Emerging Technologies Lab – Virtual Reality Research

The Emerging Technologies Lab, established in 2019, is Bowdoin College’s first virtual reality (VR) research laboratory. The ETL aims to augment research and learning at Bowdoin College in an expansive range of academic disciplines by using novel immersive technologies.

The applications of virtual reality for education and research are limitless. The ETL can program an experiment to a researcher’s exact specifications, complete with surroundings, sounds, and dynamic events. This provides both a great degree of experimental control and an extremely immersive experience for subjects, qualities which are often at odds in conventional experiments.

The ETL can also deliver powerful learning aids in coordination with professors, such as immersive 360-degree footage of a location of interest or a virtual object that can be held and rotated as if it were real. These principles can be applied in diverse ways to any academic field at Bowdoin in order to enhance learning and research experiences.

“The mission of the ETL is to provide the equipment, expertise, and vision needed to deliver these ambitious enhancements to coursework and research at Bowdoin.”

The ETL is also committed to breaking down accessibility barriers at Bowdoin by making off-campus experiences, such as labs in the field, deliverable via virtual reality.

Site: https://research.bowdoin.edu/emerging-technologies-lab/

Momentos Naturales Colombia

Momentos Naturales Colombia

Momentos Naturales Colombia

Momentos Naturales Colombia is a series of short videos in Spanish about animals and plants that just about anyone in Latin America can easily find near their home, whether they live in the countryside or in the city. All the photographers, writers and producers of the videos are students of the course “Production of nature videos: natural history of Colombia”, which took place at the Universidad del Valle, Cali in 2018 under the instruction of recently retired Bowdoin Professors Nat and Genie Wheelwright and inspired by Nat’s Nature Moments series.

Site: https://research.bowdoin.edu/momentos-naturales-colombia

Nature Moments

“Nature Moments” is a weekly series of short videos designed to showcase the natural history of common plants and animals. If you live in eastern North America, you will be able to find almost all these species. The videos are being filmed as the seasons change in Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences, Biology Nathaniel T. Wheelwright’s backyard in Brunswick, Maine.


Site: https://research.bowdoin.edu/nature-moments

The Punkah Project

In many elite Southern homes, punkahs, ceiling-mounted fans manipulated by enslaved workers, were an integral part of the architecture of the dining room in the antebellum United States. Paralleling their relationship to American slavery was their use in British India, where the fans had a long history of being powered by low-caste workers. Pushing past the fans’ decorative and utilitarian qualities, this essay examines the devices’ shifting relationship to slavery and freedom through an examination of their operation within the spaces of elite homes. Both planters and their workers benefited, albeit differently, from their interactions with the fans. Elite planters enjoyed the fans’ cooling breezes, insect-free mealtimes, and the opportunity to display their wealth and refinement. Even though they were consigned to labor at the fans, enslaved workers likely used their proximity to elite whites to learn “genteel” codes of behavior, while gleaning information about the plantation world and beyond. The end of slavery did not mark the end of punkahs; rather, the fans were used to celebrate the “noble” history of the Old South while eliding any reference of slavery.

Site: The Punkah Project

Bowdoin Marine Laboratory

Bowdoin Marine LaboratoryThe Bowdoin Marine Laboratory is the scientific component of Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center. We are geographically centered a former farm, consisting of 118 acres of coastal spruce-pine forest with a few acres of old field habitat. Our accessible location on Harpswell Sound, and diversity of natural habitats opens up a wide range of marine, estuarine, and terrestrial research and teaching possibilities.

Bowdoin Marine Laboratory is located on Orr’s Island, Harpswell Sound


Site: research.bowdoin.edu/marine-laboratory

Mary Rothbart’s Temperament Questionnaires

Mary Rothbart's Temperament Questionnaires

Mary Rothbart’s Temperament Questionnaires

In 1981, Dr. Rothbart introduced the Infant Behavior Questionnaire, a parent- report instrument based in her definition of temperament as “constitutionally based individual differences in reactivity and regulation.” Over the past quarter-century, this instrument has become one of the most widely employed measures of infant temperament. During the past 45 years, she has collaborated with several graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to develop and refine a battery of questionnaires to assess finely-differentiated aspects of temperament across the life span.

In 2000, a website was established at the University of Oregon to facilitate the dissemination of these instruments. In 2006, the site was moved to its current location at Bowdoin College. Although Sam Putnam and his Bowdoin students manage the day-to-day operations, this site is a collaborative effort coordinating the expertise of the individuals who developed the measures with Mary, including Lesa Ellis and Jennifer Simonds (Westminster College), Masha Gartstein (Washington State University), and David Evans (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute).

Site:  research.bowdoin.edu/rothbart-temperament-questionnaires