Winter Speaker Series

2023-2024 Zoom Speaker Series

Geologic History of Merrymeeting Bay

Dr. Joe Kelley, Marine Biologist

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 7:00 pm

Register for Zoom Meeting

Joe Kelley

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) third presentation of their 27th annual Winter Speaker Series, the Geologic History of Merrymeeting Bay features Dr. Joe Kelley, marine geologist. Winter Speaker Series presentations are again being held via Zoom and are accessible via hyperlink at the top of the FOMB web page: This event takes place Wednesday, November 13th at 7 pm.

While Merrymeeting Bay is considered an estuary by oceanographers because technically it does have a very small presence of salt, biologists generally consider it tidal riverine because it is primarily freshwater and tidal. Geologists on the other hand consider the Bay, at the junction of six rivers, an inland delta, and one that overlays the Norumbega fault line. The Maine coast, including the Bay, is geologically defined by its bedrock framework, glacial overprint and modern wave and tidal processes. Central to the latter is the contemporary rise of sea level. This talk will show how all three elements of the coast have come to bring us what is so evidenced and appreciated by the shoreline today in Merrymeeting Bay.

Dr. Joseph Kelley is a Maine native who was born in Portland and attended Cheverus High School. He went on to obtain a BS in geology at Boston University, and Masters and Ph. D. degrees at Lehigh University. His first professional position was as an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans. He returned to Maine in 1982 as the State Marine Geologist with the Maine Geological Survey. In 1999, he joined the University of Maine as a Professor of Marine Geology where he worked for the next 20 years.

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, on the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and ability for participants to attend from out of the area, the series continues via Zoom. The FOMB January 10th presentation: Archaeology from Swamps & Caves! features field archaeologist Becca Peixotto. This event takes place at 7:00 pm with the Zoom registration link available above.

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler