The Coast Walk Project

Interview: Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant

60 degrees, overcast, rainy, breezy

I met up with Natalie Springuel at Epi’s in Bar Harbor on a rainy November day. In 2002 Natalie had been part of a group that kayaked the entire coastline of the Gulf of Maine, from Provincetown, MA to Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia, so naturally in 2014 when I was developing the idea of the Coast Walk I turned to her for advice. (I figured she might know something about undertaking ambitious, challenging projects.)

We’ve been trying to get her onto a leg of the Coast Walk ever since, but tides, daylight, work schedules, and child-rearing have been too complicated so far. Still, she’s an amazing person and I’m determined to have you all meet her, so tada – introducing Natalie Springuel!

Jenn:        Let’s start with what Sea Grant is and what you do there.

Natalie:  Sure. It’s a federal-state partnership between NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Land and Sea Grant Institution in each … coastal and Great Lakes state. In our case it’s UMaine, but there are Sea Grant programs at UNH, at University of Maryland, whichever one is [the state] Land and Sea Grant university. It’s a similar model to cooperative extension – … taking university knowledge, transferring it to communities who need it …, identifying the research needs from communities and their needs for support … and bringing that back to the research world.

For Sea Grant, about half our funding comes from NOAA, the other half comes from the state through the university system and in turn half of that funding gets turned around into research dollars supporting all kinds of coastal and marine research. Also we have an extension program, which is what I’m a part of. Our extension team works with the researchers but also with communities. The mission is to support marine research, outreach, and education, with a focus on the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources. There are nine of us [on the extension team] scattered up and down the coast, housed at different institutions. I’m based at COA, we have someone at the Darling Center, we have someone in Eastport. We have folks scattered up and down the coast.

Jenn:        Cool! And what do you do?

Natalie:  I do all kinds of outreach and education programs related to coastal issues that tend to focus on fisheries heritage, working waterfronts, sustainable tourism, how we use the coast. I coordinate the Downeast Fisheries Trail,

I facilitate a lot of public process – we get called in to do facilitation for various meetings and issues. … A lot of them tend to be contentious issues, that need neutral brokers of information and collaboration. A couple of years ago I facilitated the big meeting that happened just off the island related to rockweed harvesting. That was an intense meeting. Probably about 80 people showed up and it was very tense because rockweed harvesting has been happening Downeast fairly significantly for a number of years, and has been happening up and down the coast for a long time, but there’ve been inroads into Gouldsboro and areas of Frenchman Bay. There’s some concern around what that’s going to do. Yeah, it was a pretty heated meeting.

Jenn:        It seems like there are more people doing the harvesting now … and they’re becoming more visible.

Natalie:  Exactly. Rockweed harvesting has been around for a long time, the thing that seems to be really growing is ‘sea vegetable’ harvesting, which is a much smaller percentage of the seaweed industry – people who harvest dulse and Irish moss and other species, and also the aquaculture of seaweed is growing pretty quickly. The seaweed issue [is] just much more in the public eye in the last few years. We coordinate aquaculture training programs: how to do aquaculture, how to do it sustainably, how to do it within the confines of a community’s ecosystem and the cultural and social carrying capacity of a community. We do that in partnership with a bunch of different organizations. That’s focused on shellfish and seaweed aquaculture. The teaching doesn’t focus on salmon aquaculture, that’s a whole different industry. Though our extension agent based in Eastport does work closely with the Salmon industry.

Jenn:        It seems like a much bigger impact.

Natalie:  And a much more capital-intensive undertaking as an entrepreneur. You need a ton of money and a ton of infrastructure to get started in salmon aquaculture. It’s really intensive versus shellfish or seaweed farming. People like you and I are starting shellfish and seaweed farms, attempting it on a small scale in a particular bay or cove that they can access more easily that doesn’t need a lot of space to try it for a year or two, see if they can figure it out, see if it works. The mistakes that you make along the way are a lot less …

Jenn:        Expensive.

Natalie:  Yeah, exactly. The repercussions of the mistakes. If you’re investing in salmon, you can’t start small. You need the big infrastructure right from the get-go. Shellfish and seaweed, you can really start at the small scale. Interestingly a lot of the people who have been taking the classes and who have been turning to us for support and help have been fishermen who are looking for other ways to make a living off the coast, recognizing that they might be making a lot of money in lobster right now but who knows if they will or will not in the future?

Jenn:        Diversifying.

Natalie:  Exactly. That’s a big part of the demographic of who we’ve been doing these classes with.

Jenn:        How did you get to a point where people trust you to run these things? How did you get known as a neutral?

Natalie:  That’s a great question! Sea Grant has been in Maine since the late 60s, early 70s, … For several decades there were much fewer players in the marine research and education field. Now there’s a ton of people involved in this work, which is great, but 20 years ago, 30 years ago, Sea Grant was one of the few organizations who were involved. We’ve been around for a long time, so there’s this understanding of the issues from the perspective of university research which we bring to the table. I’ve been with the program for 17.5 years. The team that I’m a part of is about 20 years old and we very deliberately work in the communities where we live and work. We don’t parachute in from away, we’re here. I run into people that I serve at the grocery store, … There’s very much a relationship-building perspective. Then we also are … really committed to not taking a particular stand on an issue, but transferring information about that issue. What are all the different dimensions of rockweed harvesting? Recognizing there’s a number of people who are really concerned about it, recognizing that there’s a number of people who make their living off of it. Really [making sure] when we convene gatherings and meetings and workshops and conferences, for example, that all the different interests are represented. That’s a really fundamental commitment of the program. I think over the years people have recognized that we walk the talk.

Jenn:        You just keep demonstrating.

Natalie:  Demonstrating over and over again that we’re totally committed to being neutral brokers and to helping identify what are the points of conflict that need information to help tease out a potential solution, rather than ‘here’s the information to solve it according to a particular angle.’ For example, a couple years ago I was asked by some property owners … to help facilitate a series of meetings about aquaculture because they were concerned about aquaculture. They shared with me the list of who they wanted at the meeting. I was like, “That’s great, all those people should be there, but you didn’t invite any aquaculture farmers.”

Jenn:        Seems like a pretty big omission.

Natalie:  Okay, let’s find the farmers that you’re concerned about and let’s help make some bridges and help you guys talk to each other.

Jenn:        That’s awesome.

Natalie:  Yeah, it’s great work. I love it. … Trust is fundamental to what we do – building that trust. … Here’s an example … I’m co-teaching a class at COA called Mapping Ocean Stories, where we’re doing oral histories with fishermen and others, and the students are collecting stories and collecting information about how fishermen use the water, what areas they use, territories, what they call the undersea ledges, all that very localized knowledge. The students have been engaged in interviewing people in Winter Harbor, on Islesford, and in Southwest Harbor.

My role is to be this liaison between the academic world and the communities. We have been working with one of the historical societies who have been really interested in capturing the fisheries history of their region and they would like to see what the students present before going any deeper. Playing that liaison role and building trust in communities is so critical to what we do. [We] are constantly identifying the points in whatever project we’re doing where we sense they’re not comfortable. ‘What’s happening here? What’s the issue?’ In this particular case …. I realized I need to slow the academic research train down because my colleagues at the college were like, “Let’s go, let’s set up more interviews, let’s move this forward.” My role was to [say], “Hold on, you’ve got some anxiety at the community level, they need more information, they need more understanding about what the college’s intent is.” …

Jenn:        People will clam up.

Natalie:  Right, exactly. … That same situation comes up all the time. Our role, in part, is to help zero in. ‘What are the needs at the community level? What are the points of anxiety? How can we help work through those points?’

Jenn:        Did you figure out what it was?

Natalie:  In this case it was concern that was left over from previous projects that were unrelated to the college. We had to tease it out.

Jenn:        What are you going to do with the results of the class?

Natalie:  The Southwest Harbor interviews are turning out to be really interesting in terms of how not just fishermen but recreational boaters, yachters, sailors, et cetera, use the waters in the Great Harbor, between Northeast, Southwest and the Cranberries, that waterway in there. What keeps coming up in those interviews is the small cruise ship controversy – that’s triggering people to talk about concerns that they have about boats coming in and not just small cruise ships but yachts and other boats that might move lobster gear and tie up the free movement of working vessels. We’re still trying to figure it out but we might have the students pull together a summary of what they’ve heard in some of those interviews and present it to the Harbor Committee in Southwest.

The Islesford interviews have been fascinating too, related to the same issue. … The students have been interviewing some of the guys in Islesford who have been fishing for a long time out there, who were involved in helping found the co-op. Islesford and Winter Harbor have been talking a lot about the changes in the lobster industry and where historically lobstermen had very specific territories of where they fished and if you were not part of that particular territory, you got your traps cut … While it’s still very true there’s also this, to quote one of the guys from Islesford, “wild wild West,” where they’re going off-shore. We’re really zeroing in on changes that have happened in the last three or four years where … many fishermen are going a lot further out than we ever realized.

Jenn:        That must have all kinds of repercussions for them.

Natalie:  They need bigger boats, they need probably two, sometimes three, sternmen.

Jenn:        Way more gear.

Natalie:  Bigger gear, heartier gear. Some of these traps are humongous. There’s generational changes where it tends to be some of the younger ones who are … the next generation of leaders in the lobster industry … going a little bit further out. It’s cool because up and down the coast, … in all different fishery circles people are like, “Yeah, there’s a lot more guys going out.” Through this process of oral history actually capturing who’s going out, where are they going. Having these conversations with a chart on the table enabling the fishermen to [show us] – It’s tricky because fishermen are really private about where they fish, understandably so. These are their business secrets. We’re trying to not get caught up on where do you, John Smith, personally fish, but where does the community of Winter Harbor fish, where does the community of Islesford fish, generalities of where they go. Some percentage goes offshore but more go offshore than used to. One guy was saying that relieves the pressure inshore, which is interesting because there’s some percentage of the fishermen that used to fish inshore and are now fishing offshore. However, lobstering has been so good and so lucrative now for the last 10 to 15 years that so many more people are into it. The competition is pretty fierce because there’s a lot of people.

Jenn:        Are people worrying about the stability of the stock?

Natalie:  Yeah. There is an assumption that it won’t go like this for forever. I don’t think we have talked to a single fisherman who doesn’t assume that it’s going to change at some point. You ask them ‘When do you think it’s going to change?’ … Not very many say it’s begun. Most of them are saying this year was a down year just because … not every year can be a record-breaking year, this is just a tiny slowdown. Most of them are not concerned that it’s happening right now, but they’re all saying 10 to 15 years. Some of them are hopeful – 30 years. Who knows? Everyone is aware that they’re completely dependent on one fishery, and if that goes belly-up they’re all really aware of the trauma that could happen. What’s interesting is that lobster has kept breaking records for, I’m going to say, 20 years now. The generation of fishermen who are young and really getting into it now have never known not having the opportunity to be involved in an industry that is continually booming. They’ve never known anything else. That’s a concern among the senior fishermen, who feel like the young guys don’t have this sense of ‘you have to … save for a rainy day.’ … Don’t overcapitalize on your boat because [if] you have a $300,000 mortgage to pay on your boat, what happens if you have five years where it’s slowed down? How do you pay that?

Jenn:        Is that how much lobster boats cost!?

Natalie:  Some of them that go offshore, yeah.

Jenn:        I had no idea.

Natalie:  Yeah, it’s intense. Big, beautiful … They have crazy engines. The older generation, the more traditional guys … not as many of them go offshore, a lot of them are like, “Let the next generation go offshore, it’s less crowded in here.” That’s what the Islesford guys were saying. A lot of the older guys are worried for sure. This can’t go on forever. They’re trying all kinds of creative things. The Islesford Co-op has been a real leader in terms of developing ways to get their lobster to market. If you check out their website they have a beautiful website, they have a very active Facebook presence, stuff that lobstermen didn’t used to do.

Lobstermen historically have just assumed that you sell to the dealer and off it goes and that’s it, ‘what I do is lobster and I don’t worry about all that other stuff.’ Some of them, like the Islesford Co-op in particular, have been trying to figure out ways to [say], ‘Okay, let’s not worry about the dealer, let’s keep the money in-house, let’s figure out ways to find markets.’ Are you familiar with the Skippers Program?

Jenn:        No.

Natalie:  It’s a high school program. … The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, they’re based in Stonington, they initially teamed up with the Deer Isle-Stonington High School to create a high school program that was focused on kids who maybe come from fishing families or for whom traditional high school is not the ideal way for them to learn … They maybe assume that they’re going to grow up to be fishermen. They’ve created this whole program that is now in 12 high schools Downeast, it’s very cool. It focuses on teaching kids … everything you need to know to be a fisherman in the traditional sense of the term but also … today you can’t just be a fisherman and fish, you have to have an understanding of the regulations that are constantly changing, you have to be a policy wonk to be an effective fisherman. You have to be a business person, an entrepreneur, to be able to sell your catch. It’s a much more complex profession than it used to be 30 to 40 years ago. This program is preparing kids on all these different levels. The kids who come out of there theoretically could continue in fishing but they could become marine biologists, they could become extension agents, they could become any number of different things. They could go to college because they’re prepared. Yeah, it’s a very cool program. MDI High School is involved – they call it the Pathways Program. It’s cool. They want me to come in and do a one-hour oral history training because they want to go out and interview fishermen.

from the MDI Islander, May 1, 2018

Jenn:        Fabulous! Are you seeing more women going into the field? I have this anecdotal impression but –

Natalie:  I would say so, absolutely. One of the guys, I can’t remember if it was a guy from Islesford or Winter Harbor, his statement off the cuff was that 10% of lobstermen are women. … Certainly it’s growing. Stonington, for whatever reason, there’s an enclave of women lobstermen there who are vocal and engaged in the management process.

Jenn:        I know two girls at the high school who fish, one has her own boat, one does it with her sister. Both of their fathers are lobstermen and are so proud of their girls.

Natalie:  I bet. That’s cool.

Jenn:        The stuff from your class, are you going to be making that public anywhere?

Natalie:  Some of it, yes. The Winter Harbor Historical Society, we’re going on Thursday with the students who are going to present their work. They’ve taken the interviews and they’ve been using an online tool called Storymapping, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Storymapping, it started as a GIS tool taking maps and putting them within the context of a story. It’s a really cool tool that the students have used to share the stories they captured in interviews with Winter Harbor fishermen and community members

We’re giving the Historical Society all of the audio, all of the transcriptions and all of the finished products and everything so it will be up to them to decide what to do with the archives. I think that the historical society is going to be super excited about what the students have done. … It’s awesome to work with students in communities because by virtue of being students, they get to ask anything. It’s so fun to work with them because they’re willing to ask questions … For example, we have a student who’s from … Venezuela, I think. … She doesn’t know anything about lobstering, she’s like, “What’s a lobster car?” Stuff that in Maine not everybody knows but nobody wants to ask because they [think], “I should know.” Lobster car, I should know that that’s a storage container for lobsters while waiting for the market but … Anyway, it’s great to work with them because they uncover everything from the basics to the really in-depth. And COA students are constantly trying to understand all the different ramifications from social lenses and environmental lenses and ecological. They’re a fun group to work with.

Jenn:        I can’t wait to see what you do with all of these.

Natalie:  I know, I’m excited about it! The class is part of a larger project that COA, Sea Grant, and Island Institute are working on together called Mapping Ocean Stories. … We’re thinking about doing the class every two years but then in-between having interns who [continue] some of this work. It’s really exciting and there’s a little bit of funding to do it and a little bit of funding to cover some of my time to be really engaged in it. It’s great. Ultimately my goal is that everything produced through this project is archived for the public, either through the Maine Folklife Center or through the NOAA Voices of the Fisheries database, which is all online. That’s the ultimate goal.

Jenn:        While we’re talking about it, is there anyone I should talk to when I get to Southwest?

Natalie:  [Ralph Stanley] is fabulous. His wife is equally fabulous. I don’t know if you’ve encountered this in your work, but I love interviewing older women who always are like, “Why are you interviewing me? I don’t know anything,” but very self-effacing. There’s a generational gap there. Mid-career professional women versus 70-year-old women who have been the wife of the fisherman … A very big cultural difference. Once you get through that, they’re an amazing treasure trove of stories and knowledge. From a fisheries heritage perspective we tend to focus on the fishermen, but the fishermen are part of a larger fishing community. The women are the bearers of that cultural identity. There was a situation where I and two other researchers had lunch with Ralph and his wife and she was fabulous. We keep talking about ‘we need to interview all the older women.’

Natalie:  A few years ago I did a history of MDI’s cod fishery.

Jenn:        I read that, that was amazing by the way.

Natalie:  Thank you! My co-authors did all the historical stuff … We’re interested in the same topics but they’re interested in those topics from the late 1800s and early 1900s – fisheries and communities and what did fishermen and their families do to make a living back then. They’re fascinating.

Jenn:        Their catch tallies, my god.

Photo from “From Wealth to Poverty” by Springuel, Leavenworth, and Alexander (full info in Works Cited, below.)

Natalie:  Right, they’re the type of historical researchers who pore over ledgers from the boats in 1920. Fabulous, I love reading their reports, I totally don’t have the patience to do that. We teamed up because they were like, “We don’t have the time and the energy to sit down and interview people and pull out the stories.” We’re nicely matched. Anyhow, when I interviewed Jarvis Newman, this was four years ago, three years ago that we did this, at that point he was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Cod fishermen are older, the fishery pretty much wrapped up in the 1990’s for our area, so the remaining fishermen are older and have not cod-fished in decades so their stories are really valuable. His daughter, Kathy Newman, was there and she helped him make connections. She had great stories herself. This was another woman who runs the boat-building business for the family and she does marine survey contracting. She has tons of memories from her childhood of being out on the water with her dad, going out to Mount Desert Rock to fish for cod and pollock and seeing the Russian vessels coming in before we had established the 200-mile zone to push the foreign vessels offshore. These women have incredible stories.

Jenn:        Is there anything going on you’re really excited about? It doesn’t have to be work, anything at all, any projects you’ve got.

Natalie:  The Mapping Ocean Stories project is really cool because it’s attempting to bridge the line between oral histories and mapping and using oral histories to display information about fishing grounds and about the relationship people have with place. It’s exciting on two levels, one being documenting and capturing this heritage before it goes away, before the seniors pass on, before there’s dramatic changes in the fishery that changes how people make a living and how people use the water. From a purely ‘documentation of heritage’ perspective. Then the other way is exploring ways to use this information to help inform decision-making. In so many decision-making processes on the coast … about offshore wind energy or aquaculture siting … there’s a lot of ‘we need to make sure to engage fishermen and get their take on this,’ but there’s a scale disconnect. Fishermen … have such an intense knowledge of their waterways, local fisheries knowledge, ecological knowledge, … from years of observation and doing and being within these waterways. That is really hard to capture and turn into data in a way that actually feeds into the [methods] that decision-makers make decisions about how the waterways will be used or not used. One of the things that we’re hoping to do is [work out] how you turn people’s stories into data to inform the decision-making process.

Jenn:        Yeah, how do you?

Natalie:  That’s part of the experimentation here. A lot of times decisions are based on spatial information on a map. If we can map how fishermen [use] a particular waterway … For example, that area between Northeast, Southwest and the Cranberries, if we over the course of the coming couple years can actually use data layers to show on a map ‘here’s where fishermen fish’ … When people have been talking about the cruise ships going in through that waterway there’s been a lot of mention of ‘it might disrupt fishing grounds and yachts might get [their propellers] tied up in a rope,’ or that sort of thing, but there isn’t this documented ‘here’s where the fishermen actually use the water.’

Jenn:        Right, here’s the density. … It’s four-dimensional mapping.

Natalie:  Exactly. That’s a really good way to describe it. Yeah, that’s been an exciting project and it’s new. We have students going down to a meeting in New Hampshire of the Northeast Regional Planning Body, which is very high level policy-wonkish federal and state agencies that are attempting to work together to … capture the uses of the waters around the Northeast, from New York to Maine. It’s potentially very useful for helping make decisions about things like offshore wind.

Jenn:        It’s also going to be crucial in things like mapping the shifting northward of the lobster population.

Natalie:  Exactly that kind of thing. One of the criticisms of this process over the last four years, this Northeast Regional Planning process, has been the scale issue. When you’re at this really higher level where you might say, “Let’s engage fishermen and figure out how these decisions might impact them,” this very local-scale information about how a fishing community relies on Frenchmen Bay, for example, or Hulls Cove in Frenchmen Bay, for example, that gets lost. It’s just not at a scale that the upper-level decision-making mechanisms that are now in place have anywhere for that information to feed in, but it’s so critical because these massive decisions that get made impact that local level. We’re trying to figure out how to help connect that. We’ve got four students, I think, going down to the New Hampshire meeting to share [what we’re doing] with these decision-makers.

Jenn:        That’s so cool.

Natalie:  Yeah. We’ll see where it goes, it’s still very new but it’s exciting and it’s different. … Right now there’s a lot of interest around storytelling and capturing stories like the Coast Walk, like so many different efforts, podcasts and videos and all that. Part of what we’re hoping to do is [figure out] how do you take these … amazing stories for the collection and the capture of heritage, how does then that information help inform the decision-making process? We’ll see.

Natalie:  I’m on the Bar Harbor Marine Resources Committee, … other towns call it the Shellfish Committee, we administer on behalf of the town of Bar Harbor how our shellfish resources are managed. There’s a conversation going on right now because of the way that the policy is interpreted at the municipal level versus the DMR level – we’ve had some debates within our meetings, especially our last one, around ‘should we be prioritizing our local guys or should our resource be open for others to come in.’ Another pretty big thing that I was involved with last spring, [was] the question around who has access to the intertidal zone adjoining Acadia National Park lands. Has that come up for you?

Jenn:        Hannah Weber had me up last spring to an intertidal stakeholders meeting up at Schoodic. It was a great meeting. On the mudflats.

Natalie:  It was actually in the field?

Jenn:        They introduced me as an artist and everybody looks at me like this. [Gives wicked side-eye.] Waiting for me to fall over in the mud. But I’ve worked out how to walk through most of this stuff. We had … I can’t remember his name. He’s a rockweed harvester. Then there were a couple of clammers and-

Natalie:  You had some wormers too

Jenn:        Yes, I was so excited! I didn’t know anything about marine worms. [Ed.note: I know a little bit now.]

Natalie:  That’s awesome. You went with Fred Johnson probably.

Jenn:        God, it’s been too long, I don’t remember anyone’s name now.

Natalie:  Yeah, Fred Johnson – the Parks Service had asked me to facilitate a bunch of the meetings that they had before that one. The very first meeting that we did, there were maybe 40 people and Fred walked in and we both looked at each other. I just assumed I had seen him at marine-related meetings. Then by the end of it I realized that back when I was just getting out of COA in ’90 or ’91, I was getting my Maine guide’s license and he was on my licensing board. He remembered me because at the time there were not a lot of women. [He said], “I remember we pushed you real hard.” I was like, “Yeah, you did.”

Jenn:        I totally forgot to ask you this, how did you end up at Sea Grant? You graduated COA…

Natalie:  Yup, graduated COA, guided kayak tours … and managed Coastal Kayaking Tours – the kayak operation of it. … I was with the outfitter for 10 or 12 years, something like that. In the winters went back and got my graduate degree and did other stuff. By the last bunch of years I was part of the management team. I was almost year-round and in that capacity was involved in helping develop the sea kayak guide exam and was really involved with the Statewide Guides Association and the Maine Island Trail.

I was working for the outfitter but getting really connected at a statewide level in a lot of these issues. Then I was feeling like, ‘okay, it’s time for me to do something different,’ and quite literally there was an ad in the Bar Harbor Times for a science writer for Sea Grant.

Jenn:        Wow!

Natalie:  I started as a science writer, and spent two years as part of their communications team. It was really very lucky that I saw it. I was doing a lot of writing at the time and have always been interested in communications. That was a good fit for two years, but I realized I couldn’t be sequestered in an office writing all the time. I’m more outward. I like to write but I like a combination of writing and interaction and supporting communities. At that time – we’ve talked about the Gulf of Maine Expedition.

Jenn:        That was so cool.

Natalie:  I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do this thing. I’m at a stage in my life where, if need be, I’m going to leave my job and do this thing and then figure out my career after.” I talked about it with my employers and that came at the right time – every four years NOAA evaluates all the Sea Grant programs – in the early 2000s we had just gotten evaluated and some of the things that I was proposing to do with the Gulf of Maine Expedition fit with some of the outreach priorities [from] the national office.

Jenn:        Serendipity.

Natalie:  It was serendipity for sure. It was the big life lesson of ‘put your idea out there and maybe it will go somewhere.’ Long story short, I ended up being supported to do the expedition by Sea Grant and then when I came back we redefined my job so that my job is extension as well as communication now. Nearly 18 years later here we are.

Jenn:        Goodness!

Natalie:  I know. It’s been good.

Jenn:        It’s fascinating how people end up [in their fields] …

Natalie:  We’ve talked all around the map! Thanks for interviewing me. It’s been fun.

Jenn:        Thanks for meeting with me.

Natalie:  Yeah, sure. I’ll see you soon!



MacDonald, Rich, ed. Gulf of Maine Expedition 2002: Final Report. color photocopied document, 2003. Downloadable here:

Shepherd, Samuel, “Skippers Student Project Aims to Track Changes in Lobster Fishery,” Mount Desert Islander, May 1, 2018. Accessed at on February 21, 2019.

Springuel, Natalie. “From Wealth to Poverty: The Rise and Fall of Cod around Mount Desert Island,” Chebacco, vol.XVI, 2015. Downloadable here:


One thought on “Interview: Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant

  1. Pingback: Interview – Toby Stephenson, Captain of the Osprey, College of the Atlantic – The Coast Walk Project

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.