Visiting Scholars Enrich Bowdoin Campus, Classrooms

Story posted September 02, 2010

ted ames
Ted Ames

He has fished the deep sea during blistering storms, earned a master's degree in biochemistry, chaired contentious regional fishing organizations and interviewed slews of old fisherman in his efforts to chart the collapse of the fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Still, Edward "Ted" Ames describes his upcoming year at Bowdoin as "a great adventure."

Bowdoin students shouldn't be surprised to find the MacArthur Genius Award winner showing up in their Environmental Storytelling or Oceanography class. Ames is Bowdoin's 2010 Coastal Studies Center Scholar, one of several leading experts who will be in residence at Bowdoin this year.

In Arctic Studies and Anthropology, students will have an opportunity to work with internationally known Inuit activist and community leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Bowdoin's 2010-2011 Tallman Professor, Watt-Cloutier is co-teaching the course, The Right to Be Cold, with Arctic Museum Director and Anthropology Professor Susan Kaplan. Watt-Cloutier is working on a book by the same title, which she hopes to complete while at Bowdoin.

george lopez
George Lopez

Advanced piano students will get one-on-one instruction from internationally acclaimed recitalist George Lopez, Bowdoin's visiting-artist-in-residence through 2012. Lopez also will coach chamber music and present a series of solo and chamber recitals.

"Bowdoin has long welcomed leading scholars and artists and scientists to interact with talented students in the classroom, develop new directions in their work, and enjoy the interchange of faculty colleagues across many disciplines," notes Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.

"Our visiting scholars program is part of what keeps the Bowdoin experience in the forefront. It offers students invaluable access to people who are shaping the world, and brings the world into our classrooms."

watt-cloutier
Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Watt-Cloutier, who was awarded an honorary Bowdoin degree in 2010, has won worldwide respect and acclaim as a political spokesperson for Inuit peoples. She attracted worldwide attention when she submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights linking Inuit human rights with climate change issues.

"For Bowdoin students to have someone who can give them a firsthand account of what it is to be an indigenous woman leader, someone who has actually been at all the major international conferences and negotiating tables dealing with climate change will be a unique and invaluable experience," notes Susan Kaplan.

Ted Ames avows that he is lucky to be spending a year at Bowdoin.

"This provides me with the setting I need to pull much of my research together," says Ames. "I have sets of data on the history and distribution of fisheries, but the GIS program I've been using is quite basic. The Bowdoin GIS program is more powerful and I'm looking forward to using it.

"And there are also those very capable scientists, economists and historians nearby who are working on similiar issues; all these things are aces in the hole."

George Lopez, who has taught at Bennington College and toured in Paris, London, Cologne, Amsterdam and New York, says that the infusion of disciplines at Bowdoin enhances his development as both teacher and musician: "Living on a college campus is very stimulating, with so many influences to inform my own understanding of music," he observes.

Audiences can hear Lopez performing some of the most beloved work in the repertoire at a 7:30 p.m. concert at Studzinski Recital Hall on Sept. 10, 2010, featuring Bach's "Goldberg Variations," Beethoven's "Sonata in A flat, Opus 110" and Schumann's "Posthumous Variations Opus 13."

The concert is free and open to the public.

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