User & Visitor Guidelines & Forms

Visiting Academic User Guidelines

Center Overview

The Schiller Coastal Studies Center is located on Orr’s Island, Maine—about 20 minutes from Bowdoin College. It is a natural, protected environment, with 2.5 miles of coastline. The 118-acre landscape includes: spruce–fir swamp; fields and early successional communities; an old apple orchard; and red pine, cedar, and oak–pine forest. Walking trails maintained by our caretaker lead through the forest and fields, and ultimately to the shore of Harpswell Sound. The marine communities (high intertidal splash zones, rocky shores, mudflats and eelgrass) are typical of Maine’s sheltered coastal habitats.

Facilities include the marine laboratory, Leighton Sailing Center, shared-use dock and pier, terrestrial laboratory and art studio, and a renovated farmhouse used for classes and meetings. The marine lab is located near the shore of Harpswell Sound, and is continuously supplied with seawater from the pumphouse. The lab accommodates a variety of projects, from organismal physiology to molecular biology.

Visiting User Policy and Fees
The grounds are open to the public. However, visiting groups interested in using our facilities need a Bowdoin sponsor. Please submit a written proposal at least three months before planned activities, which are to be academic in nature, and must be approved by the director. The fee schedule for visitors varies with the nature of use.

Fees for Visiting Users
The following are guidelines for fees, but it is anticipated that visitor uses will be variable, and fees charged individual groups may vary according to circumstances as determined by the Director of the Schiller Coastal Studies Center. Visiting researcher groups (not more than 5 people per group) will be charged $75.00 per week ($15.00 per day). Visiting researchers who anticipate long-term (many months), of very low level use will need to negotiate appropriate fees with the Schiller Director of Coastal Studies. Visiting courses, conferences, and outreach groups will be charged a $50.00 minimum plus $2.00 per person per day. These nominal fees are intended to cover the additional energy, supply, and administrative costs generated by visitors' activities. These fees are intended as a guideline, and may be revised as appropriate by the Director of the Schiller Coastal Studies Center.  Any special needs of the visiting groups make incur additional fees.

Please submit a written proposal, please complete the visiting user form. If you have any questions about submitting a proposal or the process, please contact Rosemary Armstrong (

All users should seek to car pool to the maximum extent possible. Parking at the SCSC is very limited (6 spaces). Access by car past the main parking area is only permitted for research, course, and maintenance purposes, and even then only when delivery of equipment, rapidity of access, or safety concerns make vehicle access essential for these officially sanctioned activities.

Dock User Guidelines »