Home » News » Friends of Acadia’s Student Board Member Pioneers Lundy Stowe and Matt Farragher
Friends of Acadia has long benefited from the talent, energy, and perspective of young people who have served the organization as volunteers, interns, seasonal employees, and participants in programs. In 2019, with the goal of expanding the impact local college students could make on the organization, Friends of Acadia added two visiting student board positions to its Board of Directors.
July 24th, 2021
By JULIA WALKER THOMAS
Lundy Stowe, an undergraduate student at College of the Atlantic, and Matt Farragher, a master’s student at the University of Maine, were selected as the first-ever Friends of Acadia visiting student-member board members. They were selected in part because of the proximity of their schools to Acadia, but also because their areas of study aligned closely with key focus areas of the park.
We wanted to learn what the experience was like for our student board member pioneers and what advice they might give students interested in serving in the future.
Lundy Stowe Student Board Member 2021
LUNDY STOWE: A LEADER WITH A PASSION FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND ENGAGING YOUTH
TO FUTURE STUDENT BOARD MEMBERS: “DO IT! IT HAS BEEN A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND OPENED SO MANY DOORS. JUMP IN WITH TWO FEET.” – LUNDY STOWE, Friends of Acadia Student Board Member 2019-21
Lundy Stowe grew up in Groveland, California, a gateway community to Yosemite National Park. Being near the national park, and having parents who were park rangers, instilled a love of national parks and wild places in Lundy from a young age. She chose College of the Atlantic where she is studying Forest Ecology and National Park Management in large part because of its proximity to Acadia National Park.
For Lundy, becoming a student board member was significant because she values the work that is happening in the National Park Service and wants to see more youth voices incorporated in the future. She is also interested in exploring ways that college students can engage with the national park through citizen science opportunities outdoor. Lundy believes this involvement will ultimately foster a love and respect for outdoor spaces in the next generation.
“I’m happy to say that in these two years I’ve seen forward movement in more DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] training and investing in more sustainable resources or energy…This student board member program has really helped foster the goals of the next generation and I would like to continue to see those forward movements.”
Lundy’s advice to those considering applying for a Friends of Acadia Student Board Member position? “Do it! It has been a life changing experience for me and opened so many doors. Jump in with two feet.”
Lundy Stowe Student Board Member 2021
MATT FARRAGHER: A SCIENTIST IN TRAINING
TO FUTURE STUDENT BOARD MEMBERS: “ASK AS MANY QUESTIONS AS POSSIBLE. I TRIED TO BE REALLY CURIOUS AND FOUND IT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN HOW THE PARK FUNCTIONS.” – MATT FARRAGHER, Friends of Acadia Student Board Member 2019-21
Matt Farragher, originally from Albany, New York, is working on his Master’s in Ecology and Environmental Science, focusing on Lake Ecology, at the University of Maine. For his master’s research, Matt is studying how different phytoplankton communities in lakes in Acadia National Park respond to environmental drivers, such as dissolved organic carbon concentration.
Matt says this work is important because some of the lakes in Acadia are drinking water sources and understanding how the lakes are responding to environmental change—like climate change—is important.
It was in his role as the aquatic scientist responsible for the Jordan Pond Buoy that he first learned of Friends of Acadia’s student board opportunity. His advisor recommended him for the position, and, well, the rest is history.
Through his experience as a board member, Matt has enjoyed getting to know the complexities of operating a national park. He now has a deeper appreciation for the way organizations like Friends of Acadia collaborate with the park to complete important projects.
To future student board members, Matt encourages: “Ask as many questions as possible. I tried to be really curious and found it a great opportunity to learn how the park functions.”
JULIA WALKER THOMAS is Friends of Acadia’s Digital Media Manager.