Start Date

8-5-2020 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Muskie School of Public Service

Faculty Mentor

Nathan Hamilton, PhD

Abstract

With growing concerns around climate change and sea-level rise, tracking these changes and pinpointing environmental trends are of the upmost importance. In the Gulf of Maine, sea-level rise and warming waters will have a major impact on the fishing and agricultural industries that are so vital to the region. In order to help prepare for these environmental transformations, I have been looking to the past. The landscape of the Gulf of Maine region has evolved significantly since the late Pleistocene. Sea-level variations, habitat and species changes, and human use and modification of the landscape have had a large impact on the region. I have focused on two strategically selected areas of Casco Bay that have been greatly affected by the ecological changes that have threatened our coastline for centuries. The two locations have been used to expand prior datasets to help strengthen past theories about changes in the Gulf of Maine over the last several thousand years. In order to get a full range of data to analyze the evolving landscape, we have utilized a variety of techniques: vibracoring of intertidal and subtidal environments for subsurface sediment retrieval, radiometric assessment and x-ray fluorescence analysis for the chemistry of sediment samples, and identification of marine and terrestrial species in the vibracored samples. The collection process and analysis will provide data for research into the historical and evolving coastal landscape and will be utilized for years to come in USM courses.

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May 8th, 12:00 AM

Interdisciplinary Environmental Approaches to the Evolution of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Periods in the Western Gulf of Maine

With growing concerns around climate change and sea-level rise, tracking these changes and pinpointing environmental trends are of the upmost importance. In the Gulf of Maine, sea-level rise and warming waters will have a major impact on the fishing and agricultural industries that are so vital to the region. In order to help prepare for these environmental transformations, I have been looking to the past. The landscape of the Gulf of Maine region has evolved significantly since the late Pleistocene. Sea-level variations, habitat and species changes, and human use and modification of the landscape have had a large impact on the region. I have focused on two strategically selected areas of Casco Bay that have been greatly affected by the ecological changes that have threatened our coastline for centuries. The two locations have been used to expand prior datasets to help strengthen past theories about changes in the Gulf of Maine over the last several thousand years. In order to get a full range of data to analyze the evolving landscape, we have utilized a variety of techniques: vibracoring of intertidal and subtidal environments for subsurface sediment retrieval, radiometric assessment and x-ray fluorescence analysis for the chemistry of sediment samples, and identification of marine and terrestrial species in the vibracored samples. The collection process and analysis will provide data for research into the historical and evolving coastal landscape and will be utilized for years to come in USM courses.

 

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