Patricio Gallardo Garcia Freire collects data in a stream on the College of the Atlantic campus. He will give a talk about the Frenchman Bay watershed Nov. 13. PHOTO COURTESY OF COA

Gallardo to discuss health of Frenchman Bay watershed



BAR HARBOR — Research into the spatial, social, ecological, and economic spheres of the Frenchman Bay watershed will be the focus of a Human Ecology Forum talk Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4:10 p.m. at the College of the Atlantic.

The presentation by recent graduate Patricio Gallardo Garcia Freire will be the final Human Ecology Forum of the fall 2018 term. The free event takes place in McCormick Lecture Hall.

In Gallardo’s senior project, he established a baseline characterization of the COA Stream (COAS) and its respective COA Watershed (COAW). He identified changes in land use, land ownership, and water infrastructure through time that may have led to the current configuration of stormwater outlets, drinking water mains, and sewage piping within the COAW.

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Gallardo created a database with relevant geological, hydrological, and ecological data for the COAW, to be expanded through future research questions.

He established monitoring stations at all the freshwater outlets of the COAW draining to Frenchman Bay, with the objective of involving the community in a variety of geoscience field methods, including discharge, stage, channel geometry, pebble counts, and water quality metrics.

Within the study, Gallardo developed a framework for continued monitoring of useful ecological, economic, and social sustainability variables at the watershed scale.

“This assessment accounts for impacts arising from land, water, energy, and waste management decisions made at the community level,” he said, “while identifying spatial, hourly, seasonal, and annual trends in watershed conditions that can inform stakeholders on appropriate mitigation and best management strategies to be applied in future restoration, education, outreach, and infrastructure projects.”

Wild Acadia’s Watershed Project serves as an opportunity to expand this study’s human ecological approach into other vulnerable watersheds of Mount Desert Island in and outside Acadia National Park that also outflow to Frenchman Bay and the overarching Gulf of Maine, Gallardo said.

The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend. Visit coa.edu.

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