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Maine Forest Collaborative December Newsletter

Partner School Trips!

Last month Greenville students visited Guilford students for a partner school trip! Both classes presented Jamboards about their selected challenges and preliminary solution ideas to get feedback on.

Buckfield and Telstar also went on a joint field trip together this month! We went to Irving and Nine Dragons learning about the process from stump to mill, how paper is made on a massive scale, and learned about career opportunities from the expected to unexpected at both places. We then did some challenge sharing and solution feedback giving as well on MFC projects.

In the News

30,000 acres near Katahdin Woods & Waters being restored to Penobscot Nation

The Penobscot Nation and Trust for Public Land announced a plan to return nearly 30,000 forested acres in Maine back to the governance of the tribe. The land represents a portion of what was taken from them in the 1800s, and it's part of a larger effort to restore ancestral homelands to Indigenous stewardship.

Invasive shrubs in Northeast Forests grow leaves earlier and keep them longer

The rapid pace that invasive shrubs infiltrate forests in the northeastern United States makes scientists suspect they have a consistent advantage over native shrubs, and the first region-wide study of leaf timing, conducted by Penn State researchers, supports those suspicions. ->>> Full article

How much can trees fight climate change? Massively, but not alone, study finds

Restoring global forests where they occur naturally could potentially capture an additional 226 gigatons of planet-warming carbon, equivalent to about a third of the amount that humans have released since the beginning of the Industrial Era, according to a new study published on Monday in the journal Nature.

Engagement Opportunity

New Lithium Exhibit at Maine Mineral and Gem Museum! 

The "Batteries and Beyond" exhibit highlights include an overview of the element lithium, many of the minerals that contain it, the types of resources that are exploited to extract it, many of the everyday products it is included in, the complex global supply chain that has developed to produce lithium-ion batteries, and rounding off with the potential for recycling these batteries (batteries as ore).

For context, this exhibit was put together after a world class spodumene deposit was discovered just north of our museum in the town of Newry (see attachment). The (re)discovery of this deposit has sparked much discourse in the state, even prompting an amendment to the state's current mining laws. Lithium is an important contemporary issue here in Maine, in the USA and beyond and MMGM is pleased to offer a free and objective exhibit about the topic. If you’re a teacher interested in learning more, please contact Myles at and schedule an appointment to review the exhibit, or tour the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum!

4-H Tick Community Science Project 

The 4-H Tick Project is a community science project engaging K-12 youth and educators,

made possible through a partnership between 4-H Youth DevelopmentUMaine Cooperative Extension Tick LabMaine Forest Tick Survey, and members of the Learning Ecosystems Northeast partnership. The project provides youth an opportunity to explore ticks and tick-borne diseases, which is a connected story of climate, ecosystem change, and public health. All K-12 educators interested in teaching about ticks in Maine are encouraged to participate in the project at no cost to you. If you are a formal classroom teacher, after-school educator, 4-H volunteer, outreach coordinator at a local organization, librarian, science center staff, or any other educator working with youth ages 5-18, this project is for you! Learn more and sign up here!

For Teachers

Winter Teachers Training: Below Zero 

January 26th 1-4pm at law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. Join Appalachian Mountain Club, Piscataquis Soil & Water Conservation District, and Rural Aspirations for a free winter focused IF&W workshop for educators K-12! Contact to RSVP.

Nanocellulose Facebook Group for Teachers!

The Process Development Center at UMaine has started a new Facebook page and group to help educators get access to videos and research about nanomaterials. Teachers had also asked for the group so that they could exchange ideas, results, photos about using CNF in their classes. If you click on Files there are presentations from the researchers at the Nanomaterials research forum from August. Join the Facebook group here!

*** And if you are interested in either taking a field trip to the Process Development Center, or having an in classroom nanocellulose visit let Sara know! 

Wabanaki Studies

There is a wealth of resources now available online on the DOE website that is focused on helping Maine educators in integrating Wabanaki Studies into existing curricula. This material represents a continuing collaborative effort between the Wabanaki nations, Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, districts, and other organizations. Resources included here are not comprehensive or definitive but rather represent high-quality materials that are widely available.

CODAP and SageModeler Workshop for Teachers

Free full-day workshops to explore tools for supporting students in systems modeling and data science! GMRI is hosting a deep dive into two open source web-based tools that create new possibilities for students to engage in modeling and data analysis with real-world datasets.

Thursday, January 25, 2023, 9:00am to 3:00pm - CODAP and sensemaking with data modeling: CODAP (the Common Online Data Analysis Platform) is a data exploration tool designed to support students in learning how to answer questions with data. Easily import existing data sets, use plugins to capture output from simulations, and import data directly from sensors. CODAP’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface for creating visualizations has been used in grades 5 and up.

Friday, January 26, 2023, 9:00am to 3:00pm - SageModeler and systems: SageModeler has been used from upper elementary to undergraduate for supporting students in simulating their own models. Students can test their own ideas about how parts of a system work together. Great for ecosystem modeling, but applicable in many fields, SageModeler provides a unique way to engage students in modeling without coding or writing complex equations.

Register here! Other info: 

  • Both workshop days are FREE

  • Support is available to cover substitutes, as well as mileage.

  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

  • Contact us if you need overnight lodging.

Recording: Monitoring the Impact of Climate Change on Forests Using Satellite Data

Forests occupy nearly one third of the land surface and serve as a stabilizing force for the climate. They provide numerous benefits to life on Earth, and they help slow the rate of climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. Warmer temperatures, deeper droughts, more intense wildfires, pests, and infestations are having an impact on forests around the world. Satellites allow for continuous monitoring of these ecosystems and to better understand how they are changing. This talk focuses on the use of different types of satellite data to understand and monitor the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems around the world. Watch the recording here!

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Jan 08


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