Hans Carlson is Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s second Executive Director. A forest and environmental historian, he holds an MA from the University of Vermont, and a PhD from the University of Maine. He has taught at the University of Minnesota and the State University of New York, and is the author of Home Is The Hunter: The James Bay Cree and Their Land, as well as other articles about the Cree. He has traveled extensively in northern Quebec and Labrador, since the early 1980s, and in addition to carrying out research on the north, he has led wilderness canoe trips and experiential-learning trips for undergrads and adults. While at the University of Maine, he helped author parts of the Historical Atlas of Maine, carrying out research on the environmental history and historical geography of this state. He was most recently the Director of Great Mountain Forest, a 6300-acre working and research forest in northwestern Connecticut, which has been under conservation for over a century. In addition to his professional work, he is an avid outdoors-man, a woodworker, and boat-builder.
“I have lived all but a few years of my life in rural New England, where I have engaged with issues of land use and the environment. These have been lifelong concerns, brought into sharp focus by my research and my work in conservation. My work in the north, and with Native peoples, has also given me a perspective on this landscape that I bring to my current position. People have been working this landscape, with their hands and their ideas, for thousands of years, and we will continue to do that into the future. In doing that, I believe that we have a responsibility to pass the land on to future generations in as good or better shape than we took it over. I believe too that we have a responsibility to pass along an appreciation for the land, and the lessons we have learned, and both these responsibilities define the stewardship work done by organizations like Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Both too are the service that we can provide the communities which support us, and help tie people to the land upon which we all rely.”
George Fields joins the staff as our first Associate Director in February 2014. He was previously co-principal at a land surveying firm and the part-time Stewardship Director at Island Heritage Trust since 2008. A professional geologist in Maine and New Hampshire, George has earned degrees from Southern Illinois University and North Carolina State University. He has traveled within and outside the country conducting environmental and geophysical surveys for private and governmental agencies. George has been in the Blue Hill Peninsula area for 10 years and currently lives in Deer Isle with his wife, Pam. He loves hiking, canoeing, kayaking, traveling and working in the vegetable garden. When asked about his new position, George responded, “I am excited about the varied nature of the properties that the Trust has protected to date and the expectation of what lies ahead. It is beyond satisfying that I can play a small part in helping others experience and live in such a beautiful and bountiful landscape for years to come.”
Chrissy Beardsley Allen, a native of the Blue Hill Peninsula, has deep roots in her community. After growing up in Surry and Penobscot, she graduated from George Stevens Academy and went on to complete her degree in philosophy and history from the University of Maine. After spending five years in Michigan she returned to Maine to complete a teaching certificate in secondary English and raise her two children, Adie and Corwin, with her husband Luke. She has diverse experience in event planning, marketing, web design, hospitality, and community outreach and education.
Chrissy grew up on King Hill Farm in Penobscot and spent her summers exploring the forests and beaches on her family’s land on Weymouth Point in Surry. This has instilled in her the importance of soil protection and made her an advocate for land preservation. She is excited to join the conservation movement so that her children, and generations to come, will also be able to enjoy these great natural playgrounds of Maine.
Laura Kennedy Blandford lives in Brooksville with her husband Jerry and their dog. She has undergraduate degrees in Wildlife & Fisheries Ecology and Forestry, which has given her an awareness of the nature versus human dynamic and the need for some accommodating balance. The vast majority of her outdoor job experience reflects this: environmental education at nature centers, ecotourism on whale-watching boats in Hawaii and Maine, ecological research in Switzerland and throughout the U.S., including Alaska and the central Pacific. Her years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa concentrated on hands-on Community-Based Natural Resource Management.
Since moving to Maine, she has worked as Crew Supervisor at Petit Manan NWR studying seabirds, and received her Master’s degree from the University of Maine in Ecology & Environmental Sciences surveying seabirds in the Gulf of Maine. She is excited to be a part of the BHHT team, with its mission of local support, education, and preservation of Blue Hill’s precious resources.