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Posts tagged ‘LakeSmart’

MLRC Partner Highlight: Nathan Durant, BRCA Youth Conservation Corps Program Director

This summer marks the start of Nathan Durant’s second season as Program Director for the BRCA Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). Each summer, the BRCA YCC funds a crew of local high school and college students to work on projects designed to prevent erosion while the homeowner pays for any necessary materials (such as rocks, mulch, plants, and geotextile). The YCC provides a cost effective way to remedy erosion issues on your property and subsequently improves the water quality of your lake. This Spring, Nathan was trained as a LakeSmart screener and will incorporate the LakeSmart standards into his BMP recommendations.

YCC crew members installing rip rap to stabilize a shoreline.

YCC crew members installing rip rap to stabilize a shoreline.

Nathan hails from Williamsburg, a township located near Brownville, Maine. He attended college at University of Maine at Farmington where he assisted Dr. Dan Buckley in his research pertaining to shoreline surveys and invasive aquatic plants for the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust in 2011. Once graduated, he was accepted for the Margret Chase Smith summer internship program. Over that summer he worked with the Forest Health and Monitoring program as an entomology assistant. Nathan then began working on a trail crew with the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC). While part of the MCC, Nathan spent time building a 60ft bridge through brackish wetlands in Damariscotta, cutting new trail on the Schoodic Peninsula, setting stone steps in Grafton Notch State Park, and finished his service resurfacing bike trails in Yarmouth. This 900 hour term of service at MCC ignited “a fiery passion for conservation” that Nathan intends to stoke for the rest of his life.

In addition to leading the YCC, Nathan also works as part of the interim sampling crew collecting data for the Water Quality Initiative.

The BRCA YCC is looking for summer project sites in the Belgrade Lakes region. If you are interested in controlling erosion and improving your lake, please contact Nathan at (207) 495-6039 or [email protected] to set up a site visit.

Meet Logan Parker, MLRC Community Engagement Coordinator

The MLRC is pleased to announce that Logan Parker has been promoted to the position of Community Engagement Coordinator. Logan will be responsible for the daily operations of the MLRC and the management of the MLRC’s web activities. Logan will also be charged with event logistics, outreach activities, building management, and will be out collecting water quality data on the Belgrade Lakes this spring.

Logan has worked at the Maine Lakes Resource Center since May 2013 when he was hired as a seasonal, environmental docent. When the summer ended and the other interns headed back to school, Logan was asked to stay on part-time as an educator. Over the last year and a half, Logan has worked on increasing the MLRC’s social media following, taught natural history lessons in area schools, and created this very website!

Logan is thrilled to be given the opportunity to work for the MLRC full-time and has many plans to engage the community, in and out of the center, over the next year. This summer he will educate MLRC visitors about the water quality research underway in the Belgrade Lakes and will spend some time documenting the conservation efforts made by the MLRC and its partners throughout the watershed.

When off the clock, Logan spends most of his time photographing wildlife, birding, kayaking, and hiking, and hopes to start gardening this year. He is a member of Maine Audubon and the LakeSmart Coordinator for the Belgrade Lakes Association.

Stop in at the MLRC gallery to meet Logan and learn about all that’s happening at MLRC this year!

[email protected]

Here’s a sample of Logan’s photography over this last year:

MLRC Partner Highlight: behavioral ecologist and watershed researcher, Cathy Bevier

Dr. Cathy Bevier’s interest in biology began early in life, in the 4th grade, and she’s done all she can to learn about the natural world. Cathy graduated from Indiana University and then earned her Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Connecticut. In 1999, she joined the faculty in the Biology Department at Colby College. Working at Colby requires a balance of research and teaching, and she especially enjoys working with curious and talented students. Cathy teaches courses that include Biodiversity, Animal Behavior, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Behavioral and Physiological Ecology, and Exercise Physiology. Her service to the college includes chairing the biology department (2011-2014), serving on numerous college-wide committees, and advising students and student groups. She also works with the Colby Environmental Studies program.

Students in Bevier’s amphibian research laboratory at Colby College.

Professor Bevier is trained as a behavioral ecologist, and focuses on reproductive behavior in frogs. Most recently, however, she has targeted her research toward amphibian conservation. In particular, she and her research students are investigating the antimicrobial compounds produced in frog skin secretions and by beneficial symbiotic bacteria that live on frog skin. For some frogs, these may provide protection from the effects of infection by the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is one source of global declines and extinctions of amphibian population.

Professor Bevier’s work with the MLRC began when she was a co-principal investigator with a research group funded for five years by the National Science Foundation to investigate the effects of human development in the Belgrade Watershed. She and Professor Russ Cole have led teams of student research assistants during the last several summers to do field work to evaluate the riparian and littoral habitats of shoreline properties along three of the Belgrade Lakes (Great Pond, East Pond, North Pond). This data provides insight into the effectiveness of best management practices associated with the LakeSmart initiatives. Professors Bevier and Cole and their students continue to work with Maggie Shannon and other leaders within the Belgrade Lakes community to provide evidence for lakeside residents that encourage maintaining properties in ways that protect lake water quality and property values.

Professor Bevier enjoys exploring the Maine outdoors through every season, and especially enjoys summer swimming and kayaking on Messalonskee Lake. Her husband, Louis, is an avid birder and editor, and their son Alex, a junior at Lawrence High School, is a competitive swimmer and aspires to study biochemistry.