“Hear, Here! An Evening of Science and Story – Tales from Acadia National Park and Beyond” takes place at College of the Atlantic on Tuesday, May 17. The Acadia Centennial event features true stories of discovery in and around America’s national parks. PHOTO COURTESY OF COA

Park research stories to be told

BAR HARBOR — An evening of true stories told live about the accidents, fortune, lucky breaks, grueling tasks and surprising breakthroughs happening in science all around public lands will take place at College of the Atlantic’s Thomas S. Gates Community Center on Tuesday, May 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Scientific explorations, adventures and discoveries in Acadia National Park are featured in this unique Acadia Centennial storytelling event, called “Hear Here!”

Since the creation of College of the Atlantic in 1969, the COA community has enjoyed a rich, collaborative relationship with Acadia National Park, conducting myriad research projects within its borders, working with planners, rangers and scientists, developing interpretive exhibits, studying arts and humanities, and utilizing our interdisciplinary educational approach to train the next generation of conservation leaders.

Among the storytellers at this Acadia Centennial event will be researchers, outdoor enthusiasts and everyday people who’ve experienced the incredible opportunities for inspiration that national park regions have to offer. Participants can expect a robust conversation with audience members, who will be invited to respond and share their own unique stories.

The event is sponsored by College of the Atlantic in partnership with iSWOOP (Interpreters and Scientists Working on Our Parks) and coincides with a nationwide launch of science communications efforts in national parks.

Storytellers include COA W.H. Drury Professor of ecology/natural history John Anderson, UMaine Assistant Professor of paleoecology and plant ecology Jacquelyn Gill, Acadia National Park Natural Resource Manager Judy Hazen Connery and Jackson Laboratory research scientist Muneer Hasham.

Flora Lichtman, the co-director of the New York Times Op-Docs animated series “Animated Life,” will be master of ceremonies for the event. Lichtman, who also is the host of “The Adaptors” podcast, has contributed to The New York Times, “The Atlantic,” NPR and “Popular Science.” Lichtman was a correspondent and managing editor of video at “Science Friday,” a live science show broadcast on NPR, and also is the author of “Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us” (Wiley 2011).

Visit coa.edu/acadiacentennial.

iSWOOP is a project of Cambridge, Mass.-based TERC and is supported by the National Science Foundation. The project aims to communicate with national park visitors about the cutting-edge scientific research happening within yards or a few miles of where they are standing. Hear, Here! is part of a gathering of national park staff and scientists launching the iSWOOP project in five parks, including Acadia.

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