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Earth and Oceanographic Science

Summer 2012 Research Opportunities for Students

Story posted February 02, 2012

Taking part in summer research in Earth and Oceanographic Sciences at Bowdoin College is a terrific way to build research experience, explore the EOS major, gain important laboratory and field skills, and visit spectacular landscapes in Maine and worldwide.  Below is a description of summer research opportunities with EOS faculty, and we will hold an informational session Wednesday, February 8, from 6:30-7:00 pm in Druckenmiller 024.  Depending on the projects, summer research students will live in Brunswick and will work in EOS labs at Bowdoin with the possibility for travel to field sites (travel to Canada will require a passport).  Students will receive a summer stipend of $3,200, a research stipend of $500, and a living allowance of $600 to help defray the costs of living expenses.  Some projects are supported through grant funding, whereas others may be supported by Institutional Fellowships, requiring students to prepare and submit a research proposal (deadline February 28, 2012).  EOS summer students will present their work at the Bowdioin All-Science Symposium in October and will be encouraged to present their work at local and regional meetings. If you are interested in any of these possibilities, please contact the appropriate faculty member below as soon as possible.

Summer Research with Professor Emily Peterman

I have two research projects involving students this summer.

I have samples collected from the Sierra de Cordoba in NW Argentina for which we need to run some geochemical modeling to constrain the P-T conditions of recrystallization. This project would be based on campus with the potential for a trip to a different university for further analysis.

I am also starting a new field-based research project in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada. This project will involve a week-long field trip to Nevada in late June followed by a literature review (on-campus) capped by a 7 to 10 day mapping and sample collecting effort in the Ruby Mountains. A follow-up project will involve lab-based work both at Bowdoin and another university to answer questions about the pressure and temperature conditions under which these rocks formed and the time scales over which these events occurred.

Summer Research with Professor Emily Peterman

Collaborative Research with Professor Rachel Beane

Giant Stairs, Harpswell, MaineWhat earth processes are recorded in the rocks at Giant Stairs?
What do we learn about the region’s geologic history through these rocks?

During summer 2012, 1-2 students will build on the EOS 101 class projects by collecting and analyzing field, microscope, and SEM data. We also will test the use of iPads/iPhones in collection of field data and microscope images.

An interest in minerals and rocks and the processes they reveal is required.  Experience in EOS 101, 241 or 315 is strongly preferred.

Competitive funding through Bowdoin Institutional Research Fellowship. 

Research Opportunities with Professor Collin Roesler

Research Opportunities with Professor Collin RoeslerWhat controls the timing, intensity and species composition of phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of Maine and Harpswell Sound?

To answer these questions, students will focus on specific oceanographic processes

  • Hydrography
  • Currents
  • Light
  • Nutrients

Using a variety of tools

  • Boat-based sampling
  • Buoys
  • Drifters
  • Remote sensing
  • Laboratory analyses
  • Modeling

Research Opportunities with Professor Gabrielle David

Research Opportunities with Professor Gabrielle David

How did Hurricane Irene impact wood distribution and function in rehabilitated streams in New England?

Rehabilitation of the physical and biological function of streams in New England is important for the restoration of native fish populations.  One student will join me in an investigation of the distribution and function of wood in channels impacted by large floods during Hurricane Irene. 

Fieldwork will take place in streams throughout Vermont and Maine.  I am looking for an enthusiastic student who enjoys hiking and camping and working outdoors.        

Summer Research with Professor Phil Camill

Phil Camill and Collin Roesler sampling the Allagash River (ME)

I’m interested in how human impacts on climate and land use are affecting the biogeochemistry of landscapes in the Arctic and Maine.  I’m working on an NSF grant in northern Manitoba to study how past climate changes have affected carbon accumulation and fire in peatlands, and I’m collaborating with Collin Roesler (EOS) and John Lichter (Biology) on a NASA grant to understand the delivery of carbon and nutrients from Maine watersheds to the coastal ocean.

I’m looking for four enthusiastic students to work on these projects.

Field work will take place in two regions:  Two students will work in Arctic Manitoba near Churchill (polar bear capital of the world), and two students will work on the major river systems in Maine (Androscoggin, Kennebec, Penobscot, and St. John).

Phil sitting on a permafrost peatland mound in Arctic ManitobaStudents will be involved in the full scientific process of understanding background literature and research proposals, to data collection, to data synthesis and presentation. 

For a slide show of Manitoba’s Arctic landscape (from past research), please visit:

Summer research has allowed me to develop my academic interests while also getting to know professors on a personal level and enjoying all that Maine has to offer.
— Matt Ramos '12