Research and Evaluation Task Force: Nov. 2021

In Attendance:

Maryalice Crofton, Kate Klibansky, Esperanza Stancioff, Luke Shorty, Susan Cheesman, Stacie Haines, Mark Battle, Morgan Rielly


Members gathered over Zoom at 1pm on November 19th. There were no new members to introduce themselves as Maulian Dana, the newest Research and Evaluation Task Force member, did not attend the meeting.

The task force reviewed the agenda and then moved directly into giving feedback to the rough draft of the Maine Climate Corps Report. The style of feedback for the meeting was round-robin, where each member gave their input, shared questions, and thoughts.

Stacie Haines noted that no other terms needed to be included or excluded, and that the case for service triple bottom line should be strengthened. She also said that a complete list of potential projects could be added as an appendix. The group then discussed the University of Connecticut model of Climate Corps and if that could be implemented in Maine.

Mark Battle and Susan Cheesman were pleased to read the report but offered no feedback.

Esperanza Stancioff noted the great interest UMaine and Cooperative Extension have in continuing their community resilience work within this space and moving forward with administering a Corps program.

The interest of Community Colleges and an apprenticeship program was also noted.

Representative Morgan Rielly shared his priorities in addressing both equity within and long-term funding for a Maine Climate Corps. Equity and funding tracking were agreed upon by the group to remain priorities in the program development. It was also mentioned that the funding through the Build Back Better Act is still pending and makes long-term planning for an extensive program more complicated, as different streams of funding may become available. This is something that the group agreed should continue to be tracked.

Luke Shorty discussed the difficulties of bringing Climate Corps into schools as school districts are so unique across the state. This notes the importance of having local input for programs and tailoring programs to suit the individual needs of communities.

The final piece of input on the draft report was the lack of public health pieces due to the focus of that field on the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is understandable that the field was overwhelmed, it should be noted in the report that there should be continued development of related programs.

The next agenda item was December Think Tank Planning.

The Task Force discussed the timing and structure of the Think Tank/Public Input Session, deciding that it would be virtual and be on December 13th from 3-6pm to motivate individuals within the education community to attend. Expansion of the invitation list was also discussed. The primary list was decided to be interviewees, recommendations for interviews, commission members, and the Research and Evaluation Task Force. The structure of the meeting was discussed and it was decided that most of the time should be dedicated to breakout groups with a short amount of time at the end for an open floor discussion.

The meeting concluded at 2:00pm

Next meeting is Friday, December 17th at 1pm.