ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine plans to host a talk about strategies for dam decision making that maximize environmental, social and economic benefits.

The talk is planned for 3-4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27. All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono.

Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom; to register and receive connection information, see the event page at umaine.edu/mitchellcenter.

Dams in the U.S. and around the world provide several benefits, including hydropower, water supply and recreation, but can also bring negative environmental impacts, such as altering stream flow, impairing water quality and disrupting ecosystem connectivity. The process of making decisions about dams creates both challenges and opportunities for diverse players working together toward solutions, including managing conflicts that arise.

In this talk, “Rendezvous for Sustainability: Creating Space for Science-Based Collaborative Solutions,” Catherine Ashcraft and Weiwei Mo from the University of New Hampshire will highlight the potential for science-informed, stakeholder-engaged approaches to decision making about dams for improving environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Ashcraft is an assistant professor of natural resources and the environment at UNH. Her research focuses on how environmental policies are negotiated and designed to foster justice and respond to change, particularly in freshwater systems and climate adaptation planning. Mo is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNH with expertise in infrastructure planning and management, social-ecological systems modeling and assessing sustainability and resilience.

Ashcraft and Mo were researchers on the recent Future of Dams project. This interdisciplinary project focused on advancing the way science is used in decision making around current and future management of dams in New England.

Face coverings are required through at least Sept. 30 for students, staff, faculty, visitors and others when indoors at a University of Maine System facility. For the latest health and safety guidance, see umaine.edu/return.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or [email protected].

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