On Saturday, Aug. 11, Marine Ecology Professor Brian Beal will lead a walk to explore marine creatures and plants that live below the tides on Sears Island in Searsport. Friends of Sears Island, a nonprofit organization that has stewardship of the island, is sponsoring the walk. There is no charge for the walk, but group size is limited. To register for the walk, call 548-0142 or email mramsdell4@roadrunner.com.

Beal grew up in Jonesport, and attended the University of Maine at Machias (UMM), where he received a B.S. in biology in 1979. In 1984, he received an M.S. in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in marine bioresources from the University of Maine in 1994. He teaches at the UMM where, since 1985, he has been teaching courses in marine biology, marine ecology and applied statistics, and conducting applied research on commercially important marine shellfish.

Beal helped to create the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education on Great Wass Island, which serves as UMM’s marine field station. The Institute produces soft-shell clam seed for Maine communities to use for stock enhancement programs. Beal has worked with the towns of Searsport and Stockton Springs to determine how to increase productivity of local intertidal flats using several techniques, including seeding areas with cultured clam juveniles.

The walk will begin at noon. Walkers are advised to wear attire appropriate for the weather and water-resistant footwear; and to bring a hand lens, camera, notebook and bug protection. The walk will be canceled if there is a steady rainfall, but will be held as scheduled in light, intermittent showers. No pets, please.