Friends From the Field Webinar Series

We are excited continue our Friends From the Field Webinar Series co-hosted by BHHT and Island Heritage Trust, featuring local naturalists, professionals from environmentally focused organizations, and outdoor learning experts to share their knowledge, virtually, during a time when we can’t all be out in the field together.

The webinars will take place LIVE on selected Thursdays from 4-5pm! We will record the webinar so that if you wish to view but can’t participate at that time, the presentation will be available to you on our websites and social media.

Please email with any questions!

Upcoming Webinars 2021:

Jan 7th 4pm – Citizen Science: A Means to Promote Equity and Inclusion in Environmental STEM: Amara Ifeji will speak to her lived experiences as a BIPOC individual, the marginalization she faced in fostering a connection to place with the environment, and how her self-sought passion for water justice led her to not only foster this connection herself, but to also serve as a conduit for other BIPOC and female-identifying students like herself. Amara is a 19-year-old freshman at Northeastern University and the Grassroots Development Coordinator with the Maine Environmental Education Association. Recording  of Webinar


Jan 14th 4pm – Bangor Land Trust Edible Landscape Project: Hello! My name is Kathy Pollard, of Know Your Land Consulting. I am a habitat and permaculture specialist with a background in wildlife ecology and traditional indigenous ecological knowledge. I am project leader for Bangor Land Trust’s Edible Landscape Project, now in its second year. In my presentation I will share about this endeavor to both improve wildlife habitat and encourage multigenerational public engagement with BLT’s preserves through collaborative participation in planting, caring for, and even sustainably harvesting some of the edible permaculture we have been adding to BLT preserves. As well I will talk a little bit about Edible Landscape Project’s Wabanaki cross-cultural initiative which emphasizes relationship building with the Penobscot Nation and other Wabanaki, as part of a growing movement among land conservation organizations to acknowledge and collaborate with the first peoples whose homelands comprise what came to be called Maine. I’ll share progress BLT is making toward cultural use agreements, and better understanding Wabanaki culture and sustainability practices. I love hearing ideas, generating discussion, and taking questions from audience, so time for Q&A is allocated after the presentation. Happy holidays, stay safe, and best wishes for the New Year! I look forward to meeting many of you–albeit over Zoom–in January!

Recording not available 


Jan 21st 4pm – Story of Place: Blue Hill Mountain: Behind every special property or trail, there is a story and cast of characters. Join BHHT’s former board presidents Ellen Werner and Ellen Best, and BHHT’s first Executive Director Jim Dow, to hear their story of the Trust’s efforts to conserve one of the most special places on the peninsula and keep it open for public use forever. Also joining the conversation will be Merrie Eley, BHHT’s trail steward for Blue Hill Mountain, to share her stories of the mountain and what it means to our community today. This will be a live conversation with questions from the audience. Recording  of Webinar


Jan 28th 4pm – A Virtual Whale Watching Adventure!: Curious about what lives in the waters offshore of the Gulf of Maine? Join Julie Taylor, lead naturalist with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, for an adventure out into the open ocean in search of whales, sharks, seabirds and other marine life. We will learn about the life history of all that we see. There is so much life along and just beyond the Maine coast! Don’t miss the boat!  Julie Taylor has worked as a naturalist and guide with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch for 12 years. She studied marine science and education at the College of the Atlantic and has worked for organizations such as Allied Whale, Blue Ocean Society and EcoHealth Alliance conducting research and educating the public about whales and other marine life in the Gulf of Maine and beyond.

Recording  of Webinar


Feb 4th 4pm – Story of Place: Carter Nature Preserve & the Furth/Talalay Sanctuaries: Behind every special property or trail, there is a story and cast of characters. Join The Friends of Morgan Bay and hear the inspiring story of their neighborhood effort to protect a vital part of the Morgan Bay watershed, as well as a property beloved by the community. Also joining the conversation will be BHHT’s George Fields to discuss the more recent trail building efforts that have made this one of BHHT’s more popular hiking destinations. This will be a live conversation with questions from the audience. Registration


Feb 11th 4pm – Mosses and Liverworts: Meet your Neighbors!:

Mosses and liverworts have been greening our plant for much longer than we humans have been around. Isn’t it time you got acquainted with a few of them? We will show you easy ways to recognize a few of our common ones. Retired ecologist Dr. Ken Crowell and his wife, Marnie, natural history writer, will share their enthusiasm for our mosses and liverworts.
Feb 18th 4pm – Winter Ecology: Steve Ressel has been interested in how temperature impacts the lives of animals that lack the capacity to maintain a constant high body temperature (as seen in mammals and birds) since graduate school, which eventually led him into the realm of winter ecology.  This webinar will highlight some of the more amazing adaptations that year-round resident animals of Maine possess in response to potentially lethal winter conditions. From frozen frogs to birds that enlarge their brains in winter, Steve’s webinar will draw on numerous field experiences that he has shared with his students while teaching Winter Ecology at COA for the past 26 years. Steve joined the faculty at College of the Atlantic in 1993 and teaches courses in the areas of vertebrate biology, environmental physiology, herpetology, winter ecology, and biological photography.  He also served as director of the college’s natural history museum until 2005.  He has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, and Central America for his research, and has published in Oecologia, Copeia, The Journal of Experimental Biology, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology,


Feb 25th 4pm – Soft-Shell Clams in a Changing Climate: How Seawater Temperatures and Predators Regulate Populations Along the Maine Coast: Commercial landings of soft-shell clams have declined by nearly 75% in the past 40 years while, at the same time, seawater temperatures have increased steadily. Fishery-independent data from > 30 yrs of experimental field research and large-scale sampling of flats along the coast have helped to interpret the losses in this iconic fishery. Because many important predators (both native and invasive) of clams are invertebrates, increasing temperatures have resulted in increased predation rates that have contributed to the widespread loss of clams. This seminar will focus on numerous field trials and how results of these may be applied on large scales to effect positive changes in the fisheries. Dr. Brian Beal teaches courses in marine biology and experimental design, and conducts research on commercially important shellfish at the University of Maine at Machias.Registration


March 4th, 4pm – Pond Life: Under the Ice from Winter into Spring:

Do you ever wonder what hides under the ice of a frozen Maine pond? Have you ever witnessed close up the springtime explosion of amphibian life that follows winter? Join Maine Master Naturalist and photographer Edwin Barkdoll for an evening of exploring life under the ice culminating in the annual amphibian emergence and migration. We will examine many creatures, from nearly microscopic crustaceans to the shy salamanders and boisterous frogs who emerge after ice breakup. Expect to leave and never look at a frozen pond with quite the same eyes.
March 11th – Story of Place: Long Island: Behind every special property or trail, there is a story and cast of characters. Join former Blue Hill Fire Chief,  local historian, and poet Denny Robertson for a prerecorded presentation of the history of Long Island, also known as “Seaville” from 1894-1919. Denny will share wonderful photos of the settlement out on Long Island, and both the Granite and Fishing industries that took place there. This prerecorded presentation will go live via BHHT’s YouTube Page on 3/11 and we will add that link to this description here, as well as to our facebook event.  No registration required.
March 18th, 4pm – The Arctic, Maine and the First Abrupt Climate Change Event in the Modern Era: In recent decades human activity has become the major driver of climate change. The Arctic has thus far experienced the greatest change and the impact has spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere resulting in a fast transition to a new climate state and significant climate instability. The impacts of climate change are one of the greatest security threats of this century. Maine is and will continue to experience climate change, but with good planning Maine could be well placed to both deal with and positively build upon change.Paul Andrew Mayewski, Director and Professor of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, is an internationally acclaimed glaciologist, climate scientist and polar explorer. He has led >60 expeditions to the remotest regions of the planet and made significant contributions to climate science that are documented in 500 scientific publications, two popular books and hundreds of major media appearances.

April 29th 4pm – Story of Place: Peters Brook & Penny’s Preserve: Behind every special property or trail, there is a story and cast of characters. Join many friends to BHHT, who helped protect this magical place for the public to use and enjoy forever. Bill Byers, who’s family donated the initial easement and gave public access to the Peters Brook Trail out to the waterfall; Doug & Posie Cowan, who later added to Bill’s gift by donating a significant parcel of land across the stream where our 3Bridges Trail now lives; Aletha Langham & Rich Storck, who donated their beloved Penny’s Preserve to the Trust, adding over 100acres and an incredible 3mi trail system to the Trust’s lands there. Also joining us will be Jo Barrett, the primary trail steward for the Penny’s network of trails, and BHHT’s George Fields who led the work on the magical 3Bridges Trail. This will be a live conversation with questions from the audience. Registration





April 30th: The Firefly and Mantis World Tour with Carol Leonards, Maine Master Naturalist – Carol is a graduate of the 2019/20 class of the Maine Master Naturalist Program in Ellsworth. She committed to a sits-spot for a full year observing all that went on in this circumscribed area through all four seasons. She chose to sit on a rock—a fabulous large glacial erratic in the middle of a beaver flowage. Join us to hear her story of this experience and to see her amazing nature journal.

Recording of Webinar


May 7th: Seeing Smelt: Monitoring Sea-run Fish in Downeast Maine with Sarah Madronal, Downeast Salmon Federation – Sarah Madronal works for Downeast Salmon Federation and has been working with others in her field over the past year to create a state-wide citizen science Smelt Spawning Survey on GMRI’s Ecosystem Investigation Network. Join us for a webinar presentation to learn more about this project and how you can help! 

Recording of Webinar


May 14th: Brooks to Bays and Back: Anadromous Fish around the Peninsula with Chris DeVore, Craig Brook Fish Hatchery, Ciona Ulbrich from Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Alex Drenga, FWS Term Biologist and outdoor educator- Chris Devore from Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery and colleagues will share educational information about anadromous fish including brookies, eels/elvers, alewife, and atlantic salmon. The presentation will be geared to fish on the Blue Hill Peninsula and will provide video clips from some of BHHT’s trails and streams.

Recording of Webinar


May 21st: Family Outdoor Learning with Hazel Stark, Maine Outdoor School – Hazel Stark from Maine Outdoor School will share outdoor learning ideas for families with kids in 5th grade and up. Topics will  include: seasonally-relevant things to look for in nature, journaling prompts t incorporate language arts and recording of scientific data, and ideas for extending backyard nature observations into other subjects, including math and art.

Recording of Webinar


May 28th: Sustainable Foraging with Brighid Doherty, founder of The Solidago School of Herbalism – The intrigue around harvesting wild medicinal plants is ever growing.  It is important to know how to harvest wild plants in ways that support their populations.  We are currently putting many medicinal and edible wild plants at risk of endangerment from over harvesting and poor wildcrafting techniques.  Learn how to tend wild populations of medicinal plants, so future generations may also benefit from their gifts.  Learn what plants are safe to harvest from the wild and what plants are endangered.  This is information anyone who works with wild plants needs to know.

Recording of Webinar


June 4th: Maine’s Native Turtles with Paul Powers, Maine Master Naturalist and Wildlife Photographer- Bringing Maine’s native freshwater turtles out their shells and into the spotlight! In this presentation Maine Master Naturalist, Paul Powers explores Maine’s often forgotten but absolutely marvelous native turtles.  He will look at their life cycles, seasonal activities, discover some fun facts, go into their state status and walk through ways we can live in harmony with Maine’s freshwater turtles.

Recording of Webinar


June 11th: Seaweed: Biology, Natural History, Edibility, and Art! with Hannah Webber, Marine Ecology Program Director for Schoodic Institute and BHHT board member. She will take us on a virtual tour of seaweed at both BHHT and Island Heritage Trust properties and teach us about identification, natural history, biology, edibility and even how to make art with this amazing local life form!

Recording of Webinar


June 18th: Fire Management Techniques for Ecological Balance: Pine barrens and grasslands are unusual habitats in Maine and critical spaces for a number of rare species. One of the strategies land stewards employ to maintain ecological balance for these habitat types is prescribed fire. Join Nancy Sferra, Director of Land Management for The Nature Conservancy in Maine, to learn about the role that fire plays in maintaining these natural communities, the benefits to plants and animals, and how monitoring is used to inform the success of management on these rare sites.

Recording of Webinar


June 25th: Ladyslippers: Pollination Ecology and Conservation: Join botanist and former professor, Peter Curtis, for an exploration of the fascinating lives of these iconic native wildflowers, from dust seeds and fungal symbionts to their habit of deceiving bumblebees. We will include a tutorial on hand pollination as a way to increase Lady’s-Slipper fruit set and seed production.

Recording of Webinar


July 2nd: Stone Walls of Maine: Stone walls are windows through which we can learn about human history and natural history. Maine Master Naturalist Cheryl Laz will help us understand why there are so many stones and stone walls in Maine, as well as what the walls and surrounding terrain can tell us about the human settlement and land use. We will also examine the role of stone walls in the natural landscape as habitat for animals and plants.


Recording of Webinar


July 9th: Old Maps, GPS and GIS Ways to Visualize, Navigate and Document – Join Deer Isle resident, Dr. Norbert (Bert) E. Yankielun, P.E. former researcher for the U.S Army Cold Regions Laboratory who specialized in sub-surface instrumentation research for a webinar presentation. This is a non-technical, and hopefully enlightening and entertaining presentation that examines the us of readily available, open-source, digital historical maps and imagery of Deer Isle to better visualize the terrain, environment, and cultural transformations that have historically occurred in our community from 1776 to present. After this presentation, you’ll never look at your local surroundings in the same

Recording of Webinar

July 16th: Integrating Science into Art – Join Barbara Putnam for a Friends from the Field Webinar and learn why this artist/teacher chose to integrate science into her art and how she challenges her students to do the same. Barbara will share her presentation from an International Conference in Spain, including the work of students at St. Mark’s School. She will touch base on what problems Marine mammals face in the Mediterranean and problems faced by the scientists who study them.

Recording of Webinar 


July 23rd: Secrets of Snake Sex – Snakes are enigmatic vertebrates whose secret lives have fascinated biologists for centuries. The common garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis, is a Rosetta stone of sorts that has allowed researchers to decipher the ins and outs of all-things-snake-sex. In this talk, Dr. M. Rockwell Parker, will focus on the world-famous breeding aggregations of garter snakes that we study in Manitoba, Canada. He will also describe how their research at James Madison University is illuminating the rules by which sexual odors (pheromones) are turned up, down, on, and off in these fascinating and terribly underappreciated snakes.

Recording of Webinar


July 30th: Why Use Native Plants in the Garden? – Native Gardens of Blue Hill cofounders, Cathy Rees and Avy Claire, will discuss their motivations for creating a garden of plants native to Maine. The talk will outline the challenges and potential of the site and how to find the right plant for the right place. It will provide strategies that listeners can use to incorporate natives into their home gardens.

Recording of Webinar


August 6th: A Naturalist Makes the Best of Covid Times Via Facebook – 

Grace will talk about her Facebook daily nature posts, what the project is, and how it got started.
Grace M. Bartlett is a Maine Master Naturalist, who lives in Bangor, Maine with her family. She enjoys exploring forest trails, meadows, rivers banks, or by the ocean. Grace serves on the Bangor Land Trust Board of Directors, Chairs their Program Committee, is a bog guide at Orono Bog Boardwalk, a volunteer naturalist at the AMC Huts in the NH White Mountains, and a trail of scenes guide at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge.
August 13th: Upwest & Downeast: Meandering the Maine Coast by Sea Kayak – In the summer of 2017, Michael & Rebecca Daugherty took the summer off from their jobs as sea kayak guides to live out of their kayaks along the coast of Maine for nearly two months, starting from Deer Isle and twice paddling the stretch of coast between Portland and Canada. Their experience is documented in a new book, a travel narrative written by Michael and illustrated with relief prints by Rebecca. They will share excerpts and images from the book and Rebecca will talk about her process of painting and drawing on islands and turning those ideas into prints. For the Q&A they’re happy to answer everything you ever wanted to know about kayaking but were afraid to ask.
August 20th: The Secret Lives of Beavers – Beavers are incredible social creatures who are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and construct their environment to suit their needs. In this presentation, we will talk a little bit about the history of beavers in North America, as well as take a small peek into their natural history and their “personal lives” within their lodges. Join us to learn a little more about these amazing and endearing animals! Sandra Mitchell is a wildlife rehabilitator and Maine Master Naturalist who holds a special place in her heart for these little construction experts and enjoys sharing a small window into their lives.

August 27th: Nightlife: How Animals Adapt their Senses for Success in the Dark –

More than half the animals that live on this planet are nocturnal and have adapted their senses to succeed living in a world with limited vision. This presentation will look at some of those remarkable adaptations. It will also consider how we can explore our senses of taste, touch, hearing and smell and prepare ourselves to better appreciate them in both the day and the night world. Spoiler: night sounds will be played! Karen O. Zimmermann is a Maine Master Naturalist and author of “Nightwalk, Using All Your Senses To Explore the Natural World.”
To purchase a copy of Karens Book Contact her:
Venmo or send check to 11 Grover Ave. Otter Creek, Maine 04660
per copy cost:$11.95 plus .65 tax=$12.60
postage 3.33 for 1-2 copies.
Venmo: Karen Zimmermann (Karen-Zimmermann-5)
September 10th: Art and Environmentalism from an Indigenous Perspective – Ann Pollard Ranco’s talk will focus on how her ancestral connectivity to the Penobscot Bay region has influenced her artwork and passion for environmentalism. She will discuss the collective responsibility of Land Trusts to not only ensure this homeland will be protected, but to give voice and access to the Indigenous people who still cherish this land. Ranco has been a professional artist since the age of 13. She began her career as a jeweler, collecting discarded pieces of pottery and glass from the banks of the Penobscot River and watershed, and turning them into wearable pieces of jewelry. Last year, she began painting, and has found that through a mixed media approach, art offers a vehicle to discuss broader topics that are not often bridged. Her work is represented in the Abbe Museum, and at various art shows throughout the state.
September 17th: Mushrooms in Maine: Good, Bad, and Beautiful – David Porter, retired from the Univ of Georgia, moved to Brooklin 14 years ago. He enjoys sharing his fascination with the natural history of mushroom fungi, and before the pandemic has led forays and offered classes with BHHT, IHT, CoA and Eagle Hill. In recent years mushroom fungi have garnered increased recognition of their beneficial role in forest ecology. Mushrooms may be decomposers while others cooperate with trees for mutual benefit and communication.  Interest in gathering wild foods has popularized foraging for edible mushrooms as well as the importance of recognizing those that may be poisonous.  Natural history and edibility aside, mushrooms are organisms of remarkable beauty that are often underappreciated.  We will share personal observations and scientific information in this illustrated talk to stimulate your curiosity and lower your gaze during your walk in the woods.
September 24th: Maine Wonders – Join us to hear from Zoe Weil and see her beautiful photos of Maine! When she’s not educating about environmental sustainability, animal protection, and human rights, Zoe Weil, co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, is usually outdoors exploring and taking photographs. This presentation will awaken your wonder and curiosity about the amazing life in Maine so that you’ll be rushing outside to explore. Starting with sex, moving on to metamorphosis and transformation, stopping for a quick taste of Maine’s iconic beauty, and ending with the weird and wild, Zoe will provide a tour of Maine as you haven’t seen it before.
October 8th: Finding Spiders in Maine – Join us for a rip-roaring presentation about spiders, almost in time for Halloween, with Donne Sinderson. It turn out you don’t need to go anywhere or look far to find spiders, but it helps to know a little about them. Learn ways to find and see different kinds right here in Maine! Donne Sinderson is a spider fan from Orrington.
October 22nd: A Lifelong Relationship with Sweetgrass – Join us to listen to, Carol Dana, from the Penobscot Nation, tell stories about her lifelong relationship with sweetgrass. She works at the Cultural and Historic Preservation Department for the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island and is their Penobscot Language Master.
November 5th: Empowering Avian Ambassadors through Behavior with Birdsacre – Behavior Matters: How we can empower non releasable raptors in avian education and deepen our appreciation, sensitivity, and experience with nature. Learn to see what a bird maybe trying to communicate, and what it takes Caretaker of Birdsacre, Grayson Richmond, spends his days and some nights working with and observing the educational vultures, hawks, and owls at the Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary in Ellsworth.Empowering Avian Ambassadors through Behavior.

November 19th: Tracking Maine’s Great Blue Herons Beyond State Lines –Did you ever wonder where Maine’s Great Blue Herons go in winter? In 2016, five adult Great Blue Herons were outfitted with lightweight GPS tracking devices, then released to allow researchers to follow their movements during nesting, migration, and wintering. Two of the five Maine birds migrated to Florida, one to the Bahamas, one to Cuba, and one flew all the way to Haiti! Hear all about these majestic birds, how over 100 volunteers have been monitoring their colonies for the past 12 years, and how students are integral to tracking their movements within and beyond state lines. Danielle D’Auria is a Wildlife Biologist working in the Research and Assessment Section of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Bangor, and focuses on statewide populations of colonial wading birds, secretive marsh birds, black terns, and loons, as well as land management issues affecting wetland habitats.

Recording of Webinar


Dec 3rd, 4pm:  Marine Mammal Stranding Response in the Northern Half of Maine –  Rosemary will discuss the logistics of stranding response in the region Allied Whale covers which is mid-coast Maine (Rockland) to the Canadian border. She will present the usual suspects of marine mammal species we find on and off our shores and what to do if you find a marine mammal in distress. And as seals make up the preponderance of Allied Whale’s stranding response, she will help you understand seal behaviour when viewing them on land or sea keeping in mind that not every seal needs rescuing! Rosemary Seton is a Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator with Allied Whale, the marine mammal lab at the College of the Atlantic and has worked with marine mammals for over 30 years mainly in her native Canada and the USA

Dec 17th 4pm: All About Brown Trail Moths! – Browntail moth is a nonnative moth that is currently expanding it’s range in Maine. Come learn about the biology, history and current situation of browntail moth in Maine. Tom Schmeelk is a forest entomologist with the Maine Forest Service and the program lead on BTM.

Recording of Webinar