Acadian Internship Program Has Global Reach


WINTER HARBOR — Fourteen students traveled to the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) Institute this summer from across the United States and around the globe to take a close look at conservation issues that transcend local borders.

The six-week Acadian Internship in Regional Conservation and Stewardship began at SERC July 16 and culminates this week with presentations at the SERC campus at Acadia National Park on the Schoodic Peninsula.

The internship, now in its second year, is co-sponsored by the Quebec-Labrador Foundation and the SERC Institute.

The program offered for credit through the University of Maine’s Summer University ranges from projects such as stream restoration and parcel mapping to sustainable agriculture and public outreach.

The idea is to expose the students to large landscape conservation — conservation issues that cross boundaries — with field internships across the Acadian region from the Penobscot River to southwestern New Brunswick, Canada.

Olivia Kefauver, an intern in the 2011 program, said she came to the realization that issues in eastern Maine were the same as those in Southern California, northern Nebraska and other areas.

“They all contain counties deemed ‘food deserts’ by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” she said, “an area where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.”

She and other students mapped food resources in the area and created surveys for farmers, consumers and farmers market managers.

“We met many people passionate about their work and eager to talk about the importance of building a sustainable food network in this county,” Kefauver said. “Through these discussions in offices, around a farmer’s kitchen table, or sitting on the back of a pick-up truck, we began to see some of the large challenges to solving this problem.”

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Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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