What’s New

CSI-Maine (Community Science Investigations in Maine) supports schools as essential partners with their communities in confronting change. Schools are especially important in rural communities where the science and math teachers, their students, and school lab facilities can provide data for decision-making. This website provides stories and tools for teachers and community leaders.

CSI-Maine currently manages two programs. One focuses on local-level shellfish restoration and resilience; the other helps teachers and students examine community drinking water quality. Here are a few of the most recent posts. Use the menus at the top of this page to go deeper.

Shellfish Resilience

Dana Rice and Mike Pinkham Setting the Trays in the Pound

Welcoming Our First Clams

June 30th was a big day for the shellfish lab and team–Shellfish Warden Mike Pinkham brought the first batch of clam spat back to the lab! With our team of intrepid volunteers we set out to install our nursery trays. These clams will spend this summer and fall outside in the lobster pound enjoying local […]

Green Crab Conservation Work

On Sunday June 13th, Mike Pinkham–the Gouldsboro shellfish warden–a group of harvesters, and I went out to the mudflats to do some conservation work. This week’s activity was collecting and removing green crabs from a local clamming area, John Small Cove. This activity was part of the harvester’s required conservation time, and I went along to see what some of this work entails and to get to know the local community a little better. In order to be eligible for a clamming license in Gouldsboro, harvesters are required to do at least 10 hours of conservation work. Some of this is done in co-management meetings, such as attending the shellfish committee meetings, but much of it is done out on the flats in events like these. Other activities include (list of activities). 

A Visit To Downeast Institute

Today, the Downeast Institute (DEI) hosted us for a tour of their shellfish hatchery and campus. Kyle Pepperman, the hatchery and production manager, gave us a look into how shellfish are raised in this area. He discussed the different needs that various species need, particularly looking at soft shell clams, the focus of our shellfish initiative. One of the most important rooms in the facility is where they grow the algae to feed the shellfish. It has rows and rows of big cylindrical glass tanks of different colors, making the room look somewhat otherworldly and rainbow-esque. This magical looking algae is then dripped through pipes in the floor, down to the tanks and tanks of shellfish below.

Drinking Water

Evidence, Probability, and Uncertainty

In a previous post, we used CTTM data that Old Town High School students collected to map the iron levels in water systems around their community. If we ask students, “Do you think we are more likely to find higher levels of iron in well water or municipal water?” a typical answer might be something like, “Well, I think we’ll find more iron in municipal water.” Or well water. It could go either way. It is not the choice between well water or municipal water that is important; what is important are the things missing in their response.

Map of Iron Levels in Old Town tap water

Using CTTM to Introduce Core Data Literacy Concepts

Old Town High School students returned to entering the tap water data they collected this fall after the holiday break. Early last week, we pulled the data into Tuva for analysis and saw that the students are building a rich picture of tap water quality around Old Town. These data are available to all Crowd the Tap Maine (CTTM) teachers. This post is the first of a series that describes how teachers can use these data, along with data that their own classes collect, to help students gain familiarity with some of the big ideas at the center of data literacy.

Map of water stains

A Look at the First CTTM Data and What We Can Do With It

Before the holidays, students working with Ed Lindsey and Chuck Neeley at Old Town High School collected water samples from taps in about 30 buildings around Old Town, Maine. They entered data about water chemistry, total dissolved solids, and visible evidence of water quality issues into the Anecdata repository. This post provides a peek at what they might find in when they look at the data in Tuva.


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