Annual Meeting 2018 Recap

October 24, 2018 | Bigelow Laboratory | East Boothbay, ME

The Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA) held its Annual Meeting, “SEAWEED: Physiology & Flavor” in Boothbay Harbor on October 24. Hosted at Bigelow Laboratory, attendees enjoyed the guest presentation by Tollef Olson, President of Ocean’s Balance who showed us his culinary seaweed treats. We tried soup (see Kelp-Infused Roasted Tomato Soup recipe here), smoothies (see Mixed Berry and Kelp Smoothie recipe here), and seaweed sprinkles to name a few. We also enjoyed some appetizers from East Boothbay General Store and assorted local beer donated by Portsmouth Brewery, Foulmouthed Brewing, and Rising Tide.

Throughout the evening, attendees also mingled with exhibitors and student poster presentations while conversations around seaweed aquaculture echoed in the tall ceilings. Thank you to our exhibitors the Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Hurricane Island, and Maine Sea Grant for sharing projects and teacher resources. Thanks also to the University of New England for their student poster presentations!

During our short business meeting, the membership approved the slate of directors which now include new officers. We welcomed new board members Mike Doherty and Thom Smith, and thanked Kate Leavitt as she stepped off. Deb “Mrs Fish” Sandler who was in attendance, made an announcement that GOMMEA is 40 years old this year! As she was the founding President in 1978, she expressed her excitement for the organization’s success to date.

The evening concluded with a keynote presentation, “The Incredible, Edible Kelp: Harvesting the Potential of Seaweed Aquaculture” and conversation lead by Dr. Nichole Price, Senior Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.


Thank you to all who came!

2016 Annual Meeting Fun

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

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.