November 11-15, 2019


In the Field: Update from the Wilderness & Place in Maine (TERRAIN testbed) Team


Cohort 1, led by Kate Coseo and Randy Colvin with support from TERRAIN Fellow Chelsea Becker, headed back up to Sky Lodge for the week. The group had a frenetic launch Monday morning, heading out three hours earlier than planned in order to beat the snow. Thanks to Dennis Picard and his team in Public Safety for helping to get the vans ready and to Zach Falcon and Ray Phinney for supporting the team with last-minute preparations. Also many thanks to Rachel Crater and her team at Sky Lodge for their hospitality – including getting an extra meal ready for the group’s early arrival and helping everyone to feel welcome and cared for during their stay.

While at Sky Lodge, the students drew on their GPS skills to deploy game cameras, and used their observational and identification skills to complete three transects, gathering data related to the presence of various animal species. They participated in a role play scenario about game poaching (which will be taken up again in the context of a gel electrophoresis laboratory exercise in Biology next week). And they attended a fireside talk about professional opportunities, requirements, and expectations in the Warden Service given by Mari Carellobigner, Fire Logistics Dispatcher for Acadia National Park, and Warden Tennie Coleman.

When not working, the students had opportunities to participate in games and crafts. I was able to join the group from Tuesday afternoon through lunch on Wednesday and thrilled to spend a little time Tuesday evening teaching a few students some basic knitting stitches. Also on Tuesday evening, Chelsea led a group of students in a Bob Ross painting session.

Sometimes students chose not to participate in any activities during break time because they just needed a little time to recharge …

Wednesday morning started with the students reflecting on their College Learning Effectiveness Inventory results and developing specific plans to strengthen their skills and/or adopt more productive strategies related to some of the variables measured by this instrument (e.g. Organization, Stress Management, etc.). Throughout the day, the students were outside gathering data for short periods of time (less than 1 hour at a stretch, due to the very low temperatures). Later in the afternoon, they participated in an Amazing Race activity led by Adam Williams and other Unity OAC/Adventure students. This was a fun opportunity for the TERRAIN students to put their team and navigation skills into practice. Thanks to Adam and his team, including Jes Steele, who helped design the activities, for a great experience.

Wrapping up my description of the Sky Lodge activities, I would like to say that I am very proud of the way in which the TERRAIN students conducted themselves throughout my time with the group. They were respectful and supportive of one another and seriously engaged in the learning activities. I am also astounded by the thoughtfulness, rigor, and creativity that Kate, Randy, Chelsea, and the TERRAIN team (instructors, fellows, and student success staff) put into designing these learning experiences and the energy and care team members put into their engagement with the students every minute of this trip. If you see any of them around, tell them “Thank you for a job exceptionally well done!”


Next week, our second cohort of students will head up to TERRAIN with their instructional team. Let’s think good weather thoughts …


— Jen



Jennifer L. Cartier, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)

Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship

Professor of Education

Unity College

Unity, Maine 04998

(412) 215-6511 (cell, preferred)

(207) 509-7282 (office)


Office: Constable Hall 201