We want to thank each of our affiliates for working with UNE North. As a way of introducing themselves, we asked each of them to answer this question:
For those of us living and working in the North Atlantic region, why is working collaboratively across disciplines important for you, your students, your fellow faculty, and our community partners as we all navigate the impacts of a changing climate?
Arthur Anderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Lecturer, Department of Society, Culture, and Languages
Collaborative work like this is so important to understand our rapidly changing world and climate. I hope to learn from other researchers tackling these issues, as well as bring some archaeological perspective to the ways in which we explore this change over time. Collaborative work is vital to answering questions that are bigger than any one discipline.
Chris Brehme, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor in GIS
My work as a geographer has often involved collaborative mapping approaches to support communities in managing shared resources. I see geography as the lens through which we can bridge divides across individuals, disciplines, and worldviews. Those of us living in the North Atlantic geographic region are bound together by our shared ocean. As we face the impacts of a changing climate, we have much to gain from exchanging ideas, resources, and solutions.
Office Manager, Office of Research and Scholarship
As Chief Seattle said “All things are bound together within the web of life. Humankind is but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” In the midst of the "humankind-triggered" epidemic, we must collaborate more than ever, before it's too late.
John Austin, Ph.D.
P.D. Merrill Endowed Chair of Business, Associate Professor
We cannot hope to successfully address our long-term shared challenges and act on our shared opportunities without a commitment to working together as stakeholders. Innovative solutions to our climate challenge will emerge when multiple perspectives are focused on a shared goal.
Collyn Baeder, M.P.H.
Assistant Clinical Professor and Internship Coordinator — Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies
Maine is the past, present, and future home to all my personal and professional passions — an amazing place where climate change impacts grow increasingly visible. Working together with individuals from all backgrounds is more important than ever to protect each other and the natural world.
Justine Bassett, M.S.
Director, P.D. Merrill Makerspace
The issues of climate change are complex and innovative solutions need collaborative and creative problem-solving across disciplines. At the P.D. Merrill Makerspace, we promote teamwork, innovation, and design thinking in order to develop human-centered solutions to complex challenges. Working with UNE North allows us to focus on issues of direct relevance to our community.
Stine Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences Professor of Biology
The most interesting things seem to happen where different people, ideas, values, and priorities rub up against each other. It isn’t always comfortable, but when there is a commitment to dialogue and collaboration, these encounters can lead to problem-solving, often in innovative ways. This is what motivates my desire to work with people from around the North Atlantic, across disciplines, and with different world views.
Alethea Cariddi, M.S.Ed.
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Sustainability requires collaboration. We take inspiration, find synergies, build trust, expand knowledge, share risk and take greater ownership in the solutions when we do this work together. No single entity will solve the challenges posed by climate change alone.
Sonya Durney, M.L.I.S.
Scholarly Communication, Research and Teaching Librarian
As both a professional librarian and a current doctoral student studying public policy, I am very interested in policy research and analysis in regards to The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All of the issues identified in the SDGs have underlying information components, they presume the ability of individuals to access, engage with, and use information. Libraries can play a key role by providing access and promoting digital and information literacy.
Susan Farady, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Marine Affairs
As we face increasingly complex issues related to climate change, I believe we need increasingly sophisticated and innovative approaches to find solutions. For me, that involves including a wide range of scientific, legal, and socio-economic information. My research on topics such as fishery management adaptations in light of climate change, and teaching experience educating the next generation of marine professionals in an interdisciplinary marine affairs curriculum has shown me the value of a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to “wicked” problems.
Jennifer Gunderman, M.P.H.
Workforce Development Team Lead, AHEC Director, Assistant Clinical Professor
I have deep appreciation for the ecosystems of the North Atlantic for the life-sustaining resources it provides me and my family. Therefore, it is my duty to protect it and promote its health.
Dean Hernandez , Marine Science and Environmental Science, Geographic Information Systems, Chemistry minor '22
When tackling a problem as complex and dynamic as climate change, it is necessary to create a team of individuals who can develop solutions equally as complex and dynamic. Collaboration is the key to unlocking the innovative perspectives needed for this type of problem-solving. This is a shared conflict and in order to effectively combat climate change we must present a united front opening dialogue across all disciplines.
Karen Houseknecht, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Provost for Research and Scholarship
I am thrilled to join the UNE North Affiliated team as we come together with shared passion to solve community problems with diverse, global perspective. For me, the shared passions include medication safety, treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, and mental health advocacy for the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Susan McHugh, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Studying stories of the interdependence of human and nonhuman beings with colleagues at various North Atlantic regional institutions — including universities in Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK — has given me a clear sense of how modeling scientific solutions to climate change can only succeed by drawing from the creative and critical powers of the arts and humanities. I’m excited to bring UNE students from all disciplines into these conversations, and to help them join community partners in working through their real-world applications.
Thomas McLaughlin, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Professor, Co-Director for the Social Work Center for Research and Evaluation
As a social researcher, it is important to develop and maintain connections with my colleagues in other parts of the North Atlantic region. This includes learning from each other and collaborating on research which helps to extend our collective knowledge on social issues that impact us all.
Pam Morgan, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Studies, School of Marine and Environmental Programs
Climate change is a big, complicated issue that can only be tackled if we include people from all areas of expertise. I am especially interested in helping young people gain the skills and knowledge they need to feel empowered to make positive change in their own communities.
Ryan Reed, Environmental Science '24
One of the most valuable resources we have in the face of climate change is each other. As such, it's imperative that people come together from multiple disciplines and backgrounds to forge the best path possible to navigate a changing climate.
Maggie Veronesi, Nursing '23
As we attempt to navigate a changing climate it is imperative that work is being done across many different disciplines and age groups to ensure there are a variety of ideas and skills being shared to have a positive impact on this issue. As a student and member of Gen-Z, I feel it is important to be educated on environmental and climate issues no matter what field of study is being pursued.
Hannah Zazulak, Osteopathic Medicine '24
The challenges of a changing environment transcend discipline and, therefore, would do well to be faced by an interdisciplinary team. It is through a collaborative effort that we might hope to learn to live more sustainably and to develop impactful solutions to protect Mother Earth. I look forward to providing a perspective that is filled with passion for both medicine and nature in this effort.