SPEAKER: Bridie McGreavy, Assistant Professor, Communication & Journalism, UMaine
Title: When water quality is the easy problem: An untold sory of sustainability and human well-being
Intertidal mudflat ecosystems along Maine’s coast provide an income for approximately 1,700 licensed commercial shellfishermen. These ecosystems and the individuals and communities that depend on them face threats due to unsustainable land use practices that cause bacterial contamination and make shellfish unsafe to eat. This presentation shares research from the NEST Safe Beaches and Shellfish project that studies how communication shapes shellfishing resilience to water quality contamination. An ongoing ethnography in Frenchman Bay has yielded insights about the complex communication and decision making factors that shape abilities to detect and respond to water quality issues. Further, this research has identified how drug addiction in Downeast Maine increases shellfishermen’s vulnerability to water quality and other types of change. This presentation intends to advance a conversation about how to meaningfully address drug addiction in
fishing communities as a pressing issue of sustainability and human well-being.
Bridie McGreavy is an assistant professor in UMaine’s Dept. of Communication and Journalism. She uses ethnographic and mixed methods to study communication within sustainability science teams and coastal and freshwater management contexts. McGreavy received NSF funding
for her dissertation and postdoctoral research that she conducted with Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (now the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions) and NEST respectively. She is currently a co-PI on a $6 million grant through NSF’s EPSCoR program to advance a four year study examining the future of dams in New England.