Fall 2023 Newsletter

Message from the Director

Gayle Zydlewski speaks t6o a collaborator on the Maine shoreline.

Who can believe it is December?! The fall has flown by. As we look forward to the snowy days of winter, the Maine Sea Grant team has been reflecting on the value of collaboration. As a program we adopted this strategic value with the intention to seek and nurture partnerships. In a recent team meeting we shared how each of us implements this value in our work. I was struck by the themes that emerged:

  • valuing the difference that one person can make in a partnership
  • gaining new perspective – raising awareness of the value of different types of knowledge
  • building capacity and facilitating learning
  • recognizing that building relationships takes patience and time
  • returning to our organizational value of non-advocacy, as we consider and set priorities
  • valuing the support we receive from our partners as we build connections and trust in many different settings – from work in small boats, to conference rooms, labs, community centers, and mud flats!

During this season of appreciating and sharing with one another, we are happy to share updates on some of our work with partners, opportunities for you, and the chance for us to expand and build new partnerships to benefit Maine and beyond.

—Gayle Zydlewski

Program Updates

Marine Debris funding opportunities

The National Sea Grant office has released two new funding opportunities related to marine debris prevention and removal. Read more.

Marine Debris funding opportunities

Created on the foundation of its nationally and internationally recognized marine programs, world-class research, and cutting-edge facilities, UMaine MARINE is a unique Maine-based initiative that brings together university, industry, government, and community collaborators. Maine Sea Grant is a founding member and Director Zydlewski is currently serving as Chair of the Steering Committee. Subscribe to their newsletter here.


American Lobster Initiative Collaborative Chats Webinar Series webinar series continues

This season of Collaborative Chats will feature research funded through the Sea Grant American Lobster Initiative that showcases the diversity and breadth of partners involved with the collaborative network. Read more.

Headshot of Alisha Shrestha.

Civil Engineering Graduate Student will help build capacity for coastal resilience in Downeast Maine

Maine Sea Grant recently selected Alisha Shrestha, a PhD student in the civil engineering program at UMaine, for a fellowship that will begin to tackle and address climate change impacts on infrastructure as a persistent challenge in efforts to increase coastal resilience. Read more

Oceanographic regime shift impacts on threatened baleen whale species’ distribution and diet

Researchers seek to examine a shift in where whale’s are and the consequences of climate change impacts to the Gulf of Maine. Read more

New Resource for Climate Adaptation in Maine 

The “Maine Community Resilience Workbook” is a new resource designed to support communities in Maine in adapting to and building resilience against climate change. Read more and share it with your community!

Extension and Community Engagement

Meet the MET – Keri Kaczor 

We are excited to announce a new video series titled “Meet the MET (Marine Extension Associate)”! Each quarter we’ll be introducing one of Maine Sea Grant’s MET members through a video interview. This fall, we’re highlighting Keri Kaczor, our Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development Program Manager. Meet Keri here.

Working Together to Reduce Single-Use Plastic Packaging Waste at the Source

Maine Sea Grant’s Associate Director, Beth Bisson, discusses the goals of a project launched in August of 2023, titled Reducing Marine Debris at the Source: Material Replacement and Source Reduction for Single Use Food PackagingRead more.

Four people stand on the shoreline with trash bags at a Maine coastal cleanup event.

Seabirds of Passamaquoddy Bay

Maine Sea Grant Extension Associate and avid birder, Chris Bartlett, shares his experience at various Downeast Migration Birding Festival trips this past August. Read Chris’ blog here.

From the Sea Up

From the Sea Up shares stories of sustainability from Maine’s coastal and island communities. Produced by the Island Institute, this podcast is made possible by the Fund for Maine Islands and a partnership between the Island Institute, College of the Atlantic, Luke’s Lobster, Maine Sea Grant, and The First Coast. Listen here.

Education and Workforce Development 

Maine Sea Grant announces 2023 undergraduate scholarship recipients

Maine Sea Grant is pleased to announce that 11 students will receive a 2023 Maine Sea Grant Undergraduate Scholarship in Marine Sciences to support tuition or other academic or research-related expenses. Meet the scholars here.

Headshots of the 11 undergraduate scholarship recipients in a collage with the Maine Sea Grant logo.

Sea Grant announces the 2024 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows

Congratulations to Gabrielle Hillyer, Aubrey Jane, and Emily Nocito, who were selected to be Knauss Fellows in 2024. Meet the finalists here

Student Opportunities

  • Nancy Foster Scholarship
    • The NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is seeking applications for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program from individuals representing graduate-level areas of study such as marine biology, oceanography, and ecology. Application deadline is December 20, 2023. Learn more here
  • Sea Grant/NMFS Graduate Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and Marine Resource Economics
    • The National Sea Grant College Program is now accepting applications for the NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowships in population, ecosystem dynamics and marine resource economics. Ph.D. students must apply through their local Sea Grant programs by January 25, 2024. Learn more here.
  • Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
    • Applications for the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship are now open! This award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Applications are due by Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Learn about how to apply here.
  • Knauss Fellowship Program
    • Maine Sea Grant is currently accepting applications for the 2025 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. Application deadline is February 15, 2024. Learn how to apply here

In the News 

  • The SEAMaine Educator Summit provides an in-depth look into Maine’s aquaculture sector as discussed by UMaine’s Aquaculture Research Institute
  • The National Fisherman highlights Ready Seafood’s ongoing research to improve the understanding of lobster as a sustainable resource in Maine, a study originally supported by Maine Sea Grant as a collaboration between Dr. Richard Wahle at UMaine and Curt Brown at Ready Seafood. 
  • Penobscot Bay Pilot announces funding opportunities for debris removal in coastal communities. 
  • The National Sea Grant Library Database was listed as a featured resource in the University of Maine’s Fogler Library Newsletter.
  • Maine Sea Grant’s Senior Extension Program Manager, Coastal Community Resilience and DEI Leader, Kristen Grant, shares the key to improving local-level economic data in the UMaine Marine Newsletter.
  • The Newsroom at Oregon State discusses the OSU-led project to study community perceptions of offshore wind energy in partnership with Sea Grant programs in Oregon, Washington, and Maine. 

Mark Your Calendars

Want to Connect?

Maine Sea Grant supports the responsible use and conservation of coastal resources to sustain diverse, thriving coastal communities and ecosystems. Our work requires building partnerships and collaborations with organizations and individuals across the coast and beyond. If you have questions or ideas, or if you’d like to connect, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our team