All posts by Sarah Kingston

Kent Island and DEI field trip

To kick off the official start of the semester, the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester traveled to Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island for four days. Here, the group learned about tides and physical ocean processes, held a benthic ecology journal club, and collected data on two long-term intertidal monitoring sites.

We were also excited that the new Director of the BSS on Kent Island and Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Patricia Jones, joined us for the trip.

On the way home, we swung by our friends and collaborators’ at the Downeast Institute in Beal’s, ME, to learn about their research and collect some snails for a class project.

See our Bowdoin Academic Spotlight here: http://community.bowdoin.edu/news/2017/09/marine-science-semester-explores-dramatic-kent-island-environment/

Summer Research Spotlight – hungry, hungry green crabs

Summer 2017, two student research fellows – one Bowdoin student, one Barnard College student – delved into figuring out what invasive green crabs (Carcinus maenas) are eating in Harpswell Sound. Pauline Unietis (’20) and Vanessa Van Deusen (Barnard ’18) set crab traps at four locations around Harpswell sound every week. Crabs caught in these traps offer several types of data: a census of how many (and what sex) crabs are moving into these locations as the season progresses, stomach contents, and tissue. After measuring and counting crabs, Pauline and Vanessa extracted DNA from stomach contents to prepare for a next generation sequencing-based metabarcoding effort to ID different kinds of algae, plants, and animals eaten by the crabs. Future efforts will include compound stable isotope analysis of the crabs’ tissue (from a leg or claw) to figure out the relative proportions of their diet items.

Science Communication with Computational Genomics

This spring semester, Visiting Assistant Professor Sarah Kingston launched a Computational Genomics course. Students learned both statistical theory and practical applications involved with analysis of genome-scale data.

After the long process of independently analyzing and interpreting omic-scale datasets, students tapped their creative, collaborative talents with a final science communication piece.

Students Rob Barron, Eileen Bates, Steve Cho, and Julia Michels created this fantastic stop-motion video to communicate how genomic research can help conserve fish species.

Other creative projects included describing the role of long non-coding RNAs in cancer, microbial metagenomics and type II diabetes, gene expression-related health impacts of performance enhancing drugs, and microevolution in rapidly changing environments.

The final presentation even ended with interactive art (directed by students Nora Cullen, Pilar Giffenig, Sofi Lopez, Alana Luzzio, and Casey Silvernale).

BMSS 2016 visits Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island

The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS) kicked off the Fall 2016 semester by leaving the country on the first day of class. BMSS students and instructors visited Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island off Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada. Off-grid and 5 miles out to sea, students learned about the unique Bay of Fundy ecosystem, collected data for a long-term intertidal monitoring project, and collected Littorine snails for genomic analysis later in the semester.

arriving on Kent Island
arriving on Kent Island

img_1614

DCIM100GOPRO

Sheep Island
Sheep Island
whale stranding remains
whale stranding remains

img_1678 img_1718

Jonah crabs hanging in the intertidal on Kent Island #BMSS2016 #bowdoincollege

A video posted by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on


img_1818 img_1842

setting up intertidal temperature data loggers
setting up intertidal temperature data loggers

img_1877

Kent Island intertidal transects
Kent Island intertidal transects

img_3468 img_3484

dessert!
dessert!
some post-dinner core work
some post-dinner core work
Littorina saxatilis on Kent Island
Littorina saxatilis on Kent Island

Green crab collection during #BMSS2016 field trip to Kent Island #bowdoincollege

A video posted by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

img_3527 img_3531img_1591

Bowdoin Marine Science Semester off and running

img_3272-2

The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS) started off the 2016 Fall semester with a pre-semester “bootcamp” to learn scientific field techniques, species identification, boat handling and safety skills, statistical analysis, and experimental design. BMSS students camped for a week at the Coastal Studies Center. Activities included an oceanographic cruise on the University of Maine’s R/V Ira C, a bio-blitz on Bailey’s Island at the Giant’s Stairs, intertidal monitoring on Wyer’s Island, and seine netting at the CSC.

img_3304

Bongo nets! #bowdoincollege #BMSS2016 #CoastalStudiesCenter on the UMaine RV Ira C

A post shared by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

img_3334

DCIM100GOPRO
Students learn new techniques out on the Ira C

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

Plankton party! #BMSS2016 #bowdoincollege #CoastalStudiesCenter

A post shared by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

copepod

#BMSS2016 Bootcamp boat safety training #bowdoincollege

A post shared by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

img_1510 img_1528 img_1544

DCIM100GOPRO
Bio Blitz at Giant’s Stairs

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO
Snorkeling at Ash Point in Harpswell

#BMSS2016 students snorkeling at Ash Point #bowdoincollege

A post shared by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

Finding the bottom at Ash Point #BMSS2016 #bowdoincollege

A post shared by Sarah Kingston (@scarletscience) on

img_1572

DCIM100GOPRO
Seine net skills
DCIM100GOPRO
Intertidal transects on Wyer’s Island