Bowdoin Researchers Publish Study of Rising Sea Level Impacts on Brunswick, Harpswell

During the fall of 2010, seven students participated in an independent study with Environmental Studies Director Phil Camill  and Program Manager Eileen Johnson in response to a request for a municipal-scale sea level rise impact analysis framework for coastal Maine. The project focused on the communities of Brunswick and Harpswell and involved community presentations and feedback throughout the process.

Building upon the fall independent study, Maryellen Hearn ’11 and Krista Bahm ’11 worked with Camill and Johnson to refine the analysis, and their study, “Using a Boundary Organization Approach to Develop a Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Impact Analysis Framework for Coastal Communities in Maine,” was published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. (The study is available to Bowdoin students, faculty and staff through the Bowdoin Library subscription to JESS.)

“Most people think that the rocky, steep coast line of New England is less susceptible to sea level rise,” say Camill. “But, we found that there can be substantial potential impacts to transportation networks, property and intertidal ecosystems.”

“The independent study was a great learning opportunity for the students and a valuable service to community, state and local partners” says Johnson.

In addition to presenting findings, this work provides a template for other coastal communities in New England and is an example of the kinds of community based scholarship happening at Bowdoin.

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