Coastal Studies fair presents sea of research
Coastal trail work, zoo plankton, sea urchins, and landscape painting-these subjects and more were the focus of Bowdoin students' summer research projects from the Coastal Studies Center, and were presented Wednesday at the annual poster presentation in Smith Union.
This past summer, a variety of students took advantage of the Coastal
Studies Center, a facility that includes a farmhouse study center, terrestrial laboratory, and outdoor paths. Ann Henshaw, Director of the Coastal Center, said that one of the goals of the center is to "encourage partnership between students and faculty," not only in the coastal sciences but also in social sciences, the art department, archaeology, and other studies.
New paths, cut this summer by students Ashley Berendt '03, Conor Carpenter '05, Carolyn Johnson '05, Kate Mendenhall '01, have opened up many possibilities for the area around the Coastal Studies Center. The new paths make hiking to study sights easier, and also provide walks through the scenic coastal area. Adrienne Heflich '05, who worked at the center this summer, noted, "The new trails are a great opportunity to see more of the property."
Henshaw hopes that as more people get to know about the Center, it will be used to its full potential. She gave examples of several projects that illustrated the diverse research that takes place at the Center. Josh Atwood '04 presented "Stories from Soil, Landscape, and People: Discovering the Land use of the Coastal Studies Center." Atwood concluded that "by combining the collected data with historical records, we are able to reconstruct the physical layouts" of the farms that were located in the surrounding area of the CSC.
Joy Giguere '03 and Heflich worked on a project that used
archaeological investigation in order to determine the cultural and natural
factors that formed the shell middens in Brewer Cove of Orr's Island.
By studying the age and harvest date of the shells they found in the area,
Giguere and Heflich were able to conclude, "whatever pre-colonial
communities inhabited the area had harvested shellfish mainly during the
spring and summer months." However, because they found little evidence
of actual inhabitation, they concluded, "communities did not live
on this exact spot."
The Coastal Studies Center is located on Orr's Island about 25 minutes away from Bowdoin, and students with van training can borrow college vans to access the property throughout the day.