2012 contest winners

FIRST PLACE, $2,500:
Isaac Jaegerman
Portland High School, Maine

Isaac's essay about overfishing was practical and powerful. A remarkable analytical essay. He demonstrated a sophisticated real world understanding of the topic and answered the question completely and with detail and substance. We enjoyed his discussion of the Nordmore grid, the 5 point haddock trawl, area closures, the sector system, fishing permits and MPAs. We also appreciated his poignant use of quotes and the initiative he took to write Robin Alden. Finally, his closing left us with a beautiful and important reminder that the Gulf of Maine must be stewarded principally by those who live, work and depend on its waters. Commendable work!

FIRST PLACE – Science Department Award Recipient, $2,500:
Portland High School Science Department

SECOND PLACE, $1,500:
Rebecca Carifio
Scarborough High School, Maine

Rebecca's independent essay about the intertidal zone is one that we will all remember 10 years from now! Her style is nature writing at its very best. It embodies the spirit of Rachel Carson’s work and we were all drawn into the picture she painted. She took us on a voyage to the intertidal zone, taught us about it and made us feel protective of it. Reading Rebecca's essay was like going on a beautiful journey, we learned much about the tidal zone, but the essay organization and flow made the learning feel effortless. We especially enjoyed her discussion of the threats to this area and the importance of educational outreach and good stewardship.

THIRD PLACE, $500:
Chelsea Kimball
The Derryfield School, New Hampshire

Chelsea's comparison between the puffin and tern restoration programs was exquisite. She blended sophisticated writing and seamless flow with an extraordinary ability to weave the nuts and bolts of the two programs together in a way that was so very accessible to readers at all levels. We were also impressed by her efforts to reach out and conduct interviews with primary sources on the tern project. This first-hand perspective made a great impact in the essay. Lastly, Chelsea conveyed that the importance of seabird restoration programs is not limited to the species itself; they promote equilibrium and diversity in the ecosystem as a whole. Beautifully executed!