This project seeks to learn about how climate change is impacting people whose lives and work depend on the land and the sea. By spending time with fishers, farmers, and foresters, we hope to better understand how individuals are experiencing climate change in the context of their local landscapes and communities. How are their environments changing? How is their work changing? How are they making sense of these changes in relation to their places?
By talking with fishers, farmers, and foresters, following them as they work, and viewing their photographs of places, the project seeks to situate and emplace global climate change in the everyday experiences of people who work in the three dominant natural-resource groups in Maine: fishing, farming, and forestry.
Like the dead alder tree above, on Dave Asmussen’s Bluebell Farm, and the eroding shoreline in Freeport, shown in Sara Randall’s photo below, signs of change are all around us. By delving into the local knowledge and expertise of Maine’s farmers, fishers, and foresters, we hope to expand our understanding of the profound ecological, social, and cultural climate-related changes that are afoot.
Photo by Sara Randall
Ultimately, we agree with other scholars and activists who have called for more work on “the local roots of climate meanings,” (Hulme, 2008:8) including the ecological, economic, and cultural, in order to humanize and more deeply engage with the unfolding of climate change in places over time, and ultimately contribute to better understanding of how people and places might most equitably and sustainably co-adapt.
Stay tuned as we take notes on climate change through the eyes of farmers, fishers, and foresters in Maine.
Hulme, Mike. 2008. “Geographical Work at the Boundaries of Climate Change.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 33(1):5–11.