The MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Laboratory (CEHL) identifies, locates, and helps 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 CEHL undertakes relies on volunteer efforts from students and community members and involves community education.
Current projects at CEHL include:
- Research and restoration of eelgrass beds in Frenchman Bay
- Eelgrass-based education and outreach in local middle and high schools
- 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
- Development of Anecdata, a versatile platform for online citizen science
CEHL’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).