Talk of the Towns 6/8/22: An Interview with Paul Anderson

Producer/Host: Ron Beard

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

Over the last 40 years, Paul Anderson has had a key role in understanding and communicating marine science in Maine. As a micro-biologist for the Department of Marine Resources, he helped establish protocols so citizen-scientists could contribute data helping assure that clams harvested from Maine flats were safe to eat. He led the University of Maine’s Sea Grant program, with its emphasis on extension, education, and research. And after several years at the helm, he is stepping down as head of the non-profit Maine Center for Commercial Fisheries, based in Stonington, helping further the organization as a partner in scientific research.

Recently, Paul sat down for a wide-ranging conversation with Talk of the Towns host, Ron Beard. Anderson reflected on his work, some of the changes he has seen and what might lie ahead in Maine’s marine economy.

-What were the highlights of your career in marine science, including your work with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, University of Maine Sea Grant and the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries?
-What makes Maine’s marine ecosystem most interesting?
-How have citizens gotten involved with collecting environmental data?
-What are the most interesting connections between marine science and how people make their livings along the coast and the quality of life and the environment?
-Through you career so far, what are some of the ‘ah-ha” moments when you saw marine science and resource management come to the forefront of solving problems or developing new approaches?
-Any reflections to share with young folks about careers and jobs in marine-related science, management and fisheries?

Guest: Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Maine Center for Commercial Fisheries

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.