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VISITING COA Visiting is a wonderful way to get to know the College of the Atlantic community. While you're here you can sit in on classes, meet with students and professors, check out campus activities, have an admission interview, and sample our award-winning food at the Blair Dining Hall or Sea Urchin CafĂŠ. It's best to visit on weekdays when term is in session. You can either come for the day and take a campus tour at 10 am or 2 pm, or stay overnight. During the school year, a guest room is available for prospective students who would like to stay overnight in a campus residence. For those wishing to stay on campus, please schedule your stay at least two weeks in advance to confirm that space is available. To schedule a tour and interview, please contact the Admission Office. If you are unable to travel to Maine for a visit, we are happy to connect you with a faculty member, current student, or admission counselor by phone or email. Schedule your visit at coa.edu/visit.


Welcome & Overview


Mission & History










Mount Desert Island


Life After COA




Campus Map



WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOU LOOK OUT ACROSS THE WATER? For College of the Atlantic students, a view like this is commonplace and yet never ordinary. Our campus sits on 38 acres on the coast of Maine, with views across the rocky islands of Frenchman Bay to Schoodic Mountain in the distance. When we look across the water we see ecosystems to study, economic enterprises to develop, policies to pass, lesson plans to teach, food systems to sustain, landscapes to paint, resources to steward, space to think, and beauty to inspire. Students come to COA because they want to be part of creating a more sustainable and humane world. They want to be inspired and challenged by a close-knit community of faculty and peers, and they want to dig into complex questions in the classroom and laboratory, but also in the woods and waters of Acadia National Park, the conference halls of UN climate negotiations, and the corn fields of rural Mexico and Guatemala. Some students come here knowing exactly what they want to do and be; others are drawn in because our academic program allows and encourages the exploration of multiple subjects and interests. All COA students will study across different disciplines and learn to approach each topic from perspectives they previously hadn't considered.

View across Frenchman Bay from the Deering Common Community Center.


MISSION College of the Atlantic enriches the liberal arts tradition through a distinctive educational philosophy— human ecology. A human ecological perspective integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and from personal experience to investigate—and ultimately improve—the relationships between human beings and our social and natural communities. The human ecological perspective guides all aspects of education, research, activism, and interactions among the college's students, faculty, staff, and trustees. The College of the Atlantic community encourages, prepares, and expects students to gain the expertise, breadth, values, and practical experience necessary to achieve individual fulfillment and to help solve problems that challenge communities everywhere.



Construction of the Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Community Center.

A History of College of the Atlantic College of the Atlantic was chartered in 1969 by a small group of local community members and educators who saw in Mount Desert Island a great year-round location for learning. COA admitted its first class in 1972. There were only four full-time faculty members that first year (selected from 1800 applicants), and 32 students. The educational philosophy was clear: COA would be the first college in the US to have the relationships between humans and the environment as its primary focus. Learning was going to be active. Together, faculty and students explored the oceans around Mount Desert Island as well as the woods and mountains of Acadia National Park. Together, they studied whales in the Gulf of Maine and discussed the texts of such passionate naturalists as Henry David Thoreau and Rene DuBois. They continued their discussions over coffee in town, and dinner at each other's homes. Over forty years later, the college's focus on exploration and community has not changed. COA's 35 faculty members continually update and change courses to meet students' interests and adapt to a changing world. Our 350 students are encouraged to explore their passions and challenged to think in new ways. As Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman's Own Organics, says of her COA years, "When Pop asked me 'What do you do with a human ecology degree?' I answered him, 'As my student advisor said, human ecologists make their own niche in the world.' To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what that meant at the time, but it is what I feel I have been able to do. My environmental interests go beyond organic food to an awareness of worldwide environmental issues. The foundation for this was laid at College of the Atlantic, where I was given the tools to continue to explore and contribute in my own way." 6

A marine mammal rescue from the 1980s.

A class discussion in COA's early days.


Saren Peetz '15, pictured with the solar array at COA's Peggy Rockefeller Farms, is working to help local communities better meet their energy needs from renewable sources. Photo by Tristan Spinski.


"College of the Atlantic is nudging its students to reach outside the school’s boundaries and start changing the real world." The New York Times "A College in Maine That Tackles Climate Change, One Class at a Time"



Every student at COA designs their own course of study in human ecology. There is no set path; you give shape to your studies based on your interests, goals, and talents. Are you curious about the math and physics of sustainable energy? Or perhaps you'd like to study environmental law, animation, entrepreneurship, anthropology, botany, literature, or community planning? COA graduates all share a common degree in human ecology, but ask any one of them about the classes they took, their senior project, or how they're using their degree in the world, and you'll realize that this one major is uniquely flexible and tailored by each student.

ACADEMICS At COA we don't have academic departments; our faculty members come from a diverse range of fields and bring dynamic expertise, but you won't find the biologists just doing biology. Here faculty and students are encouraged to study and work across multiple disciplines because we believe that the solutions to the world's most pressing problems will be developed by people who are actively integrating perspectives and knowledge from the sciences, arts, social sciences, and humanities.


There is a tendency, especially in the academic world, to carve life into ever smaller pieces in order to make sense of it. All too often, the people who do this come to believe that is how the world really is. The aim of human ecology is to remind us that we are part of a complex and interactive living world. Its broad mandate calls us to cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines and seek fresh combinations of ideas. The richness of specialized knowledge—and communication among people who have it—are essential to a livable future. But the kind of perspective that encourages interdisciplinary learning and application is difficult to acquire in most academic settings. This demands a different approach to education—one which invites imagination and caring for the future. I believe human ecology holds an increasingly important place in society, education, and everyday life. This is why COA was founded, and it is what we do best. Rich Borden, PhD Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology



ACADEMIC RESOURCE AREAS While there are no academic departments at COA, for organizational purposes the curriculum is divided into three resource areas: Arts and Design, Environmental Sciences, and Human Studies.

Arts & Design The arts provide a unique vehicle for addressing and expressing issues in society, culture, and the environment. Arts and design courses at COA—in music, painting, drawing, photography, video and film, theater, graphic arts, landscape architecture, movement, sculpture, museum studies, and ceramics—enable students to explore the realms of self-expression and cultural dialogue, and to learn to communicate through multiple media. The unique capacity of the arts to map uncharted cultural and moral values makes them an essential tool for human ecologists.

Environmental Science The environmental sciences bring together the biological and the physical sciences in exploration of the earth's systems. Students learn to apply the scientific method to trace ecological and evolutionary patterns, study natural communities as ecological systems, and understand the interactions of people and nature. The environmental sciences include chemistry, botany, math, physics, ecology, oceanography, natural history, geology and earth sciences, zoology, animal behavior, marine biology, genetics, and more. At the same time, the college's interdisciplinary approach to the sciences enables students to apply historical, aesthetic, economic, and literary modes of thought to enhance the scientific method.

Human Studies Human studies combine the humanities with the social sciences to give students a broad and diversified perspective on human nature and culture. Faculty challenge students to blend contemporary social and ecological concerns with classical humanistic studies. Courses in anthropology, literature, economics, philosophy, business, psychology, history, education, law, languages, and political science relate the past to the present, deepen the awareness of one's place in time and provide both the knowledge and perspective to approach individual and cultural challenges. 14


DEGREE REQUIREMENTS At College of the Atlantic, you'll have the opportunity to take a broad range of classes toward your self-designed major. In order to develop a core of competencies and skills, each student also fulfills the following requirements:

Human Ecology Core Course Every fall, first-year students launch their studies at COA with the Human Ecology Core Course—an interdisciplinary course that explores concepts in human ecology through a particular theme such as food, health, or water.

Internship A COA internship is a practical exercise in developing job skills and applying academics to the world of work. Each student, together with faculty and the office of internships and career services, develops a plan for an eleven-week (450 hour) off-campus internship at a business or organization of their choosing. Many students use their internship as an opportunity to gain experience in another state or country.

Human Ecology Essay By the middle of their senior year, all students must write a reflective essay exploring their own perspectives on human ecology. Contact the admission office to request the most recent collection of human ecology essays.

Community Service COA believes in the importance of giving back to our communities. Our community service requirement also gives students valuable experiences that complement their studies in human ecology. The requirement can be satisfied through on-campus or off-campus service such as committee work or volunteering as a tutor at a local school. All students at COA complete at least 40 hours of community service. 16

Senior Project For the senior project, each student undertakes a significant intellectual endeavor such as a research project or other original work intended to advance understanding in a particular academic area and bring together the skills and knowledge acquired during the student's college career. Some students complete a capstone project that will propel them into graduate school. Others synthesize different areas of study or take academic and creative risks that may not be available to them in their professional work. For examples of student work, including senior projects, go to www.coa.edu/student-work.

Other Degree Requirements Each COA student must take at least two classes from each of the college's three academic resource areas: Arts & Design, Environmental Science, and Human Studies. Students must also take at least one history course and one quantitative reasoning course, and fulfill a writing requirement. For more information on COA's degree requirements, request our full course catalog using the card at the back of this book, or online at www.coa.edu/learnmore.


OFF-CAMPUS STUDY Through internships, time spent abroad, or field-based experiences in the local, national, or international sphere, a portion of every student's academic experience will take place off-campus. Some students dive into our international language programs in France or Mexico, while others might have a more local experience conducting research at world renowned laboratories minutes away from COA's campus.

International More than 50% of students will have a significant international experience during their time at COA. The college runs regular international programs in Mexico and France that provide interdisciplinary and collaborative learning experiences in a variety of field settings. In addition, each year there are several courses offering shorter international experiences. These programs include opportunities ranging from language learning, ethnography, tropical ecology, and community development work, to real world immersion in international environmental diplomacy.

National & Regional COA is a founding member of the EcoLeague, a consortium of six environmental colleges dedicated to sustainability and environmental studies through a liberal arts framework. Students can participate in term-long exchanges at the other EcoLeague schools: Alaska Pacific University (Alaska), Dickinson College (Pennsylvania), Green Mountain College (Vermont), Northland College (Wisconsin), and Prescott College (Arizona). COA also has agreements for student exchanges with other institutions including The New School, University of Maine at Orono, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and the Sea Education Association (SEA), among others. Closer to home, relationships with The Jackson Laboratory and the MDI Biological Laboratory allow students the opportunity to take part in cutting-edge biomedical and genetic research. COA also has a special relationship with Acadia National Park, where students and classes engage in research, education, and exhibit design.


Travel Support COA provides each student with a learning enhancement fund to use for expeditionary courses, internships, courserelated travel, senior projects, conference presentations, and more.

Student diving in the tropical marine ecology course taught in the Caribbean.


Students in the South American Earth Systems class on a trip to the north-central coast of Peru near Supe Puerto.


When your views on the world and your intellect are being challenged and you begin to feel uncomfortable because of a contradiction you've detected that is threatening your current model of the world or some aspect of it, pay attention. You are about to learn something. William H. Drury, Jr. COA faculty member in ecology and natural history, 1976–1992



Nadia Harerimana '18

Kigali, Rwanda and Bujumbura, Burundi Internship: Biomedical Researcher at The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME Work-study job: Chemistry Lab "During my time here, I have been able to design my own education with the freedom that COA’s open curriculum provides. I've focused on biology research and writing-intensive courses. In addition, I was able to personalize my COA experience in the classroom and beyond. I think COA gives you the opportunity to discover what empowers you. You get to pursue your intellectual passions, and it directs you toward the path that your goals inspire you to go. For me, the idea of human ecology is to have a public service mentality—a mentality to improve lives, explore, and shape human connections to natural resources."



Hakim Noah '18 Leverett, MA

Internship: Marketing Intern with White Whale, Oakland, CA Work-study job: Beech Hill Farm and Communications Team "I transferred to COA from a more traditional college that talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. I saw COA as a place where I could turn my passions from ‘outside the classroom’ into my actual path of study as part of my degree. This turned out to be true, and I’ve been able to turn pretty much every assignment into a chance to explore the questions and topics that are most meaningful to me—things I would be ‘studying’ even if I wasn’t in school. This is really what sets COA apart: nothing has to be separate from your education. Where many schools force you to box yourself into a major, COA encourages you to just be yourself, and allow the fullest expression of that person to guide the choices you make within the (un)bounds of a degree."



Kaitlyn Clark '19 Rocklin, CA

Internship: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland "I chose COA because I wanted to move away from my hyper-focus on grades, SAT scores, and class rank in high school. My fixation on these modes of evaluation had stifled my passion for learning and COA seemed like the perfect place to reconnect with that passion. At COA, students are actively encouraged to pursue their passions as far as they can go in any directions they choose. In my studies, I can explore my love of the ocean by focusing on local organisms through science classes and research projects and by participating in community meetings about resource use and fishing practices. One of my favorite moments so far was sharing my excitement about intertidal organisms with a fisherman who I met at a touch tank at a statewide fisheries meeting; he was just as excited as I was!"



Donovan Glasgow '20 Corrales, NM

Work-study job: Writing Center "Right before I first transferred to COA, I felt nervous. I was coming to the school in the middle of the year, I knew absolutely no one, and—to top it off—this type of community was alien to me. I grew up in a city: my high school’s graduating class was larger than COA’s entire student body. Coming from a different world, I worried I wouldn’t connect with people. Nothing could ’ve been further from the truth. With two terms under my belt, I can safely say that the relationships I’ve built with friends and professors will last a lifetime. COA is like a small town, and the connections formed here are deep and exceptional. Because of the diversity of the student body and the calm, amicable culture of the school, I have gained valuable insight into the type of person I want to be and the type of work I want to do." 25


Margherita Tommasini '18 Trieste, Italy

Internship: Energy Fellow at MDI Clean Energy Partners Work-study job: Resident Advisor Off-campus study: Samsø, Denmark for the course Rethinking Energy: Paris, France & Marrakech, Morocco as part of the COA Delegation for the UN Climate Change Negotiations "COA has always felt like home. In the classroom, my professors know me for my qualities and my interests. In the dorms, every weekend I have a community dinner with the other residents; we share a meal and catch up on how the week has been. Since that very first August sunset I have loved every aspect of my experience here at COA: the meals in Take-A-Break, the field trips to Beech Hill Farm, the open mics, the pick-up soccer games on the lawn, and every conversation shared with a fellow student, professor, and staff member." 26


Jenna Farineau '18 Louisville, KY

Internships: Communications/Environmental Education Intern at Greener Impact International in Accra Ghana; Communications/Agroecology Intern at ActionAid Senegal in Tambacounda and Dakar, Senegal Work-study job: Coordinator of Share the Harvest at Beech Hill Farm "Before coming to COA, I found myself at a crossroad of choosing to pursue my passion for the environment or my passion for the arts. COA and human ecology provided me with the platform to not choose one over the other, but to instead realize there is indeed a relationship between commitment to art and commitment to the environment. Just like art teaches me patience, culture, and conservation, so have the farmers, the Appalachian Mountains, and the national parks. Human Ecology cultivates interconnection that is so crucial for understanding how and why the world operates as it does." 27

COURSES At COA, the average class size is twelve students and courses are designed to foster discussion and engagement. Here you’ll find a handful of course descriptions to whet your appetite. For a more complete course listing, visit coa.edu/courses.

Practicing a stand-up routine in the Science of Comedy class.




The global demand for food and fiber will continue to increase well into the next century. How will this food and fiber be produced? Will production be at the cost of soil loss, water contamination, pesticide poisoning, and increasing rural poverty? In this course, we examine the fundamental principles and practices of conventional and sustainable agriculture with a primary focus on crops. By examining farm case studies and current research on conventional and alternative agriculture we develop a set of economic, social, and ecological criteria for a critique of current agricultural practices in the United States and that will serve as the foundation for the development and analysis of new farming systems. Evaluations are based on two exams, class presentations, participation in a conference on potato production, and a final paper. Faculty: Suzanne Morse

Why do we get shorter and wrinklier with age? Were dinosaurs warmblooded? How do grasshoppers hop? These diverse questions are all within the realm of biomechanics. A knowledge of biomechanics, or the ways in which plants and animals cope with the laws of physics, can promote an understanding of organisms at all levels of organization, from molecules to ecosystems. In this course we explore several areas of physical science, including mechanical engineering, materials science, and f luid dynamics, as a means of gaining insight into the biological world. Students attend two lecture sessions per week and one three-hour lab session for discussions of current research in biomechanics, review of homework assignments, and laboratory observations or demonstrations. Faculty: Helen Hess

ART OF THE PUPPET Puppetry is the art of designing, constructing, and operating puppets, usually for an audience. A puppet is an articulated figure controlled by external means. Puppets have been used for entertainment, education, therapy, spectacles, and social/political demonstration. This course will explore both the construction and use of puppets, investigate the theory, history and practice of puppetry, and seek out the role and potential of puppets. Various types of puppets will be made, including hand puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets, and large scale puppets. Students, individually and in collaboration, will create both original and adapted scripts and scenarios for their puppets, exploring relationships between text, story, character, and movement of the puppet. In addition to live work, students may choose to develop puppets for use within film, video, or multimedia projects. The course will include readings on puppetry, screenings, presentations, demonstrations, and group discussions. Faculty: Nancy Andrews

BREAD, LOVE, AND DREAMS This course is an introduction to the unconscious. It begins with the problem of knowing something which by definition is unknown. It then proceeds to examine two classic approaches to the unconscious: dreams and love. Students are expected to keep dream notebooks and to recognize their own unconscious life in the light of readings. Readings start with the unconscious in its classical formulation according to Freud and Jung. We read The Interpretation of Dreams and Two Essays in Analytical Psychology. We consider these themes in fiction using Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle. We then move to more contemporary writers, particularly James Hillman’s The Dream and the Underworld, Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality, and finally consider some of the negative implications of the material in Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain. The writing part of this course is done in pairs, with groups of two students cross-examining each other’s dream notebooks and self-analysis. Faculty: Bill Carpenter


COMMUNICATING SCIENCE This course is designed for science students developing their research skills working on research projects for a principal investigator; specifically this course will improve the students’ writing ability and introduce them to writing for the scientific community. The course involves not only learning to write an abstract and literature review but also understanding the protocols for writing a scientific paper based on lab or field data. In addition, students will prepare a powerpoint presentation on their research to present at a meeting or conference such as the Maine Biological Science Symposium or the annual INBRE meeting. Faculty: Anne Kozak 30

CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGY: MIND, BODY, AND SOUL This course explores current theories, research, and ideas in psychology. The core themes of ‘ body’, ‘mind,’ and ‘soul ’ all have a long history of psychological inquiry associated with them. Yet they are every bit as vital and important today. Some of the most inf luential authors in the field continue to struggle with these classical philosophical questions—and with ways to incorporate state-of-the-art research on them. In this class, we will read and discuss at least one major new book on each theme. Ideas from these perspectives will be compared, contrasted, and critiqued. In the final portion of the class, we will look especially at ways in which all three themes can be integrated—not only in academic psychology—but within our own experience. Faculty: Rich Borden

COSTA RICAN NATURAL HISTORY AND CONSERVATION This team-taught, intensive, field-based course examines the ecology and biotic diversity found at several sites within Costa Rica and the implications of this diversity on concepts of conservation biology. Whereas primary emphasis will be placed on Central American herpetofauna and avifauna, we will also discuss and examine issues of botanical, mammalian, etc. diversity and abundance, and the significance of the full array of species in more general studies of land-use and protective strategies. Students will meet during the winter term to discuss a range of articles and book-chapters dealing with aspects of conservation biology and Costa Rican natural history and culture during the winter term but the major emphasis of the course will be a two-week immersion in key habitats within Costa Rica itself during the March break. Nontravel days will consist of early to latemorning fieldwork, afternoon lectures/ presentations followed by early evening to late night fieldwork. The course is based out of three field sites: lowland Caribbean slope rainforest at Tirimbina ecological reserve in north central Costa Rica, montane forest of the Arenal and Tenorio volcanic region, and Pacific slope dry forest of the Nicoya Peninsula. Faculty: John Anderson and Steve Ressel

CURIOSITY AND WONDER: DESIGN & INTERPRETATION IN THE MUSEUM From "cabinet of curiosity" to "exploratorium," this studio course surveys contemporary museum activities and methods of communication through visual display, space, and interaction. Students will engage in a project development process to refine "big ideas," determine educational goals, and learn techniques to design and build their projects. Class participants will gain an understanding of factors that inf luence learning, media, and modes that may be utilized to communicate complex content, and how meaning is constructed by the

selection, organization, and layering of intellectual material through the use of object, text, image, and experiential devices. Projects and hands-on workshops will provide an opportunity to gain skills and techniques in visualizing ideas by developing concepts in the form of plans, sketches, models, and narrative description. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate and create interpretive material for the George B. Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic. Faculty: Dru Colbert

DEMOCRACY: MODELS, THEORIES, QUESTIONS Democracy is a word you hear constantly in contemporary political discourse. Most people seem to think it’s a good thing, but they might not always agree on what the "it" is. Perhaps we should take a moment to unpack the idea of democratic governance in our world. What do we mean when we call something a democracy? Why do we naturally assume that democracy is a good thing? Is it? Should we promote it? How is democratic governance conceptualized across various societies and publics, today and in the past? How are these various models of democracy encoded with certain assumptions about the relationship of the individual subject to the world around them? What does the discourse of the democratic mean in contemporary society? This seminar will cover all of these questions and more. We start with some basic definitional questions and from there springboard into a host of challenging topics pertaining to how governance is conceptualized. We will cover theoretical conceptions of governance and power, empirical observations of the functioning of democratic forms, and grounded questions of practice when applied to contemporary problems. Along the way we will draw on concrete examples from the international, national, local, and (not surprisingly) the COA level. Faculty: Jamie McKown 31



Viewed as a regular practice, the descriptive power of drawing can intensify the experience of observational fieldwork, provide the draughtsperson with a richer understanding of the cycles within a landscape, and deepen our relationship with the natural world. The primary setting for this studio course is Mount Desert Island. The subject matter of our visual attention includes trees, rock features, and other indigenous plant life of the island. Students will learn a variety of drawing methods in order to document the natural history of a specific place. Coursework includes: maintaining a field sketchbook, graphically recording the development of a singular botanical life-form over the course of the term, and producing visual notations in the sketchbook during a bi-weekly slide lecture on the history of artistic representations of the natural world. Faculty: Catherine Clinger

This course is an intensive field course that focuses on research design, collaborative fieldwork, and data analysis and interpretation for ecological studies done in local aquatic ecosystems. Within the broad category of aquatic habitats the course focuses on intertidal mudf lats and streams. Both of these habitats have ongoing field research and restoration work where faculty and students can make substantial contributions to local applied research while learning methodologies and rationale for various types of research. Potential project partners and collaborators include Acadia National Park, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife, Somes-Meynell Sanctuary, Town of Bar Harbor Marine Resources Committee, Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee, Frenchman Bay Partners, the George Mitchell Center at the University of Maine, and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Faculty: Chris Petersen


ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY This course provides an overview of environmental law and the role of law in shaping environmental policy. We examine, as background, the nature and scope of environmental, energy, and resource problems and evaluate the various legal mechanisms available to address those problems. The course attempts to have students critically analyze the role of law in setting and implementing environmental policy. We explore traditional common law remedies, procedural statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act, intricate regulatory schemes, and marketbased strategies that have been adopted to control pollution and protect natural resources. Students are exposed to a wide range of environmental law problems in order to appreciate both the advantages and limitations of law in this context. Special attention is given to policy debates currently underway and the use of the legal process to foster the development of a sustainable society in the United States. Faculty: Ken Cline

FEMININITY AND MASCULINITY GO TO SCHOOL: GENDER, POWER & ED This course pivots around two central questions: How does gender inf luence students learning and experiences of school, curriculum and instruction, teacher-student relationships, school culture and administration? And how do schools perpetuate, resist, and construct gendered identities and gender roles? In this course we will investigate research on gender differences and school achievement, the feminization of the teaching profession, and the effects of gender on school culture, considering evidence from and questions posed by biologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and

educators. The major objective of the course is to examine how notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny have inf luenced and are inf luenced by schooling historically and globally. Activities include a historical case study, media critique, fieldwork in an educational setting, a literature review, and curriculum development. Students will conduct research on self-chosen topics such as gender identity development, gender differences in learning styles, sexual harassment in schools, or school sports programs, among others. Faculty: Bonnie Tai

FEMINIST THEORY IN A TRANSNATIONAL FRAME We will address periods of feminist thought that have been significant in shaping the concerns of transnational feminisms, including 1970s US feminism, French feminism, postcolonial theory, and Marxist thought. Over the course of the term, we will consider how differences across national borders have informed discussions about transnational feminist solidarity. Faculty: Netta van Vliet

FROM NATIVE EMPIRES TO NATION STATES This course is a history of Latin America from Native American contact cultures through the contemporary period covering socio-political processes. An emphasis is placed on the fusion of pre-contact societies into a new socio-cultural formation in the colonial period, and then the shared yet divergent history of the region after the collapse of colonial rule. In the second half the class emphasizes the rise of the nation state in Latin America with particular emphasis on dictatorship and rebellions. The course uses traditional texts, novels, and film to explore this huge geographical and chronological expanse. Faculty: Todd LittleSiebold 33



This course is designed to introduce students to geological concepts, tools of the trade, and to the geological history of Mount Desert Island. Throughout the course, students will learn skillsets (topographic and geologic map reading, orienteering, field observation, note taking, field measurements) and geologic principles (rock types, stratigraphy, plate tectonics, earth systems, geologic time, surface processes) both in the classroom and in the field. We will conduct multiple short field excursions on MDI and one extended weekend field trip to explore the regional geology. Students will submit a term project complete with their own field data, maps, photos, and analysis of the local and regional geology. Faculty: Sarah Hall

Impact Investing focuses on the emerging field of impact investing, which seeks to generate returns for society, the environment, and financial investors. Impact investing seeks to create avenues for private investment to work alongside existing efforts of NGOs and others to help solve global and local problems. Impact investing can be used to fund solutions in areas as diverse as food systems, climate change, poverty, affordable housing, and clean technology among other issues. This course will examine the strategy of various impact investing mechanisms from crowdfunding to "localvesting." In addition, students will examine case studies to understand the benefits and pitfalls of different strategies and their potential to create social and environmental change. During the course students will learn how to create financial projections and evaluate the financial returns of enterprises. For their final project, students will have to structure an investment platform that generates returns financially, socially, and/or environmentally. Faculty: Jay Friedlander

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS: THEORY AND PRACTICE This course will cover the politics and policy of regional and global environmental issues, including many of the major environmental treaties that have been negotiated to date (Montreal Protocol, Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity). Students will gain both practical and theoretical understandings of how treaties are negotiated and implemented, through case studies of the climate change convention and the Cartagena protocol on biosafety. We will draw on both mainstream and critical theories of international relations when analyzing these negotiations. Students will become familiar with the range of political stances on different treaties of various nations and blocs, and the political, economic, cultural, and scientific reasons for diverging and converging views. We will pay special attention to the growing role played by non-governmental organizations in global environmental politics. We will conclude the course with discussions of some current controversial areas in international environmental politics. Faculty: Doreen Stabinsky 34

INTRODUCTION TO OCEANOGRAPHY Planet Earth is misnamed. Seawater covers approximately 70% of the planet’s surface, in one giant all-connected ocean. This ocean has a profound effect on the planet’s climate, chemistry, ecosystem, and energy resources. Billions of years ago life began there, in what now we regard as the last unexplored frontier of this planet. In this course we examine the various disciplines within oceanography, including aspects of geology and sedimentology, chemical, dynamic, and biological oceanography. The course concludes with an introduction to marine ecosystems examined at various trophic levels, including phyto/ zooplankton, fish and other macrofauna. Fieldwork includes trips on M/V Osprey, trips to intertidal and estuarine ecosystems, and possible visits to the college’s islands, Mount Desert Rock and Great Duck Island. Faculty: Sean Todd



This course is a survey of the particular styles of music that have had such a profound effect on America, as well as the world, in the twentieth century. Students inquire of the social, cultural, and aesthetic elements that led to the creation of each style. The use of recorded examples provides a chronological examination of the principle musicians and composers as well as an analysis of the more inf luential soloists and groups. The course includes technical background into the various common musical "bonds of union" between Jazz, Rock, and Blues, as well as discussion concerning the permeation of these characteristics into secular and non-secular music of the 1900s. There is considerable study of the social significance of the music, exploration of the broad cultural and artistic aspects of the music, how these styles changed and evolved, and how their growth related to parallel changes in fine art music. Faculty: John Cooper

This studio course introduces students to the profession of Landscape Architecture, the design process and skills. Aspects to be covered include site analysis, program development, design concept, final site design and graphic representation. Faculty: Isabel Mancinelli

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND SPIRITUALITY A survey of Anglo-American literature from the Scientific Revolution to the present. Focuses on the ongoing debate about the role of science in Western culture, the potential benefits and dangers of scientific experimentation, the spiritual, religious, social and political issues that come about with the Ages of Discovery and Reason, and their treatment in literature. Specific debates include concerns over what is "natural," whether knowledge is dangerous, the perils of objectivity, and the mind/body dichotomy; works include Shelley’s Frankenstein, 35

Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Brecht’s Galileo, Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, and Naylor’s Mama Day as well as short stories and poems. Faculty: Karen Waldron

MARVELOUS TERRIBLE PLACE: HUMAN ECOLOGY OF NEWFOUNDLAND Where is the largest population of humpback whales in the world, the largest caribou herd in North America, the only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, and Paleozoic water bottled for consumption? The remote Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador presents a stunning landscape, an astoundingly rich ecological setting, and a tragic history of poverty amidst an incredible natural resource, the northern cod fishery, that was ultimately destroyed. The province has been alternately invaded or occupied by different groups of Native Americans along with Norsemen, Basques, French, British, and the U.S. military, because of its strategic location and rich fishing and hunting grounds. One of the first and one of the last British colonies, this richest of fisheries produced a very class based society, composed of a wealthy few urban merchants and a highly exploited population of fishing families often living on the edge of survival. But within the past 50 years, Newfoundland 36

society has been forced to evolve. The provincial government looks towards oil and mineral exploitation to turn around the economy, while ex-fishermen consider eco- and cultural tourism with growing ambivalence. This then is our setting, and background, for an intense examination of the human ecology of this province; the relationship between humans and their environment, sometimes successful, sometimes otherwise, the struggle between the tenuous grasp of civilization and this marvelous, terrible place. To do this we will discuss various readings, examine case studies and review the natural and human history of this unique province. Our learning will culminate with a two-week trip to Newfoundland to examine its issues firsthand. Faculty: Sean Todd

MICROECONOMICS FOR BUSINESS AND POLICY What is the best way to insure that communities can provide dependable, well-paying jobs to their citizens? Why does Coca Cola spend millions of dollars to advertise a product with which most people are already very familiar? What can the game of blackjack tell us about how industries are structured? How can we get coal-burning power utilities

to reduce their carbon emissions while they save millions of dollars in the process? How can we provide much better health care to all Americans, at much less cost, while making it easier for small businesses to grow? All of these questions, and many more like them, are answered by microeconomic theory. This intermediate-level course exposes students to basic microeconomic theories, models, and concepts that shed insight on the economic behavior of businesses, individuals, governments and politicians, and international organizations. We will emphasize approaches that have numerous overlapping applications to both business and policy evaluation: markets, pricing, firm structure and decision-making, strategic behavior (using game theory), consumer behavior, externalities (such as greenhouse gas emissions), and the provision of public goods (such as military, education, and environmental conservation). We will pay special attention to the economics of asymmetrical information (adverse selection, moral hazard, and principalagent situations) that have a wide range of applications, including issues such as the ineffectiveness of the American health care system, the structuring of business finance, and the hiring and paying of employees. This will be a non-calculus course, but will give students exposure to technical economic modeling, with heavy emphasis on graphical modeling of complex social phenomena. We will use a lab period to conduct extensive experiments and games that illustrate or test economic concepts and hypotheses. Faculty: Davis Taylor

PHILOSOPHIES OF LIBERATION What is freedom, why might it be of value, how might it be obtained, and what consequences might liberation have for individuals, classes, genders, ethnic groups, races, nationalities, or species? In a wide variety of political, social, religious, and cultural movements, the notion of freedom as achieved by some kind of liberation is a central theme,

and an essentially contested concept which means quite different things to different people. This course focuses on the philosophical tasks of sorting out those different meanings and critically analyzing the frameworks of ideas people use to make sense of their notions of freedom and projects of liberation. It will adopt an intellectual history approach that will include placing the texts in their social and historical as well as philosophical contexts. Readings will include works from Gandhi, Paulo Freire, and writers from the open source and creative commons movements as well as selections from feminist, Buddhist, neoliberal, Marxist, existentialist, and other traditions. Goals of the course are: 1) to develop students’ philosophical skills in the interpretation of texts in their historical context and the critical analysis of frameworks of ideas, 2) to develop their critical understanding of alternative visions of freedom and liberation, and 3) to develop their abilities to communicate sophisticated philosophical analysis in written and oral forms. Faculty: Gray Cox

POSTCOLONIAL AFRICAN CINEMA Africa was the last continent to develop a culture of filmmaking controlled by its indigenous peoples; 1966 saw the first African film to be produced independent of Colonial control (although still largely in an oppressor’s language, in this case French). The fact that African film was nascent at a time of worldwide revolution, at a time in which most other filmmaking regions were entering second or third waves of creative renewal, combined with a historical lack of financial support for the filmmaking enterprise—a symptom of ubiquitous financial and political instability—has resulted in some of the most unique, diverse cinema of the past fifty years. Ranging from the established, artistic, state-regulated cinema of Burkina Faso to the populist, truly independent movies coming out of Nigeria (home of the second-largest film-producing industry in the world), the African continent has given birth to new voices and new 37


models of production and distribution that challenge established norms. These models may offer a new paradigm for a worldwide industry which is struggling in the face of fragmented audiences and new, potentially more egalitarian, technologies. Although African films have been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades, it is only recently that many of these ground-breaking films have received attention or been available for viewing in the United States. Faculty: Colin Capers

timeless. The course uses film, video, live performance, and readings. Students gain practical experience through work on classic routines, physical comedy skills, and sketch development as well as experimenting with the peculiar mathematics of comic timing. Together, we will try to pinpoint what actually makes something funny and as importantly, why people crave laughter so much in the first place. Faculty: Jodi Baker


In higher latitudes and higher altitudes of the world, up to nine months of each year can be spent locked in winter. Although migratory species appear to have a selective advantage over non-migratory species during the winter season, yearround resident animals have evolved a remarkable array of physiological, morphological, and behavioral adaptations that allow them to cope with potentially lethal environmental conditions. In this course, we focus on the special challenges of animals wintering in northern latitudes. Some of the topics that we address are: the physical properties of snow and ice, general strategies of animals for coping with sub-freezing temperatures, life in the subnivean environment, animal energetics and nutrition, physiological acclimatization, and humans and cold. There are two discussions/lectures and one field exercise every week, as well as two weekend field trips. Students should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time outdoors in winter conditions. Faculty: Steve Ressel

This course is an introduction to philosophy and critical thinking by considering traditional conceptual and philosophical problems such as free will, problems of perception, determinism, and Zeno’s paradoxes. After an examination of the canons of scientific proof and techniques of critical analysis various beliefs in ghosts, alien abduction, telepathy, crop-circles, special creation, astrology, ‘psychic science,’ and other popular beliefs are examined in detail. Faculty: John Visvader

THE SCIENCE OF COMEDY This course explores the nature and history of modern comedy and investigates the tools and techniques of great comic performers. We’ll cover the evolution of comedy aesthetics from vaudeville and silent film to contemporary stand up and television and we’ll explore what, if any sort of ‘funny,’ is




Ken Cline

BA, University of California, Berkeley MA, San Francisco State University PhD, University of Rhode Island

BA, Hiram College JD, Case Western Reserve University

Zoology, Behavioral Ecology, Anatomy, Physiology

Nancy Evelyn Andrews BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Public Policy, Environmental Law

Catherine Clinger BFA, University of Kansas MA, University of New Mexico MPhil, University College London PhD, University of London Art History, Studio Art

Performance Art, Video Production

Jodi Baker BA, California State University, Fresno MFA, National Theatre Conservatory Performing Arts, Theatre

Rich Borden BA, University of Texas PhD, Kent State University Psychology, Philosophy of Human Ecology

Colin Capers BA, MPhil, College of the Atlantic Writing and Composition, Film Studies

William Carpenter BA, Dartmouth College PhD, University of Minnesota Literature, Creative Writing, Comparative Mythology


Dru Colbert BFA, Auburn University MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graphic Design, Three Dimensional Art and Design, Museum Studies

Kourtney Collum BS, Western Michigan University MS, PhD, University of Maine Sustainable Food Systems

John Cooper BA, MA, Trenton State Music Fundamentals, Aesthetics of Music, Improvisation

J. Gray Cox BA, Wesleyan University PhD, Vanderbilt University Social Theory, Political Economics

Dave Feldman

Heather Lakey

BA, Carleton College PhD, University of California, Davis

BA, MPhil, College of the Atlantic

Mathematics, Physics

PhD, University of Maine

Sean Foley

Philosophy, Feminist and Gender Theory, Bioethics, Ethics

BFA, Herron School of Art MFA, Ohio State University

Susan Letcher

Painting, Drawing

BA, Carleton College

Jay Friedlander BA, Colgate University MBA, Olin Graduate School of Business Socially Responsible and Sustainable Business, Entrepreneurship

Sarah Hall BA, Hamilton College PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz Earth Science, Geology

Helen Hess BS, University of California, Los Angeles PhD, University of Washington Invertebrate Zoology, Biomechanics, Genetics

Ken Hill BA, University of Michigan EdM, Harvard University MS, PhD, Cornell University Education, Psychology

Anne Kozak

MA, University of Oregon

PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs Plant Biology

Todd Little-Siebold BA, MA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst PhD, Tulane University History, Latin American Studies

Isabel Mancinelli BS, Catholic University of America MLA, Harvard University Community and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture

Jamie McKown BA, Emory University MA, Georgia State University PhD, Northwestern University Government, Polity

Suzanne R. Morse BA, PhD, University of California, Berkeley Applied Botany, Plant Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture

BA, Salve Regina College MA, St. Louis University Writing


Karla PeĂąa

Sean Todd

BA, Autonomous University of Yucatan MA, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, Madrid

BSc, University College of North Wales, UK MSc, PhD, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland

Spanish Language, Yucatecan Culture

Marine Mammalogy, Biology, Oceanography

Chris Petersen

Katharine Turok

BA, University of California, Santa Barbara PhD, University of Arizona

BA, Wheaton College MA, Rutgers University

Marine Biology, Evolution, Field Ecology

Writing and Composition, World Literature

Stephen Ressel

Netta van Vliet

BS, Millersville University MS, University of Vermont PhD, University of Connecticut

BA, Lewis and Clark College

Vertebrate Biology, Comparative Animal Physiology, Herpetology

Doreen Stabinsky BA, Lehigh University PhD, University of California, Davis International Studies, Global Environmental Politics

Scott Swann

MA, PhD, Duke University Cultural Anthropology, Israeli Studies, Politics, Religion, Globalization

John Visvader BA, CUNY PhD, University of Minnesota Philosophy, Cosmology, History of Ideas, Chinese Philosophy

Karen Waldron

Ecology, Natural History, Ornithology

BA, Hampshire College MA, University of Massachusetts, Boston MA, PhD, Brandeis University

Bonnie Tai

19 th and 20 th Century American Literature, Minority, Cultural and Feminist Theory

BA, MPhil, College of the Atlantic

BA, Johns Hopkins University EdM, EdD, Harvard University Education

Davis F. Taylor BS, United States Military Academy MS, PhD, University of Oregon Neoclassical and Ecological Economics


In addition to the permanent faculty members included here, COA also hosts a range of adjunct and visiting faculty on a regular basis.

ADVISING The freedom to design your own major carries with it the responsibility to develop a coherent and thoughtful course of study. During your time at COA you'll work closely with an academic advisor, typically a faculty member in one of your areas of interest, to plan a program of study that will best fit your evolving goals and needs. In addition to working with a formal advisor, many students also build their own informal advising team and draw on other faculty, staff, and students as mentors.

EVALUATION COA offers students the option of taking each class either for a traditional letter grade, or pass/fail. In both instances students receive a written evaluation from faculty, which provides a detailed assessment of their performance throughout the class and identifies strengths and areas for improvement. This system is designed to recognize the value of both quantitative and qualitative assessment, and give students evaluation options. Sometimes students find that the freedom from letter grades inspires them to explore new subject areas, push themselves, or take more intellectual risks. An optional self-evaluation is written by the student to assess the value of the course in relation to his or her own intellectual development.

OTHER ACADEMIC OPTIONS With a student to faculty ratio of 10:1, individualized attention and seminar-style discussions are the classroom norm. For students who might be looking to delve into subjects not represented in the regular curriculum, the college also offers the opportunity for independent studies, tutorials, residencies, group studies, and various off-campus study options.

THE PRINCETON REVIEW SAYS… • #1 Green Colleges • #2 LGBTQ-Friendly • #8 Professors Get High Marks • #8 Most Active Student Government • #11 Best Campus Food • #14 Students Study the Most

ALSO FEATURED IN… • Best Northeastern Colleges • Best 382 Colleges 43

Jay Friedlander

Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green & Socially Responsible Business BA, Colgate University; MBA, Olin Graduate School of Business "At COA your only limit is yourself. I have seen few places in my lifetime that will both encourage your dreams and help you achieve them. For example, if you are interested in creating a sustainable enterprise, we go beyond giving you the skills in a classroom. By your senior year you could enter the Hatchery (COA's sustainable venture incubator) and launch your enterprise. The enterprise could be a for-profit venture that produces social and environmental benefits—alternative energy, organic foods or creating new products or services. Or perhaps you'd rather focus on tackling a persistent problem like hunger, poverty, or global warming. Ask yourself what would you like to create and where you'd like to go. We'll help you get there."

Courses Taught at COA • Business and Non-Profit Basics • Creative Destruction: Understanding 21st Century Economies • Financials • Hatchery • Human Relations: Principles and Practice 44

• • • • •

Impact Investing Islands: Energy, Economy, and Community Launching a New Venture Solutions Sustainable Strategies

Nancy Andrews BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art; MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago "COA is not just a small school; it is a tiny school. It is a college with top-notch faculty who care a great deal about teaching and mentoring. This school is a community, and people—students, faculty, and staff—find niches here, but are also always finding new roles. They find work that they love, and people that care about their work. We are continually trying to push the envelope of interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in order to forge and understand connections between areas of knowledge and areas of life. For me, this kind of constant growth and change parallels the process of being an artist, and it keeps my work as a teacher challenging and fresh."

Courses Taught at COA • Advanced Projects: Art Practice and Concepts • • • •

Animation I & II Art of the Puppet Documentary Video Studio Film Sound and Image

• Four-Dimensional Studio • Intermediate Video: Studio and Strategies • Journeys in French Film • Soundscape


Bonnie Tai BA, Johns Hopkins University; EdM, EdD, Harvard University "Human ecology: this somewhat clunky, notoriously difficult-to-explain focus is an intrinsic element of COA. Because none of us define it exactly the same way, we start from the assumption that our words do not mean the same to everyone. COA's best qualities rest in our rejection of monocultures, dualisms, and trifectas—and our embrace of ambiguity, complexity, paradox, and impermanence."

Courses Taught at COA • • • •

Changing Schools, Changing Society Curriculum Design and Assessment Experiential Education Femininity and Masculinity go to School: Gender, Power & Education • Integrated Methods II: Science, Math, and Social Studies 46

• Intercultural Education • Tutorial: Research and Program Development for Ecological Education • Tutorial: Social Power and Identity Politics • Understanding and Managing Group Dynamics

Sean Todd

Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Sciences BSc, University College of North Wales, UK; MSc, PhD, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland "Part of what makes me excited to teach at COA is that as a biologist I get to go out in the field with my students. In my Oceanography class we are out every week getting cold and wet, but understanding and being part of the ocean. For my Marine Mammal Biology class we spent two weeks out at one of the college's marine field stations on Mount Desert Rock. Not only did students learn field biology, but they also learned the logistics of helping to run a field station. They drove boats, serviced diesel generators and photovoltaic solar panels, and learned to cook, all at the same time."

Courses Taught at COA • • • •

Biology I Biology II: Form and Function Fisheries and Their Management Introduction to Oceanography

• Introduction to Statistics and Research Design • Marine Mammal Biology I • Marine Mammals and Sound 47


COA is a close-knit intellectual and social community. With 350 students, 35 faculty members, and 70 staff, everyone is on a first-name basis and you'll likely find that your academic work percolates into all aspects of your life. These close ties unite people during their years at COA and long afterward.


Student Life Life at COA is informal, friendly, supportive, and always busy. COA's mission attracts students who are comfortable with alternative viewpoints and a certain degree of uncertainty. This is reflected in a campus atmosphere that balances consistency and spontaneity in and out of the classroom. On any one day you might participate in a pick-up game of soccer, a meeting of a student-run organization dedicated to environmental activism, a lunchtime foreign language group, a theatrical or musical performance, a design meeting for a student literary publication, or a kayak trip around the islands of Frenchman Bay. Acadia National Park, located a short walk from campus, offers hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, running, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The park's lakes, ponds, ocean shores, and mountains keep swimmers, ice skaters, rock climbers, and kayakers happy. COA's outdoor program organizes regular expeditions and camping trips in the park and surrounding areas.

Governance Responsible citizenship requires collaborative attitudes and skills. This is a primary rationale for COA's commitment to participatory governance and consensus building. In keeping with the central ideas of community and responsibility, students play a large role in the college's governance structure. Students, together with faculty and staff, are invited to participate on college committees, from Academic Affairs to Personnel, with full voting rights. The All College Meeting (ACM), held every Wednesday and moderated by a student, provides a regular forum for students, faculty, and staff to consider issues facing the college and the world. ACM serves numerous functions: it is a policy-making body; it provides consultation on pressing issues; it builds community; it acts as an educational forum; and it provides a venue for communication between various constituencies on campus. The governance system is an important way that COA students make significant contributions to the college, both in terms of day-to-day management and helping to determine our long-term direction.


Housing & Food COA's on-campus residences are a mix of old homes from former seaside estates and newer houses built by the college to encourage community living and meet high environmental standards. All first-year students live on campus. Transfer and returning students may opt to live on campus, or to rent houses or apartments with friends in the village of Bar Harbor—a short walk or bike ride away. Bar Harbor's popularity as a summer tourist destination means that there is a great deal of affordable housing available to rent during the school year. As a member of a house on campus, each student is expected to play a vital role in making the house a home. All residences are equipped with full kitchens, and community dinners are typical on Sunday evenings. Resident advisors work with students to generate evening programs for the house and help to facilitate house chores and responsibilities. Blair Dining Hall, affectionately known as Take-A-Break (or TAB), has won repeated praise for providing among the best college food in the US. All meals are made from scratch, and more than 30% of the ingredients are sourced locally and sustainably. Meals are served Monday through Friday, and there are always vegan, vegetarian, and glutenfree options. And if today's TAB menu doesn't suit your fancy, you can always grab a sandwich, salad, soup, or smoothie (and quite a few things that don't start with s) at the Sea Urchin CafÊ in the Deering Common Community Center. 50


Students manage COA's extensive composting system.

#1 GREEN COLLEGE IN AMERICA As ranked by The Princeton Review and Sierra Club


Solar panels on student housing.

Wind energy helps power COA's Beech Hill Farm.

A wood pellet boiler heats several campus buildings.

The college's solar-powered car charging station.

Sustainability Sustainability at COA isn't just something we do; it's a core part of who we are and how we live. We boast solar arrays and wind energy, local farms that provide food for the dining hall and process the compost created there, dorms with composting toilets and a wood pellet boiler, and of course, a curriculum in which sustainability is a central theme. The Campus Committee for Sustainability, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, is integral to exploring and implementing policies and actions that continue to green COA and help the priorities of all community members be heard. And there is always a conversation happening—in classrooms, over coffee, on nature walks—about what we can do to improve our relationship with the world. 53

Edward McC. Blair Marine Research Station on Mount Desert Rock. Opposite top: Alice Eno Field Research Station on Great Duck Island.

Facilities & Resources COA has two organic farms—Beech Hill Farm centers on five acres of intensive organic vegetable production, and the Peggy Rockefeller Farms raise sheep, poultry, and other livestock. Both farms produce food for the college's dining services and give students the opportunity to gain real farming experience. The college's offshore island research stations on Great Duck Island and Mount Desert Rock are sites where students engage in hands-on marine mammal and ornithological research. Allied Whale, COA's marine mammal research group, has been using photographic identification techniques to study humpback and finback whales for more than 30 years. On-campus facilities include the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, Amos Eno Greenhouse, COA/Acadia National Park Herbarium, and numerous gardens including a large community garden. Thorndike Library provides access to a wealth of academic resources both near and far, and its reading room and stacks are popular spots for quiet study. Gates Community Center hosts regular speakers, concerts, and theatrical performances, and the Blum Gallery features art exhibitions by students, faculty, and outside artists. The Deering Common Community Center includes a meditation room, meeting spaces, a student lounge, and the Sea Urchin CafÊ. It is also home to health, wellness, and counseling resources. 54

Ethel H. Blum Gallery

George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History

COA's M/V Osprey

Peggy Rockefeller Farms


Our students are extraordinary in their ability to take lessons learned in one context and apply those things: the skills, experience, and understanding, much more broadly. Understanding the evolution of mating systems in hermaphroditic fish is fascinating to know but it may be information that is directly relevant in only a narrow range of circumstances. The critical thinking, analytical skills, and pleasure in working hard to understand a complex phenomenon are habits of mind that are broadly transferable, and our students understand that. Helen Hess, PhD Faculty in invertebrate zoology, genetics, and biomechanics

Student researcher banding gull chicks on Great Duck Island.



Outdoor Program Students are encouraged to arrive at COA with a sense of adventure. With Acadia National Park in your backyard, you'll have easy access to countless outdoor activities both on your own and through the college's outdoor programs. Organized trips range from a day hike or an afternoon of rock climbing to a weekend of backpacking or winter camping. For those who want to head off at a moment's notice, COA's recreational equipment is accessible to all college community members for free. This includes a fleet of ocean kayaks and lake canoes, cross-country skis, tents, snowshoes, and much more. Some classes, such as Whitewater/White Paper and Ecology: Natural History, also incorporate trips that place students in whitewater canoes or the school's 46-foot marine vessel, the Osprey. Each fall, new students are introduced to Maine's numerous wilderness adventure opportunities through the optional Outdoor Orientation Program (OOPs). Returning students lead the six-day trips; participants choose from sea kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and backpacking. 58


Mount Desert Island

The Peggy Rockefeller Farms

COA The Cox Protectorate

Beech Hill Farm

Acadia National Park

Great Duck Island



Mount Desert Rock

Life on Mount Desert Island Mount Desert Island (MDI) is truly a remarkable place to live and study. Its pink granite mountains, rugged shores, woods, and waters are a much-loved yearround home to 10,000 hardy and dynamic locals. In the summer more than a million visitors flock to visit Acadia National Park and the hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and shops across the four towns of the island. During the fall, winter, and spring the island is quieter, with many local businesses open to serve the year-round community. The bookstore, natural food store, second-hand shop, cinema, outdoor gear supplier, yoga studio, and public library (all within a mile of campus) will likely be destinations at some point during your years at COA. Every student receives a membership to the local YMCA, which provides access to volleyball, basketball, swimming, a weight room, indoor soccer, and fitness classes. 61

LIFE AFTER COA COA's emphasis on field research, independent study, interdisciplinary thinking, and internships translates directly to the world of work. Alumni often report that their close connections with COA faculty help facilitate important professional connections that launch them into their careers or graduate school. Among them: the Executive Vice President of Conservation International, one of Maine's two Congressional Representatives, and the co-founder and president of Newman's Own Organics. Other graduates have become marine biologists, composers, restaurateurs, attorneys, entrepreneurs, teachers, organic farmers, artists, writers, social workers, doctors, veterinarians, molecular geneticists, and public policy experts. COA alumni are tied together not just by their connections with the college, but also by their concern for the world around them and their desire to make a positive impact in their communities. COA alumni go on to careers in a wide range of fields: 22% natural science; 17% arts and design; 17% education; 16% administration, business, and computer technology; 14% social services, government, and law; 10% health; 4% other areas. Approximately 67% of COA graduates pursue advanced degrees at a wide range of universities including: Antioch University New England, Boston University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Lesley University, London School of Economics, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts University, University of British Columbia, University of Maine, Vermont Law School, and Yale University.



Meg Trau '12

Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Science, Boston Internships: Spruce Knob Mountain Center, Circleville, WV; Delaware Museum of Natural History, Wilmington, DE Senior project: The Human Ecology of Weeds: A Museum Exhibit After graduation, Meg worked as an exhibit development intern at the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA. Now a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Science in Boston, Meg curates the Natural Mysteries exhibit, works on exhibit installations, and cares for the museum's collection of natural history and technology objects. "I was looking for a college community that shared my values, that really cared about learning, and was engaged with the world. That is precisely what I found and what kept me at COA. "The process of putting together a senior project is a wonderful opportunity that many college students do not have in their undergrad years. It allows for the synthesis of ideas and the practical application of skills that are valuable bridges from college to the 'real world.' For me, working on a long-term project that had a concrete result—an exhibit in the Dorr Museum of Natural History—was challenging and fulfilling, and having created all of the components of my very own exhibit was a unique experience to have when entering into the museum world. And the skills I gained from my senior project are still relevant in my work today!" 64

Juan Olmedo de la Sota-Riva '12 Company Representative, Agro-Productores del Rincรณn, Mexico Internship: Domaine de la Croix Fees, Auvergne, France Senior project: Deep Roots, Dry Soil: Perennials in Semi-Arid Agroecosystems

Now back in Mexico on his family's farm, Juan is working to build a business he began while in the COA sustainable enterprise hatchery. As the legal representative of AgroProductores del Rincรณn, he is raising funds to begin commercially transforming the farm's agave and goat milk into syrup and cheese. "COA taught me to think out of the box. I considered myself a technician and the college turned me into a human ecologist, seeing the complexities beyond technical issues. Now I cannot see anything without seeing the big picture. "My favorite COA class was "Our Daily Bread: Following Grains through the Food System." In this class we explored the food chain from wheat fields to grocery stores and kitchens, passing through mills, bakeries, and shops. The class started in Maine, and then took us to the UK and Germany where we gained insight into how to deal with issues in the Maine food system."


COA approaches the admission process much as we approach learning: with a focus on the individual strengths of each student, encouraging creativity, and with the hope that you will both ask lots of questions and share your ideas with us. Students may choose to apply either Regular Decision or Early Decision. Early Decision applications are binding, meaning that the applicant is committing to enroll at COA if admitted. COA accepts the Common Application. To start your application visit www.commonapp.org. College of the Atlantic's CEEB code is 3305.

ADMISSION A Complete Application Includes: 1. Completed Common Application 2. $50 application fee 3. At least two teacher recommendations 4. Official transcripts of all academic work from high school and college 5. A personal interview, though not required, is strongly encouraged 6. Standardized test scores are not required, but you are welcome to submit SAT or ACT scores if you choose



What We Look For All applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee, which is comprised of current students, faculty, and staff. The committee looks for: •

Academic preparation

Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning

A tendency to seek out intellectual and personal challenges

A desire to be a part of a small college with a focus on environmental sustainability and social justice

Transfer or Visiting Students Approximately 20% of COA students start at COA as transfer students from other institutions. A student may transfer a maximum of 18 credits to COA (the equivalent of two years of study, or 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours). Although an evaluation of credit is not final until after enrollment, students may receive preliminary evaluations by contacting the registrar. Students who wish to spend one or more terms at COA and transfer college credit to another institution should apply as a visiting student.


Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate COA credit will be granted for scores of "4" or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. For International Baccalaureate (IB) work, COA credit will be given for scores of "5" or higher on HL exams.

International Students International students from a wide array of geographic regions comprise about 21% of COA's student body. In addition to the regular application requirements, international students are required to submit one of the following: TOEFL score, SAT critical reading and writing scores, SAT II writing test score, or predicted IB score for English. International students are also required to submit a declaration of finances form. We are proud to offer the Davis United World College Scholarship to students who graduate from the United World Colleges and are admitted to COA.


Dates & Deadlines Early Decision I December 1 December 10 December 15 January 10

Application Due FAFSA and Financial Aid Form Due Response to Applicants Enrollment Deposit Due

Early Decision II January 15 January 20 January 30 February 15

Application Due FAFSA and Financial Aid Form Due Response to Applicants Enrollment Deposit Due

Regular Decision February 1 March 15 May 1

Application & FAFSA Due Response to Applicants Enrollment Deposit Due

Transfer Admission March 15 April 15 May 15

Application & FAFSA Due Response to Applicants Enrollment Deposit Due

Students may also apply to start at COA in the winter or spring trimesters. For more information, visit www.coa.edu/apply.

Admission & Financial Aid Staff Phone: 1-800-528-0025 Email: inquiry@coa.edu Heather Albert-Knopp Donna McFarland Matt Shaw Linda Black Bruce Hazam Amy McIntire


Dean of Admission Associate Director of Admission & Student Services Assistant Director of Admission Admission & Financial Aid Assistant Director of Financial Aid Assistant to the Director of Financial Aid

Costs & Financial Aid COA offers both merit-based and need-based financial aid. Approximately 85% of our students receive need-based aid, and the average aid package meets 95% of the student's demonstrated need. Each year we also award several merit-based Presidential and Dean scholarships to those students exhibiting exceptional academic achievements and citizenship qualities. The college also offers a number of special scholarships, which can be found online at coa.edu/coa-scholarships. All applicants are considered for COA's merit scholarships—there is no need to submit a separate scholarship application. 2017–2018 costs: Tuition: $42,993 Basic Fees:


Room: $6,210 Board: $3,537 Total: $53,289 Estimates for expenses that are not billed: (including books, supplies, transportation)


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available October 1 and must be submitted by February 1. Applicants should also submit COA's institutional aid application no later than February 1. The colleges Title IV code is 011385. Our financial aid staff has years of experience helping students and families navigate the intricacies of applying for financial aid. Please don't hesitate to contact them with your questions, or look for more information online at coa.edu/costs-financial-aid.





4. Dorr Museum of Natural History 5. Arts and Sciences Building

Blum Gallery

1. Ceramic Studio 2. Animation & 3D Studios 3. Gates Community Center &



Financial Aid Offices • Thorndike Library • Blair Dining Hall (Take-A-Break)

6. Kaelber Hall • Admission &




8 10

7. College Pier 8. Turrets • Allied Whale • Educational Studies Center


11. Witchcliff

and Regional Studies

9. Deering Common • Student Lounge • Sea Urchin Café • Health & Wellness Center 10. Davis Center for International


= Student Housing

College of the Atlantic Campus Map



“How do we help most? How do we best serve this broken world? … The holistic leap we need is within our grasp. And know that there is no better preparation for that grand project than your deeply interdisciplinary education in human ecology. You were made for this moment." Naomi Klein “Climate Change Is a Crisis We Can Only Solve Together” College of the Atlantic Commencement Address, June 6, 2015

COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC 105 Eden Street · Bar Harbor ME 04609 800-528-0025 · inquiry@coa.edu www.coa.edu

Profile for College of the Atlantic

COA Admission Viewbook 2017-18  

COA Admission Viewbook 2017-18