2017 Highlights

Strategic and Master Planning

  • The DMC strategic planning process wrapped up this fall and we are now fully engaged in master planning.
  • The coming years will bring many changes to the DMC as we renovate the old and construct new infrastructure to reach our goals.
  • DMC director Heather Leslie shares her vision for the future.
  • Thanks to the many friends of the DMC for their thoughtful contributions to this work over the last 18 months. Please stay engaged.

ribbon cutting
Lowes Cove pier ribbon cutting ceremony.

Campus Improvements

  • The new Lowes Cove pier opened in April.
  • The new classroom space in the DMC library has been outfitted with data visualization and video conferencing technology.
  • The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded $1.5 million to UMaine. Together with matching funds from the university and state marine bond, the award will enable the DMC to upgrade its flowing seawater system, renovate the Flowing Seawater Laboratory, and replace the main pier. Construction begins this spring.

Business Incubation and Economic Development

  • Research-industry partnerships continue to thrive at the DMC.
  • Four marine aquaculture and biotechnology startups are currently in residence, thanks to our partnership with the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center.
  • The DMC is an active participant in the new Alliance for Maine’s Marine Economy, a statewide network focused on Maine’s seafood economy and coastal communities.

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Rick Wahle shares the secret life of lobsters with School of Marine Science students.


  • The DMC summer intern and fall Semester by the Sea programs continued to have high numbers this year.
  • The NASA-funded Ocean Optics course led by Emmanuel Boss drew 20 graduate students from around the world.
  • The second annual SEA Fellows Symposium, hosted at the DMC in partnership with the University of Maine at Machias, attracted students, researchers, and community and industry partners from across the state.

Picture of Jeremy Rich
Jeremy Rich at sea preparing to dive on hydrothermal vents. Photo courtesy of Stefan Sievert, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


  • Jeremy Rich and Sean O’Neill dove in the deep sea submersible Alvin to study hydrothermal vent communities in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Rick Wahle co-hosted the 11th International Conference and Workshop on Lobsters in June 2017.
  • Damian Brady continued to lead the NSF-funded SEANET buoy programs in the Damariscotta and Saco estuaries to help inform aquaculture and fisheries management.
  • Heather Leslie and Joshua Stoll launched a project focused on coastal community resilience, in collaboration with local and state government partners.
  • Bob Steneck and students surveyed coral reefs in Bonaire and the Dominican Republic.

interns at DROC
Summer students at the Damariscotta River Oyster Celebration

Community Engagement

  • UMaine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant professional Dana Morse tested a new method of scallop aquaculture on the DMC aquaculture lease.
  • DMC-based scientists shared their expertise on water quality, fisheries and ecosystem-based management, and climate resilience with decision makers in Maine and beyond.
  • More than 250 people participated in the summer science seminars and campus tours.
  • Many thanks to the Edward and Julia Myers Conservation Fund, the Pemaquid Oyster Festival, and the Damariscotta River Oyster Celebration for supporting student research and education at the DMC.