The President’s Salmon is an environmental history of the Atlantic salmon and the Penobscot River in Maine. But it also tells a broader story of how American presidents, and their national policies on energy, trade, and the environment, have real impacts at the local level. Sometimes these effects outlast their presidents; other times, citizen action […]

Portland Press Herald photo   MAMMOTHS by Catherine Schmitt Snow plows thunder down the street like mammoths parading before the new ice sheet. Clashing tusks, crash of plow on pavement, stiff-legged stomp in the early dusk. What is bone, iron, brick wears the season in a shaggy coat of icicles. Cold, and snow keeps falling […]

Between the head of tide above Bangor to where it widens into the bay at Searsport, the Penobscot River shifts from a flowing freshwater waterway banked by cedar and pine to a brackish, wave-lapped marsh with a rocky shoreline. In this estuary, salt concentrations fluctuate as wind and tide push water and sediments back and […]

On August 24, 2016, President Obama designated 87,500 acres of northern Maine as Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. The new public land encompasses much of the East Branch Penobscot River. I visited the area in 2014 while researching Chapter 5 of The President’s Salmon. Here’s an excerpt. The East Branch Penobscot River begins at […]

At the Mount Desert Island Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on August 18, 2016 from 5 pm to 7 pm at The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor, I presented “The Champlain Society: Science and the Origins of Conservation in Acadia,” part of the Acadia Centennial Lecture Series. Watch a video of the lecture on the Friends of Acadia Facebook […]

Here is a story from the archives, first published story about the first trail hiked in Acadia after first moving to Maine fifteen years ago this August. These moments climbing the Precipice Trail are as vivid as they first were, and the affirmation has only strengthened. Publishing in Friends of Acadia Journal was special then, […]

Given the Champlain Society’s contributions to Acadia National Park and the broader worlds of science and conservation, its no wonder these Harvard men are in the spotlight in this centennial year. Mount Desert Island Historical Society‘s Somesville Museum features an exhibit on the young naturalists, including maps of their explorations, a replica of their parlor […]

As part of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s Art Meets Science Cafe series, I presented a history of artists and scientists working together on Mount Desert Island. Focused primarily on the art and artists accompanying scientists in the nineteenth and very early twentieth century, the talk provided a chronology of scientific work in Acadia […]

Acadia National Park and the National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2016. In observance and celebration, many books have been published and reissued this year. Historic Acadia National Park is part of a series by Lyons Press in honor of the centennial. Here’s an ongoing list of other Acadia books released in 2016. […]

Celebrate the new book, published by Lyons Press as part of a series for the National Parks’ 100th anniversary, in Northeast Harbor on May 18. The event will feature highlights from the 12 essays on everything from geology and forests to the first people, the Wabanaki; and the explorers, scientists, artists, trail-builders, fishermen, and conservationists […]