SEPTEMBER 7, 2006
News from the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research
- September talk focuses on air quality in national parks
- Director David Hart: Linking Knowledge to Action
- NPS publishes final report on Acadia traffic research
- Maine Mountain Conference 2006
Talk Focuses on Air Quality Protection in National Parks
On Thursday, September 14, from 12noon-1pm, Kathy Tonnessen will give a talk on "Air Quality Protection for National Parks: Research and Modeling to Develop Critical Loads."
Tonnessen is the Research Coordinator for the National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Cluster of parks and the NPS liaison to the Rocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, in Missoula, Montana. Her research interests include the deposition of pollutants, especially in snow.
The talk will take place in Room 107, Norman Smith Hall, UMaine, Orono and is open to all. For parking permits and directions contact Ruth Hallsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a complete list of upcoming fall seminars.
Director David Hart: Linking Knowledge to Action
When it comes to securing a healthy environment for future generations, David Hart knows that actions speak louder than words.
Hart, a long-time environmental scientist with a keen interest in environmental policy, recently took the helm as Director of the Mitchell Center. Bringing with him a wealth of leadership experience in interdisciplinary research and environmental partnerships, Hart’s primary goal at the center is to establish lasting connections between UMaine researchers and the diverse community of stakeholders who are concerned with environmental issues.
“One of the greatest challenges we face today is developing solutions to environmental problems in ways that also maintain strong communities and a healthy economy. At the
Mitchell Center, we’ll be looking for new ways to solve those problems by pulling together and focusing UMaine’s remarkable diversity of environmental expertise,” said Hart. “I’m really excited about working at the University of Maine, because there are already so many strong collaborations.”
From water contamination to fisheries restoration, urban sprawl and climate change, the issues facing Maine are much the same as those in other regions, and Hart sees great
potential for UMaine and the Mitchell Center to become models for research, collaboration and environmental problem-solving. “Maine has often been a leader in solving difficult environmental problems,” said Hart. “By expanding this commitment to developing solutions, we can learn valuable lessons about effective environmental management that are transferable to other regions of the nation and the world.”
Hart will be seeking new funding sources to support the Center’s research, education, and outreach programs, and hopes to make the Center a catalyst for the development of multifaceted collaborations with government agencies, the private sector, non-government organizations, and community groups.
Hart is the former Director of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research and Vice President of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His accomplishments at the Patrick Center were enhanced by his unique ability to build and sustain research partnerships. Hart’s research achievements, leadership skills, and fund-raising abilities also promise to strengthen the Mitchell Center’s outstanding reputation as a leader in environmental research.
“I see great opportunities here. Mainers have already demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting their environment” said Hart. “Our job is to make sure that the Mitchell Center helps in achieving that goal.”
Click here for more information on David Hart.
Final Report Published on Acadia Traffic Research
Since 2002, Mitchell Center researchers have made visits during peak and off-peak tourist season at Acadia National Park to take water samples from streams throughout the
park. Their goal — to see if traffic at Acadia was affecting water quality in the park’s streams.
Over 3 million visitors visit Acadia each year. In August alone, over 60,000 vehicles pass through the Sand Beach Gate. Establishing the effect of traffic on water quality is the
important first step in determining how vehicles are impacting ecosystems. The NPS has actively pursued a long-term monitoring program to document the impact of air pollution on park resources. Although the majority of air pollution occurring at Acadia is attributed to long range transport, the relative contribution of local mobile emissions has not been quantified. The ability to differentiate between the volumes of local in-park emission
sources as compared to more distant sources will enhance the ability of park managers to more effectively remedy existing air pollution impacts. This research was the first to study if local traffic can have a measurable effect on water quality.
Results from the study included identification of six metals that exhibit significant statistical relationships with traffic, distance from roads, sample point elevation, or flow: aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, molybdenum, palladium, and zinc. Arsenic and molybdenum appear to be the most likely metals related to traffic with effects on surface water quality. Each of these metals may be found in vehicles, exhaust systems, and associated fuels or lubricants. The amounts detected are below currently recognized maximum safe concentrations.
The final report for this research has now been published by the National Park Service and is available at: http://www.nps.gov/nero/science/FINAL/ACAD_traffic/ACAD_traffic.htm.
An article on this research also appeared in the August 05 edition of Waterlines.
Maine Mountain Conference 2006
The first conference in 34 years devoted to the special problems and opportunities facing Maine’s mountains will take place Saturday, October 21, 2006 at Saddleback Base
Lodge, Rangeley Lakes Region, Maine.
Scientists will report on what has been learned about the unique nature of mountain soils, hydrology, geology, climate, vegetation and wildlife. Historians, land managers,
residents and planners will explore the significance of our mountains and what the future may hold.
Additional information and registration materials are available at: