Our annual meeting for 2016 was hosted at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, this past November 3rd. We combined forces with NEOSEC (New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative) as they were putting on their Ocean Literacy Summit in the following days.
The Summit focused on ways to communicate the message of climate change, and strived to be very interactive with lots of hands on activities and lightning round talks. GOMMEA’s event kicked things off on a lighter note, bringing in climate change comedian Peterson Toscano. Peterson has traveled the world using his dynamic personality to engage audiences and initiate community conversations that need some support to get rolling. His performance at GMRI was no exception, and he expertly switched between personas to demonstrate different points of view and emphasize the importance of listening and communicating. We enjoyed ukulele music from the Palm Court Serenaders, and caught up with a great crowd of friends. Peterson even stuck around the following day and made a presentation at the Maine College of Art with our board member Deb Debiegun. You can keep up to date on his activities and check out his blog and podcast at petersontoscano.com.
We wrapped up the business end of 2016 by ushering in some new GOMMEA board positions, changing of the guards includes: Adam Baukus (President, pictured right in back), Jennifer Kennedy (President Elect), Kate Leavitt (Past President, pictured right on left), Sara Ellis (Treasurer), Deb Debiegun (Secretary). We also had the opportunity to introduce new board members Dick Baldwin and Ben Flynn and thank Martha Bell for her years of service as she steps down from the board.