Exposed at Low Tide in Casco Bay

Board of Directors

Roger Berle has represented Cliff Island on the OCT Board since 1982; he is a past president of the organization. He also serves on the boards of numerous like-minded organizations, both locally and at the State of Maine level.

He owned and operated a construction business, Finestkind Builders EPD, on Cliff Island for thirty-four years but has also used the island as a base for his long-standing commitment to the permanent preservation and stewardship of significant open space.

His related organizational memberships, now or formerly, include The Land for Maine’s Future Board, The Maine Islands Coalition, Portland Trails, the Portland Land Bank Commission and the Maine League of Conservation Voters.

A graduate of Bowdoin College (BA) and Boston University (MBA), he lives in Falmouth and on Cliff Island.

Steve Bishop is the Treasurer of Oceanside Conservation Trust. His family has lived in and around Portland since the 1800s. Today he is an external advisor to Bain and Co, a well-known global consultancy. Steve and his wife, Robin, have three grown children, Jessica, Josh, and Jourdan. They have a cottage on Little Diamond Island which they consider home. 

After spending most of his working life in the for-profit world, Steve is now more interested in finding ways to give back - either to help the environment or help those less fortunate. 

When asked what drew him to Oceanside, Steve noted that having lived and traveled all over the world, often witnessing the effects of overcrowding or overdevelopment, he believes, that if we are to keep Maine special, we need to protect and conserve open spaces, scenic areas, and historic landmarks. By preserving land on the islands of Casco Bay, we are preserving the islands’ communities and their heritage for our children and their children.

Michelle Helen Brown has worked as a wildlife biologist and wildlife veterinary technician internationally and domestically for organizations such as Peace Corp, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Biodiversity Research Institute, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and several wildlife rehabilitation facilities.  She now enjoys living and working on Peaks Island, volunteering for local conservation organizations, and exploring the other islands of Casco Bay.

Dave Hirth is a longtime summer resident of Cliff Island   He has a PHD in Wildlife Biology from the University of Michigan.  He has retired from his tenured position at the University of Vermont and he taught at the University of Florida prior to that.

Michael Johnson grew up on Long island and worked as a fourth generation lobsterman during high school and college. A graduate of the University of California with a BS in Marine Biology, he has done extensive work in marine ecology and wildlife biology. Michael served in the Peace Corps in Zambia after college, where he provided training in rural fish farming techniques. He is employed by Stantec Consulting as an ecologist and project manager. He lives on Long Island with his wife and two young children.

Jane Lauglin is retired from a 28 year career as a high school English teacher and debate team coach,. She is enjoying  the opportunity to pursue long-postponed interests. She joined Oceanside Conservation Trust in 2000, and has served as secretary and co-editor of OCT’s newsletter for several years. Jane is also president of Great Diamond Island Land Preserve.

John Lortie is a Professional Wetland Scientist, a Certified Wildlife Biologist, an accomplished botanist, and an experienced ecological risk assessor. He has directed numerous projects involving complex environmental regulations, including RCRA sites and marine facilities, and has taught short courses on eco risk assessment protocols, field methods, and restoration design. He has also led large-scale ecological inventories to search for rare animals and plants, directed coastal migratory bird studies, and has accessed complex natural communities throughout the northern Atlantic region. A former National Wildlife Refuge manager, he also offers special expertise in migratory bird studies.

Hope MacVane is OCT's Secretary. Hope grew up on Cliff Island where she learned early on the deep interconnectedness of our natural environment and the importance of environmental stewardship. Hope currently teaches Chemistry at South Portland High School, where she began her teaching career after graduating from Bates College with a degree in biology and teaching certification in 1997. She later earned her MS in Education from the University of New England. Hope lives in Windham during the school year, and Cliff Island during the summer, with her husband and two children.


John Spencer is the President of Oceanside Conservation Trust. A summer resident on Cushings Island, he is a past president of the Cushings Island homeowners association and is the current president of Cushings Island Conservation Corporation and past president of the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, the latter now Momentum Conservation where he is now Treasurer.  John is Treasurer of the Wellesley (MA) Conservation Land Trust and is active in land use issues, including community gardening, volunteering with Massachusetts Audubon’s Drumlin Farm and running a farmers’ market. In addition to supporting a regional food network John has a special interest in controlling invasive species and restoring native plant numbers and diversity.

Bill Stauffer is the Vice-President of OCT. He lives year-round on Little Diamond Island with his wife and two daughters. He has served as President of the LDI Association. Bill is a Colby Graduate, majored in East Asian studies and has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. He has spent a good deal of time in Asia, co-owns an LED lighting company, and also owns and manages commercial property in Portland.

Advisory Board

Brenda Buchanan, Vice President - At Largelives in Westbrook and practices law in Portland where she is a partner in the firm of Warren, Currier & Buchanan.  A 1990 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, Brenda focuses her practice on real estate, zoning and land use, small business and domestic partnership planning.  A longtime resident of Peaks Island who moved to the mainland, Brenda served on the board of the Peaks Island Land Preserve from 1999-2005.

Priscilla Doucette joined the Board of OCT in 2004 and represents Little Diamond Island. She is the co-editor of OCT’s newsletter. She and her husband Dale retired from teaching English at Portland High School. They send their summers at their cottage on Little Diamond and part of each winter on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, walking, birding, reading, sea glassing, and gardening

Mark Greene - Long Island
Islands Coalition Representative

Eliza Cope Nolan - Cushings Island
Attorney, Bernstein Shur’s Real Estate Practice Group, Eliza represents timberland investment companies and wind energy developers on real estate-based projects in Maine

Chris McDuffie is a long time member and former president of Oceanside, Chris is a summer resident of Long Island where she participates in many island activities and is the current chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee for the town and edits the Long Islander newsletter.

John Whitman - Peaks Island
Attorney, President Peaks Island Land Preserve