User and Visitor Guidelines and Forms

Bowdoin faculty and staff interested in conducting research or a project at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center do not need to follow this process. Please e-mail Rosie Armstrong if you are affiliated with Bowdoin and would like to use the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, including the marine lab.

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 Academic User Guidelines

Visiting users such as visiting courses, conferences, researchers, and outreach groups need a Bowdoin faculty member as a sponsor. Such sponsorship is necessary for two reasons: (1) Activities at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center are to be academic in nature. The involvement of a faculty member is intended to vouch for, and encourage, the academic nature of the planned activities. (2) The Schiller Coastal Studies Center does not routinely have the administrative or staff support necessary for the organizational and logistical support of such external activities. Faculty sponsors must be willing to take on substantially all of the logistic and organizational tasks associated with the visiting users. Faculty sponsoring such activities must also either be available when the visitors are present at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center or arrange for staff to be present to assist visitors as necessary.

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 (

Fees for Visiting Users
The following are guidelines for fees, but it is anticipated that visitors' uses will be variable, and fees charged individual groups may vary according to circumstances as determined by the Schiller Coastal Studies Faculty Advisory Committee. 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 (contact Visiting courses, conferences, and outreach groups will be charged a $50.00 minimum plus $2.00 per person per day. These charges 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 Schiller Coastal Studies Faculty Committee. In particular, any visiting users that require extensive involvement of Bowdoin staff will be expected to pay the costs of staff time. Any special needs of the visiting groups make incur additional fees.

All users must 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.