Melissa has a degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch College and has lived in Maine since 1981. She worked at a Marine Research Center, started and ran the local recycling center, and worked on her first trail building project at Quoddy Head State Park in the early 1980s. She has been involved with numerous local community projects. Besides her work with MCHT, she works at the Lubec Memorial Library. Married to Erik Lookabaugh, Melissa and Erik have two grown children, Ian and Mara. She says, “One of my life’s goals is to see a whale from my pillow (I have seen them from the kitchen but have yet to reach my goal.) I love being in a place both geographically and spiritually where I feel very lucky to be here. I am sustained by the physical beauty and water that surround me at every turn.”
Melissa has worked at MCHT since 1998.
On land conservation: “I used to believe that the natural limits of the land would dictate how the land got used. But I have learned that people can work around them. Land and silence and the peace of the woods and the water are healing and restorative in an ever-crazier world. Conserved lands help us help ourselves.”
On the job: Melissa has been a steward for Maine Coast Heritage Trust since 1999, living in the middle of her Washington County region. All told, she takes care of about 7,000 acres! She finds the Bold Coast, where she works and lives, an inspiration every day.