Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Bowdoin Gets Strong Grant Support For Research, Arts

Story posted October 10, 2011


Bowdoin College and its faculty members continued to earn significant outside support for research, academic programs, facilities and art exhibitions during the 2010-2011 academic year.

A total of $4.3 million in grant monies and institutional support was awarded by nearly 30 foundations, corporations and government agencies.

"Bowdoin continues to attract impressive awards from a wide range of federal, state and private sources, " notes Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd. "These awards provide crucial support for faculty and student research that underpins our vibrant academic community as well as to our very special museums and arts programs and facilities. These prestigious awards offer national recognition of the outstanding work taking place across our campus."

Bowdoin science faculty secured close to $2 million in research funding from the Fulbright Fellowship Program, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA. With five new NSF awards totaling $800,000 during this period, Bowdoin now has 24 active NSF grants.

Bowdoin's arts, humanities and social science faculty earned coveted awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Spencer Foundation.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation granted the College $600,000 in support of a new program that brings a cohort of post-doctoral teaching fellows in the humanities and social sciences to the College.

The College also received $2.2 million in institutional grants from the Libra Foundation, the Fisher Charitable Trust, the Cowles Charitable Trust and others, many of which supported the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Among multiple grants in support of campus infrastructure, a total of $195,000 was awarded in support of renovation of Kresge Auditorium in the Visual Arts Center, and Bowdoin's new Earth and Oceanographic Science Department received support for important new lab equipment from the William Bingham Foundation.

Highlights of Individual Faculty Grants:

Thomas Baumgarte (Physics/Astronomy) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to continue and extend his research project titled Research at an Undergraduate Institution: Numerical Simulations of Black Holes, Neuron Stars and Gravitational Radiation. The research program will aim to improve initial data for black holes. Baumgarte will continue his research collaboration with colleagues at the University of Illinois and the NSF award will fund one undergraduate research fellowship in each of the four years.

Tess Chakkalakal (Africana Studies/English) was awarded a coveted Summer Stipend award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support her project titled The Novels of Sutton E. Griggs: A Critical Edition. Imperium in Imperio (1899). The NEH award will enable Chakkalakal to travel to the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Tennessee, the African-American Archives at Emory University, and Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn collection.

Charles Dorn (Education) was awarded a grant from the Spencer Foundation to support his research project titled Seeking the Common Good: Public Service and Higher Education in America. The grant award will enable Dorn to complete his archival work as he will document how changes in American society have influenced educational institutions' broadly defined civic purposes over time.

Anja Forche (Biology) was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for her work titled Role of Genome Plasticity in Candida albicans during host-pathogen interactions. Fungal infections are a serious health concern for immune-compromised patients and can infect virtually all organs in the body. The research by Forche and her collaborator at the University of Minnesota will address basic questions on host-fungus interactions with the goal of advancing the understanding of how the host and fungus maintain their balanced relationship in healthy individuals and how the disruption of the interaction causes devastating infections in the host.

Laura Henry (Government) was awarded a Research Fellowship from the National Council of Eurasian and East European Research to support her research titled National Interests and Transnational Governance: Russia's Changing Environmental Policy. Working with a colleague from the Center for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg, Henry will travel to Russia to examine the conditions and explore the strengths and limitations of efforts to coordinate environmental policy and practice in the Russian Federation.

Hadley Horch (Neuroscience) was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar award for a nine-month research fellowship to support her work in the lab of Dr. Sumihare Noji at the University of Tokushima, Japan. This will be an opportunity to begin a research collaboration that will contribute to the knowledge of understanding of how nervous systems recover from injury, and expand collaborative relationship opportunities between researchers in the U.S. and Japan.

John Lichter (Biology and Environmental Studies), Phil Camill (EOS), and Ta Herrera (Economics) from Bowdoin, and collaborators from Bates and the University of Southern Maine were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): Sustainable Science Partners program. In the second year of a five-year study, the researchers will identify and estimate factors which influence both the pace and level of restoration across rivers in Maine.

Matt Klingle (History/ES) was awarded a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support his research project titled Sweet Blood: History and the Nature of Diabetes and Chronic Disease in America. The study of chronic disease, specifically diabetes, is a new area of scholarship for Klingle. The grant support will provide the navigational tools to explore this unfamiliar territory. Working with faculty at Bowdoin and Harvard School of Public Health, Klingle will receive training in epidemiology, nutrition, genetics, and medical history and ethics.

Genevieve LeMoine and Susan Kaplan (Arctic Museum and Anthropology) were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's EArly- Concept grants for Exploratory Research program for their project titled Peary and the Inughuit at Cape Sheridan: a Preliminary Study. Kaplan and LeMoine will map and photo-document two historic Inughuit winter campsites at Floeburg Beach, Cape Sheridan, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. Although the project is a preliminary investigation, it has the potential to raise awareness of, and interest in, Inughuit roles in the work of Peary and other explorers.

Stephen Meardon (Economics) was awarded a HOPE Fellowship from the Center for the History of Political Theory at Duke University. The grant will enable Meardon to spend a year at the Center and write his multi-article project on the historical relationship of American doctrine of free trade and the protection to instruments of "reciprocity" in international trade relations. Besides writing articles, Meardon will also meet with fellow historians of economics to discuss how to demonstrate the relevance of their work outside of their field.

Collin Roesler (Earth and Oceanographic Science) was contracted by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority to use Bowdoin's GoMOOS Buoy A to monitor the chlorophyll in Harpswell Sound.

Collin Roesler (EOS), with Edward Laine (EOS) from Bowdoin, and collaborators from St. Joseph's College and the University of Maine were awarded a grant from NASA for the project titled Remote Assessment of Algal Functional Groups in the Absence of Extreme Blooms: Application to Alexandrium fundyense. Roesler will use satellite remote sensing of ocean color to provide information on the magnitude and distribution of Alexandrium fundyense, a dinoflagellate that produces toxins that induce paralytic shellfish poisoning, and a common cause of red tide.

Elizabeth Stemmler (Chemistry) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for the purchase of an Agilent 6520 Accurate mass LC-Q-TOF mass spectrometer, to establish the Bowdoin College Mass Spectrometry Resources Center and support undergraduate research and training activities in chemistry, biology, neuroscience, and environmental science. In combination with the existing MALDI-FTMS instrument, the new equipment will enable faculty to design and execute sophisticated experiments and catalyze new approaches to interdisciplinary research.

Birgit Tautz (German) was awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt research fellowship, an award that will enable her to conduct research in Germany. Sponsored by a German research institution of higher education, Birgit will complete her research and finish her manuscript for her upcoming book.

Mary Lou Zeeman (Biology/Math) and her collaborators from 11 colleges and universities including UNC-Chapel Hill, Berkeley and the University of Chicago were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for their project titled Collaborative Research: Mathematics and Climate Change Network. The focus will be on three critical areas: climate process modeling; the dynamics of past and future climates and their processes; and data analysis and the incorporation of data into Earth system and climate process models.

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