Paul Joyce wears many hats on Bowdoin’s campus. He works for the Office of Safety and Security, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) and drives boats for the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science (EOS).

Joyce is a retired marine patrol warden for the state of Maine, and has been working at the College since 2011. 

Born in Brookline, Mass., Joyce has lived and worked all over the coast of Maine, from the Canadian border to Downeast. He graduated with a degree in biology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. After graduation, he went to work for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in Maine.

“I didn’t have the patience to sit in the lab,” Joyce said. “I had to move and be outside.” 

As a supervisor in the DMR, Joyce was in charge of a 47-foot boat—set up like a lobster boat—with a team of six. Their biggest task was oversight of fishing off the coast of Maine.
“Fishing itself is so highly regulated that in order to comply with all the rules, you have to have some sort of regulatory body, although we look for voluntary compliance,” Joyce said.

The DMR is also tasked with handling issues of pollution and public safety. They are responsible for all of Maine’s waters, which are quite extensive due to the miles of coastline and numerous bays and islands that extend the state’s water boundaries.

Following retirement, he came to Bowdoin through his connections to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, formerly a major in the state police, and David Mercier, who runs the boat for Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science Emeritus Edward Laine. These days, Joyce does security at the BCMA on weekends, drives boats for classes and teaches van certification classes on campus.

“It’s a fun job, being retired,” Joyce said. “The campus is busy, very vibrant with students. It makes for a very interesting day or evening.” 

“I’m always shifting gears. It’s really good. Working with the coastal studies [classes] is probably the part I enjoy the most,” said Joyce. “I get to see the latest and greatest with the sciences that they’re coming out with in schools and hear some of the lectures.” 

Outside of Bowdoin, Joyce leads recreational tidewater fishing groups on his own boat. He has permission from the state for all kinds of guiding except whitewater rafting.

In addition to his nautical interests, Joyce gardens extensively at his home. In his raised-bed garden he grows cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and sunflowers.

“If you can eat it, I’ll grow it. And if you can grow it in Maine, I’ll eat it,” he said.
Joyce has two children—a son studying illustration and concept art in Sweden and a daughter graduating from the UC Davis School of Law in four weeks.

With all of his work, guiding, gardening and keeping in touch with his family, he hardly has a minute to rest.

“Retirement is busy,” he said with a laugh.