August 9, 2009
I made my trek up to the Midcoast region of Maine today to begin my work with lobsters. The Midcoast is nestled in between the Southern Maine region and the Downeast region. The Southern Maine region extends from the New Hampshire border to just north of Portland. It is by far the wealthiest and most densely populated coastal region of Maine. To the north, the Downeast region starts at Penobscot Bay and runs north to the Canadian border, including Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. It is the most rugged and sparsely populated part of the coast.
The Midcoast stretches from the Western shores of Penobscot Bay and includes regions like Monhegan, Boothbay and Pemaquid. I am staying in the Boothbay area at the University of Maine's Darling Marine Laboratory. The lab is situated right next to the water in Walpole, Maine. In order to get to the lab, I had the opportunity to travel through the Lakes region of Maine. I have never seen this part of the state and since it was a beautiful day my drive became a superb sightseeing experience. The only problem I ran into with this was I found many other drivers also out on the road enjoying the excellent weather and surrounds as well.
After fighting traffic, I was finally able to arrive at the lab slightly before sunset. I picked my keys up from the board in the main building and continued to follow the dirt road down to the dormitory. I wanted to familiarize myself with my new surroundings so I located the main laboratory building that contains Rick Wahle's lab. I assumed the lab would be empty on a weekend but instead I found my fellow lab-mates hard at work. Science never stops!!! On a Sunday evening Rick's lab technician Charlene Bergeron was busy manipulating data she was hoping to publish. Charlene introduced me to two other females working in Rick's Lab. Jana Deppermann is a visiting scientist from Maine who is doing some genetic work with Rick and Victoria Burdett-Coutts is a visiting scientist from Nova Scotia.
I was informed that tomorrow I will be put to work helping my lab-mates sort some lobster samples. Rick will be presenting some of his work at the University of Maine's Orono campus. We will be watching his presentation from our location during a real time videoconference. I eagerly await what tomorrow's day of lobster work holds!
***Maine coastal region information can be found in The Lobster Coast by Colin Woodard