Developing a broader perspective for marine communities in an area of climate change: insights from the Galapagos Islands

event image

September 25, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

Jon D. Witman, Professor, Biology Department, Brown University

Research Interest:
My research is directed toward understanding the dynamics of populations and communities living in marine hard substrate habitats. Our lab is conducting research focused around three themes: 1) physical forcing of marine benthic ecosystems, 2) studies on the origin vs. the maintenance of pattern, and 3) marine biodiversity. How community structuring processes vary with scale is a consideration that pervades all aspects of our research.

View Details

Interested in Marine Sciences? Have lunch with Brown University Professor Jon Witman

event image

September 26, 2014 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Jon Witman will join students and faculty for an informal pizza lunch and a short video about Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine-- one of the most dynamic hotspots of biodiversity in New England and the entire North Atlantic, and an area where he conducts research and collaborates on conservation efforts. Professor Witman will also share his insight into field-study based marine science programs an area particularly relevant to Bowdoin as it prepares to launch the new Marine Science Semester program next fall.

For more information, see the webpage.

View Details

Dynamical Models of Locomotion

event image

October 3, 2014 12:30 PM  – 1:30 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Dynamical systems theory uses normal forms as simple models for empirical observations. This lecture focuses upon stable limit cycles as models of animal locomotion. Utilizing motion capture data of running cockroaches and people and flying fruit flies and mosquitoes, we test the anchors and templates hypotheses formulated by Full and collaborators. These hypotheses propose that animals have evolved so that their motion resembles a low dimensional dynamical system, and that control is based upon a small number of quantities. This lecture will introduce these hypotheses and reformulate them as a statement about the motion of a dynamical system near a periodic orbit. It will then describe the strategy we developed to analyze motion capture data from this perspective. We end with new questions about stochastic perturbations and data driven models of dynamical systems.

John Guckenheimer, Abram R. Bullis Professor in Mathematics, Cornell University, will present the Dan E. Christie Mathematics Lecture. Lecture is sponsored by the Mathematics Department and Digital and Computational Studies.

John Guckenheimer started his career in pure mathematics, and is now one of the leaders of applied dynamical systems. Last year, he and co-author Phil Holmes were awarded the AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition for their 1983 book, Nonlinear Oscillations, Dynamical Systems, and Bifurcations of Vector Fields (Springer-Verlag). John is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Mathematical Society, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, where he served as president in 1997-98. His research encompasses mathematical biology, systems with multiple time scales, and computational algorithms.

This lecture integrates mathematics, biology, and digital and computational ways of thinking.

View Details

Dr. Naomi Oreskes: "How to Stop Disastrous Climate Change"

event image

October 3, 2014 12:30 PM  – 2:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Oreskes's research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent.

Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" (Science 306:1686) has been widely cited, both in the U.S. and abroad, including in the Royal Society's winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, and in Ian McEwan's novel 'Solar'. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science, The New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and elsewhere. 'Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming", co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize, and received the 2011 Watson-David Prize from the History of Science Society. Organized by Bowdoin Climate Action, and co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Earth & Oceanographic Science.

A book signing and Q & A will follow this talk at Reed House.

Recent books written by Dr. Oreskes include: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future (2014, Columbia University Press) and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (2010 New York: Bloomsbury Press).

View Details

Multiple Stable States: Theory and Evidence

event image

October 9, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

One of the most vexing problems in ecology is how distinctly different communities, such as mussel beds and seaweed stands that occur on rocky shores in Maine, can occur in the same ecosystem. These communities often persist for long periods, yet small, temporary shifts in environmental conditions can cause an unexpected tipping of the system and one type of community may be replaced by another. How can alternative communities be both persistent and yet so susceptible? The theory of these systems, known as multiple stable states, is well understood, but whether multiple stable states actually exist in nature has remained a hotly debated subject and, not surprisingly, definitive examples continue to be elusive. The past decade has seen resurgent interest in the topic because of large-scale changes in the species composition of many ecosystems around the globe and the extent to which anthropogenic activities and climate change may underlie these sudden shifts. The occurrence of multiple stable states has implications for how we manage ecosystems and our basic understanding of the roles of historical and contemporary processes in determining patterns of organismal distribution and abundance. I will present the results from the past 18 years of an ongoing project investigating whether rockweed stands and mussel beds represent alternative community states in sheltered bays of the Gulf of Maine.

Dr. Steve Dungeon is Professor of Biology, at the California State University, Northridge.  He received his PhD from the University of Maine in 1992. His research interests focus on the unique biological features of clonal algae and invertebrates, the evolution of life history and morphological traits and how these traits influence the dynamics of the communities in which they live. The temperate rocky intertidal zone is the experimental system used to explore these concepts.

View Details

Nova Southeastern University Graduate Study Information Session

event image

October 28, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Join Melissa Dore, Director of Academic Support and Administration at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center to learn more about graduate programs in the marine sciences, and NSU's programs.

View Details

Information Session: Coastal Studies Expands as Bowdoin Adds Marine Science Semester

event image

November 7, 2014 11:30 AM  – 12:30 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 110

Big changes are astir at the Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island, where Coastal Studies director David Carlon is leading an initiative to bring Bowdoin's unique marine offerings to a whole new level by dramatically expanding facilities and programming--with the crowning addition of a Marine Science Semester slated to kick off in the Fall of 2015. 

Join faculty for a pizza lunch discussion about the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester, an immersion semester with four courses taught sequentially in three to four week modules at the Coastal Studies Center. Come to the meeting to find out about the courses, format, field work, lab work, independent research, field trips, and how the program will fit with your major. See the Marine Laboratory Blog for more information.

View Details

Bowdoin Marine Science Semester: Information Session

event image

November 12, 2014 1:00 PM  – 3:00 PM
David Saul Smith Union, Vendor Station 2

Interested in Marine Sciences? Did you know that Bowdoin will be offering a Marine Science Semester at the Coastal Studies Center in Fall 2015?

Join Dave Carlon, director of the Coastal Studies Center, Sarah Kingston, Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar, and Dash Masland, lab instructor, to learn more about this opportunity.

The semester will be an immersion experience--akin to study abroad--in marine field work, lab work, and independent research. Studies will be geared toward juniors and seniors from Bowdoin and other colleges who are interested in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or environmental studies.

Students will take four courses sequentially in three- to four-week modules taught at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Coastal Studies Center. The module style allows for continuity of laboratory and field research with lectures and other course work.

Field experience is a central component of the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS), and in addition to all the great local habitats in Harpswell Sound, we will offer a series of three- to four-day trips to other habitats in the Gulf of Maine (Hurricane Island and a Gulf of Maine Oceanography Cruise on the Schooner Bowdoin) as well as a ten-day trip to Baja California Sur which will feature near shore tropical ecosystems (rocky reefs and mangroves) and the off shore pelagic environment.

Students interested in participating in Fall 2015 are encouraged to visit the webpage, and to contact Dave Carlon, director of the Coastal Studies Center for more information or with any questions. Dave can be reached by e-mail at

View Details

Bowdoin Marine Science Semester Dinner Info Session

event image

November 13, 2014 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM
Table by the windows on the Chamberlain side

Bowdoin will be offering a new Marine Science Semester, Fall 2015.  Join Sarah, Dash and Dave Carlon for dinner at Thorne Thursday Nov 13 between 6-7:30 at a table by the windows (Chamberlain Hall side of the dining room).

This will be an immersion experience in marine field work, lab work, and independent research geared toward juniors and seniors- from Bowdoin and other colleges- who are interested in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or environmental studies. Students will take four courses sequentially in three-to-four week modules taught at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Coastal Studies Center. The module style allows for continuity of laboratory and field research.

Field experience is a central component of the BMSS and in addition to all the great local habitats in Harpswell Sound, we will offer a series of 3-4 day trips to other habitats in the Gulf of Maine (Hurricane Island, and a Gulf of Maine Oceanography Cruise on the Schooner Bowdoin) as well as a 10 day trip to Baja California Sur which will feature near-shore tropical ecosystems (rocky reefs and mangroves) and the off shore pelagic environment.

Students interested in participating Fall 2015 are encouraged see the webpage: , and to contact Dave Carlon, Director of the Coastal Studies Center for more information or with any questions. Dave can be reached by e-mail

The four courses to be offered- all at the Coastal Studies Center will be:

Biological Oceanography– Biology 2501, ES 2231. Instructor TBA.
Benthic Ecology – Biology 2502, ES 2232. David Carlon.
Marine Molecular Ecology & Evolution – Biology 2330, ES 2233. Sarah Kingston..
Writing about the Coastal Environment. ENGL 2XXX. Russ Rymer.

View Details

Independent Summer Research at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science Information Session

event image

November 14, 2014 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Interested in applying your science knowledge to issues concerning the Gulf of Maine and the world's oceans? David Fields, Senior Research Scientists and Director of Bigelow's summer research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, will talk about opportunities for Bowdoin students to conduct independent research with guidance from a scientist mentor. General areas of research include: marine microbiology, ocean biogeochemistry, optical oceanography, remote sensing, bioinformatics, sensory biology and phytoplankton ecology. Students will focus on laboratory-based research with an emphasis on hands-on, state-of-the-art methods and technologies. Opportunities to participate in seminars, field trips, programs and social events will be provided.

The REU is a 10 week program funded by the National Science Foundation and includes housing in East Boothbay, Maine and a food allowance. For more information about the program and eligibility, go to the website:

View Details

Nick Caloyianis: "Close Encounters with the Supersharks"

event image

November 19, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Award-winning underwater photographer Nick Caloyianis will present a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at some of his groundbreaking film and research projects including the first-ever underwater encounter by man with a free-swimming Greenland shark, first-ever underwater footage of a Great White shark in Atlantic waters, and the first-ever underwater footage of Basking sharks in the Gulf of Maine. To learn more about Nick's work, see his Demo Reel (try Internet Explorer)

Caloyianis' still pictures have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications, including the highly popular summer read, The Shark Handbook, which he co-authored with Greg Skomal, Ph.D. Over a span of 30 years his artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar, Primetime Emmys, and a NOGI in the Arts. He has directed and produced films for the National Geographic and Discovery Channels, and has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens. He continues to collaborate with marine scientists not only to record their work, but to help them make their remarkable discoveries, and has used his photographs to lobby for the protection of sharks and the creation of undersea parks and sanctuaries. His company has been instrumental in raising funds to help restore marine habitats, and recently his visuals have helped gain awareness for much needed Federal protection of vital natural reefs located in our mid-Atlantic waters offshore.

Caloyianis has been Coastal Studies Scholar David Conover's primary underwater director of photography over the past 15 years. While at Bowdoin, he will work with students in Conover's class, 'Seashore Digital Diaries' at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, kicking off a project on underwater filming.

View Details

Coastal Studies Center Holiday Gathering

event image

December 19, 2014 6:00 PM  – 8:00 PM
Coastal Studies Center Farmhouse

The Coastal Studies Center is hosting a holiday gathering Friday, Dec. 19 beginning at 6:00 pm. Join faculty, staff, classmates, and friends for food, warm drinks, a fire in the fireplace, and see the newly renovated marine lab, and classroom space at the farmhouse. If you play an instrument please bring it! A van will be departing from the polar bear at 5:30- to catch a ride, (or RSVP) e-mail Rosie: An R.S.V.P. is helpful (to ensure we have enough food)- but not necessary.

View Details

Hester Blum: "Polar Imprints: The News from the Ends of the Earth"

event image

March 2, 2015 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Narratives of polar voyages enjoyed wide circulation in Anglo-American cultural and political spheres during the long nineteenth century. Yet the familiar travel accounts of adventurous voyage and their fictional counterparts were not the only forms of literary production generated by Arctic and Antarctic exploration. Many expeditions brought a surprising piece of equipment aboard ship: a printing press. With such presses, polar-voyaging sailors wrote and printed newspapers, broadsides, plays, and other reading matter beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles; these publications were produced almost exclusively for a reading audience comprised of the expedition’s crew members. 

In this presentation, Hester Blum, associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, will examine the first printed polar newspapers. What does this drive toward what she calls “extreme printing” tell us about the state of print culture and coterie publication in the nineteenth century Anglo-American world? Her talk will be attentive to the rhetorical distance between mass-published voyage accounts, and the coterie publications produced and circulated aboard ship. 'Polar Imprints' is attuned to the tension between the global ambitions of polar voyages, and the remarkably circumscribed conditions of their practice.

Sponsored by Africana Studies, Arctic Studies, and the English Department.

Free and Open to the Public

Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin’s Live Webcasts page.

View Details