College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins '92I enrolled as a COA student in 1988 and began an unforgettable adventure in education. It was an adventure that gave me the confidence and competence to chart my own course and find success in a world that was changing faster and more drastically than ever before.  I feel honored to continue the adventure as COA’s president.

My colleagues here—students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, partners—seek to understand and improve upon the complexities that connect human beings to their built, social, and natural environments. That’s human ecology.

As students of human ecology, you’ll work, teach, and learn collaboratively with faculty and staff as you become comfortable with the sometimes discomforting lack of truth, lack of clarity, and lack of predictability that describes our world. You’ll rack your brain and get your hands dirty as you develop your own curriculum under the close guidance of mentors, as you learn to value the methods and solutions of science, the humanities, and the arts, and as you gain real-word experience through internships, residencies, expeditions, and project-oriented learning.

As a student here you’ll play a central role in the evolution of COA as an institution.  You’ll sit shoulder-to-shoulder with faculty, staff, and trustees, as we shape the college for the next generation of human ecologists.  That participation is a defining element of the college: we were born an experiment and continue the experiment to this day, largely through this shared-governance model.

As alumni, you’ll apply these experiences and perspectives to the wider world.  Always a human ecologist, you’ll be set up with the practical wisdom that will make you some of the world’s most innovative, passionate, and effective doctors, conservationists, artists, educators, activists, lawyers, writers, and community leaders. 

College of the Atlantic is a remarkable place and unlike any other institution of higher education in the country. The magic I felt as a student years ago is even stronger and more diverse today.

Explore this website. Write us or call us with thoughts. Come for a visit and experience the magic yourself and when you do, be sure to drop in to my office and say hello.


Follow Darron on Twitter


Darron on Instagram