A Bowdoin Investigation: Can a Maine Marsh Survive Rising Seas?

As Satya Kent ’19 steers a small motor boat down a narrow channel in Maine’s largest marsh in Scarborough, her passenger, environmental scientist Peter Lea, points to the muddy banks rising up steeply on either side.

The high banks look something like a cross-section sliced from a chocolate lover’s multi-layer cake: they have clear strata of deep-brown mud. “Those are essentially former editions of the salt marsh as it has been growing and keeping pace with sea level rise,” explained Lea, an associate professor of earth and oceanographic science at Bowdoin. The bottom visible layers were likely formed 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. Read the full story on Bowdoin News.

Jeff Joseph ’19 Joins Harvard Cancer Research Project

Jeff Joseph ’19 at Harvard this summer

“A teen went from playing soccer in the streets of a third-world country to attending a research program at Harvard in a seven-year span,” Jeff Joseph wrote in his application last winter for one of Bowdoin’s summertime fellowships. It certainly helped that as a boy growing up in Haiti, Joseph nurtured a passion for mathematics along with a love of soccer.

Joseph moved from Haiti to Florida when he was 12 and kept up both interests, eventually landing at Bowdoin. In the spring, he received notice that he had won a funded internship grant — the Peter Buck Student Internship Fund — from Bowdoin Career Planning to do biostatistics and epidemiology research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health this summer.

Read the full story in Bowdoin News.

Michael Mascia ’93 Named Board President of Global Conservation Group

Michael Mascia, the senior director of social science for the nonprofit Conservation International, has been named board president for the Society for Conservation Biology, the field’s pre-eminent professional society.

Mascia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and European studies from Bowdoin in 1993, and earned a Ph.D. from Duke University in environmental politics and policy in 2000.

In a recently published Q&A, Mascia noted, “We live on a human-dominated planet. People are defining what the future will look like, for better or for worse. Thus, conservation is an inherently social process with social implications. It’s not just what we conserve but how we conserve it that matters.” Read more in Bowdoin News.

A Summer Spent Sifting Through Peary Artifacts on Eagle Island

This summer, two Bowdoin students are, for the first time, inventorying all the contents in the Harpswell home of Arctic explorer Robert Peary. The meticulous work of Tharunkrishna Vemulapalli ’19 and Dana Williams ’18 will culminate in a museum catalog for the historical site.

While the work is deliberate, the setting is dramatic. From every open window of Robert Peary’s bluff-side cottage on Eagle Island, you can hear seabirds crying and the tide pulling in and out over the beach or crashing onto rocks. All around the shingled house — one of just three structures on the 17-acre island — are panoramic views of Casco Bay.

Peary made his fame by reaching North Pole in 1909, an accomplishment that has been disputed. He bought the small almond-shaped island off the end of the Harpswell peninsula in 1881, four years after graduating from Bowdoin, and he built a family home there in 1904. Read the full story at Bowdoin News.