Biology

The Maine Event

The Maine Event

Bio 418B - Natural History of Coastal New England
July 11 - 22, 2000

 

Trip Leaders:

Joe Jacquot

Keith Fessel

Kathrine Kantz




Ten students participated in this field course to the coast of Maine. We drove overnight to reach the southern coast of Maine. There we explored the extensive Salt Marshes, bogs, and began learning about the tides and the intertidal zone.

We then spent three wonderful days at the Robert S. Friedman field station in northeast Maine. The field station is located in the Bay of Fundy, which is noted for its large tidal swings. We experienced tides of over 5.5 m!

The intertidal zone in this area was remarkable; it was an algal forest of red, green, and brown algae. We encountered vast numbers of sea stars, sea urchins, limpets, barnacles, clams and mussels, crabs, chiton, and many other invertebrates, as well as vertebrates such as flounders. It was a great chance to actually experience the diversity of coastal areas. We were able to use the field stationĀ¹s wet lab to better examine and identify the organisms we encountered.

We took a boat ride out to Machias Seal Island to visit the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in the U.S. Although it was a foggy day, we did see numerous puffins, razorbills, as well as gray and harbor seals. The pictures of the puffins and razorbills were taken on an earlier trip in June by Laurie Mohr and Joe Jacquot. Many students observed their first whale on this trip. We observed this fin whale relatively close to shore. The role of ecotourism in the local economy was very apparent.

We spent a total of five days in Acadia National Park where we continued to explore the intertidal zone, although the tides were much smaller than what we had just experienced in northern Maine. Much of our time was spent examining plant communities throughout this area and our trip included a hike up Cadillac Mountain. Here is our class at the top of the mountain at the end of the day.

No trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster dinner. It was quite an experience! Stay tuned for future trip experiences.

Page last modified September 11, 2007