Marine Science Semester Program
The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS) is a Fall semester immersion experience in marine field work, lab work, and independent research.
Students take four courses sequentially in three-to-four week modules taught at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell, Maine. The module style allows for continuity of laboratory and field research.
Hands on field work and cutting edge laboratory science are a central component of the BMSS.
- The Benthic Ecology course includes a 10 day field seminar to the Gulf of California, Baja California Sur to study the natural history and unique ecological properties of this highly productive and exceptionally diverse tropical marine ecosystem.
- In the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, BMSS visits Hurricane Island, off Rockland, Maine, and Bowdoin’s Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada.
In both locations collection and curation of a long-term dataset to access changes in the intertidal community as climate changes in the Gulf of Maine has begun. Several cruises collect physical data and phytoplankton for the Biological Oceanography module, and the Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution module, which also features a student driven population genomics study focusing on intertidal snails, and utilizing next generation sequencing technology.
Enroll for Fall 2017
For the Fall of 20017 Marine Semester interested students will need to submit a short 1-2 page essay explaining why they want to enroll in the Marine Semester. Please also include any research experience you may have had in the past.
Essays for FALL 2017 are due by March 30, 2017 and must be submitted electronically to Steven Allen, Assistant Director of the Coastal Studies Center, email@example.com
The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Bowdoin and colleges participating in the Twelve College Exchange (Amherst, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wheaton, Wesleyan, and Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program (and Bowdoin).
Students from Twelve College Exchange schools should apply through the Twelve College Exchange application process for study at Bowdoin, indicating the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester under 'courses' and 'intentions'.
Pre-requisite: Two of either Bio 1102 or Bio 1109 and Math 1000 or higher.
Fall 2017 Course Offerings
Benthic Ecology (a. INS, MCSR) David Carlon.
The principles of ecology emphasizing the hard- and soft-bottom communities of Casco Bay and Harpswell Sound. Field trips and field exercises demonstrate the quantitative principles of marine ecological research, including good practices in sampling designs and field experiments. A class field project designs and implements a long-term study, based at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, to monitor and detect changes in community structure driven by climate change in the twenty-first century. Assumes a basic knowledge of biological statistics. Taught in residence at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, Biology 2232/Environmental Studies 2232 is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231), Biology 2330 (same as Environmental Studies 2233), and English 2802 (same as Environmental Studies 2802) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite: Two of either Bio 1102 or Bio 1109 and Math 1000 or higher.
Biological Oceanography. (a, INS) Bobbie Lyon.
Features classroom, laboratory, and fieldwork emphasizing fundamental biological processes operating in pelagic environments. It includes a hybrid of topics traditionally taught in physical and biological oceanography courses: major ocean current systems, physical structure of the water column, patterns and process of primary production, structure and function of pelagic food webs. Field trips to Casco Bay and Harpswell Sound will introduce students to the methods and data structures of biological oceanography. Taught in residence at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, Biology 2501/Environmental Studies 2231 is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), Biology 2330 (same as Environmental Studies 2233), and English 2802 (same as Environmental Studies 2802) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite: Two of either Bio 1102 or Bio 1109 and Math 1000 or higher.
Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution. (a. INS, MCSR) Sarah Kingston.
Features the application of molecular data to ecological and evolutionary problems in the sea. Hands on laboratory work will introduce students to sampling, generation, and analysis of molecular data sets with Sanger-based technology and Next Generation Sequencing. Lectures, discussions, and computer-based simulations will demonstrate the relevant theoretical principles of population genetics and phylogenetics. A class project will begin a long-term sampling program that uses DNA barcoding to understand temporal and spatial change in the ocean. Taught in residence at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, Biology 2330/Environmental Studies 2233 is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231), and English 2802 (same as Environmental Studies 2802) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite: Two of either Bio 1102 or Bio 1109 and Math 1000 or higher.
History of Harpswell and the Coast of Maine. (c.) Sarah McMahon
Examines the long history of Harpswell as part of the coast of Maine, and the research methodologies used to uncover and analyze that history from environmental, community, socio-economic, political, racial and ethnic, and cultural perspectives. Topics include bonds and tensions in a peninsula and islands community, coastal agriculture and stone walls, inshore and deep-sea fisheries, shipbuilding and shipping, the Civil War, poverty and living on the margin, and the rise of tourism. Field trips around historic Harpswell and nearby Casco Bay and trips to archives at George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives, Pejepscot Historical Society, Harpswell Historical Society, and Maine Maritime Museum. For each student, the course will culminate with a research project prospectus for a projected essay on an aspect of that history.
- * a: Natural science and Math
- c: Humanities
- INS: Inquiry in Natural Science
- MCSR: Math Comp Stat Reasoning