College of the Atlantic is a small, progressive liberal arts college focusing on field-based, experiential learning, student-directed projects, and an interdisciplinary approach to education. COA offers one self-designed major in human ecology: an exploration of the relationships between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The college’s philosophy holds each student responsible for building their own educational path, with the aim of making a difference in the world through innovative thought and action.
Since our founding in 1969, the COA community has enjoyed a rich, collaborative relationship with Acadia National Park, conducting myriad research projects within its borders, working with planners, rangers, and scientists, developing interpretive exhibits, and utilizing our innovative approach to education to train the next generation of conservation leaders.
College of the Atlantic has a robust schedule of events celebrating our connection to Acadia National Park in 2016. Our activities aim to educate, entertain, and inspire both long-time fans of Acadia and first-time visitors. Visit www.coa.edu/acadiacentennial for more information.
Our George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, which is housed in the original 1916 ANP headquarters, will be the center of activity during much of the season. We’ve created a museum-wide special exhibition to highlight decades of student- and faculty-led research projects, and added a full-size diorama of peregrine falcon mounts on a two-story rock face simulating Acadia’s Champlain Mountain. A touch tank exhibit, designed as part of a student project, will focus on Acadia’s intertidal areas and the challenge of balancing conservation with access, while herbarium specimens from the 1890 collection of an original member of the Champlain Society—a group of young men from Harvard who spent their summers on the island, studying plants, birds, insects, fish, geology, hydrology, and meteorology—will be on display. The exhibition opens June 20.
Acadia is a visually stunning park, and we’re proud to be co-hosting a show of nature and landscape photography by photographer Tom Blagden from his new book, Acadia: A Centennial Celebration in our Ethel H. Blum Gallery with our partners at Friends of Acadia. Blagden, the author of First Light: Acadia National Park and Maine’s Mount Desert Island (Westcliffe, 2003), has been a photographer since 1980, and his work has graced the covers of Smithsonian, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, and Nature Conservancy magazines. The show opens July 14 and closes with a lecture from Blagden on August 22.
Acadia’s granite cliffs and stunning vistas serve as inspiration for the artists represented in “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea,” an outdoor sculpture exhibition curated by June LaCombe. The show includes signature work from 15 New England artists and features the sculpture of Miles Chapin ‘10. Opening Friday, June 24.
A fascinating collection of literary minds will explore the complex and subtle nuances of the park during Acadia Authors’ Night, Tuesday, July 19. Ten writers, including Carl Little, David Hackett Fisher, and Ronald Epp, will read from works of poetry, biography, history, and art criticism.
The rich and varied plant life of the park is the focus of a new book, Wild Gardens of Acadia, written by COA professor Anne Kozak. Anne presents her new work in a conversation with ANP volunteer Sue Leiter on July 25.
COA’s celebrated summer salon, Coffee and Conversation, will feature weekly guests exploring the history, architecture, natural history, conservation policy, and other aspects of Acadia. Speakers include ANP Superintendent Kevin Schneider, COA alumna and ANP Deputy Chief of Interpretation Christie Anastasia, architect Sarge Gardiner, MDI Historical Society Director Tim Garrity, and 2015 ANP Artist-in-Residence Jennifer Booher.
College of the Atlantic is proud to be a sponsor of TEDx Dirigo Ebb+Flow, a half-day conference of ideas, inspirations, and reflections on the past, present, and future of the Acadia area. The event takes place at Bar Harbor’s Criterion Theatre on May 20, with an opening celebration at COA May 19.
COA is also sponsoring a number of one- and two-week summer stay programs that will take place in and around Acadia. These include a conservation photography intensive, an active week hiking and biking in the park, and the Wonder of Acadia summer institute for high school students.
For further details on these and many other events planned for the ANP Centennial, please visit us online at coa.edu.