Four Favorites From 2020

Announcements | Dec 30, 2020

Despite the challenges we all experienced during the last year, we're looking back at some of our favorite moments from 2020. These selected stories feature staff voices, as well as those of teachers, fishermen, restaurants, and other partners who help bring our mission to life.

A composite image represents the feature images from four stories throughout 2020. The image features teachers, mussels in hands, a fisherman on deck, and a portrait for Dr. David Reidmiller. The number four is also incorporated in the design.

1) Supporting Teachers Before, During, and After COVID-19

In April, Teacher Professional Development Coordinator Molly Auclair joined us to share how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers are coming together to support each other remotely — both before and during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"While the challenges of physical distancing are new for many of us, Maine teachers have been practicing for years," said Auclair. "In rural parts of the state, teachers often feel isolated. Many of the individuals I work with are the only STEM teachers for their grade level, and some are even the only STEM teacher at their school."

a group of western maine teachers gathers at an RTC workshop

In 2016, we launched our Regional Teacher Community effort to connect these teachers. We connect and engage these teacher communities with an array of meetings, trainings, and online resources. Every community has a lead teacher, who provides local, sustained guidance to other teachers in that region.

Learn More About Regional Teacher Communities

For Rural Teachers, Nothing New About Physical Distance

Learn more about our Regional Teacher Communities, which connect teachers from remote areas of the state to share STEM teaching experiences.

Perspectives|Apr 30, 2020

2) Supporting Our Region's Seafood Industry

COVID-19 brought major challenges to our region's seafood industry. In June, Sustainable Seafood Program Manager Kyle Foley provided a resource to help you support these businesses as they adapt their offerings.

raw redfish on a cutting board with herbs

"Small businesses, especially, are challenged in a variety of ways during this time — including the many marine businesses that comprise our network of partners and stakeholders throughout the seafood supply chain," said Foley. "Still, we are drawing inspiration from this crisis as we watch our community band together in support of one another. In their own way, everyone is asking 'What can I do to help?'"

To answer that question, Foley and her team offered five simple steps to support the people and businesses who work so hard to provide us with fresh, local seafood.

Learn How You Can Help

Five Steps To Support Local Seafood

As COVID-19 has spread across the world, our country, and now New England, it has left no part of the economy untouched. Small businesses, especially, …

Perspectives|Jun 11, 2020

3) Welcoming Our First Climate Center Director

This summer, we welcomed Dr. Dave Reidmiller to lead our new climate center. As the first director of the interdisciplinary climate center, Dr. Reidmiller will support solutions to local, regional, and global challenges related to climate change.

“As a region, we have an opportunity to be global leaders, because the things we learn here are relevant around a warming planet,” said Dr. Reidmiller. “For example, what we learn about heatwaves in the Gulf of Maine is critical to our understanding of similar warming events and their impacts in other places.”

Dr. David Reidmiller stands outside the Gulf of Maine Research Institute lab on Commercial St. in Portland, Maine.

Dr. Reidmiller's work will build on our ongoing climate science efforts and leverage the experience of other GMRI programs delivering high-impact education programs and convening diverse groups of marine stakeholders to solve complex problems.

Get To Know Dr. Reidmiller

Climate Center Names First Director

Dr. Dave Reidmiller joined us in August as director of our new climate center. In his role, Dr. Reidmiller will leverage nearly two decades of …

Tidings|Sep 14, 2020

4) Great Partners & Pandemic-Resilient Fieldwork

In August, we highlighted an ongoing industry collaboration with fisherman Jim Ford, testing an Ultra-Low Opening Trawl (ULOT) net meant to reduce cod bycatch.

A global pandemic only made the experiment more challenging to navigate, but in late-May, Ford and a small masked team, including GMRI Fisheries Technical Assistance Program Manager Heather Cronin, GMRI Research Associate Aaron Whitman, and Geoff Smith from TNC, set out to test out the modification and collect catch data.

a picture of the ULOT net

“It was encouraging to get out there safely with a group of people who are really focused on creating something that could help improve the fishery," said Cronin.

Net design represents just one collaboration between Ford and GMRI aimed at improving the economic and ecological sustainability of their fishing operations. Concurrently, Ford is also participating in an electronic monitoring (EM) program led by Cronin.

Explore the Collaboration

Industry Collaboration Fuels New Fishing Technology

As fisheries and regulations have changed, Captain Jim Ford is one of many fishermen finding ways to adapt. Ford is a long-term collaborator and partner …

Perspectives|Aug 31, 2020

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