Connect With Quahog Bay
It’s always a great time to get involved in protecting the ocean.
The Quahog Bay Conservancy has great opportunities to get involved—join us and help preserve our beautiful bay. Choose the path that’s right for you:
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Our Education & Outreach program strives to create a balanced relationship between our community and the natural world. The program works by engaging community members with the marine ecosystem in a meaningful way, with the goal of promoting and enhancing environmental stewardship.
To encourage the development of Maine’s future marine scientists, QBC supports senior-level research projects by undergraduate students attending any university in the state. Since 2016, we have allocated $10,000 from our annual budget to support student capstone projects. Additionally, we work with local high schools to create hands-on opportunities for the next generation of environmental stewards.
QBC also hosts a number of educational events and workshops. Check the “Take Action” page on our website and follow us on social media for upcoming opportunities.
Rachel Borisko, Winner 2018
Published Research on Research Gate
Learn at Quahog Bay Conservancy
QBC has established a formal, competitive summer internship program for undergraduate students and recent graduates to support our staff on a portfolio of projects focused on fishery ecosystem research as well as community and education programs. Internships at QBC provide an opportunity to gain valuable work experiences at sea and in our lab. Check here in late January or early February to explore summer internship opportunities.
2023 Summer Interns
Sasha Milsky graduated from Union College in 2022 with a B.S in Biology and a minor in Classical Civilizations. She is from Chicago, IL, but her fondest memories are spending the summers kayaking and exploring the tidal flats when visiting her grandparents on Cape Cod. She has spent the last year exploring seasonal positions in the marine science field as she is looking to apply to graduate school to study marine trophic interactions.
“QBC has helped me make many connections in marine sciences through opportunities to explore labs and speak to principal investigators at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and other research institutions.”
This summer at QBC, Sasha worked on a project linking fish species diversity to green crab abundance using the Casco Bay Aquatics Systems Survey data collected by GMRI. Along with the research she was able to conduct, she also was excited to learn more about oyster harvesting, invasive green crab mitigation strategies, the use of FTIR and LDIR machines to detect microplastics, and how aquaponics systems function. She thanks everyone at QBC for all of these opportunities!
Lucy is a senior at Bates College majoring in Biology and minoring in Hispanic Studies. She grew up in Portland, Maine spending her summers on the water. She is passionate about environmental conservation and education, and was inspired by her internship experience to engage in environmental outreach opportunities for the Maine community.
This summer, she conducted an assessment of microplastic contamination in Snow Island oysters using both optical and infrared spectroscopy. This assessment was the first of its kind in the area! In addition to her research project, Lucy most enjoyed trapping and crushing green crabs for use in the compost pile at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. She was thankful for the QBC team and their positive attitudes and hard work ethics that made the summer so much fun.
“The most valuable part about an internship at QBC is that it will expose you to different career opportunities and give you the opportunity to network and engage with the marine science community in New England. Be excited to try something new, make connections, and spend lots of time on the ocean!”
Hannah is a rising senior at Bates College in Lewiston, ME pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies and Mathematics. She is from Littleton, MA but decided to spend a summer in Harpswell with QBC to learn more about aquaculture and what it takes to keep the bay clean. Also, getting to go out on a boat every day didn’t hurt!
During the summer Hannah conducted a literature review on the parasite Haplosporidium costale that causes the disease SSO in the eastern oyster, which is the species of oyster the QBC cultivates. QBC detected one of the first SSO outbreaks in Maine in both of their oyster leases this year, so she decided to do this project to find out more information that can be used to reduce its spread. On top of her project, Hannah enjoyed making connections with people at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and other places she had the opportunity to visit through QBC. She also enjoyed getting involved in the multiple projects that QBC takes on, such as water quality testing, harvesting oysters, trapping green crabs, and learning about aquaponics.
“This summer taught me so much about different facets of ocean conservation and really helped me to grow my interest in pursuing a career in coastal ecology with an interest in disease pathology. I think the most valuable part for me was getting to work with the amazing QBC team and meeting well-established scientists at research institutes such as GMRI. I also loved spending my whole summer in Maine!”
Dora is from Portland, Maine and is currently a Senior at Warren Wilson College, in Swannanoa North Carolina. She is majoring in Conservation Biology, with a minor in Art. Dora is passionate about the ocean, all of its creatures, and sustainable food systems, which is why this aquaculture internship was a perfect fit. She was initially drawn to the internship because of the oyster farming aspect and says: “All of the other projects were just a cherry on top. Learning about QBC’s commitment to cleaning up and protecting the bay and helping with CBASS was so cool and everyday was exciting.” She also highlights that making connections to different community organizations and learning about different research opportunities was a rewarding part of this internship.
Looking forward, Dora hopes to continue working on the coast of Maine, farming or otherwise. “Working on the water everyday makes me happy and I am so grateful to QBC for all of the fun, connections and skills I have made this summer.”
2023 Intern White Papers
- Linking Fish Species Diversity to Green Crab Abundance in the Casco Bay Aquatic Systems Survey (CBASS)
- An Assessment of Microplastic Contamination in Snow Island Oysters (Crassostrea virginica)
- A review of information on the seaside organism, Haplosporidium costale, with special attention to its presence on the northeastern coast of North America
- A health assessment of farmed Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in Quahog Bay, Maine
2022 Summer Interns
Hi I’m Teagan Cunningham! I am currently a senior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME completing my Bachelors Degree in Earth and Oceanographic Sciences. I am from NJ and have always been passionate about the water! I grew up sailing all year around and compete in college!
I loved working at QBC this past summer! The team is very outgoing, passionate, and knowledgeable. I was exposed to harvesting oysters, micro plastics research, water quality monitoring, clamming, and invasive green crab removal which was all new to me! I loved developing and conducting the research methods to analyze microfiber and micro-plastic concentrations in tuna, cod, clams, oysters, mussels, and sediment. Additionally, we made great contacts at the Woods Hole Oceanography Research Institute and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Thank you to everyone at QBC for an amazing summer!
My name is Nash Holley, and I am a sophomore at Bates College studying environmental science. As an intern at QBC this summer, I was able to develop a proficiency in aquaculture, while also having the opportunity to conduct valuable research on the state of Quahog Bay. As a Maine resident, the well-being of the Gulf of Maine is an environmental concern that resonates with me, and I think that QBC is doing really valuable work in the right direction. I have harbored skills and knowledge that I will continue to use in a marine science setting. Thank you to everyone at QBC for a great summer.
I have grown up on the water my entire life, coming from a fishing family, and there’s nothing more I love then being on the water, and because of that QBC was a perfect fit for me. Summer here at QBC has really opened my eyes to new opportunities and a great learning experience along with hard work ethic. I love that QBC is a mixture of being out on the field crabbing, oystering, debris pickup and other hands-on experience, and has some lab time as well in doing microplastic research with several different species, and water quality research. The field trip to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) was one of my favorite experiences here at QBC this summer, as well as going to Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GRMI). I learned so much and QBC has given me many opportunities for future plans with my Oceanography degree. I’d like to give a big thanks to Pat and the hard-working staff at QBC, for being so welcoming and giving me these amazing opportunities and experiences.
2021 Summer Interns
Emma is a Maine native who enjoys her time living on the mid-coast. She is a rising junior at Maine Maritime Academy studying marine biology and small vessel operations with the ultimate goal of working on a research vessel in the future.
Emma can always be found by the water, often spending her spare time adventuring along the coast, whether it be to a lighthouse or a beach. Her love for the ocean and passion for science sparked her interest in research and conservation. Hence why she chose QBC who puts forth strong efforts to conserve the bay.
Throughout this internship, Emma enjoyed the hands-on work within aquaculture, while also gaining new experiences with crabbing and boating. She hopes to only further her conservation abilities in greater areas in the future.
Allie didn’t grow up in Maine, but she considers herself a Mainer at heart. A recent graduate of Colby College, Allie plans to use her environmental science degree to help keep coastal communities and the ecosystems they rely on happy and healthy. When she’s not busy trying to improve her oyster shucking skills or crushing mussels, Allie enjoys reading, going for runs, and swimming off the QBC dock. After her time at QBC ends, she hopes to continue working on the water, and is considering starting her own oyster farm one day!
Emily has always been an avid lover of the outdoors, especially the ocean. When she saw this opportunity, she was apprehensive at first because she had no experience in aquaculture at all, just a passion for conservation. But that wasn’t a problem here at all because everything that was done was a new opportunity for learning. “I was learning new things all the way up through my last day.”
Emily had learned about the benefits of aquaculture through her studies at UNE but what isn’t always taught in the classroom is all of the hard work that goes into an oyster farm behind the scenes. “It’s something that I don’t think most people think about so knowing that now makes me more appreciative of where my seafood comes from,” says Emily after spending the summer on the oyster farm.
She enjoyed getting to share our oysters with the community; “it was so rewarding to see how much positive feedback we got on not only our efforts for the bay but the taste & quality of our oysters as well.” Whenever Emily would work on the lease at Snow Island lots of boaters would stop by to watch the process and ask questions. It showed her how truly interested so many people in the community were in what QBC is all about.
All of Emily’s prior boating experience was recreationally based through sailing or fishing or boating with friends, so being a part of the working waterfront was a new experience for her. So, what she appreciated most about this internship was just how hands on it was, “I can’t remember a day we weren’t out in the water even at least for a short while.”
“I am grateful to have had this opportunity and can’t wait to see where my new knowledge and passion takes me!”
2019 Summer Interns
Destiny is a sophomore at Unity College studying Wildlife Biology. Most of her childhood was spent on a farm in the small town of Wales, Maine where she learned the value of hard work. Throughout high school this lesson paid off as she graduated in the top ten in her class as a high honor student and part of the National Honor Society. She grew up encompassed by avid outdoorsmen which has inevitably influenced her love and passion for the environment and the wildlife in it. Naturally, Destiny tends to spend her time outdoors doing what she loves. From fishing, hiking and four-wheeling, to hunting, kayaking and camping, you’ll find her in the woods or on the water making memories and spending time with friends and family doing what she loves most. With her intense appreciation for the outdoors, she hates to see the continuous decline within the environment and wants to work to protect and maintain it. She hopes to eventually get her Recreational Maine Guide License in hopes to share her passion with others in the beautiful woods of Maine.
With an ultimate goal of working as a biologist here in the state of Maine helping to maintain our wildlife populations and habitat through research, data collection, field work and so much more. Working towards this goal, as she does every goal, she takes advantage of every opportunity she can to help gain experience and knowledge in the field. She has volunteered to work with Maine Biologists at the moose check station where she collected data on the current moose population. This job has also been an opportunity for her to take advantage of new learning experiences and experiences in a different field where she has “learned so many valuable skills and lessons in the field” and has actually felt like she was “making a difference.”
Caroline is from Colorado, but she has always been drawn to the ocean. She grew up spending her summers sailing on Buzzards Bay and visiting her grandparents on Cobbosseecontee Lake in Maine. For the past four years, she has been living and working in the Brunswick/Harpswell area, and recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science. While at Bowdoin, she participated in the Marine Science Semester, an intensive immersion experience in marine fieldwork, lab work, and independent research. Her studies led her to understand the impacts of climate change and the importance of conservation work. She is excited to give back to this beautiful environment that she now calls home!
Tait is a Maine native, local fisherman, avid outdoorsman and a conservation advocate. Tait has spent many summers enjoying all of Maine’s abundant natural resources. Tait is currently a Junior at Unity college working towards a degree in wildlife and fisheries management with hopes to keep the beautiful ecosystems that we rely on healthy and sustainable so many can enjoy them such as he has.
Marine Science Award
To encourage the development of Maine’s future marine scientists, QBC supports senior-level research projects by undergraduate students attending any university in New England. Since 2016, we have allocated $10,000 from our annual budget to support student marine science related capstone projects. If you need support for your project, we encourage you to apply.
Conservation Intern for Technical & Research Projects
Every year we offer paid internships to students who are looking to pursue a career in marine biology, marine science, environmental science, fisheries science, oceanography, aquaculture, or a related field. Ideal candidates work from June to late August and receive competitive salary assisting with technical and research projects as well as our conservation efforts.
Working Waterfront Science Scholarship
QBC would also like to announce an exciting opportunity for two (2) scholarships to Harpswell Seniors who are looking to pursue a career in marine biology, marine science, environmental science, marine entrepreneurship, oceanography, aquaculture and aquarium science, fisheries science, ecology, chemistry, marine engineering, civil engineering and marine systems engineering, etc.
2023 Working Waterfront Scholarship Winners
Mt. Ararat High School 2022
Southern Maine Community College, Business Administration 2025
With her motivation and studies, Jocelyne aims to successfully run her lobster and welding businesses. “Thank you for this incredible opportunity. The scholarship money and the computer will be very useful for my future successes… I am honored you all chose me as one of the first ones to receive it. I can’t wait to see what my future holds and this scholarship will really help me get started.”
Mt. Ararat High School 2022
Lafayette College, Environmental Science, 2027
Emelia is focusing her studies on environmental science and is actively involved in the Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection group.
“The scholarship has absolutely had a positive impact on my education! This scholarship has helped make this possible and much more affordable for me. My laptop has been especially essential for me, as I use it daily for most of my work and in classes. I’m really loving college, and I am so grateful for the QBC scholarship!”