privy to, so we are just now updating a few inconsistencies before Audubon publishes the report. Beyond that, Annica is gearing me up to start taking survey requests from volunteers and signing up these folks for ponds and coastal streams. We have had a few requests come in so far, and citizen scientists are eager to start angling again.

In other news, I attended Conservation Lobby Day with Audubon on the fourth of April, and it was fantastic. We were lobbying in support of some Water Bonds due to hit the state house this year. We were hoping to get our senators and representatives to voice their support on behalf of their constituents (us). In addition to educating about these water bonds, we were coincidentally present the same day as the veto-override vote on LD1444, 'An Act To Prohibit Gross Metering’.  Unfortunately I have just learned the veto from Governor LePage was upheld, meaning people who live off the grid will be metered and charged via CMP for their power usage, regardless of the fact they are not connected to the grid. Read below.

"The bill, LD 1444, would prevent the Public Utilities Commission from charging Mainers with solar installations for the electricity they produce. According to Beth Ahearn, political director with the group Maine Conservation Voters, defeat of the bill means those who have solar power will be required to have new electric meters, too."

Please read more here (click).
I am troubled by this but I know it's not the end, I can't believe that the public will stand for this.

In relation to the upcoming water bonds, I was able to speak with my Representative (Kevin Battle) from South Portland and hear his slant on some new water bonds in the works that could help update a backlog near $24,000,000 of infrastructure repairs for my city. I did not meet my Senator (Rebecca Millet), which I was hardly concerned by because she has a 100% score on Conservation Maine's 'Environmental Policy Score Card', which means she's voted towards every pro-environmental bill/bond that's come her way. Representative Battle is an independent, who is retiring this year to become the Maine Harbor Master, so I hope clean water is important to him. Annica was able to speak with her ultra-conservative senators who are not usually environmentally aligned, and successfully confirmed their attendance to a conservation law forum happening this upcoming week. I do hope they go!

I have rescheduled my presentation date with Dr. Jack Hopkins and will be on campus in May, doing a little show and tell in regards to the citizen science initiatives Audubon is responsible for.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Over Break

The past two weeks have been spring break, and I couldn't stick around in Maine, otherwise, I would have stayed and kept going into Waterfall Arts. However, I did get to make follow-up emails to board members and local artists for the interviews. I got responses the next day and was able to work out times to meet with some of the artists, as well as get some interview questions answered via email, though we still want to meet in person. I was also introduced to the next project that can be done from my own computer: organizing/adding information on the summer classes at WA to be put into the website format. I was also told that there is an event coming up April 6th, which I will happily help out with to get some more experience and hours! Now that I'm back, I look forward to spending more time completing my projects and meeting new artists.