Academic Life

‘Learn the Right Vocab.’ Year-Long Seminar Examines Second Language Acquisition

Lecturer Jamie Rankin of Princeton kicked off the series of events with a lecture underlining how there’s no substitute for knowledge of vocabulary when it comes to learning and teaching a foreign language.

International Relations Class Tests Normative Behavior — By Eating Bugs

After spending a couple of classes discussing international norms and how normative change occurs, Visiting Assistant Professor of Government Rebecca Gibbons decided it was time to bring these lofty political ideas down a notch or two — right down to some basics, like bug food.

No Longer a Trivial Pursuit: Using Games to Teach History

Can games teach history? This fall, a new, innovative course is investigating that question. History professor and lifelong gamer Patrick Rael is helping sixteen upper-level students examine American history, from the era of exploration through the Civil War, through the medium of tabletop games.

Historian Laqueur Visits Bowdoin to Discuss the Work of the Dead

The work of Thomas Laqueur, who is University of California Berkeley’s Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History, spans so many academic disciplines that, during his Bowdoin visit last week, he visited an anthropology class to discuss dogs and humanitarianism; a Francophone studies class to talk about sexual difference, and he stopped into the art history seminar Ghastly Beauty: Images of Mortality and Their Lessons for Living.

Solving an Earth-Sized Puzzle: Bowdoin Goes to Iceland

Twenty students and four faculty members from the Earth and Oceanographic Science Department trekked to Iceland for ten days early in the summer, where they immersed themselves in field research into the earth, the sea, and the atmosphere — and the connections among them.

The Giant Stairs of Bailey Island: An Evolving Outdoor Classroom

At the narrow end of Bailey’s Island in Harpswell, a series of dark, blocky stones are laid out one on top of another, like a huge staircase leading down to the sea. Known as the Giant Stairs, they’ve long been a favorite destination for Bowdoin scientists and students because they’re a curious anomaly set within the flaky rust-gray metamorphic rock around them.

Environmental Studies 1101 Field Trip Offers Students an Interdisciplinary Approach to Ecological Restoration

John Lichter, a professor of biology and environmental studies, explained that the field trip reflects the course’s intention — indeed, the intention of the whole Environmental Studies department: “The overall message is to understand how humans impact the ecosystem,” he said.

Marine Science Semester Studies Unique Kent Island Environment

The 200-acre island, which has had a Bowdoin research facility on it since 1935, is an ideal site for the Marine Science Semester’s experiential learning approach for several reasons, according to Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Sarah Kingston, who is one of the program’s faculty members.