A Summer of Science and Wonder

On April 19, 2021, the Mount Desert Island Historical Society launches a year-long celebration of citizen science inspired by the Champlain Society, and the publication of the first three camp logbooks as the 2021 edition of Chebacco.

I have been working with MDI Historical Society for the few years to edit, annotate, and introduce this edited volume. What began as an effort to digitize and transcribe thousands of pages of nineteenth-century script by a group of young Harvard men evolved into an accessible publication that illustrates their youthful enthusiasm for the “seaside wilderness of Maine” and their commitment to documenting Mount Desert Island’s flora and fauna. These notes from summers spent wandering mountains and waters also contain the origins of the idea to conserve for the public the place that became Acadia National Park.

The Champlain Society’s science also provides a baseline to understand Acadia’s changing landscape. Schoodic Institute leads a citizen science data collection effort. From now through October, join me in revisiting the Champlain Society’s historic survey sites on Mount Desert Island, and contributing new observations using iNaturalist and eBird.

Volume XXII of Chebacco: Summers of Science and Wonder: The Champlain Society Logbooks 1880-1882 is sent free to members of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society. Copies may be purchased for $20 each.