Shaw Institute Kicks Off 2023 Environmental Speaker Series; opening event on June 28

Shaw Institute Environmental Speaker Series

The Shaw Institute launches its 2023 Speaker Series with an update from Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Charlie Rolsky. His talk, New Research & Powerful Collaborations: Solutions to Environmental Challenges, showcases what has been accomplished this past year and shares some of the exciting, new research underway at the institute today. 

“We’ve made an amazing amount of progress at the Institute in a very short amount of time, despite the challenges of the post-Covid environment. I’m so excited about the speakers this year who will address some of the most challenging environmental issues we face today and identify their innovative approaches to things like PFAS contamination, plastics recycling, and marine mammal conservation,” said Rolsky. “I can’t wait to hear from them.”

New research projects at the Institute include measuring microplastics in human tissue in collaboration with New York University, Harvard, and Colby College, to explore how these pollutants can impact human health; providing a service to measure water samples for PFAS contamination in local communities; and enhancing the foundational research conducted over the years, including coastal bacteria monitoring and the study of marine mammals as indicators of environmental health. According to Rolsky, the Institute’s laboratory is also undergoing a transformation, including a new engineering instrument capable of extracting a wealth of data from a single fragment of plastic.

Rolsky joined the Institute in 2022 from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute Center for Sustainable Macromolecular and Manufacturing. An engaging speaker, he presents complex science in understandable ways. He is committed to mentorship, outreach, and citizen science and is working collaboratively with many local community and educational partners. His work has been featured in Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, PBS, Science Friday and he has given a well-received TEDx talk. 

Speaker series events are free and open to the public.

A zoom link is available on the Institute’s Environmental Speaker Series webpage for those unable to attend in person but wishing to watch the lecture live and participate in the Q&A. Future speaker events will be announced on the site as well.

The lecture begins at 6 pm; doors open at 5 pm. The Shaw Institute is located at 55 Main St., Blue Hill, ME 04614. 

About the Shaw Institute Environmental Speaker Series

A signature program now in its 20th year, the Environmental Speaker Series brings national and global experts and thought leaders to the Blue Hill Research Center (and online) to hear updates and engage in dialogue on critical environmental and human health concerns in a public forum setting. Each talk is followed by a Q&A session. 

About the Shaw Institute

The Shaw Institute is a private, nonprofit scientific research organization based in Maine. Founded in 1990 by environmental health scientist Dr. Susan Shaw (as the Marine & Environmental Research Institute), its primary mission is to discover and expose environmental threats to people and wildlife through innovative science and to engage in global partnerships to improve human and ecological health. For more than three decades, the Institute’s research on ocean pollution, sentinel species, flame retardants, plastics, and climate change has informed around the world.  For more information, please visit the Shaw Institute website. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr. Charlie Rolsky, 207.374.2135,