Our classrooms include canoes on the river, farm fields, rocky island shores and the woods and waters of Maine and Acadia National Park. Here students explore the connections between science, art, and the humanities while they engage in an intensive program combining academic work with field experiences. These programs will provide you with opportunities to reflect on your place in the world and develop skills you will use in college and beyond.

College of the Atlantic focuses on human ecology—the relationship between humans and our environments. Each Summer Field Institute program explores its central theme using an interdisciplinary approach: for instance, you may spend the morning discussing a novel about life on a remote island, and spend the afternoon exploring the shore of that same island, spotting whales and identifying seabirds and their nesting grounds.

All programs have a component that takes place on the COA campus and Mount Desert Island, which includes Acadia National Park. In addition, students spend time on extended trips to the college’s island research stations, our organic farms, or the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine.

Our programs are designed for rising juniors and seniors who:

  • Are curious about the world and ready to engage
  • Have strong academic backgrounds and are excited about learning
  • Want to be challenged
  • Think outside of the box
  • Value learning both inside and outside the classroom
  • Want to change the world and help create a more sustainable future