With generations of fishing in his family, Odlin had dreams of running his own mackerel boat—he planned to name it Running Tide. He brought his engineering degree from Dartmouth and his workin climate change at the Earth Institute at Columbia back to Portland and set out to help modernize operations for the groundfishing fleet his family operated in the Gulf of Maine. The improvements allowed his parents to sell out and retire but, after calculating the cost of buying quotas for species that were swimming north as climate change warms the waters, he realized that the numbers for his own boat just didn’t work. Odlin changed his dream from the fishing life he had planned, to working out ways to address the problems that were damaging the resource.
Donovan explored the sciences and the arts in his college programs at UVM and UNH, starting in pre-med and finishing with a fine arts degree specializing in woodworking before joining the US Marine Corps. Retiring from the Marines as a Captain in MARSOC, Donovan, a creative, artistic, scientist, outdoorsman, special forces leader who had experience in logistics and project oversight, as well as maritime operations and diving—was exactly what the developing company needed. “Finnian is a true creative genius. He is a remarkable outdoorsman with a real feel for the interactions of nature, and
he applies a disciplined mindset to everything he does,” says Od-
lin. “He’s humble, hilarious, and smart; Running Tide wouldn’t
be what it is without him. The operation relies on him, and we
learn from him every day.” At Gould, Odlin and Donovan had both encountered the “think with your hands” creative power of the arts, the “work with the team” energy of outdoor projects and athletic competition, and the “learn from experience” foundations in the social sciences, hard science, and literature. Through the intimate connection to the outdoors that life at Gould provided, they also absorbed a fundamental community belief; nature is the foundation of everything else we do.
The first step in the Running Tide journey focused on a seafood solution. Rather than running the traditional boats to fish for rapidly declining groundfish, the company turned to aquaculture—an operation to grow, rather than fish for, rich seafood protein for a hungry market—and the crop would be oysters. The company is a diverse team of fishing captains, engineers, biologists, tech and software, agronomists, and fabricators. With Donovan on board, they created a combination of robotics, sensors, and machine learning to control the shellfish aquaculture operation, seeding oyster reefs where an annual crop of native Avalon oysters is farmed and harvested. The low impact shellfish farming is one way to reduce carbon emission from food production.