Acadia Senior College


Resist-Accept-Direct: A Framework for Resource Management in a Rapidly Changing Climate

March 18, 2022

9:00 a.m.

Virtual discussion

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Acadia National Park is measurably different than it was at its founding 105 years ago. Temperatures have warmed, rainfall has intensified, snowpack has diminished, and sea level has risen. These types of changes are likely to continue or even accelerate and they have dramatic but sometimes difficult to see impacts on the natural and cultural resources of the Park. Management of those resources needs to take into account the changes we have already experienced and those we anticipate in the coming decades. This is a significant shift in the traditional approach to management which sought to preserve the historic conditions. With this shifted focus for resource management, we also need an updated framework for making management decisions. The Resist-Accept-Direct framework, adopted by the National Park Service and Friends of Acadia, forms that framework to help managers understand where resistance to the impacts of climate change makes sense, where accepting those changes is the best alternative, and where directing the change may be an option in helping guide those changes. This discussion will focus on an overview of the changes we’ve seen in the park, changes we anticipate in the near term, the Resist-Accept-Direct framework, and some examples of how that framework is applied.

Abe Miller-Rushing is the Science Coordinator at Acadia National Park, where he has worked for 11 years. In his position he oversees research in the park and helps to lead the park’s work to adapt resource management practices for changing climate conditions. His own research focuses on climate change ecology, phenology, citizen science, and conservation. Abe got his BA in Biology at Grinnell College and his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at Boston University.

Brian Henkel is the Wild Acadia Project Coordinator. The Wild Acadia initiative is a collaboration between Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia that takes a watershed-based approach to improving degraded ecological conditions in and around Acadia National Park. Within this collaboration, Brian works with park staff and area partners such as university faculty, students, local towns, and conservation non-profits to collect data, assess resource conditions, plan and initiate projects, and coordinate efforts of the park and stakeholders. The Wild Acadia initiative strives to improve ecological integrity and resiliency in the face of rapid environmental change within the park and the surrounding communities.  Brian is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BS in Civil Engineering. He has worked as a hydrologist in groundwater and surface water for more than 20 years.

This event is free and open to everyone.

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You will receive the Zoom link a day or two before the presentation.

Resist-Accept-Direct: A Framework for Resource Management in a Rapidly Changing Climate