The Community Lab at the MDI Biological Laboratory works to identify, locate, and help remedy threats to public health and the clean waters on and around Mount Desert Island by putting science in the hands of community volunteers, students, and teachers. Every project the Community Lab undertakes relies on volunteer efforts from students and community members and involves community education.
Current projects include:
- Development of Anecdata.org, a free online platform powering nearly 200 citizen science projects from organizations such as the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, NASA and South Carolina Aquarium
- All About Arsenic, an NIH/NIGMS-SEPA project engaging middle- and high-school students in building data literacy skills while sampling well water for arsenic
- Research and restoration of eelgrass beds in Frenchman Bay
- Swim beach water quality monitoring as part of the Maine Healthy Beaches Program
- Red tide monitoring as part of the Maine DMR Volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Program
The Community Lab’s director, Jane Disney, Ph.D., is the recipient of numerous awards for her community-based science efforts, including the Sea World Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award (1998), the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence (2000), and the Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Award (2007).