Expansion of Schiller Coastal Studies Center Is Complete

By Tom Porter

Some nineteen months after getting underway, the expansion of the Schiller Coastal Studies Center is now complete. The 118-acre Harpswell facility, located about thirteen miles from the Bowdoin campus, now offers an even wider range of possibilities for students and researchers studying the ocean and the environment.

“I don't really know of another facility in Casco Bay that can do the kinds of things that we can do,” said Professor of Biology David Carlon, who directs the center.

Updates to the facility include a 4,200-square-foot dry lab, with teaching, research, and preparation and support spaces. There is also a single-story, 4,950-square-foot Living and Learning Building to provide spaces for classes, conferences, and dining. The residential component consists of three 1,800-square-foot, six-bedroom cabins, and a 950-square-foot apartment cabin.

“Having everything in one place, instead of having some things at the Coastal Studies Center and other things at Bowdoin, will make things more accessible and convenient for students that are conducting research there,” said biology major Mindy Leder ’21.

The SCSC is not just a facility for those studying the ocean. It’s a coastal refuge for all students and presents opportunities for those wanting to pursue activities like boating or sailing.

Michael Woodruff ’87 is director of the Bowdoin Outing Club. He said the expansion “is actually going to allow us to really utilize the resource that the Coastal Studies Center represents.”

Irma and William Thalheimer

The Schiller Coastal Studies Center is located twelve miles from campus on land generously donated to the College by Irma and Bill Thalheimer ’27. The gift of property in 1981 contained 118 acres of fields and forests, and nearly two and half miles of undeveloped ocean frontage wrapped around two peninsulas in Harpswell Sound.

The expansion was made possible through a $10 million gift from Bowdoin parents Philip Schiller, a former Apple executive and current trustee, and his wife, Kim Gassett-Schiller, in 2017.