How a tiny island in Maine is preparing budding scientists for a hotter world [BDN] College of the Atlantic


College of the Atlantic student Elijah Santner walks along a boardwalk away from the former lighthouse keeper’s house on Mount Desert Rock on June 2, 2018. Santner is working this summer as a food services coordinator at COA’s research station on the small remote island, which is 20 miles south of Mount Desert Island in the Gulf of Maine. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

Although it has been constantly occupied for nearly 200 years, this small treeless island 20 miles off the coast of Maine has never been so habitable for humans and is expected to become even less so.

Climate change is warming the world’s oceans – almost nowhere as quickly as the Gulf of Maine – causing sea levels to rise and storms retaining their strength as they venture north from the tropics. From the perspective of the small, environmentally conscious college that runs research programs on Mount Desert Rock, this is all the more reason to maintain its presence on the 3-acre low island.

“We have five decades of people who cut their teeth on Mount Desert Rock and went on to do amazing things in the world,” Darron Collins, president of the College of the Atlantic said last week as he was sitting in his desk at school. Bar Harbor Campus. “That’s why we are investing money in infrastructure. ”

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