Matching Grant Will Expand Bowdoin's Marine Science Research

Story posted January 24, 2005

Bowdoin College recently received a one-to-one challenge grant of $500,000 from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation to support a visiting scholar position focused on marine and coastal studies.

Funds from the challenge grant will be used to endow the Doherty Marine Biology Visiting Scholar program, a two-year, visiting post-doctoral faculty position. The grant will allow the College to deepen the scientific component of coastal studies at its Coastal Studies Center, and build collaborations with varied research communities nationwide that are addressing coastal issues including fisheries management, invasive species, and the effects of climate change on oceans.

“Having a post-doctoral fellow will greatly expand the breadth of marine-related research at Bowdoin,” noted Biology Chair Amy Johnson, the James R. and Helen Lee Billingsley Professor of Marine Biology. “And it will create wonderful new research opportunities for our students.”

Marine lab at the Coastal Studies Center The marine lab at Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center is located near the shore of Harpswell Sound.

In addition to some teaching responsibilities, the fellow will supervise student research in his or her area of expertise. A majority of this research will be centered at the marine laboratory located at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center, but they also will be expected to visit other institutions and laboratories to learn about the techniques and research being performed there and to communicate about the research being done at Bowdoin.

“We hope this grant will foster a degree of cross-fertilization with other institutions in the region and a cooperative approach to the marine sciences,” said Bowdoin alumnus James Billingsley ’84, an officer of the Doherty Foundation. “The College has such an intimate relationship with its setting, the coast, the islands. It’s a big part of what Bowdoin is, and the Foundation is eager to support an undergraduate program in marine science that builds on this relationship. We see this type of program as being critical to inspiring higher-level studies and careers in the field.”

This is the third grant Bowdoin has received through the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, a foundation dedicated to promoting education regarding and research in the marine sciences. The Foundation has provided funding for the position to be filled beginning the 2005-2006 academic year, with the expectation that remaining funds will be raised as part of Bowdoin’s upcoming Capital Campaign.


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