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Annual Lake Monitoring Conference

Join Us On Saturday, July 25th, 2015

The Great Outdoors, on Pleasant Pond in Turner, ME

Ann Conf Group Web

The 2015 VLMP Annual Lake Monitoring Conference will once again be held at the beautiful Great Outdoors Lake Lodge on Pleasant Pond in Turner. As always, certified lake monitors attend at no cost. Morning beverages and refreshments, and a hearty lunch are included in the day, along with many opportunities to network with some of Maine’s most experienced and dedicated volunteer lake monitors, VLMP and Maine DEP staff, conference speakers, and others. And – you can update your certification, as well!

Conference presentations include distinguished members of the VLMP Advisory Board:

Monitoring Maine Lake Temperatures with Hobo Data Loggers: Greater Understanding through Technology

Dr. Dan Buckley, Professor of Biology at the University of Maine Farmington will present findings from research that he has spearheaded in recent years concerning the nature of thermal stratification (temperature layers) in our lakes. With the help of many VLMP lake monitors, Dan has observed that this common phenomenon that plays a critical role in the function of lake systems may be more complex than previously thought, especially in light of extreme weather events associated with climate change.

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Identifying Aquatic Plants in Maine: What’s New?

Dr. C. Barre Hellquist, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on aquatic plants, will discuss “What’s New” in the ever shifting world of aquatic plants. Some aquatic plants are easily identified.  Others are trickier.  Some may actually require DNA analysis to identify with certainty.  Barre will walk us through the newest information pertaining to aquatic plant identification, focusing upon plants that Maine’s invasive plant patrollers are likely to encounter.  He will also show us some new invasive aquatic plants that should be on our radar screens.

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Phosphorus in lakes – The old paradigm, a paradigm shift, and the future

Dr. Steven Norton, University of Maine Professor Emeritus, will discuss the complex ways in which phosphorus influences Maine’s lakes, including the implications of his research on the geochemistry of lake sediments. He will also describe a unique collaborative pilot project involving University of Maine social science faculty and graduate students, Maine DEP and VLMP staff, and a group of VLMP certified lake monitors who will receive hands-on training and experience in collecting lake sediment samples from their lakes. The results of this project will be used to update an index of vulnerability that will be used to help determine the degree to which individual lakes are susceptible to a decline in water quality over time.

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Maine DEP Invasive Aquatic Species staff will report in briefly on the status of the statewide battle to prevent the spread of aquatic invaders, and will also be on hand throughout the breaks to answer questions and discuss concerns.

Loons and Maine Lakes! Maine Audubon Society will present information about the annual volunteer loon count, what has been learned about the distribution of loons on Maine lakes through this great program, and what all of us can do to help ensure that loons will continue to be a presence on our lakes in the future. Interactive station.

Doug Suitor of the Maine DEP will demonstrate how to use the HydroColor App to determine the reflectance of natural water bodies.

Other presenters will also have interactive display booths, and you will have an opportunity to test your knowledge in our annual aquatic plant identification exercise, which includes live specimens of both native and invasive species.

There will be drawings and door prizes throughout the conference. All you have to do to win is be there and be actively certified!

Please Join Us on Saturday, July 25th

Meet & Greet begins at 8AM, Conference starts at 9AM.

Pre-registration is needed by July 17th. 

Register online here, or contact us at vlmp@mainevlmp.org  or 207-783-7733.

The conference is free to all VLMP certified volunteers, all others $35.
Lunch is included!

If you are a water quality monitor and would like to renew your certification at the Conference, please pre-register to obtain your time slot.
The first round of re-certification begins at 1:30pm.

Annual Conference 2015 Sponsors 4 Web

Directions to The Great Outdoors in Turner, Maine

From the North & West:
Head South on Route 4
In North Turner, turn left onto route 219
Go two miles, turn right onto route 117
In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane; The Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From the South (Auburn)
Head North on Route 4
Turn Right onto Upper Street directly after Paris Farmers Union store
Travel 5 miles on Upper Street
Continue on North Parish Road/Route 117, travel 4 miles
Turn Left onto Naiad Lane; The Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From the East (Augusta)
Head West on Routes 202/100/11
Turn Right onto Routes 133/41 (2.5 miles)
Bear Left and continue on Route 133 (5.8 miles)
Turn Left onto Route 219
Travel 7.4 Miles, Turn left onto Route 117
In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane; The Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.


~ SCROLL DOWN FOR PREVIOUS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS ~


VLMP 2014 Annual Conference Highlights:

– Maine’s Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program and Department of Environmental Protection:  A Most Successful Partnership on Behalf of Maine’s Lakes;  Patricia Aho, Maine DEP Commissioner

– Monitoring the Health of Your Lake from a Watershed Perspective: The Role of Volunteer Monitors in Conducting Lake Watershed Surveys; Wendy Garland,  Maine DEP

The Hunt For Aquatic Invaders video;  Roberta Hill: VLMP Invasive Species Program Director, & Steve Underwood, Videographer

– The Role of Emerging Technology in Monitoring Maine Lakes; Emmanuel Boss, University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences

– Recognition Ceremony for Maine’s Exceptional Volunteer Monitors and Lake Stewards

The Following Exhibits and Demonstrations were available throughout the Day:

1.  VLMP – Aquatic Plant ID Exercise:  Test Your Skills
2.  Maine Department of Environmental Protection – Watershed Surveys
3.  Emmanuel Boss – New Lake Monitoring Technology
4.  Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:  Boater Safety
5.  Ken Hotopp: Freshwater Mollusk ID Demonstration
6.  Keith  Williams: Herbarium Sheet Preparation Demonstration
7.  Jackey Bailey  – New Pondweed Key:  Try it out!
8.  Fred Cummings, Lew Wetzel and Pixie Williams –  How Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association Won the Milfoil Fight

Our Speakers

Patricia Aho has led the Department of Environmental Protection since September 2011, previously serving as Deputy Commissioner. She also serves as representative for the State of Maine on the Board of Directors for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ozone Transport Commission and on the Board of the Environmental Council of the States.  Ms. Aho, a native of Boothbay Harbor, graduated from Nasson College and Western New England College, School of Law. Prior to joining the department, her career focused on many environmental and energy related issues facing Maine. Ms. Aho lives in Newcastle with her husband Ron and a very rambunctious Australian Shepherd.

Wendy Garland has worked for the past 12 years in the Watershed Management Unit with the Maine DEP’s Division of Environmental Assessment.  She provides technical assistance and support to communities and municipalities interested in protecting their local water resources.  Before coming to Maine, she also worked for several public agencies and local watershed groups in Wisconsin and Oregon.  She holds a M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Tufts University.

Emmanuel Boss, professor at the University of Maine, is a physical oceanographer who specializes in the interaction of light with materials in both salt and fresh water bodies. With his collaborators he studies how the properties and concentrations of different materials in the water affect the optical characteristics of a given water body. These studies are then used to elucidate the composition of materials in water from optical measurement in-situ or from remote sensing. Boss is a graduate of the Hebrew University (BSc. in Mathematics and Physics, MSc in Oceanography) and the University of Washington (PhD in Oceanography). He moved to Maine twelves years ago. Much more about his work (than you ever wanted to know) can be found at: http://misclab.umeoce.maine.edu/


2013 VLMP Lake Monitoring Conference

Looking Into Lakes

The 2013 VLMP Lake Monitoring Conference took place on Saturday, July 27th at The Great Outdoors, on Pleasant Pond in Turner, ME, and was a huge success!  Thank you to our volunteer lake monitors, guest speakers and generous sponsors for making such a great event possible!

2013’s  “Looking Into Lakes” program featured:

GloeoColonyJDufresne@UNH4WebHolly Ewing, Associate Professor at Bates College in the Environmental Studies Program, will be sharing notes from the front lines of her important research on Gloeotrichia echinulata, a tapioca-like algae that may be gaining prevalence in some lakes. Holly’s investigations zero in on the ways in which Gloeo may be a potential driver of changes in Maine lakes.

CrayfishEver wonder what the difference was between a crayfish, a crawfish, and a crawdad? Curious to know if the crayfish hanging out by your dock is a native species or an invader? Karen Wilson, Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern Maine in the Department of Environmental Science, will answer these questions and many more, teaching us all about Maine’s “freshwater lobsters” and how we can help monitor them in our lakes.

 

 


2012 VLMP Lake Monitoring Conference

New Horizons for Volunteer Lake Monitoring Pic

Conference Presentations

Climate Change & Maine Lakes: Observations and Expectations

Click on image for presentation in PDF format. File may take a few moments to load.

“Climate change” is a term relatively new to our vocabulary, with several tumultuous storms presenting challenges to Maine and the Northeast over the past year. So how are these changes affecting Maine’s lakes? This presentation will touch on a variety of observations – some documented in the lakes literature, others anecdotal – with a ‘take home’ message of prevention and preparation being one of the few actions we can take to face the challenges ahead.

Our Speaker – Linda Bacon has worked in the Lakes Section of the Department of Environmental Protection for the past 24 years and prior to that, in acid rain research at the University of Maine in Orono for four years. She is the Quality Assurance liaison to the VLMP and is an ‘ex officio’ member of the VLMP Board of Directors. Linda received her Master’s degree from the University concentrating in aquatic ecology in 1987 and is currently working on her PhD.

Integrating Citizen Science and Satellite-Based Remote Sensing for Monitoring of Maine’s Lakes

Click on image for presentation in PDF format. File may take a few moments to load.

It is now possible to use satellite imagery to monitor the water quality of Maine’s lakes. By measuring the relationship between field-collected Secchi disk data and satellite-measured reflectance, we can then estimate the Secchi depth of unsampled lakes, many of which are inaccessible and difficult to monitor in the field. Volunteer lake monitors play a very important role in the process of calibrating satellite imagery lake data. Please click here for Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 information.

Our Speaker – Ian McCullough finished his Master’s in Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Maine in May, 2012. He collaborated with Maine DEP on developing a satellite-based remote lake monitoring program for Maine, utilizing VLMP-gathered historical lake data throughout the process. He graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies in 2010 from Colby College, where he participated in long-term research on land use, residential development and phosphorus cycling in the Belgrade Lakes system. Ian is originally from McLean, Virginia and is beginning a doctoral program at the University of California-Santa Barbara this fall.


Feathered Fish! Loon Research & Conservation

Click on image for presentation in PDF format. File may take a few moments to load.

Over the last 25 years, Biodiversity Research Institute has banded over 3,000 Common Loons across North America. All that hard work banding loons has paid off because we have made a lot of new discoveries about loons. Jim will share some of those insights and in addition, will talk about some conservation efforts the Center for Loon Conservation at Biodiversity Research Institute is involved with across North America.

Our Speaker – Jim Paruk is a passionate naturalist, equally at home identifying birds, butterflies and wildflowers. He has travelled extensively throughout North and Central America, and for the past 20 years has conducted research on loons from one side of the continent to the other. His doctorate examined Common Loon social and breeding behaviors. He has personally watched and recorded over 4,000 hours of observations on Common Loons. He served as Vice-President of the North American Loon Fund and Research Chair for Wisconsin’s Loonwatch Program. He was a tenured, full-time college professor for 14 years teaching Ornithology, Ecology and Animal Behavior at both Feather River College (CA) and Northland College (WI) before taking this new position as the Director of the Center for Loon Conservation, at BioDiversity Research Institute. Jim is considered an expert on Common Loon behavior and ecology and was the co-author of the Common Loon species account published by the Birds of North America in 2010. Presently, he is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at University of Southern Maine teaching Ornithology.


2011 Conference Highlights

On July 30, 2011, the VLMP celebrated 40 years of successfully monitoring Maine’s lakes at our Annual Lake Monitoring Conference. This event focused on the history of the VLMP, the thousands of individuals who have made a commitment to helping us learn more about Maine lakes, it included a discussion about what we have learned during the past four decades, and an opportunity to socialize with people who have truly made a difference through their efforts to understand and protect Maine’s clear, clean lakes!

Conference Presentations:

A Brief Video Documentation of an Extraordinary Volunteer Lake Monitor by Steve Underwood (to see video, click here)

 

 

A Historical Retrospective of the Maine VLMP from Matt Scott, VLMP’s “Founding Father”, and former Director of the Maine DEP Lakes Program (to view presentation, click here)

 

 

 

Cover of The VLMP Story PresentationPlease click here for a PDF presentation on The Story of The VLMP. This presentation was created by VLMP’s Scott Williams and Roberta Hill, and it provides a photographic, behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of the nation’s most successful citizen science endeavors. File size is 12MB and may take a moment to load.


2010 Conference Highlights: 2010 Presentation Slides

Maine’s Environmental Volunteers, Uncommon Value and Values
Presented by David Littell, Commissioner, Maine DEP
Branch Lake  Milfoil Rangers
Presented by Don Hayes, VLMP Plant Patroller & Branch Lake Milfoil Rangers Team Leader
Growing and Sustaining Maine’s Invasive Plant Patrol
Ann Speers & Bessie Wright, University of Maine Sustainability Science Initiative, with Roberta Hill, Program Director, VLMP’s Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants
Maine and the National Lakes Assessment
Maine and the National Lakes Assessment

Roy Bouchard, Biologist, Maine DEP

 


2009 Conference Highlights

Thanks to all who participated in the Conference! We had a great turn out, great presentations and the sun actually shined!

We had many requests for copies of the presentations and will be posting them here as they become available.

2009 Presentation Slides
Extending the frontiers of citizen science: new applications to lake development, recreation & associations
Presented by Kathleen P. Bell and Jessica E. Leahy
THE HUNT FOR AQUATIC INVADERS
Presented by Roberta Hill

2008 Conference Highlights

At the 2008 Conference we had a panel discussion, including state and local agencies, sharing perspectives on the value of volunteer lake monitors and their data.

2008 Video Highlights
2008 Conference
2008 Video Table Of Contents
select a chapter to view
1 – Introduction
By Video Producer Peter Sirois
4 – Maine DEP Staff Perspective
By Roy Bouchard & John McPhedran
2 – VLMP Receives Award from Maine Lakes Conservancy Institute
By Shippen Bright
5 – Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District Perspective
By Jami Fitch
3 – Overview of the VLMP
With Scott Williams, Roberta Hill & Jim Entwood
6 – Cobbossee Watershed District Perspective
By Wendy Dennis

 

 

 

To get to the Great Outdoors

From the North & West:

Head South on Route 4

In North Turner, turn left onto route 219

Go two miles, turn right onto route 117

In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From South (Auburn)

Head North on Route 4

Turn Right onto Upper Street directly after Paris Farmers Union store

Travel 5 miles on Upper Street

Continue on North Parish Road/Route 117, travel 4 miles

Turn Left onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From East (Augusta)

Head West on Routes 202/100/11

Turn Right onto Routes 133/41 (2.5 miles)

Bear Left and continue on Route 133 (5.8 miles)

Turn Left onto Route 219

Travel 7.4 Miles, Turn left onto Route 117

In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program is to help protect Maine lakes through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health. The VLMP trains, certifies and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers who monitor a wide range of indicators of water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. In addition to being the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine, VLMP volunteers benefit their local lakes by playing key stewardship and leadership roles in their communities.

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The VLMP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 40 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.