Friday, August 14, 2009

Bowdoin Celebrates 75 Years of Science at Kent Island

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I have fond memories of my short stay at the Research Station. Remind me to tell you about the "Headless Ghost of Kent Island" ... present during my days(sorry ... nights) there.

Congratulations to Bowdoin College on 75 sustained years of vital research on a magnificent island off Grand Manan..


Story posted August 13, 2009
The Bowdoin Scientific Station is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first Bowdoin College-sponsored scientific expedition to Kent Island, in the Bay of Fundy.

The Bowdoin Scientific Station (BSS) is a biological field research station, which is owned and operated by the College.

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Sami Nichols '09 and Priscilla Erickson, Kenyon College '09, banding and measuring Savannah sparrow nestlings at the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island, New Brunswick.
J. Sterling Rockefeller purchased Kent Island in 1930 to protect the last few remaining breeding pairs of common eider ducks in the Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy Region.
He donated the island to the College in 1936 under the condition that it be maintained as a research station and wildlife sanctuary.
Thanks in large part to the protection of Kent Island, eiders have once again become common throughout the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.
The Bowdoin Scientific Station's wharf and waterfront buildings.
Nearby Hay and Sheep Islands were purchased by Bowdoin in 2003 to preserve the ecological integrity of the entire Three Islands archipelago and provide additional research opportunities for BSS personnel.

During the summer of 1934, Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan brought a group of four Bowdoin students, led by sophomore William Gross, to Kent Island aboard his schooner, the Bowdoin.
MacMillan dropped off the students and they spent the next three months on the island mapping its geology and plant communities, and studying its nesting seabirds.

In addition to performing the first scientific studies on Kent Island, these students, known as the "Four Pioneers," were instrumental in brokering the agreement that resulted in Rockefeller donating Kent Island to Bowdoin.

BSS was the first field research station in North America to be operated by an undergraduate liberal arts college and has been a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations since 1988.

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