Joline Blais, Associate Professor of New Media at UMaine, is a mother, educator, writer, permaculture practitioner, ecovillage founding partner, competitive rower, avid hiker, and alpine ski coach.
She co-directs Still Water, and co-founded LongGreenHouse, a “communiversity” project integrating the Wassokeag K-8 school, UMaine classes, permaculture practices, and Wabanaki Longhouse traditions.
Her subsequent work at the Belfast Ecovillage spanned 8 years and involved permaculture design, art projects and workshops, land use governance, restorative justice facilitation, dynamic governance, non-violent communication and transition town training, and initial development of food forest orchards, as well as design, construction and research of a net-zero, solar energy “passive haus.”
Her 2006 book At the Edge of Art investigates how new media art puts the power of networks and distributed creativity into the hands of ordinary citizens in a variety of non-art contexts. Her other publications and creative work explore the overlap of digital culture, indigenous culture and permaculture.
Currently she is working on Wild Difference, a project with community partners to prevent the extinction of Wild Maine blueberries and the local culture that support them via a virtual and physical Wild Blueberry Museum.
Beginning in 2018, she is helping to develop the Maine Ag Data App, a project to create a mobile interface for 4 season food production in Maine.
Her time in the forests, and on and in the water (liquid or frozen) help maintain her own wild connection to her homeland.