WINTER HARBOR — Schoodic Institute President and CEO Mark Berry will step down from his position Aug. 15, the organization announced in a press release Thursday.
Berry, who spent three years in the position, will be joining The Nature Conservancy in Brunswick. He will serve as forest program director and will be responsible for helping to lead forest conservation efforts throughout Maine.
“It has been an honor, a pleasure and a great learning experience to serve Schoodic Institute as president and CEO since 2014,” Berry said in a statement. “This is a fantastic organization with an important mission and a tremendous opportunity for growth and success in the years ahead.”
The Schoodic Institute is a nonprofit organization that works with Acadia National Park to promote ecosystem science and research within the park’s Schoodic Peninsula campus. It was founded in 2002 after the United States Navy shut down its radio station in Winter Harbor.
In its 15 years, the Schoodic Institute staff has grown to 24 year-round positions and over 30 seasonal employees. In addition to scientific research and education, the institute also has expanded to promote citizen science projects and work alongside local schools and conservation programs in recent years.
“Schoodic Institute has been fortunate to have such an able leader during this period,” Board of Directors Chairman Alan Goldstein said. “Mark has propelled the institute forward and laid the groundwork for very exciting work into the future.”
During Berry’s tenure, Acadia National Park at Schoodic Peninsula has grown in size as well. In 2015, the park officially expanded to over 3,400 acres following the 1,441-acre acquisition of Schoodic Woods.
“Schoodic Institute is a critical partner of Acadia National Park in helping significantly expand our educational research and scientific understanding of this special place,” Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider said. “We are grateful to Mark Berry for his outstanding leadership of the institute, making it stronger than ever before.”
Institute board member Kathleen Nauss has been appointed to lead a search committee to find the organization’s next president.
The board is looking for a “talented, strategic leader with the vision to build an internationally recognized institution with a strong scientific and educational mission.” Such a candidate must also have strong fundraising skills and possess both oral and written communication skills.
The institute plans to begin the search immediately. An official description of the position will soon be made available at www.schoodicinstitute.org.