WILTON — Emily MacCabe developed a “lifelong love” of the outdoors when she was growing up.

Emily MacCabe. Photo courtesy Emily MacCabe

MacCabe, originally from Rockport, studied environmental science with a focus in conservation law enforcement at Unity College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2004.

She has worked for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife since 2004, where she was recently promoted to director of information and education.

MacCabe was recognized this past spring by the Northeast Conservation Information and Education Association as the northeast’s Information and Education Professional of the Year.

How did you become interested in wildlife and fishing? I’ve always loved the Maine outdoors and started fishing when I was a young child and learned to hunt when I was in college. In addition to those activities, I also love to paddle — canoe, kayak and SUP (stand up paddle board), downhill ski, snowshoe and hike. Growing up, my father always took me on adventures in the Maine woods. I spent a lot of time outside growing up and I especially love being outdoors during the winter months! I am also a professional photographer and own a business specializing in lifestyle and wedding photography.

What do you do? When it came time to make a decision about a career, I naturally gravitated to a path that would keep me involved in the outdoors. After college, I planned to pursue a career in law enforcement, but the opportunity to become the outreach coordinator at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife presented itself and I went for it. I love working with people and sharing my passion, so it was a natural fit and I quickly became focused on growing my experience in outdoor education and public relations.

How did you help the “Hooked on Fishing” and “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” programs grow? During the first 10 years of my career at MDIFW, I coordinated a number of outreach programs designed to introduce new users to outdoor activities. These programs included the Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program, Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs, Archery in the Schools program and I worked with many organizations (i.e. fish and game clubs) to plan family field days around the state. Over the years, I conducted numerous trainings for volunteers to certify them as instructors to teach angling and archery skills to children and families. Through the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs and Archery in the Schools program, I was able to create a large pool of volunteers across Maine who work to coordinate learn to fish events and teach archery and other shooting sports. I also coordinated a number of workshops through Becoming an Outdoors Woman to introduce hundreds of adult women to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation in safe and comfortable learning environments.

Emily MacCabe of Wilton is the director of information and education for Maine Department of Insland Fisheries and Wildlife. Photo courtesy Emily MacCabe

How have you been involved in the department’s communications and digital media, social media and Web presence? Five years ago, I transitioned into the media and graphics supervisor position and became the supervisor of the new outreach coordinator. In that capacity, I worked to develop a new outreach and marketing approach for MDIFW, which focused on the goal of increasing the general public’s awareness of MDIFW programs and projects and wildlife and fishery management and conservation in Maine. We continued to work to attract new participants to traditional activities like boating, ATV, snowmobile, hunting, fishing and trapping as well. After conducting a significant research and survey project, I worked with Rinck Advertising to create and execute the Keeper of the Maine Outdoors campaign. This is a digital outreach campaign to engage all of Maine’s public and further connect them with the Maine outdoors, and the specific work of MDIFW. This has been a hugely successful campaign, allowing us to increase and broaden our communication efforts beyond our traditional reach.

What is the “Keeper of the Maine Outdoor” campaign? As media and graphics supervisor, I was also responsible for the MDIFW website and social media presence. I worked to create a new website for the department, which is focused on user needs and developed a social media plan and strategy. Today, the department has a large social media following and we work to create engaging content and provide customer service through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, I developed a blog where our staff can regularly share stories from the field and updates on projects they’re working on.

What is your responsibility as the director of information and education for the department? I am responsible for managing 12 employees, including staff at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. I oversee MDIFW’s outreach and marketing plans and work towards achieving our goals on a year-to-year basis. My job is to increase participation in outdoor recreation and advance the public’s awareness of and connection to natural resource management in Maine.


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