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Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

It is a delight to welcome you to the first issue of Gulf of Maine Journal: Learning to Steward the Gulf. Ours is a platform for dialogue and action among teachers, students and scientists to promote a healthy Gulf and watershed.

While Gulf of Maine Journal’s focus is on the Gulf of Maine and its watershed we are relevant to communities everywhere facing the struggle to prepare future generations to understand and manage the challenges of climate change. Our niche is to promote education throughout the Watershed that prepares students to be citizen stewards. This means they able to meet the scientific, engineering, technological and social challenges associated with local climate change and make the connection to the global. Getting students and their teachers out of classrooms and lecture halls and, along with field scientists, into the “messiness” of the real environment, we believe, best does this. There, the understanding of the complexities of natural systems and how to implement scientifically based solutions are best learned. This requires educators, scientists, and administrators to join the community in re-thinking how to educate our young. This includes collaboration that acknowledges local engagement is the model for and a key to unlocking the understanding of the global.

We at the GOMI Journal envisions a future managed by civically and scientifically informed citizens: a future ushered in by teachers and community collaborators who teach students, by way of rigorous connections to their communities, the political and scientific skills needed to be stewards. Students will learn deeply and intuitively the nature of real-world human and natural systems through regular interaction with them.

This notion of education is both old and new. Its Western tradition roots can be traced to ancient Greek philosophers. John Dewey consistently and doggedly proclaimed experiential community-based education to the nurturing life force of democracy. Maria Montessori, somewhat similarly, saw it to be a source of intellectual and social development. As Emily Flaherty in her Idea’s Exchange article notes. More recently, the virtue of the approach is exhorted by prominent scientists and educators such as Sylvia Earle[1], Lester Brown[2], and Richard Louv[3], as means for meeting the contemporary need to educate citizens able to undertake the challenge to act in life-sustaining ways.

Those of us who “mess about in the muck” of natural and human quagmires understand the lessons learned are gained nowhere else. GOMI Journal is the only US/ Canadian publication committed to such an education goal. We cordially invite you to join the conversation. Article submission requirements and procedures are found below.

John Terry, PhD


[1] Earle, Sylvia, The World id Blue: How Our fate and Oceans Are One, 2009, National Geographic Society, Washington D.C>, ISBN 978-1-4262-0541-5

[2] Brown, Lester R., Brown, Lester, and World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, 2011, W.W. Norton and Co., New York, ISBN 978-0-393-08029-9

[3] Louv, Richard, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, 2008, Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill. NC, ISBN 13:978-1-56512-605-3, Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature Rich Life, 2016, Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC ISBN 9781616205782


John P. Terry, founded the Gulf of Maine Institute in 1999. John was Editor-in-Chief, CYD (Community Youth Development) Journal from Aug. 1994 to Nov. 2002. John has broad teaching and administrative experience at the university level including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969-1984, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, 1985-1992, and Union College, Schenectady, NY, 1964-1969. John received national recognition in 2006 when selected as Civic Ventures,’ Lead with Experience Program 2006 Purpose Prize Fellows. He is also a 2008 recipient of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Visionary Award.

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