The Working Waterfront

Schoodic Institute names new president

Nicholas Fisichelli continues partnership with Acadia National Park

Staff Writer
Posted 2020-02-05
Last Modified 2020-02-05

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park has announced the appointment of Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli as president and CEO. Fisichelli had been serving as interim president and CEO since August.

“We are absolutely delighted that Nick has agreed to lead Schoodic Institute,” said David Ellwood, Schoodic’s board chairman. “The board has been impressed, amazed really, at what Nick has been able to accomplish during this five-month period, and we concluded we already had the world-class leader we were seeking.”

Kevin Schneider, Acadia National Park’s superintendent, added: “We look forward to continuing our invaluable partnership with Schoodic Institute that is making significant advancements in science and education at Acadia and other parks around the nation under Nick’s leadership and vision.”

Fisichelli previously served as director of science and education for the organization. He joined Schoodic Institute in 2016 and established its forest ecology program.  

Ellwood praised him as “a strong and compelling leader, a gifted scientist, and a committed educator with a passion for hands on, citizen science learning strategies.”


Fisichelli has done vital research in forest ecology, Ellwood continued, “Examining how environmental change is altering our landscape, while looking for preservation and adaptation strategies. He has been instrumental in the transformative Second Century Stewardship initiative with the National Park Service. And on top of all of that, he is a wonderful human being,” he said.

“Parks protect our natural and cultural heritage,” Fisichelli said, “and yet these places are changing rapidly due to a warming climate and other stressors. Our work is to understand these changes and engage people in the responses to foster a better future.”

Previously, Fisichelli worked for the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program developing and applying management-relevant science, including global change impacts to forests, plant and wildlife species, protected area operations, and visitor experience. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany and earned his Ph.D. in forest ecology from the University of Minnesota in 2012. He also previously worked at Shenandoah and Lassen Volcanic National Parks. 

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is advancing understanding of the consequences of environmental change and engaging people in the science and solutions. As partners in science and education, Schoodic Institute and Acadia National Park together manage the largest of 18 National Park Service Research Learning Centers in the United States, and are national leaders in the development of new techniques to involve the public in science and conservation.