Tag Archives: Acadia

Art Meets Science on Mount Desert Island

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 […]

handwritten notebooks

The Champlain Society Transcriptions

In the Spring 2015 issue of Friends of Acadia Journal, Maureen Fournier, a seasonal ranger for Acadia, and I describe the experience of reading and digitizing the nineteenth-century notebooks of the Champlain Society. From their notes, we can trace their movements across the island as they collected specimens, made observations, and talked to local residents […]

Students as conservation catalysts

This third and final (for now) article on the Champlain Society explores how students can be effective agents of change, and the connections between place, memory, and identity. Published in the 2014 Island Journal.

Visionary science of the “Harvard Barbarians”

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society asked me to write an article about The Champlain Society for the 2014 issue of Chebacco, their annual publication. The theme was “Against the Tide: Outliers and Controversies.” At first, the members of the Champlain Society wouldn’t appear to be outliers. I wasn’t sure the story would work for […]

Influenced by Nature

In May 1871, Charles William Eliot had been president of Harvard College barely two years, and a widower just as long. He needed a break, for himself and his two young sons, a “thorough vacation” in the open air, as he wrote to a friend. He found means in Jessie, a 33-foot sloop, and began […]

The Champlain Society

The origins of conservation on Mount Desert Island can be traced to a clear, cold night in March 1880, when Harvard student Charles Eliot gathered six of his friends together in 34 Grays Hall in Cambridge to discuss a camping expedition to Maine. Over the course of the summer, and for the next decade, members […]

The Snowy Owls of Acadia

This article  appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Friends of Acadia Journal. Winter in Acadia: bare limbs of beech and birch cast long shadows on the snow. Evergreens shimmer along shallow coves that sing with the ebb and flow of icy tides. Frozen summits shine like mirrors in the thin sunlight. It is the […]