Marine Science Semester Program

The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS) is a Fall semester immersion experience in marine field work, lab work, and independent research.

**Application Process for Fall 2018** Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, March 28 at 5:00 PM

Students from all disciplines interested in applying for the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester for Fall 2018, who have completed the prerequisite courses, (Bio 1102, or Bio 1109, and Math 1000 or higher), or who have been granted a prerequisite waiver from Dr. Carlon, are invited to submit a 1-2 page essay describing their interest in the Marine Science Semester. Essays should include any research or field work students have undertaken. The deadline to apply is March 28 at 5:00 PM.

Students who submit an application will be notified by Wednesday, April 4 on the status of their application. Accepted students will complete an intent to register form, due by 5PM April 10, and register for the four BMSS classes during round one of registration.

Click here to view a PDF of the BMSS Application
Click here to apply

The Program

The semester is available to Bowdoin students and non-Bowdoin students who are enrolled in colleges that participate in the 12-College Exchange Program. For 12-College participants consult your institutional guidelines for the application process. We welcome students from all disciplines who are keen to experience marine science in action. Students take four courses sequentially in three-to-four week modules taught at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Schiller Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell, Maine. The module style allows for continuity of laboratory and field research.

Field Work

Hands on field work and cutting edge laboratory science are a central component of the BMSS. During the semester students get the opportunity to compare and investigate two vastly different coastal ecosystems. In the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, BMSS visits Hurricane Island, off Rockland, Maine, and Bowdoin’s Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. The Benthic Ecology course includes an substantial field seminar to a highly productive and exceptionally diverse tropical marine ecosystem. Past BMSS classes have traveled to the Gulf of California, Baja California Sur to study the natural history and unique ecological properties this region has to offer. In both locations collection and curation of a long-term dataset to access changes in the intertidal community as climate changes in the Gulf of Maine has begun. Several cruises collect physical data and phytoplankton for the Biological Oceanography module, and the Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution module, which also features a student driven population genomics study focusing on intertidal snails, and utilizing next generation sequencing technology.

Prerequisites:

1. Introductory Biology Sequence- Either Bio 1101 and Bio 1102, or Bio 1109
2. Math course above 1000

Fall 2018 Course Offerings

Benthic Ecology, BIOL 2232,(a. INS, MCSR) David Carlon.
The principles of ecology emphasizing the hard- and soft-bottom communities of Casco Bay and Harpswell Sound. Field trips and field exercises demonstrate the quantitative principles of marine ecological research, including good practices in sampling designs and field experiments. A class field project designs and implements a long-term study, based at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory, to monitor and detect changes in community structure driven by climate change in the twenty-first century. Assumes a basic knowledge of biological statistics. Taught daily at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, Biology 2232(same as Environmental Studies 2232) is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231), Biology 2330 (same as Environmental Studies 2233), and History 2124 (same as Environmental Studies 2449) are co-requisites of this course. Prerequisite: Either Bio 1101 and 1102 or Bio 1109, and Math 1000 or higher.

Biological Oceanography, BIOL 2501  (a, INS) TBA.
Features classroom, laboratory, and fieldwork emphasizing fundamental biological processes operating in pelagic environments. It includes a hybrid of topics traditionally taught in physical and biological oceanography courses: major ocean current systems, physical structure of the water column, patterns and process of primary production, structure and function of pelagic food webs. Field trips to Casco Bay and Harpswell Sound will introduce students to the methods and data structures of biological oceanography. Taught daily at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, Biology 2501 (same has Environmental Studies 2231) is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), Biology 2330 (same as Environmental Studies 2233), and History 2124 (same as Environmental Studies 2449) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite: Either Bio 1101 and 1102 or Bio 1109, and Math 1000 or higher.

Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution, BIOL 2330 (a. INS, MCSR) Sarah Kingston.
Features the application of molecular data to ecological and evolutionary problems in the sea. Hands on laboratory work will introduce students to sampling, generation, and analysis of molecular data sets with Sanger-based technology and Next Generation Sequencing. Lectures, discussions, and computer-based simulations will demonstrate the relevant theoretical principles of population genetics and phylogenetics. A class project will begin a long-term sampling program that uses DNA barcoding to understand temporal and spatial change in the ocean. Taught daily at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, Biology 2330 (same has Environmental Studies 2233) is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231), and History 2124 (same as Environmental Studies 2449) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite:  Either Bio 1102 or Bio 1109 and Math 1000 or higher.

Maine Writers and the Environment, ENGL 2804  (c.) Elizabeth Muther.
Explores the wild and diverse literary territories of the state of Maine-past and present-with a focus on coastal narratives and environmental writing. Considers Maine's multi-ethnic folkways, its austere modernisms, remorseless gothic landscapes, natural splendors and antagonisms, coastal rhapsodies and adversities, and contemporary environmental imperatives. Includes poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, personal narratives, children's literature, nature writing, and environmental advocacy by such writers as Thoreau, Jewett, Robinson, Millay, Beston, Carson, McCloskey, King, Russo, Strout, and Bryan. Taught daily at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, English 2804/Environmental Studies 2804 is a course-module in the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. Biology 2501 (same as Environmental Studies 2231), Biology 2232 (same as Environmental Studies 2232), and Biology 2233 (same as Environmental Studies 2233) are co-requisites of this course. Pre-requisite: None.

        

             Course Divisions, and distribution requirement designations:

       a: Natural science and Math
       c: Humanities
       INS: Inquiry in Natural Science
       MCSR: Math Comp Stat Reasoning