Campus News

Students Continue Research Begun This Summer at Coastal Studies Center

Story posted September 13, 1999

Fifteen students from a variety of fields spent the summer doing independent research at the Coastal Studies Center on Orrs Island. Their work, which covered topics as varied as "Literary Representations of Coastal Maine" and "Genetics of Speciation in Natural Populations of Nematodes," fulfilled one of the founding principles of the Coastal Studies Center: To foster academic work that is both independent and interdisciplinary.

The students each were awarded $3,000 fellowships to spend the summer studying in Maine. Ten of the fellowships were funded with a $50,000 grant from the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and the Alice and Leslie E. Lancy Foundation. Bowdoin was one of only six schools out of 104 applicants to win such a grant. Additional funding came from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fund and the Doherty Foundation Fund.

The students worked alone or in pairs with a faculty mentor and met weekly throughout the summer as a group to discuss their research and present their findings. Some will continue their research this semester.

They will present their work to the public with a poster display from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Atrium of Druckenmiller Hall. They also will attend a National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Montana in April.

Mike Micciche 01 spent the summer reading more than 25 primary and secondary volumes of Coastal Maine literature, conducting interviews and visiting relevant historic sites. His research allowed him to document the similar themes and ideas expressed in a diverse body of work spanning 175 years.

He called the program "a great experience. It gave me a chance to explore academics on my own rather than in the structured environment of a class."

Micciche said he also appreciated the chance to confer with other students on their projects.

"It was very interesting to hear the different ways people were approaching their different problems," he said.

Peter Lea, associate professor of geology and director of the Center, served as project director for the program. He said the College has applied to the NCUR/Lancy Scholars Program for a second year of funding.

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