Laura Crane and a Fuller Star employee walking through the array of solar panels at the Fuller Star plant in Lancaster, California.
Turning to the Sun: A large solar array delivers clean energy © Dave Lauridsen

Stories in Maine

Maine Climate Media Resource Guide

Reporting on climate change in Maine? Insights from TNC's conservation and climate experts will help you tell a full, compelling story.

Media Contact:

Jeremy Cluchey
Director of Strategic Communications
Phone: 207-607-4843
Email: jeremy.cluchey@tnc.org

The effects of climate change are evident here in Maine and around the world. More frequent and extreme weather events, a warming Gulf of Maine and changes in the length and intensity of the seasons are affecting Maine people, our livelihoods and our iconic natural places and habitats.

For decades, The Nature Conservancy in Maine has been a leader in finding innovative, science-based solutions to our most challenging environmental problems. Today, our experts are exploring solutions to match the urgency of the climate crisis. We're looking at how we can best use forests as a natural climate solution; we're working with coastal communities to prepare for sea level rise; we're finding ways to provide broader access to renewable energy; and we're helping the fishing community adapt to a warming Gulf. Just to name a few.

This work is only possible with the skills and expertise of The Nature Conservancy's team of scientists and conservation leaders. They are an excellent resource, ready to share their insights with journalists looking to tell stories about the climate crisis that are in-depth, engaging and useful.

To get in touch with a TNC expert for a story, please contact Jeremy Cluchey at jeremy.cluchey@tnc.org or 207-607-4843.

Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Risk

Jeremy Bell, River and Coastal Restoration Director

Jeremy’s role is to oversee the implementation of The Conservancy's Nearshore Habitat Restoration and Diadromous Fish Connectivity Strategies in Maine. He serves on the Maine Climate Council's Coastal and Marine Working Group. At TNC, Jeremy identifies coastal and riverine systems that are well-suited for on-the-ground restoration projects. Prior to coming to TNC, he was the Wetlands Program Manager for the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and a project manager there for nearly ten years. Jeremy has a Master's in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in wetlands ecology and management.

Recent Media:

How Sea Level Rise Will Change Maine's Coast - Maine Calling, Maine Public

Inland Flood Risk

Ben Matthews, Watershed Restoration Specialist

Ben works closely with communities on projects that restore fish passage while creating road-stream crossings that can better withstand more frequent and intense storm events. With a focus on reconnecting and restoring critical freshwater habitats across the state, Ben has a wealth of experience planning and implementing headwater restoration projects for TNC, and prior to that, Trout Unlimited. Ben earned a B.A in Conservation Ecology from Sterling and has spent several years in Maine as an environmental educator, sharing his passion for natural history and ecology with the next generation of conservationists.

Recent Media:

With heavy downpours becoming more frequent, wider culverts will be key - Maine Public

Small town road project near Brownville makes big difference – Maine Town & City

Maine Fisheries and the Warming Gulf

Geoff Smith, Marine Program Director

Geoff has nearly twenty years of professional experience in natural resource management, with an emphasis on watershed management and fisheries. Geoff joined the Nature Conservancy staff in February 2006 and is also Staff Lead for TNC’s Gulf of Maine Whole System Conservation Team. He currently serves on the Maine Coast Community Groundfish Sector Board of Directors, the State of Maine Marine Resources Advisory Council, and the New England Fishery Management Council Groundfish Advisory Panel.

Jocelyn Runnebaum, Fisheries Project Manager

Jocelyn works collaboratively with fishermen, scientists, and resource managers to improve the conservation status of key marine species and to improve the overall ecological health of the Gulf of Maine. This work includes partnerships to implement on-the-water projects with fishermen and working to influence ocean and coastal policies at the state, regional, and national level. Before joining TNC, Jocelyn worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Biologist providing technical support and advice on federal fisheries management. Jocelyn has a B.S. in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University and a PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Maine.

Forests and Carbon Storage

Mark Berry, Forest Program Director

Mark is the strategic leader for TNC’s Maine forest conservation initiatives, overseeing strategy development and forest conservation. He helps TNC develop collaborative approaches to integrate a sustainable forest economy, forest-based climate change solutions, and biodiversity conservation in Maine, and works closely with TNC’s regional and global teams focused on forests and natural climate solutions. Mark holds a MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College. His prior experience includes leadership of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park and Downeast Lakes Land Trust. Mark currently serves on the Maine Climate Council's Natural and Working Lands Working Group. 

Recent Media:

Nature Conservancy sees an opportunity to fight climate change – using Maine’s woodlands - Portland Press Herald

Northern Maine carbon offset project to help combat climate change - MaineBiz

Climate Science and Decision-Making

Samantha Horn, Director of Science

Samantha leads the TNC in Maine science team that works on topics as diverse as freshwater ecosystem restoration, ecological monitoring, renewable energy siting, spatial ecology, mapping and database work, as well as community engagement and social science. Samantha spent two decades in Maine state government natural resource agencies linking natural science, social science, and people to improve public decision-making about natural resources, most recently leading the Land Use Planning Commission. She has prior experience in the academic, nonprofit, and private sectors, and holds a B.S. in biology and English literature from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, focused on human dimensions and conflict resolution. Samantha currently serves as president of the Maine Association of Planners.

Nicholas Wolff, climate change scientist
Nicholas Wolff Nicholas Wolff, climate change scientist © Nicholas Wolff

Nicholas Wolff, Climate Change Scientist

Nick is the climate change scientist for TNC’s Global Science program. He is responsible for ensuring that climate change implications are incorporated into TNC’s decision making and strategy development. To offer informed advice, Nick engages in cutting-edge research on climate change impacts on a variety of ecosystems, including savannahs, rain forests, and coral reefs, using the latest climate models and data. Nick has conducted research worldwide, including on the feeding behavior of whales in the Gulf of Maine, fishing impacts in the Virgin Islands, and coral reef conservation in the Maldives and Indonesia.

Recent Media:

Great Barrier Reef not bouncing back as before, but there is hope - Science Daily

Planning for the Future in a Warming Ocean - Cool Green Science

Climate Policy

Rob Wood

Rob Wood, Director of Government Relations and Climate Policy

Rob leads TNC Maine's climate policy and advocacy efforts, serves on Governor Mill's Maine Climate Council Transportation Working Group, and has been appointed to the Maine Energy Storage Commission. His insight and partnerships have helped TNC and Maine move forward on climate and sustainability issues. Prior to joining TNC, Rob spent three years on the policy team for a state-based education reform advocacy organization. He also worked in field organizing for two political campaigns. Rob earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University, where he studied both education and environmental policy. 

Recent Media:

Environmental regulators launch hearings on $1 billion CMP project - Bangor Daily News

Kaitlyn Bernard, Natural Resources Policy Advisor

Kaitlyn is responsible for leading the Maine Chapter’s federal policy strategies and covering a range of state policy issues to advance land and water protection and sustainable fisheries. Prior to joining TNC, Kaitlyn served as the Maine Policy Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. In that capacity, she gained significant experience working in the Maine Legislature and coordinating state-based advocacy for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Originally from Aroostook Country, Kaitlyn graduated from Colby College with Honors in Environmental Policy. While at Colby, she interned for US Senator Susan Collins.

Climate Strategy and Conservation Leadership

State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine.
Kate Dempsey State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. © The Nature Conservancy

Kate Dempsey, Maine State Director

In four years of leadership, Kate has overseen significant capacity expansion at TNC in Maine in order to take on today's conservation challenges, including a deepened focus on climate change. She has been selected to serve on Governor Mills' Maine Climate Council, and has been a leader of TNC's North America 50-State Climate Strategy. Kate was also involved in the Maine Climate Action Plan 2004, Maine's first statewide climate planning effort. Previously, Kate was TNC's External Affairs Director, managing our policy, partnerships, and marketing efforts. She received an undergraduate degree in Government and Sociology from Bowdoin College and an M.A. from Tufts University's Department of Urban and Environmental Policy. Kate served in the offices of U.S. Representative Marty Meehan and U.S. Rep. Tom Allen before joining TNC in 2003.

Recent Media:

'Conversation, Not Conquest' — A Guide On How To Talk Climate Change - Maine Public

Maine Voices: Maine can lead on pragmatic climate policy - Portland Press herald

Alex Mas, Associate State Director/Director of Conservation

Alex is responsible for overseeing all conservation programs for the Maine chapter, including how those programs connect to TNC's broader focus on addressing climate change. Alex has worked for TNC for sixteen years, the first eight of which were in California, where he served as the Executive Director of the Northern Sierra Partnership, as director of the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains regions, and as a local project director and conservation planner. Before joining TNC, Alex worked as a researcher and practitioner with a range of community-based and collaborative resource management projects in the U.S. and abroad. Alex received an M.S. in Resource Ecology & Management from the University of Michigan and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Studies and English from Tufts University.