Boats ... an important way to explore Frenchman Bay and understand human ecology.Boats ... an important way to explore Frenchman Bay and understand human ecology. Credit: D Collins

Every fall, incoming students take the Human Ecology Core Course to better understand the what, how, and why of what we do here. This year, we started off the core courses by requiring all students to join one of six expeditions into Frenchman Bay on the college’s research vessel, RV Osprey.

Professor John Anderson points out map locations to a group of Human Ecology Core Course students aboard <em>RV</em> <em>Osprey</em>. <em>Osprey</em> First Mate Emma Flaherty ’17 stands to the left.Professor John Anderson points out map locations to a group of Human Ecology Core Course students aboard RV Osprey. Osprey First Mate Emma Flaherty ’17 stands to the left. Credit: Darron Collins

Faculty member John Anderson, Boat Captain Toby Stephenson ’96, and First Mate Emma Flaherty ’17 lead the expeditions so students come to grips with living on an island and come to understand how the ocean shapes the various ways of life on the Maine Coast.

COA's floating classroom, RV OspreyCOA's floating classroom, RV Osprey Credit: D Collins

John Anderson noted that “If I had my way, students wouldn’t arrive on campus by car. We’d go pick them up in Stonington, ME and they’d come by boat – they’d have a very different understanding of where they’ve come to study.”

COA's First Lady Karen Collins on the COA pier with <em>Alewife</em>.COA's First Lady Karen Collins on the COA pier with Alewife. Credit: D Collins

When asked what he thought of the idea, President Darron Collins said “I don’t think it’s bad idea at all. The more time students, staff, and faculty spend on the water around boats, the better.”

COA student Julie Bowser ’17 single sculling in Frenchman Bay.COA student Julie Bowser ’17 single sculling in Frenchman Bay. Credit: D Collins

<em>Rhodes 19</em> -- COA's go-to vessel for sailing in Frenchman Bay.Rhodes 19 -- COA's go-to vessel for sailing in Frenchman Bay. Credit: Darron Collins