Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 David Carlon
Schiller Coastal Studies Center Director
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The Bowdoin Marine Science Semester (BMSS) program offers an immersive experience in marine field work, lab work, and independent research for students interested in marine biology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, and environmental studies. Four courses are taught in 3-4 week modules at the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, supplemented by field trips in midcoast Maine as well as Kent Island, Hurricane Island and the Big Island of Hawaii. The program is open to all students in the Twelve College Exchange. Bowdoin also offers immersive summer-long research opportunities for students on the scientific station at Kent Island, Canada. Both the Marine Science Semester and Kent Island summer research students participate in long term ecological data collection projects, geared towards understanding effects of climate change, interspecies relationships and answering other ecological questions. The Environmental Studies program has a summer fellowship program that places students with local organizations and communities to address issues of land conservation, food security, energy financing and community wellness. Bowdoin also encourages students to participate in field-based study abroad programs such as SEA Semester, SFSc and SIT which are pre-approved by the Study Abroad Office. In addition to these faculty led programs, Bowdoin also supports numerous student led winter and spring break trips that cover a wide range of sustainability issues. Below is a list of immersive winter and spring break trips for the 2018-2019 academic year:
Addiction & Recovery in Portland, ME
Participants will work with government and grassroots organizations that serve Mainers experiencing addiction and recovery. The trip will examine the opioid epidemic in Maine and consider the issue through scientific, social, and institutional lenses.
Immigrant & Refugee Education in Portland, ME Participants will connect with agencies that serve immigrants and refugees, such as Portland Adult Education and the Portland Public Schools. Engaging with residents of all ages, backgrounds, and stages of residency, participants will understand the process of immigrating to the United States and how Bowdoin students can support the transitions of New Mainers.
Untold Stories: Asian-American Identity and History (San Francisco, CA)
Participants will work with agencies serving Asian American communities to understand the history and experiences of Asian people in the USA. Connecting with immigrants across generations, participants will learn about the past and future of these diverse communities.

Cultivating Community (Immokalee, FL)
Participants will engage in hands-on work and communication with working migrant families, examining the impact of income inequality on immigrants' access to housing, education, and social services in a rural farming community. This trip will also explore the impact of cultural traits in shaping immigrants' identity and experience.

Opportunity through Education: Providing Safe Passage (Guatemala City, GUA)
Participants will work with Safe Passage, an organization established around the Guatemala City garbage dump that allows access to education for city’s poorest children. Participants will learn about the social, political, and economic issues that surround access to childhood education in the area.

Poverty and Homelessness in our Community (Brunswick, ME)
Participants will partner with organizations in the greater Brunswick community that serve individuals and families dealing with homelessness, poverty, or economic insecurity. This trip will explore the social, economic, political, legal, and health implications of living in poverty.

Indigenous Voices in Pleasant Point, ME
For the Passamaquoddy tribe, education and cultural preservation are powerful forms of resistance to the continued forces of colonization. Participants will learn from educators at Beatrice Rafferty School and the Sipayik Youth & Rec. Center as well as leaders of tribal government, connecting their work to the broader indigenous sovereignty movement.

Exploring Disability in a Rural Setting (Hudson, NY)
Participants will engage with disability and ableism in a rural upstate New York population. By living and working in a supportive residential community, students will connect with young adults with developmental disabilities and learn the theory and history of addressing these issues through education and advocacy.

Community Health and Advocacy in Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico
Participants will connect with community-based health and advocacy organizations, addressing recuperative efforts post-hurricanes Irma and María. The group will also explore some complexities of Puerto Rican identity with respect to the US mainland. Spanish language skills required.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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