Kent Island 2016 – Taking the Measure of a Summer

As in the past few years, the Kent Island open-for-business season was a long one this year, running from April to October. Undergraduate research projects during the nine-week summer session ranged from intertidal ecology to storm-petrel behavior to eider nest success; in the realm of the humanities, one student worked on fiction writing and another on painting an intertidal mural at the Grand Manan Museum. Other scientists working on KI collected data on Savannah Sparrow communication, stress response, coloration, and population biology; demography and the evolutionary genetics of the immune system in Leach’s Storm-petrels; and the movement ecology of Black Guillemots and Great Black-backed Gulls. We also hosted an array of tour groups, writers, and class visits from Bowdoin, Dalhousie, and Arizona. Key infrastructure improvements continue to be made by the skillful hands of Marko Murray and Russell Ingalls, and a remarkable gift from Patty (’76) and Andy Towle will provide strong financial backing for this work.

This was also a year of continuing leadership transitions. Our own presence on Kent Island was enabled by Don’s sabbatical, which like all good things did eventually come to an end. As we write this, we are now consumed by the work of being a regular faculty member at Bates (Don) and a research manager at Maine Medical Partners (Dre). With Nat Wheelwright’s retirement on the too-near horizon, Bowdoin is conducting a search for a faculty member who will direct Kent Island for the long haul. In the interim, the summer of 2017 will operate under the experienced guidance of Ed and Midge Minot – Bowdoin alums who have continued to make pilgrimages and contributions to Kent Island over many years.

For further information, please see the 2016 Kent Island annual report.

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