Waterlines is a publication of the Senator George J. Mitchell
Center for Environmental and Watershed Research at the University of
MITCHELL CENTER BIDS
FAREWELL TO FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR STEVE KAHL...
Kahl, founder and long-time director of the Mitchell Center, has
left the University of Maine to serve as the first director of the
Center for the Environment at Plymouth State University in Plymouth,
NH. Known nationally for his research on acid rain and water quality
in lakes and streams, Steve built Maine's Water Research Institute
into a successful partner in New England water resources research,
outreach, and education. The new Interim Director of the Mitchell
Center is Dr. Christopher Cronan, Professor of Plant Biology and
Ecology, and MAFES Assistant Director for Ecology and Environmental
Sciences at the University of Maine.
While Steve's departure has come as a surprise to some, he leaves
over two decades of accomplishment in his wake and is already
opening new avenues of cooperation and collaboration among New
England scientists and educators. "This is a bittersweet change for
me, because of the many great relationships with people in Maine and
at the University. However, my career is water chemistry in New
England, and I will still be active in Maine," says Steve.
Ask a Mitchell Center graduate student why he or she chose the
University of Maine, and chances are you will hear, "I came here
because of Steve Kahl." Steve's research has supported countless
undergraduates and 59 graduate students. Under his leadership, the
United States Geological Survey named the Maine Water Research
Institute "one of the premier water institutes in the nation". In
part because of the significance of the Institute's research related
to federal clean air policy, Senator George J. Mitchell lent his
name to the Center, adding even greater visibility and importance to
the Center's work.
From his founding role in the Tunk Mountain Watershed Study, one of
the longest-running lake monitoring programs in the country, to
research that contributed to 20-year perspectives on responses of
surface water chemistry to the federal Clean Air Act, Steve Kahl
established himself as an authority on matters having to do with
water and Maine. In addition to supporting students, Steve's work at
the University of Maine is notable for the nearly $9 million in
grant funding obtained from state and federal agencies through
commitment to student success, his ability to leverage federal
research dollars while exercising cost-effective fiscal practices,
have been central to the Mitchell Center's success," says Governor
John Baldacci, who has been a member of the Center's advisory board
since its inception. Our colleague Paul Godfrey, former director of
the Massachusetts Water Center, lauds Steve's ability to pull
together diverse research teams to address a complex issue. "His
grant proposals are eloquent and innovative, and the resulting long
term research programs he has established will serve Maine and New
England for years to come, regardless of his location," says
Godfrey. The National Institutes for Water Resources recognized
these abilities when they unanimously selected Steve as their
president in 2002.
Nothing endures but change, Heraclitus once said. We at the Mitchell
Center look forward to positive changes that will strengthen our
commitment to excellence in research and education on water resource
issues. We are excited about new directions and opportunities for
growth and collaborations working with Interim Director Chris Cronan.
Mitchell Center staff and students will miss the presence and
leadership of Steve Kahl. We offer congratulations to Plymouth State
University, and wish nothing but the best to Steve as he begins a
new adventure in our neighboring state of New Hampshire. We thank
Steve for sharing his understanding of Maine's lakes, rivers, and
streams with us, and for supporting young scientists in the
beginning stages of their careers.
A WARM WELCOME TO
INTERIM DIRECTOR CHRIS CRONAN
Christopher Cronan is Professor of Plant Biology and Ecology at the
University of Maine. He earned an undergraduate B.S. in ecology from
the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and a Ph.D. in biological
sciences from Dartmouth College in 1978. In 1988, he was awarded a
Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Resources for advanced study at
Harvard Forest and Harvard University. He founded the Graduate
Program in Ecology and Environmental Science (EES) at the University
of Maine in 1994, and served as its director until 1999. In 2003, he
was appointed to oversee undergraduate and graduate programs in
Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Maine as the
MAFES Assistant Director of EES.
Dr. Cronan has established an international reputation for his
research and scholarship in biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, and
watershed analysis. His 60 publications have appeared in such
leading international scientific publications as Science, Nature,
Water Resources Research, Environmental Science and Technology,
Oecologia, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, BioScience, and Journal of
Environmental Quality. Funding for his research totaling $4.9
million has been awarded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
U.S. Dept. of Energy, National Science Foundation, Electric Power
Research Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service,
and Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He has
presented his research as an invited speaker at a NATO Advanced
Research Workshop on Chemical Weathering in Rodez, France; a Dahlem
Conference on Organic Acids in Surface Waters held in Berlin,
Germany; and an International Congress on Forest Decline held in
Friedrichshafen, Germany. Recently, with sponsorship from the
Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, he has worked with colleagues on
the ScienceLinks project in an effort to provide members of
Congress with a scientific basis for improving federal clean air and
Dr. Cronan is the author of a textbook entitled Introduction
to Ecology and Ecosystems Analysis, and has nearly completed a
second textbook entitled Biogeochem-istry of Terrestrial
Ecosystems. His teaching responsibilities include undergraduate
courses in general ecology and biology of organisms, and a graduate
class in biogeochemistry. At the local level, he serves as chair of
the planning board and as a commissioner of the Veazie Conservation
CONFERENCE 2005 — CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
2005 Maine Water Conference will be
held Tuesday, March 22 at the Augusta Civic Center,
Augusta, ME. The conference theme is 'Connections'.
Session topics are as follows. Please contact Co-Chair
or call 207/581-3196 with questions about oral presentations. For
poster presentations, contact
Laura Wilson at
207/581-2971. Session topics are subject to change based on abstract
Estuaries: Where rivers meet the sea.
Estuaries represent the link between freshwater and marine
ecosystems. Maine has a diversity of estuarine habitats, including
bays, tidal rivers, salt marshes, islands, and beaches. Estuaries
are some of the state's most complex and productive environments,
yet they are also some of the least-studied. This session will
examine new knowledge and issues emerging from the estuarine zone.
The idea that groundwater is isolated weakens as our understanding
of recharge processes increases. Surface water-groundwater
interactions are especially relevant to debates over water use
reporting and restrictions, development of new water supplies, and
conflicts over water rights.
Mercury, endocrine disruptors, and
other emerging contaminants.
What is the state of Maine's environment with regard to mercury and
endocrine-disrupting chemicals? What are the emerging contaminants
of concern? What are the human health implications of the sources
and transport of potentially toxic substances?
water planning and conflicts.
Drinking water represents the ultimate connection between humans and
the environment. This session will review current conflicts in
public and private drinking water, and examples of planning
strategies to address those conflicts.
Connecting the data.
How do we share data among users, and connect the numerous and
disparate sources of water resources information? This session will
address data integration, availability, and accessibility, including
GIS and web interfacing, new communication and information transfer
tools, and data-sharing in water education.
Maine community roundtable.
A facilitated discussion of current water resource planning and
management in Maine communities. Is comprehensive planning working?
What strategies do municipalities have for controlling non-point
source pollutants? Has shoreland zoning been effective? What are the
trends in regionalization, and the consequences for environmental
Please use the following guidelines:
- Indicate oral or poster presentation
- Do not exceed 250 words
- Title should accurately summarize the subject of the
- Contain names and affiliations of all authors (including
address, phone, fax and e-mail)
- Bold and underline the name of the presenting author
- Abstract should state the purpose, significant results, and
main conclusion of work
- Indicate if primary author is a student by indicating
"student" after name
- Abstract should be single-spaced using 12-point Times Roman
- Abstracts should be produced in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect.
If you will be using different software, please contact us before
Oral Abstracts & Presentations
- Oral presentations must fit into the topic area of one of the
sessions specified above.
- PowerPoint presentations are encouraged. LCD projectors and
laptops will be provided. No overhead or slide projectors will be
- Presentations are allotted 20 minutes, which includes question
and answer time.
Poster Abstracts & Presentations
will address one or more aspects of water quality or quantity
issues. These may include chemical, biological, and hydrological
aspects of surface and ground waters, and their policy and economic
- Maximum size: 4ft x 3ft (landscape)
- Prizes will be awarded in the undergraduate and graduate
SUBMISSION AND DEADLINES
Submit abstracts via e-mail as an attachment to email@example.com.
Alternately, mail 2 printed copies and disk (IBM compatible) to: MWC
2005 Call for Abstracts, Mitchell Center, 5710 Norman Smith Hall,
Orono, ME 04469-5710
Oral abstracts: 12/03/2004, 5pm.
Poster abstracts: 02/25/2005, 5pm.
MONITORS PESTICIDE LEVELS IN DOWNEAST RIVERS…
you see Lucner Charlestra staring intently at a computer in the
graduate student office, don't assume he's plugging away at an
assignment; he might just be checking the soccer scores from
Brazil's latest match. Lucner, a Fulbright Scholar from Anse
d'Hainault, Haiti, joined the Mitchell Center as a graduate student
in 2003. His early thesis work, under advisor Howard Patterson and
in collaboration with Maine DEP, was a continuation of a project
that employed the use of a semi-permeable membrane device to sample
for dioxin in Maine rivers. In 2004, Lucner switched his thesis
focus and began working with the Maine Board of Pesticide Control (BPC).
He now uses a newer passive sampler, a POCIS (Polar Organic Chemical
Integrative Sampler), to monitor pesticide levels in Downeast rivers
near blueberry fields. This experimental technique differs from the
traditional sampling techniques of the BPC, which include grab
sampling and deploying drift cards. The project will compare the
detection levels and limits of the newer technique with those of the
traditional techniques, and will provide further information about
the environmental impacts of pesticide application.
Prior to coming to the University of Maine, Lucner obtained his
Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Faculty of
Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine in Port Au Prince, Haiti. He worked
as a professional agronomist in Haiti for several years before
deciding to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship and pursue a graduate
degree. Despite being frustrated by the political turmoil in his
native country, Lucner is passionate about Haiti and wants it to be
known for friendly, sympathetic people, rich, community-based
traditions, and natural tropical beauty. He is also passionate about
soccer, and feels sometimes that he missed his calling as a
CENTER WISH LIST
DID YOU KNOW?
Over 830,000 Americans donated their cars in 2002.
The Mitchell Center is looking for a few
“gently-used” cars for field and other research-related work.
If you would like to donate your vehicle, see it put to good use,
and get a tax deduction, contact Ruth Hallsworth at the Mitchell Center at
The photo on the right is of our Nissan
Pathfinder which was generously donated to the Center by Paul
Haertel. As you can see, we put it to very good use!
BUZZ AT THE MITCHELL CENTER
Maine Water Conference 2005 - Save the Date!
Next year's Maine Water Conference will take place
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at the Augusta Civic Center,
Augusta, Maine. If you are interested in participating as a
volunteer, in chairing a session, or have suggestions for session
topics, please contact the Mitchell Center at
information on the Conference will be available in the next edition
A productive summer in the lab
The Watershed Research Lab
is wrapping up a successful summer, and preparing for fall sampling.
Several research projects, including the Eastern Lake Survey and a
summer stream survey with the Atlantic Salmon Commission, provided a
constant influx of samples for analysis. The high sample volume
ensured lots of quality lab experience and training for graduate
students, many of whom were involved in full-time lab and field work
over the summer. We also had the opportunity to provide hands-on
experience for an Upward Bound student, Bung Luong. Bung learned lab
techniques, conducted experiments, and created a poster that
presented her results. She is well on her way to becoming a
The lab recently upgraded to a new spectrometer
for analyzing color and phosphorus. Methods have already been
developed and implemented for color analysis, and procedures for
phosphorus will be finished by fall.
The staff is looking forward to moving the lab
from its current cramped conditions to its permanent home in Norman
Smith Hall, where there will be more space available for equipment
New publications available
Want to know how to protect your drinking water well? Worried about
groundwater contamination where you live? Two information digests
produced in collaboration with the Maine Drinking Water Program,
Safe Drinking Water and
Supplies, are designed to answer common questions about water
supplies and provide links to resources, guidance for water testing,
and recommendations for source water protection. They are
available on our website as both
html and pdf documents or for print copies call 207/581-3244.
Acadia is a SPARC Park
in Cadillac and Hadlock Brook watersheds in Acadia National Park provides the foundation for
a new Mitchell Center initiative called SPARC (Service-wide Park Access to Research
Catchments). Designed by the Mitchell Center (project leaders Steve
Kahl, Sarah Nelson and Andrea Grygo), SPARC
is a web-based information network for watershed research in National
Parks. Currently under development, the site (http://www.umaine.edu/sparc)
will provide a bibliographic data search, and eventually will serve
and map data. For more information, contact graduate student
Waterlines moves to the web
We are moving Waterlines to an on-line format. If you would like
to receive notification via e-mail of our next web publication date,
please contact us at
UMGMC@maine.edu. An abridged version of Waterlines is also
available in print. If you would like to receive the print version,
please contact us at
UMGMC@maine.edu with your mailing address.
If you would like to submit an article for
publication in Waterlines, please contact us at 207/581-3196 or