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.

Two CS Students Who Love Italy Build Virtual Reality Language Program

Clara Hunnewell and Bridget Went

While studying in Bologna, Italy, for a semester, two Bowdoin computer science majors were inspired to try to recreate their time abroad for students back in Maine.

“We came up with this idea to mimic the experience we were having being totally immersed in the Italian language,” Bridget Went ’17 said. “Being in an environment where the language is spoken helps our ability to synthesize components of the language and improves our fluency.”

At the Università di Bologna, Went and Clarissa Hunnewell ’17 partnered with two Italian peers to begin building a virtual reality tool for learning Italian. They made enough progress with the program, originally a desktop platform they called Esplora, that they decided to continue working on it after returning to Bowdoin. Read the story in Bowdoin News.

Cool Science: Follow Along as EOS Students Explore and Research Iceland

Twenty earth and oceanographic science students are collecting samples, analyzing water density and, according to their Instagram account BowdoinEOS — enjoying every moment of their adventure.

Along with four faculty members, they are immersing themselves in field research into the various connections among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, and into the variations of the earth’s surface. Follow their progress on Instagram.

Earth and Oceanographic Science Students Iceland-Bound

EOS students and faculty members before boarding a bus to Boston to meet up with the rest of the group heading to Iceland for a 10-day field seminar.

Eleven students and four faculty members from the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department left campus Tuesday afternoon bound for Iceland, where they will immerse themselves in field research into the various connections among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, and into the variations of the earth’s surface. Nine other students will join the group in Boston for the journey to Reykjavik.

“Iceland is an ideal location to study the causal relationships and the interactions between tectonics, volcanism, glaciation, ecology, and oceanography,” says Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science Collin Roesler, the trip’s leader.

“This speaks to the core philosophy of the department’s integrated ‘systems’ approach to Earth and Oceanographic Science. Rather than being a show-and-tell tour, this field seminar is designed to foster collaboration, active learning, and discovery for students and staff.”