February 25, 2020
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Your old photos of Acadia could help scientists track fall foliage changes

Courtesy of Heather Leonard
Courtesy of Heather Leonard
BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki sits with her dog Oreo at an outlook on the Spring Trail on Penobscot Mountain on Oct. 10, 2015, in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Scientists say old vacation photos from Maine’s Acadia National Park could help them understand changes in fall foliage as the world warms.

The Schoodic Institute says pictures from the park’s many autumn leaf peepers are especially important. University of Richmond geography professor Stephanie Spera is using satellite data to study how the onset and duration of fall foliage has changed.

The institute says fall in Acadia appears to be arriving later, but research is needed to determine if leaves are also changing color later in the year. Spera’s research will help see if there is a relationship between park foliage and climate.

Spera says the work will benefit “those of us who love visiting Acadia in the fall.” She’s accepting photos taken from 1950 to today via a website.


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