BytheLakeApril15Leah C Stetson is a writer, editor, mixed media artist, and human ecologist based in Maine. She holds a master’s degree in human ecology from College of the Atlantic, where she focused on environmental science and policy with a special interest in islands, wetlands and conservation.  While living on Mount Desert Island for 8 years, she wore the Stetson hat as a park ranger at Acadia National Park and worked for other conservation-related organizations.  She focused much of her energy on environmental science and policy related to wetlands and conservation, while also teaching English as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Southern Maine Community College for ten years (2007-2017). She formerly edited the National Wetlands Newsletter, a bi-monthly publication of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), based in Washington, D.C.  Prior to her role as Editor at ELI, Leah worked in wetland science and policy at the nonprofit formerly known as Association of State Wetland Managers (now known as the National Association of Wetland Managers) for over six years, where she created and edited numerous publications.  At ASWM, Leah directed communications for the national nonprofit organization, where she also started writing her Strange Wetlands blog. She belongs to the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange, the National Association of Science Writers and the Society for Human Ecology. She also participates in annual meetings like Zosterapalooza (on eelgrass) and related groups. She coordinates a regional group called the Healthy Waters Coalition,  which she founded in April 2012. Leah formerly served on her local conservation commission for over a decade. She loves to teach and mentor young people but is currently a grad student herself at UMaine.

Leah’s life-long love of writing spawned at the mouth of the Sheepscot River in midcoast Maine. She first began writing about conservation in the fourth grade with a short story about land preservation in her hometown of Wiscasset, Maine and her first article was a short piece published in the Wiscasset Newspaper in the mid 1980s. She’s a published poet, cat mom, and open water swimmer.  Leah has been blogging and writing online since 2000. More recently, she has dedicated all of her time to her studies in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at University of Maine. Leah is a graduate student in the fields of marine biology, marsh ecology, literary ecology with special focus on medieval literature, Early Modern (English) literature, Romanticism, and the Gothic, including the Eco-Gothic, and ecopoetics. Her research includes Maine-based, Irish, Scottish and “Celtic” (as well as pre-Celtic) folklore, especially as it connects to marshes and the intertidal zone. This brings her research interests full circle since she wrote her college senior thesis on the Maine island tradition of fairy houses at COA in 2000. For that project, Leah visited and spent time on over 50 Maine islands 1998-2000, with special focus on four islands (Squirrel, Monhegan, Eagle and Bear Islands) and investigated the traditions, the folklore, bryophyte ecology, the social/island politics, and history of fairy houses on the coast of Maine, a 200-year tradition. This project concluded her interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in human ecology at College of the Atlantic.

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