Program Curriculum and Venue

The Acadian Program: July 27 – August 3, 2014

A different approach to conservation training…

The Acadian Program is distinctive among other short course opportunities. First, the Acadian Program is one of the first conservation-oriented initiatives to have as an explicit goal creating interactions among students from North America and abroad. Second, the scope of the Acadian Program is unique – both in its focus on a specific strategy (i.e., large landscape conservation) and in its breadth – aiming not just to conserve a specific parcel of land, but rather to have students act as ambassadors, spreading the concept and practice of large landscape conservation across both the Acadian landscape and their own home countries. As citizens and conservation practitioners, our students seek to make a difference in nearby Bar Harbor, as well as Budapest and Buenos Aires.

This innovative one-week intensive Program is designed to engage undergraduate and graduate students, as well as young professionals who have already gained valuable field experience, in large-landscape conservation projects. These individuals will form a total of five teams with approximately three students on each team. 2014 team members will be coming from Maine, Pennsylvania, Belize, Guatemala, Chile, and Vietnam.

The Curriculum

The one-week intensive Acadian Program will be conducted in three parts. We will begin at SERC with lunch at noon on Sunday, July 27, and conclude with a midday lunch on Sunday, August 3. The first 2.5 days of the Program will be dedicated to instruction regarding the theory and practice of large landscape conservation. Over the next several days, each team will lead a half-day discussion of a “live” challenge regarding a large landscape initiative in their home state or region. After a two-hour presentation of the case facts, the presenting team will work with their new colleagues from across the world to brainstorm and then propose an effective response to the challenge.

Following the series of team-by-team case presentations, the 2014 participants will then work together as a group to understand and propose ways to address the challenges of a highly significant large landscape initiative in the Acadian region – the ecological, economic, and social restoration of the Penobscot River watershed following the historic removal/modification of several large dams – including the removal of the Veazie Dam scheduled for this summer. Our hope is that participants will help to provide insight and value to the community of conservationists working to restore the Penobscot watershed. For more information on the Penobscot, see http://www.penobscotriver.org, as well as http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/06/news/bangor/veazie-dam-removal-project-gets-1-million-boost/

Program Venue

Students enrolled in the Acadian Program are housed at the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC), a National Park Service Research Learning Center that recently completed a 5-year transformation from a former U.S. naval base to a state-of-the-art research and education campus. The SERC campus sits on a granite peninsula surrounded by the sea, making it an excellent place for people to work, learn, and play together in a spectacular natural setting.

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