Press Release

Schoodic Series Lecture: Land and conservation politics in Maine’s north woods

Eunice Blavascunas, a cultural anthropologist working for SERC Institute and affiliated with the University of Maine’s Anthropology Department, will speak on her recent work in Maine’s North Woods at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Moore Auditorium on the SERC campus in Winter Harbor.

Maine has a unique tradition of open-access on private forest land. Unless otherwise posted people can enter someone else’s land for fishing, hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, and other uses. Eunice’s talk conveys collective cultural sentiment about land traditions in the north woods of Maine and pairs these with the realities of property ownership. The success of land conservation pivots on understanding both residents’ sense of place and new types of ownership for the forests of northern Maine. Based on one year of ethnographic field research, anthropologist Eunice Blavascunas explores contradictions over property rights and obligations with Maine’s unorganized territories.

Eunice completed her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz. She has published widely on how the communist and peasant pasts interact with conservation politics in postsocialist Poland. Her new project examines Maine’s tradition of open access on private land in light of investment ownership and proposed national parks for the north woods. She has held a postdoctoral teaching appointment at the University of Washington, a research associate position at Miami University and is the recipient of National Council of Eurasian and East European Research, Switzer Foundation Leadership grant, Rachel Carson Center Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowships.

All SERC events are sponsored by SERC Institute and Acadia National Park. SERC Institute is the nonprofit partner of Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Education and Research Center. The mission of SERC Institute is to guide present and future generations to greater understanding and respect for nature by providing research and learning opportunities through its outstanding Acadia National Park setting, unique coastal Maine facilities, and innovative partnership programs.

For more information about any events, to learn more about SERC Institute, or to make a contribution to SERC Institute, contact Gail La Rosa Thompson, Director of Advancement at or 288-1360.