Campus News

Bowdoin Dedicates New Coastal Studies Dock

Story posted May 12, 2008

A new dock at Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center offering new and expanded educational opportunities was dedicated Friday, May 9, 2008, at Orr's Island.

The new dock greatly increases opportunities for students to engage in marine science by expanding the areas of inquiry beyond the bounds of the property to the surrounding waters of Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

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It allows students and faculty to engage in a range of projects including sea urchin growth experiments, invasive species research, blue mussel toxicology, marine glaciology and water quality studies, coastal archaeology and more.

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Trustee Geoffrey C. Rusack '78 was presented with a painting of the dock he and his wife, Alison Wrigley Rusack, helped fund.

The construction of the dock also benefits visiting scientists and courses that use the Coastal Studies Center, as well as serving as a catalyst for creating collaborations with other institutions, such as Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and St. Joseph's College.

Access to the ocean enriches the hands-on research, education and training that are crucial to preparing students for advanced degrees in the sciences.

This project was made possible through generous financial support from Trustee Geoffrey C. Rusack '78 and his wife, Alison Wrigley Rusack, and the National Science Foundation.

Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center is

  • A natural, protected environment with 2.5 miles of intertidal shoreline and 118 acres of woodlands and fields

  • A marine laboratory with running seawater

  • A terrestrial laboratory and art studio, a pier for year-round research and access to vessels during the open water season, an ocean buoy for scientific research and a converted farmhouse

  • A place for faculty and students to do research and conduct projects

  • A place to walk and reflect, to appreciate nature and biodiversity, to contemplate the coastal environment in its artistic, economic, historic, literary, scientific and social contexts

  • A setting that encourages interdisciplinary understandings of coastal topics

Those who attended the dock's dedication were invited aboard a sailboat for a trip across the bay.

Bowdoin is in a unique position to enrich the global intellectual community by connecting coastal studies, Arctic studies and environmental studies.

With its place on the coast of Maine, its 147-year history of research and teaching about the Arctic, and its diverse group of outstanding faculty members interested in the issues surrounding global climate change, the College offers opportunities for students to study coastal issues in Maine and worldwide.

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