WE do islands
Fortunately Maine is blessed with plenty of islands — between 4000 and 6200, depending on the tide and who is counting. We don't limit ourselves to Maine however. Members and alumni of the Island Research Center have also worked on French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii, the Barren Islands of Alaska, and Machias Seal Island, Canada. Alumni of the program have done or are doing graduate work on birds ranging from Florida Scrub Jays and Wild Turkeys to Caspian and Arctic Terns. While at COA student members of the Island Research Center, directed by conservation biologist John Anderson, have the opportunity not only to monitor populations of seabirds, but also to learn techniques for censusing wildlife, running an island research station, and applying GIS and GPS technologies to real world conservation projects.
Each summer a team of students spends June and July on Great Duck Island, working on studies of Herring and Black Backed Gulls, Guillemots, and Leach's Storm Petrels. Work at Great Duck is done in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and the State of Maine, co-owners of the bulk of the island.
Our "home away from home" is the Great Duck Island Light Station, now converted to the College's Alice Eno Field Research Station. The station has recently benefited from the College's Green Technology Initiative, converting to a more sustainable power grid, employing photovoltaics and a generator running bio-diesel.
We love to show off our campus so set up your tour and plan to visit a couple of classes.