The Last of the Heath Hens: Special Collections Receives Grant to Preserve 1930s Ornithological Research

Alfred Otto Gross with Heath Hen, Martha’s Vineyard, May 16, 1923

It’s full circle moment for Edward Minot, the interim director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island.

Films documenting ornithological research done in the 1930s by his grandfather, Bowdoin professor of biology Alfred Otto Gross, Kent Island’s first director, will be digitized and preserved, thanks to a grant Bowdoin’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives has received from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Minot discovered the 35 mm films, as well as several reels of 16 mm films, in his mother’s attic.

A biologist and ornithologist like his grandfather, Minot immediately recognized the research potential and fragility of the films.

“After a lifetime of hearing about my grandfather’s work with Heath Hens and his trips with MacMillan, it will be thrilling to see movies of the events for which I’ve had mostly an oral history and a few photographs,” wrote Minot in an email from Kent Island. Read the rest of the story in Bowdoin News.

Professors Comment on Implications of Trump’s Paris Accord Withdrawal

In 2015, shortly after 195 nations had signed the historic Paris climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and attempt to curb climate change, we asked several Bowdoin faculty to weigh in on the significance of the agreement.

Now that President Donald Trump has announced his decision to pull the United States out of the deal, we checked in with a few of them again, asking what they think might happen next. Read their observations.

Bowdoin’s Eileen Johnson Joins Project to Help Coastal Towns Withstand a Rising Sea

Bowdoin College’s Eileen Johnson will be collaborating with the Rockland-based Island Institute to help Maine’s 120 coastal and island communities cope with battering storm surges and rising sea levels. Johnson is an environmental lecturer and Environmental Studies program manager, and has worked with communities in the midcoast on a range of projects that examine approaches for building resilience to sea level rise and storms.

This latest effort to mitigate climate-induced disasters is being funded by a $240,000 grant from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This grant, awarded to the Island Institute, is part of a $3.2 million pot recently given to almost a dozen coastal organizations, from Alaska to Florida and Maine, to help seaside towns better prepare for coastal flooding.

Read the story in Bowdoin News.

Aidan Coyle ’17 Makes Green Crab Research Breakthrough

Small, nimble, and aggressive, European green crabs are ferocious invaders. Since they first arrived on the shores of the United States in the early 1800s, they have been wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems up and down the East Coast.

Scientists and conservationists have spent years trying to better understand how the crab adapts so well to new environments and continues to expand its territory. Now Aidan Coyle’s honors thesis is promising to add to that body of knowledge, contributing to an ongoing effort to solve a lingering crab mystery. The recently graduated senior spent his last year at Bowdoin looking for a link between the crab’s cold hardiness and its genes. Read more in Bowdoin News.