By Bill Gawley, Acadia National Park Air and Water Quality Programs Manager
Nora Theodore, Friends of Acadia Aquatic Data Manager for the Jordan Pond Buoy
Those of you who have seen the Jordan Pond water monitoring buoy after it was finally deployed on June 30th may notice that it looks a bit different this year. Gone are the two red mooring buoys and the bright yellow buoy hull that were “factory standard”- we’ve replaced the moorings with white buoys, and the hull has been painted an unobtrusive gray. Conducting scientific work in a national park is always a balancing act. We want to use cutting edge technology to learn as much as we can about park resources in order to protect them, but we try to avoid having our investigative tools (buoys, samplers, cameras, plot markers, and other gizmos!) affect these resources or interfere with visitors’ ability to enjoy the beauty of Acadia National Park.
Subtlety, identification, and communication are three elements essential to achieving this goal of “discrete science”. Whenever possible we try to make our field gear blend in with the surroundings, unless this causes safety issues. We label everything that is left unattended with “Acadia NP Research” tags so that anyone coming across an unfamiliar piece of equipment will know that it is part of an approved research project and should not be disturbed. Finally, we provide information about our scientific studies to park visitors and staff through small temporary interpretive signs, fact sheets, and other outreach efforts- including this blog! It’s a great feeling to watch “the light bulb turn on” when explaining our work to a visitor and hear them exclaim “so that’s what that is- that’s cool!!!”
Speaking of cool- we had a chance to meet some of the people responsible for funding our monitoring buoy project (and several other park projects) when two representatives from Canon USA visited the park last week. Mindy Miller-Roesch, Senior Manager of Corporate Programs & Corporate Social Responsibility and Stephanie Billig, Event Management Associate Specialist, came to Acadia two weeks ago on a cloudless Thursday. After having a famous popover at the Tea House with Stephanie Clement for lunch, Mindy and Stephanie met the buoy team at the Jordan Pond boat launch. Bill Gawley of the National Park Service and Jasmine Saros of the University of Maine Climate Change institute described the project to our sponsors. Mindy and Stephanie were happy to hear about the project successes thus far, to meet everyone, and see the buoy deployed.
Canon U.S.A. has had an enormous impact on what we have been able to achieve in the park in the past years. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Program, Canon has a “Clean Earth Campaign”, which began in 1990. This campaign is driven by the company’s corporate philosophy Kyosei, which means, “living and working together for the common good.” Canon believes that they have a responsibility to contribute to the welfare of the communities they serve. By partnering with Friends of Acadia in 2013, Canon became the lead sponsor of Wild Acadia, a set of restoration, outreach, and research initiatives (including the buoy project) which will help ensure the park is protected for generations to come. To learn more about the Wild Acadia Project, visit http://friendsofacadia.org/programs/wild-acadia/.
The visit from Canon was a reminder of how appreciative we are to have such a state-of-the-art piece of equipment in Jordan Pond. While we practice our “discrete science” with the now seagull-colored buoy, we hope you will continue to ask questions and learn with us. We are currently working on a website for the buoy project– stay tuned!