Nick Fisichelli will talk about safeguarding and preserving Acadia National Park amid threats from climate change at College of the Atlantic’s Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series May 2. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Fisichelli to talk about climate change and the park

BAR HARBOR –– Forest Ecology Director at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park Nick Fisichelli will talk about safeguarding and preserving Acadia National Park amid growing threats from climate change at College of the Atantic’s Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series in McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, May 2, at 2:40 p.m.

As rising global temperatures threaten to disrupt ecologies worldwide, managers of places such as Acadia National Park must ask themselves whether they will resist change to preserve past conditions or facilitate change towards desired new conditions, Fisichelli said.

“This is one of the most challenging questions facing ecology and conservation,” Fisichelli said.

Although Acadia may be protected from all manner of direct human damages, it is still highly vulnerable to the growing threat of climate change, Fisichelli said, and the day when caretakers of the park must choose between combatting the change or moving ahead to a new future is fast approaching.

Since the effects climate change will have on Acadia are still at least partly unknown, park managers are left fighting an uphill battle to stay one step ahead of the thermometer, he said.

“We don’t know which species will thrive and which will struggle,” said Fisichelli “Some tree species will be able to weather these changes and remain part of the landscape, other species may decline due to increasing stress, and still other species currently found further south may expand their ranges north into the Acadia region.”

Fisichelli was a Fulbright Fellow and earned his degree in forest ecology from the University of Minnesota. In addition to his engagement with the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, he was part of the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program and also worked extensively in Shenandoah and Lassen Volcanic national parks. He is focused on finding ways to manage forests effectively through scientific study and good stewardship.

See the entire Speaker Series schedule and learn more about Fisichelli at, and check the calendar at for all upcoming events.

The Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series aims to create positive discussion and planning for climate change by fostering common discourse across disciplines and breaking down barriers to understanding. The talks, which include experts from the fields of earth science, food systems, history, public policy, anthropology and energy, take place in McCormick Lecture Hall and are free and open to the public. Each presentation includes a question-and-answer period.

The Speaker Series runs parallel to the Seminar on Climate Change, taught by College of the Atlantic Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair of Earth Systems and Geosciences Sarah Hall. In this course, students learn about Earth’s climate variations over the past ~70 million years. Through close reading of scientific literature and study of the scientific methods used to identify climate fluctuations, students learn to follow and critically evaluate discussions around modern climate change and projected climate change scenarios.



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