2020 Summer Webinar Series

In lieu of our Annual Lake Monitoring Conference, Lake Stewards of Maine/Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program will be hosting a series of weekly informational webinars from June through August on a wide range of topics pertaining to Maine Lakes.  The sessions will be approximately one hour in length, including an opportunity for Q&A for those who attend the live webinars on the posted calendar date.  Pre-registration is required for all who plan to attend. The webinars are open to Maine’s citizen lake scientists, as well as the general public.

The live webinars will take place at 4PM on Friday afternoons, beginning on June 5, through August 28, with the exception of the holiday weekend of July 3.  All sessions will be recorded, and will be available for future viewing on this page.

Please click here for a PDF listing of the entire series.


Upcoming Webinars


 

Northeast Climate Trends, Tracking Increasing Harmful Algal Blooms, and the Vital Role of Citizen Science in this Research

Presented by Hilary Snook; Airing Friday, July 10 at 4pm

~ register here ~

In recent years, the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HAB) have been increasing throughout New England. Climate trends here in the Northeast may be contributing to this phenomenon. Through his introduction of the new US EPA BloomWatch App, Hilary Snook will discuss the role citizen science can play in understanding the trends, toxicity, and expanse of HABs.

Mr. Snook is a senior scientist for USEPA’s New England regional Laboratory. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and a Masters degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University. His work involves the coordination and management of water quality and aquatic biological monitoring surveys for the region, and provides a supporting role for national aquatic resource surveys presently being initiated by the EPA. He has implemented ecological assessments of condition for wadeable streams, large rivers, lakes and ponds, and near coastal waters for the past twenty years with a focus on development of biological indicators for assessing aquatic resource condition, and the transport of contaminants through food webs and the environment.  


An Overview of Citizen Lake Watershed Surveys

Presented by Amanda Pratt; Airing Friday, July 17 at 4pm

~ register here ~

An overview of how to plan and conduct a volunteer lake watershed survey to identify sources of erosion that negatively impact water quality.

Amanda Pratt is an Environmental Specialist with the Maine DEP’s Watershed Management Unit. She has over 7 years of experience working on lake water quality issues in Maine.


Lake Ice Regimes: Some Baffling Trends and Challenges for Citizen Science

Presented by Lloyd Irland; Airing Friday, July 24 at 4pm

~ register here ~

Maine’s lakes are clear in no small part due to the fact that historically they have been covered with ice and snow. Recent studies have shown that a warming climate is affecting this relationship. Lloyd Irland has advanced the research pertaining to historical lake ice data through additional analysis, and by taking into account the total period of ice cover, including “ice-in” information, where available.

Lloyd Irland, PhD; Research Scientist, Author & Consultant has served in Maine state and local government, as a consultant, and an author writing on a range of topics concerning Maine’s natural resources. He has recently advanced the research regarding changes in the phenology of ice cover on Maine lakes.  He has been involved in these lakes for many years, serving on the Belgrade Planning Board, the Wayne Comprehensive Planning Committee and select Board, and its Conservation Commission. He is also a member of the Lake Stewards of Maine Advisory Board. Lloyd is currently writing a book on Maine’s wildland rivers, and he lives on a tributary to Androscoggin Lake in Wayne.


What You Need to Know About Lake Algae

Presented by Alan Baker, PhD; Airing Friday, July 31 at 4pm

~ register here ~

An introduction to the basic biology, taxonomy and terminology needed to better understand lake algae and its role in the aquatic ecosystem. This session will provide an overview of some of the more common types of algae found in Maine lakes including cyanobacteria.

It has been said of Alan L. Baker PhD., Professor Emeritus of Botanical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, that “his knowledge of freshwater algae surpasses most other scientists worldwide.” In collaboration with UNH professor Jim Haney, Alan has led the development an extenstive online image-based key to “algae, cyanobacteria and other aquatic objects.” Since its inception in 2010, PhycoKey has served over two million users. Professors Baker and Haney are also founding members of the New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program. Recently retired after 47 years of teaching at UNH, Alan remains very active in the pursuit of “what organisms do, their ecology, and their physiology,” and continues his work on PhycoKey, adding information to accompany the extensive photo library.


What’s in the Water?

A new smartphone app for identifying flora, fauna and other fascinating phenomena found in Maine Lakes

Presented by Roberta Hill & Tristan Taber; airing Friday, August 7 at 4pm

~ register here ~

Every lake in Maine is a place of wonder and discovery. LSM’s new Field Guide to Aquatic Phenomena app has been developed to provide a knowledgeable pocket-held companion when you are out exploring on your lake, and to help you spot potential threats to lakes as early as possible. Version 1.0 allows users to search a wide array of FAUNA, FLORA and OTHER LAKE PHENOMENA, zeroing in on issue of possible concern through a series of simple keys. Roberta and Tristan will provide participants with an onscreen tour of the app and its associated website, and show how users can play an active role in the ongoing delopment of this infinitely expandable compendium.

Roberta is an aquatic ecologist and environmental educator. She has been active in the field of lake protection and community outreach in Maine for thirty years and has been instrumental in the creation and development of some of Maine’s most successful and long-standing lake education programs.

Currently the Invasive Species Program Director for Lake Stewards of Maine, Roberta is the originator and coordinator of LSM’s internationally recognized Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) program, through which close to 5,000 individuals (volunteers, professionals, agency personnel, students, teachers and others) have been trained to screen Maine waterbodies for the presence of invasive aquatic plants. Roberta is the principal author of the Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants and co-author of Citizens’ Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management.

 

Tristan Taber is a biologist and landscape architect whose work has greatly focused on water resources. He has performed work and research in ecology, restoration activities, bio-geomorphic processes, statistics, and stakeholder outreach.

Currently the Training and Technical Outreach Coordinator for Lake Stewards of Maine, Tristan also works with the Maine DEP and volunteers with the Maine Audubon on the issue of landscape connectivity. Recently his work has also heavily involved data visualization, scripting, and toxin analysis. Formerly, Tristan worked with the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Maine DEP, at the University of Southern Maine and Maine Maritime Academy, and in several state school systems.


A Guided Tour of LSM’s “Lakes of Maine” Website

Presented by Peter Vaux, PhD; Airing Friday, August 14 at 4pm

~ register here ~

With over one million visits per year, www.LakesOfMaine.org is the go-to online source for information pertaining to the health of Maine lakes.  Brainchild of our speaker, Peter Vaux when he was Chair of LSM’s Advisory Board, this comprehensive compendium is now a thoroughly collaborative endeavor involving Peter, Lake Stewards of Maine, Maine DEP, Yellahoose webmaster Jim Cradock, numerous researchers and research institutions, and hundreds of other contributors including over 1200 LSM citizen lake scientists.  Join Peter, for a guided tour of the site as he demonstrates how to access the wide array of data available for hundreds of Maine lakes, and explains Lakes of Maine’s various features, online tools and data visualizations.

Peter Vaux, PhD, is the visionary who conceived of, developed and currently manages LSM’s Lakes of Maine website. His extensive background in ecology, freshwater biodiversity, research and education, combined with an interest in developing a comprehensive online resource regarding virtually all aspects of Maine lakes led to the development of a website that currently received in excess of 1 million visits annually. The website includes lake-specific summary information.

 


Webinar on Friday, August 21 at 4pm TBD


Do Maine Lakes Experience Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)?

Presented by Linda Bacon;  Airing Friday, August 28 at 4pm

~ register here ~

Over the last six years, the Maine DEP Lake Assessment Section has collected hundreds of samples from more than 130 Maine lakes to test for the algal toxin, microcystin. Microcystins are hepatotoxins (liver toxins) produced by cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Two sets of lakes were targeted: approximately 120 larger lakes located in more populated parts of the state, and a few lakes considered to be chronic bloomers. Results from the first group provide insight into conditions in Maine lakes more broadly. The chronic bloomers were tested more intensively (every few weeks during a bloom), to see how microcystin concentrations changed over the duration of the bloom. Linda will share the results of this important study and discuss the State of Maine’s next steps in response to the findings.

Linda Bacon is a Limnologist and Lake Assessment Section Leader at Maine DEP.


Please check back regularly, as more webinar information and recorded video links will be added.


Past Webinars


The Crown Jewel Lakes of Central Maine, and the Threats They Face

Presented by Matt Scott and Lloyd Irland; aired Friday, June 5 at 4pm

~Link to the recording~

Maine is fortunate to have some of the clearest and cleanest lakes in the nation, several thousand of which are in public domain. However, all of our lakes are vulnerable in varying degrees to a growing number of anthropogenic-based threats. We are part of the problem, and we have the ability to be the solution, as well. Matt Scott and Lloyd Irland share their experience and perspective on where we are, how we got here, and what can be done to ensure that our lakes will remain healthy for the enjoyment of future generations.

Matt Scott, Aquatic Biologist, Emeritus; Maine DEP, Past President of the North American Lake Management Society, is the founding father of Maine’s “Lakes Program”. He was the first biologist hired through the Maine DEP in the early 1970’s, at which time he established a lake-focused research and protection unit that soon gained widespread recognition and respect. Matt was the driving force behind the formation of the first statewide citizen lake monitoring program, which continues to this day as Lake Stewards of Maine. He currently lives in Belgrade and is a member of the Lake Stewards of Maine Advisory Board.

Lloyd Irland, PhD; Research Scientist, Author & Consultant has served in Maine state and local government, as a consultant, and an author writing on a range of topics concerning Maine’s natural resources. He has recently advanced the research regarding changes in the phenology of ice cover on Maine lakes.  He has been involved in these lakes for many years, serving on the Belgrade Planning Board, the Wayne Comprehensive Planning Committee and select Board, and its Conservation Commission. He is also a member of the Lake Stewards of Maine Advisory Board. Lloyd is currently writing a book on Maine’s wildland rivers, and he lives on a tributary to Androscoggin Lake in Wayne.

Lindsay Papa will be a senior at Colby College next year, and is currently a summer intern with Lloyd Irland. She has assembled much of the data used in this presentation.


The Influence of A Warming Climate on Aquatic Invaders in Maine Lakes

Presented by Roberta Hill; aired Friday, June 12 at 4pm

~Link to the recording~

A warming climate will not be beneficial to our lakes. Aquatic invaders that are presently not able to survive in Maine will likely benefit from warmer lakes. Roberta Hill will discuss how the phenomenon of climate change may change our lakes as we know them.

Roberta is an aquatic ecologist and environmental educator. She has been active in the field of lake protection and community outreach in Maine for thirty years and has been instrumental in the creation and development of some of Maine’s most successful and long-standing lake education programs.

Currently the Invasive Species Program Director for Lake Stewards of Maine, Roberta is the originator and coordinator of LSM’s internationally recognized Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) program, through which close to 5,000 individuals (volunteers, professionals, agency personnel, students, teachers and others) have been trained to screen Maine waterbodies for the presence of invasive aquatic plants. Roberta is the principal author of the Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants and co-author of Citizens’ Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plant Management.


Metaphyton in Maine Lakes: What Is It? Should We Be Concerned?

Presented by Scott Williams; aired Friday, June 19 at 4pm

~Link to the recording~

For more than a decade, public anecdotal observation has suggested that metaphyton, aka green cotton candy-like filamentous algae, has been increasing in Maine lakes. But is it – and if it is, should we be concerned? Citizen scientists can play an important role in answering these persistent questions.

Scott Williams is a Limnologist with more than four decades of experience working on the assessment and protection of lakes and ponds throughout Maine. During this time, he has advised numerous local and regional lake associations, community watershed planning groups, conservation commissions, town planning boards, land trusts and other entities focused on the protection of Maine’s aquatic resources.

Scott has been the Executive Director of Lake Stewards of Maine since the program transitioned from state government to an independent nonprofit organization in the mid 1990’s. He is past-President and long-time Science Advisor to the Congress of Lake Associations and the Maine Lakes Society, and former co-chair of the Maine Council on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. He was a founding member of Maine’s Task Force on Invasive Aquatic Species and has served on numerous technical advisory committees in the development of lake water quality protective standards for Maine’s lakes.

Under Scott’s leadership, Lake Stewards of Maine has grown and diversified. The organization has served as a national and international model, known for its effective and creative approaches used in engaging, training and supporting volunteers.

His work has been recognized by the US EPA, the Maine Legislature, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the North American Lake Management Society, which presented him its Technical Excellence Award in 2000.


 

Citizen Stewards and Maine Lakes: Collaborative Approaches for Sustainable Systems

Presented by Firooza Pavri, PhD; aired  Friday, June 26 at 4pm

~Link to the recording~

Freshwater resources provide vital societal and ecosystem services.  Keeping our lakes and ponds healthy for future generations will require that we strive to gain a more nuanced understanding of the complex factors that influence their well-being.  Historically, models aimed at identifying which Maine lakes may be most vulnerable to ecosystem decline have rarely considered the role that private citizens may play in the process.  However, local citizen stewardship efforts such as water quality and invasive plant monitoring, watershed surveys, and other citizen-driven conservation and management efforts can be a major factor in determining the long-term resilience of an aquatic ecosystem.  In this webinar, Dr. Pavri will share her recent research looking at the important role that citizen lake scientists and other lake residents play in protecting Maine waters for the future, and how we can use this information to more clearly determine lake vulnerability.

Firooza Pavri, PhD, is the current Director of the Muskie School of Public Service and a Professor of Geography at the University of Southern Maine. She is originally from India and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the Midwest, at the University of Toledo and Ohio State University, respectively.

Firooza teaches and conducts research in the area of environmental geography, with a focus on society-environment interactions, natural resource conservation and policy, sustainable development, and geospatial technologies, including remote sensing. Some of her recent research has been in collaboration with researchers from the University of Maine to assess the vulnerability of Maine lakes to water quality decline. Her part in this project considers the role of lake associations and stakeholders in data collection, monitoring and conservation management vis-à-vis lake stewardship.

She is also a member of the Lake Stewards of Maine Advisory Board.


Please check back regularly, as recorded video links will be added.

 

Our Mission

The Mission of the Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) is to help protect Maine lakes through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health. LSM trains, certifies and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers who monitor a wide range of indicators of water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. In addition to being the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine, LSM volunteers benefit their local lakes by playing key stewardship and leadership roles in their communities.

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LSM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 40 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.