Bowdoin faculty research has made significant contributions to the climate change literature and continues to garner millions of dollars in external grant funding from organizations including the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Bowdoin faculty also are involved in research and public policy initiatives affecting Maine and New England, including forest management, habitat protection, oil spill detection, transportation planning, sustainable agriculture, and ecotourism.
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Mark Battle has pursued research on atmospheric composition and climate change from the equatorial Pacific Ocean to the South Pole.
Working with collaborators at several research institutions, Battle builds equipment to collect and analyze air samples, sometimes traveling to the field to collect samples from around the globe. When the analyses are complete, he uses simple models to interpret the biogeochemical significance of these data.
His studies of atmospheric composition have been published widely, including an article in the journal Science that was named one of the most influential articles in environmental science by Essential Science Indicators.
Philip Camill is a global change ecologist and a leading expert on climate change in boreal and arctic ecosystems. In addition to his position as the Rusack Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, he is the director of Bowdoin's Environmental Studies Program.
Camill is deeply committed to undergraduate research and has directed student research programs in coastal marine ecology and environmental science. A recent renewal of his NSF Career grant is supporting new collaborative research on past and present climate change in northern peatland and boreal forests in the Canadian arctic and includes research opportunities for Bowdoin students. Field research includes gathering soils cores, lake sediments, and wetland peat cores for developing a sediment archive to help determine ecosystem changes over the past 8,000 years.
Camill's research has been featured in both Science and Nature and he has published extensively in professional journals:
Damon P. Gannon is Director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology. A marine vertebrate ecologist, Gannon's research interests range from behavioral ecology to community ecology. Research topics include: foraging ecology, sound production, and habitat selection of fishes and marine mammals; food web dynamics; the application of passive acoustic techniques to fisheries science; and the ecological effects of toxic red tides on dolphins and fishes.
Gannon has published extensively in scientific journals and presented his research at conferences internationally. His research on Atlantic croaker sound production was featured in National Geographic News.
His Bowdoin courses include Marine Conservation Biology, Ecology of the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy, and Biology of Marine Mammals.
Guillermo "Ta" Herrera, Associate Professor of Economics, is an expert in renewable natural resources and the communities that utilize them. His recent work has examined the management of multispecies fisheries, focusing on the use of regulations with a spatial component and on strategic interactions between harvesters and regulators. His research has been widely published in professional journals.
Herrera has served as a senior fellow and appointed adjunct scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He recently was awarded USAID funding to study improved reef biodiversity and sustainable fishing in the Dominican Republic.
Herrera teaches Microeconomics as well as Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. He has supervised a number of independent study and honors students in their research related to environmental regulation and natural resource use.
Read more about his research: http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/archives/1academicnews/003769.shtml
DeWitt John, Thomas F. Shannon Distinguished Lecturer in Environmental Studies, has been on the frontlines of national environmental public policy development for more than two decades. His book, Civic Environmentalism, was published in 1992 and is still widely cited.
Prior to coming to Bowdoin, he was the director of the Center for the Economy and the Environment at NAPA in Washington, and led three broad studies of the Environmental Protection Agency, Environment.gov: Transforming Environmental Protection for the 21st Century. John was appointed to the National Council on Environmental Policy and Technology, an advisory board to the Administrator of the EPA, in March 2010. Earlier, he was a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, created by the Congress in 2001.
His Bowdoin courses include: Energy, Climate, and Air Quality; Building Healthy Communities; and Environmental Policy and Politics.
Associate Professor of Geology Edward P. Laine is a marine geologist with research interests in oceanography. He has studied submarine groundwater discharge in Casco Bay, hypoxia (low levels of oxygen in seawater), contourite drifts, and bottom current processes, among other topics.
Laine is a principle investigator on a collaborative research project on harmful algal blooms, or red tides, funded by the National Science Foundation. As part of that work, he helped launch and oversees the Bowdoin Buoy Facility (BBF), a scientific buoy near the Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell Sound.
Laine actively involves students in research and community-based learning. Read more »
Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Lichter is an ecosystem ecologist whose wide-ranging fields of inquiry and inclusive research have made him a leading force in many of Bowdoin's environmental studies initiatives. His ongoing research on Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec estuary focuses on the capacity of ecosystems to resist and bounce back from human disturbance.
He is part of a large-scale research project on soil carbon chemistry and dynamics under elevated CO2 at the Duke Forest FACE experiment. His study on the role of forest soils in removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was published in the prestigious journal Nature in 2001, and is considered a seminal work in the study of carbon sequestration. To date, it has been cited 214 times in the scientific literature and was named one of the most influential articles in environmental science by Essential Science Indicators.
Craig McEwen, Daniel B. Fayerweather Professor of Political Economy and Sociology, engages students in social sustainability research that addresses pressing local issues. His Maine Social Research course has involved students in qualitative interviews with low-income area residents about the experiences in the face of lack of access to sufficient food, affordable housing, and health insurance. This research has built on collaborations with local agencies including Brunswick Housing Authority, Tedford Housing, Mid Coast Hunger Prevention, and Oasis Health Network.
McEwen also is a highly accomplished scholar who specializes in the sociology of law and criminology. His research focuses on mediation and dispute resolution, courts, and criminal justice law and policy. He is widely published in professional journals and is co-author of Divorce Lawyers at Work: Varieties of Professionalism in Practice (Oxford University Press) and Mediation: Law, Policy, Practice (West).
He is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good.
Dharni Vasudevan, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, studies the mechanisms by which synthetic and naturally occurring organic and inorganic compounds interact with mineral surfaces in soil and aquatic environments. Recent research includes investigations of the fate of veterinary antibiotics in soil systems. Her work appears widely in environmental journals, including Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Environmental Science and Technology and Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.
She has taught widely on environmental science and chemistry, and often includes Bowdoin students in her research. Read more »
Mary Lou Zeeman, R. Wells Johnson Professor of Mathematics, is a biomathematician with major research interests in mathematical modeling in climate change and sustainability. Over the past three years she has jointly organized over a dozen conferences and workshops bringing the mathematics and climate science communities together.
She is co-director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences 2010 Theme of the Year on Mathematicians and Climate (http://www.image.ucar.edu/ThemeOfTheYear/index.shtml) and she is deputy director of the Institute for Computational Sustainability based at Cornell University.
At Bowdoin she teaches classes on mathematical modeling with applications to biology and climate, and at Cornell she has helped to develop classes on The State of the Planet and Computational Sustainability.