Samuel S. Butcher Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1995
My research as an ecosystem ecologist began on coastal sand dunes bordering Lake Michigan where I studied the mechanisms underlying plant succession and forest development. Since then, I have contributed to research investigating the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on forest productivity and carbon sequestration with colleagues at Duke University and other institutions. After coming to Bowdoin College in 2000, I began research on the ecology and environmental history of Merrymeeting Bay and the lower Kennebec estuary. This work was expanded to link Maine’s rivers and estuaries with the nearshore marine ecosystems to better understand ecological recovery and the ecological and social constraints preventing further recovery of these once bountiful ecosystems. With collaborators at Bowdoin, Bates, USM, and the Penobscot East Resource Center, I work with undergraduate students to provide vital information for the restoration and sound management of Maine’s waterways and coastal fisheries.