At Popham Beach State Park, Nicole Cueli ’16 of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., sets up an a transit, or autolevel, a device used by scientists, builders, and surveyors to measure distances and elevation changes. In the distance at right is Ian Hillenbrand ’17 of Terrace Park, Ohio.

At Popham Beach State Park, Nicole Cueli ’16 of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., sets up an a transit, or autolevel, a device used by scientists, builders, and surveyors to measure distances and elevation changes. In the distance at right is Ian Hillenbrand ’17 of Terrace Park, Ohio.

 Cueli uses the autolevel. In her left hand is the geologist’s trusty companion, a yellow field notebook.

Cueli uses the autolevel. In her left hand is the geologist’s trusty companion, a yellow field notebook.

 As Dana Cohen-Kaplan ’16, of Newton Mass., steadies the ladder, Retelle downloads weather data and time-lapse images from a unit mounted on the west bath house at Popham Beach.

As Dana Cohen-Kaplan ’16, of Newton Mass., steadies the ladder, Retelle downloads weather data and time-lapse images from a unit mounted on the west bath house at Popham Beach.

 Back at the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge, adjacent to Bates-Morse Mountain and Popham Beach State Park, the Bates researchers break for lunch. Here, Hillenbrand '17 and Cueli ’16 joke with Retelle, who is reviewing time-lapse images from the beach.

Back at the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge, adjacent to Bates-Morse Mountain and Popham Beach State Park, the Bates researchers break for lunch. Here, Hillenbrand '17 and Cueli ’16 joke with Retelle, who is reviewing time-lapse images from the beach.

 Geology majors Cailene Gunn ’16 (left) of Granby, Conn., and Dana Cohen-Kaplan ’16 of Newton, Mass., secure benches to the top of Gunn’s car before heading out to do fieldwork at Long Marsh in Harpswell. The distance from Shortridge to Long Marsh is just 10 miles as the crow flies, but it’s 30 miles (and a 45-minute drive) on roads that follow Maine’s infamously zig-zaggy shoreline.

Geology majors Cailene Gunn ’16 (left) of Granby, Conn., and Dana Cohen-Kaplan ’16 of Newton, Mass., secure benches to the top of Gunn’s car before heading out to do fieldwork at Long Marsh in Harpswell. The distance from Shortridge to Long Marsh is just 10 miles as the crow flies, but it’s 30 miles (and a 45-minute drive) on roads that follow Maine’s infamously zig-zaggy shoreline.

 Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.

Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.

 Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.

Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.

 Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.   

Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan have been working with geology professor Bev Johnson to measure the carbon budget of Maine’s salt marshes. Specifically, they are measuring the amount of methane released by two different salt marshes, the Sprague River Marsh, part of Bates-Morse Mountain, and Long Marsh, in Harpswell. Long Marsh, occupying a long, narrow glacially carved valley at sea level, has experienced restricted tidal flow for decades. As a result, its health has suffered.

 

 Tidal marshes are paramount to the overall health of coastal ecosystems. They provide nursery habitat for important fisheries, protect against storm surges, filter out pollutants, and serve as carbon sinks. Unfortunately, most of Maine’s salt marshes have been anthropogenically altered in some way, and many are in need of restoration to function properly.   

Tidal marshes are paramount to the overall health of coastal ecosystems. They provide nursery habitat for important fisheries, protect against storm surges, filter out pollutants, and serve as carbon sinks. Unfortunately, most of Maine’s salt marshes have been anthropogenically altered in some way, and many are in need of restoration to function properly.

 

 Cohen-Kaplan '16 and Gunn '16 pack the samples and head back to Shortridge.

Cohen-Kaplan '16 and Gunn '16 pack the samples and head back to Shortridge.

 Nathan Stephansky '17 makes a friend in front of Shortridge.

Nathan Stephansky '17 makes a friend in front of Shortridge.

 Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan join Adam Auerbach ’16 of Silver Spring, Md., and Nathan Stephansky ’17 of Whitman, Mass., on Hermit Island., about three miles from Shortridge, where they watch the sunset from a spot called the Bath Tub. The four students, each of whom did fieldwork or related coastal work over the summer, used Shortridge as their home base.

Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan join Adam Auerbach ’16 of Silver Spring, Md., and Nathan Stephansky ’17 of Whitman, Mass., on Hermit Island., about three miles from Shortridge, where they watch the sunset from a spot called the Bath Tub. The four students, each of whom did fieldwork or related coastal work over the summer, used Shortridge as their home base.

 Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan join Adam Auerbach ’16 of Silver Spring, Md. on Hermit Island., about three miles from Shortridge, where they watch the sunset from a spot called the Bath Tub.   

Gunn and Cohen-Kaplan join Adam Auerbach ’16 of Silver Spring, Md. on Hermit Island., about three miles from Shortridge, where they watch the sunset from a spot called the Bath Tub.

 

 Nathan Stephansky '17 skips a rock into the Atlantic at sunset.

Nathan Stephansky '17 skips a rock into the Atlantic at sunset.

 Exiting The Bathtub

Exiting The Bathtub

 Cohen-Kaplan and Cueli finish off their late supper at Shortridge. Shortridge was donated to Bates in the mid-1990s by John and Linda Shortridge, who had built a retirement home on the land. It has facilities for field research while also supporting other Bates activities. Each year, some 25 student groups, representing up to 400 students, use the center. The center sits on 79 acres of woodlands, wetlands, granite escarpments, and a glacially-scoured pond.

Cohen-Kaplan and Cueli finish off their late supper at Shortridge. Shortridge was donated to Bates in the mid-1990s by John and Linda Shortridge, who had built a retirement home on the land. It has facilities for field research while also supporting other Bates activities. Each year, some 25 student groups, representing up to 400 students, use the center. The center sits on 79 acres of woodlands, wetlands, granite escarpments, and a glacially-scoured pond.

 At night, “the Rock,” an outcropping behind Shortridge that looks out over Meetinghouse Pond, is a dark and spectacular place — a perfect spot to watch the night sky.

At night, “the Rock,” an outcropping behind Shortridge that looks out over Meetinghouse Pond, is a dark and spectacular place — a perfect spot to watch the night sky.