Thoughtful, impactful, creative, and compassionate just begin to describe the nature of COA faculty and staff. With 350 students, 35 faculty, and 70 staff members, ours is a tight-knit community of life-long learners. Looking back on 2016, we celebrate some of the achievements of those who call COA home.
Human ecology can be hard to wrap your mind around. In order to get a deeper understanding of the characteristic study of COA, Love Maine Radio at Maine Magazine decided to interview a pair of the most preeminent representatives of human ecology, COA President Darron Collins ’92 and the Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology Richard Borden.
2016 marked both the National Park Service and Acadia National Park’s 100th year in operation. Along with various other centennial celebrations, the honorary post of Poet Laureate was awarded to College of the Atlantic adjunct professor of poetry Christian Barter.
David MacDonald, president and CEO of Friends of Acadia, says, “Chris Barter’s poems and trails are works of art that provide us access and insight into Acadia National Park and the wonders of the natural world. There is no better person to help Maine and the nation to celebrate Acadia and its 100-year history.”
Barter’s duties throughout the year have included composing poetry that celebrates the park, readings at select events in Maine, and leading trail walks to discuss the influence of the natural scene on his poetry and how reading and writing poems have affected his trail building.
College of the Atlantic registrar Judy Allen can be pretty quiet about the volunteer work she does for Allied Whale. In fact, it’s a side of her quite a few people don’t know about. But, for hundreds of hours every year, Allen steadily catalogues humpback whales, co-authors scientific articles, and contributes to museum installments.
This spring, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary named her as their Volunteer of the Year for the hours she spent in support of CARIB Tails and the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Sister Sanctuary Program.
Allen has worked in a volunteer capacity for SBNMS since 1992; for the Sister Sanctuary Program since 2006; and, most recently for CARIB Tails Citizen Science Project since 2014. Her nomination celebrates the 10th anniversary of the sanctuary’s Sister Sanctuary Program (2006-2016).
The book is a collection of photographs and remembrances in celebration of Acadia National Park’s Wild Gardens of Acadia. The authoring trio discussed the book at a special launch party held at COA in May.
The Wild Gardens of Acadia is the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s newest series Images of Modern America. Released on May 2, 2016, the book uses stunning images to illustrate the growth of the Wild Gardens and highlights the founder, supporters and volunteers who have worked for decades to make the place one of the premier locations to observe native plant life on Mount Desert Island.
All proceeds from the sale of The Wild Gardens of Acadia benefit the Endowment for the Wild Gardens at Friends of Acadia.
In July, Maine Magazine released its annual list of individuals in Maine making the largest and most positive impact on the state’s future. This year’s list included College of the Atlantic Sharpe-McNally Chair in Green and Socially Responsible Business Jay Friedlander.
Friedlander founded the sustainable business program at COA in Bar Harbor after working as chief operating officer at O’Naturals, a natural and organic fast-food restaurant group. He says he discovered the power of business as a lever for positive social and environmental change as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania. In that country, slave owners used business as a tool of oppression, but he saw that it could be liberating as well. Women’s cooperatives used commerce to improve their education, health, and social standing, he says.
As the inaugural chair of the sustainable business program, Friedlander developed a curriculum that focuses on how building social, economic, and environmental capital can help businesses innovate and gain competitive advantages.
Friedlander serves on the advisory board of the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies at University of Maine, which is establishing an interdisciplinary graduate center combining business, law, and policy.
Sean Foley explores ideas of the monstrous and the grotesque through paintings, drawings, and installations that playfully combine notions of figuration, abstraction and art history into a single “carnivalesque” visual experience.College of the Atlantic painting and drawing professor
Foley’s paintings, he says, are like monsters: “messy, captivating, silly, but irrevocably prodigious creations unconcerned with being anything in particular.”
His aim, as both artist and teacher, is to provoke imagination and facilitate a healthy sense of wonder, where all the senses are engaged, and where one is comfortable in the midst of “not knowing.” And as COA students work to better understand, through the human ecological perspective, their relationships with their surroundings, this exploration of wonder remains a key part of their experience, according to COA president Darron Collins ’92.
Foley comes to COA from The Ohio State University, where he was a visiting associate art professor and senior lecturer. Previous to his time in Ohio, Foley was the chair of painting at Maine College of Art, in Portland.
He began teaching at COA in 2015.
In 2013, Nancy Andrews set out to do something she had never done before - create a full-length film. Andrews had produced a number of short, experimental pieces, with her work collected in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. But a theater-ready feature was a new challenge.
Andrews’ resulting film, The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes, had its worldwide premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in The Netherlands in January of this year. The North American premiere was at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville this summer. Locally, the film screened at the Maine International Film Festival By-the-sea at Bar Harbor’s own Reel Pizza in September.
The film is a hybrid of animation, found footage, song, dance, and live-action narrative that follows the research of Dr. Sheri Myes (Michole Briana White) and her revolutionary attempts to expand human consciousness. Andrews describes it as a classic gothic horror, mad-scientist movie, with elements of musical, animation, and experimental cinema.
Dr. Kourtney Collum was named the Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems at College of the Atlantic.Environmental anthropologist, human ecologist, and food systems scholar
Collum, who holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology & Environmental Policy from the University of Maine, Orono, has focused her teaching and research on applied anthropology, agricultural policy, and environmental justice.
Collum completed a Master of Science degree in Forest Resources at the University of Maine and a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology & Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University. She spent the summers during her undergraduate years working on conservation projects in New Zealand, Maine, Colorado, and Wyoming. When not in the field or the classroom, you can usually find her playing with bees or exploring the beautiful Maine landscape with her husband, Patrick Lyons, and their dog, Ophelia.
Weeks before the U.S. presidential election, Maine Calling at Maine Public Radio hosted a discussion between academics on themes from the campaigns and what to expect come election night. For the talk, College of the Atlantic James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity Jamie McKown joined associates from Bowdoin College and The Wall Street Journal.