Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2011 / David Hart

Environmental Studies

Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative: The Messi Road from Biology to Sustainability Science

Story posted November 18, 2011

Event date(s): November 28, 2011 — December 14, 2011

David Hart will give the Biology Department Seminar Thursday, December 1,2011 at 4:00 pm in Druckenmiller Hall, Room 20, preceded by a reception in Druck 20 at 3:30 pm.

David Hart, is Research Leader of Sustainability Solutions Initiative, and Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center. He is also a Professor at the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine and Founder of the Institute for Potamological Biofluiddynamics.

David Hart has a B.A. in Biology (Honors) from the University fo California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D., in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.

David came to the University of Maine in 2006 seeking to help create innovative programs combining interdisciplinary research teams with diverse stakeholders that contribute more effectively to the solution of sustainable development challenges in and beyond Maine. In collaboration with faculty from more than 25 disciplines and numerous external partners throughout Maine, David helped launch new programs that ultimately led to Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI). SSI represents a pioneering institutional experiment to understand the intersecting economic, social, and environmental dimensions of various sustainability-related problems and link knowledge with action more effectively. SSI was awarded a $20 million, five-year NSF EPSCoR grant in July, 2009.

David’s deep interest in sustainability science grew out of a diverse combination of experiences. As a small boy, he was fascinated by streams and rivers. He presented his first public testimony about watershed management issues at the age of 17, and spent the next several decades conducting research designed to understand, protect, and restore freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. During this period, David taught and conducted research at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Michigan State University, University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, and especially the Patrick Center of Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

John Lichter,  Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College is team leader for the SSI project “Restoring Maine’s Rivers”. The team is comparing restoration efforts on the Androscoggin and Kennebec rivers to examine the factors that influence success or failure, as well as the larger impacts of these efforts. The team’s findings will help communities and groups make more informed decisions about the costs and benefits of river restoration efforts. Findings also will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of river restoration on fisheries and economies at the basin and town scales.