The Schiller Coastal Studies Center received a major gift from Bowdoin parents (’17) Philip Schiller and Kim Gassett-Schiller yesterday; we are grateful, honored, and excited to expand our research and education opportunities!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.