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Bigelow Laboratories Research

Welcomed guests at last week's meeting were Lee Corbin, Sue Hochstein, and Doug Fowle.  Updates and announcements included plans to clean and reorganize the Rotary Barn are rescheduled to this Saturday March 11th at nine am. If you have a truck or trailer your help is especially welcomed.  But first,  On Thursday March 9th at 10 am volunteers are also needed in the flea market to do preparatory cleaning and organizing for Saturday’s event.  We're getting ready for a grand reopening in early April.  That is, of course, if the snow storms don't keep adding up.

Our second Rotary Fellowship Gathering is planned at Whale’s Tail on March 14th (Tuesday) from 4-6 pm.   Please join us for some social enjoyment.  We can celebrate daylight savings time.  Hooray, the days are getting longer.

This week local author and Boothbay Harbor native, Jerry Farnham, will talk about his book "Red at Night".  The book is set in Boothbay Harbor and many of the characters were inspired by Farnham's friends and family.  Come hear about Jerry's book and the process of getting it published.

Teacher and School staff appreciation day is Friday March 17th.  We'll be bringing pizza and all the fixings to support our school staff.  We still need a few more drivers.  Sign up at a meeting or email Nancy Adams, our fearless project leader.

The Rotary Board Met on Monday Feb 13th, the report included:

  • Ordering 20 new gray chairs to replace old red ones.

  • Support of $1000 given to aid our community school flood damage.

  • A monetary gift and the installation of insulation for the community fridge. 

  • A monetary gift to support ShelterBox and Partners for World Health for the crisis in Turkey and Syria.

  •  A large donation to the Boothbay Harbor Affordable Housing Project.  Supporting Affordable Housing on the Peninsula is a goal of this club. 


Bigelow Labs


Deborah Bronk, PhD, Pres., and CEO of Bigelow Laboratories gave us a very inspirational and informative talk on ocean research and education.  She began with a video showing the beauty and complexity of the oceans, the largest part of planet earth.  Research on all facets of ocean life helps to inform us to react to new changes in the environment as well as define needs for future problem solving. For example, issues pertinent to health and pharmaceuticals come from ocean research. The research and education include students, community, policy makers, as well as the private sector. 


Bigelow was started in 1974 in borrowed space at the Department of Marine Resources. Their research initiatives study all levels of global ocean changes to improve aquatic and planet life. Bigelow is unique in its multidisciplinary collaborative focus, its non-departmental structure, its non-bureaucracy and self-supporting nature. 


Staff are paid an 11-week salary and the rest of their income is generated from contracts and grants! There is no tenure supporting freedom for scientists to do research of their interest. There are 110 Full time staff with a 20-million-dollar budget. 75% of this is funded by contracts and grants. It houses 8 suites that can be rented by non-profit groups for conferences. Planning for a 4th wing is underway for added educational space to be used for students and professionals from high school, undergrad, graduate, and professional status. 


The goal of ocean research and education continues to focus on partnering with a wider base of educational institutions, and state and federal agencies to make more scientists to better our world!   Our community is so lucky to have this world renowned scientific lab in our backyard.


If you're interested in the fun and work of Rotary, join us every Thursday at 6 pm at 66 Montgomery Road, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538.  Visiting Rotarians, family and community members are always welcome.