Gov't Spends $156,493 to Identify Species Vulnerable to Climate Change -- in Maine

By Ali Meyer | July 25, 2014 | 9:12am EDT

A portion of Acadia National Park along the coast of Maine. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Park Service is awarding $156,493 to the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) Institute to fund an award to “identify species vulnerable to climate change at Acadia National Park.”

“Our changing climate affects virtually every national park and the plant and animal species in national park lands and waters. The grant project at Acadia National Park will help us learn how species respond to climate change and which species may be the most vulnerable to that change, said Jeffrey Olson, Public Information Officer of the National Park Service. “This is important to the National Park Service and to taxpayers because understanding the changes going on around us helps us manage parks, like Acadia National Park, so they will be here, thriving, in the decades to come.”

According to the grant, “Climate change is a serious threat to national areas. SERC Institute will develop and communicate stories describing local impacts of climate change on well-known species in Acadia National Park. The results from this project will provide valuable tools to communicate to the public and interested audiences how species are responding to climate change and which species might be most vulnerable to climate change.”

Acadia National Park is on the coast of Maine, about halfway up the length of the state next to Bar Harbor.

As part of the grant, SERC will develop and communicate stories describing impacts of climate change on well-known species; develop a curriculum for a training course that will provide an introduction to citizen science and include lesson plans; organize and hold a climate change workshop that includes a discussion of stories on the impacts of climate change; and work with the National Park Service staff to hold a workshop on the vulnerability of archaeological resources to climate change, as well as many other initiatives.

Harbor seals in Acadia National Park. (AP)

The National Park Service lists research and education activities as some of the SERC Institute’s qualifications. (See  Park Service Grant (1).doc)

“Much of SERC Institute’s work has specifically focused on supporting research and education related to long-term changes in Acadia National Park and the surrounding area,” the grant states. “They have developed innovative methods, such as citizen science and data literacy, inquiry-based learning, and storytelling techniques to support these activities and integrate science and education.”

“This expertise makes SERC Institute uniquely qualified to lead and work with NPS on the project described in this Task Agreement,” reads the grant.  “Their qualifications exceed those of any other potential partners.”

The grant was posted on July 10, 2014 and had a closing date for applications of July 15, 2014.

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