Dr. Miller-Rushing is a phenologist—a scientist who studies seasonal changes over time. He feels the biggest management action needed for Acadia National Park is to tell the story of what’s happening there to agencies and the public.
Why do you study the impacts of climate change and other environmental change?
There are three reasons I am passionate about studying these impacts, particularly here in Acadia National Park. The first is that I love solving problems. And the problems we are working are big. The second is that I enjoy natural areas and want my children and grandchildren to enjoy them too. Parks and other protected areas like Acadia have changed a surprising amount over the past 100 years. I’d like to help minimize those changes and make sure they are not as bad as they might otherwise be. The third reason is that I love working with people and helping them to experience the fun of discovery, exploration, and the power science has to answer some pretty tricky questions that affect our treasured places and people’s everyday lives.
A great moment in the field:
Great moments in the field happen all the time—When they do, I stop, take a breath, and enjoy the beauty of the place. It could be looking up to take in a panorama from the coast or a mountaintop, or as my kids love to do, exploring the minutia of a tide pool or a leaf or a pond’s edge. I get to work in a pretty amazing place and I enjoy every minute of it.