I can force people to be nicer to each other by making very pretty, very distracting things. Maybe, sometimes.


M.Phil in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic

(Designing for connection, TL;DR version)

Should I pack camping gear (sleeping bag, sleeping pads, etc.) to bring to COA?


I take it you’re an incoming student? If so, I would definitely suggest bringing camping gear if you have room for it in your car/suitcase/shipped boxes. You never know when it might come in handy. Also, if you’re participating in OOPs (Outdoor orientation), you’ll want to have those items with you.Happy packing!

When will I find out if I was accepted to be part of the Fall Fly-In Program?


Hi there!

We plan to return responses to applicants in early August. We don’t have an exact date as we’re not sure how many total apps we will receive. Then, in August, we will work with Fall Fly-In’s to coordinate their October travel plans.

From Allied Whale (based at COA):

The stranding team had a busy day on Friday investigating a fresh dead minke whale in South Addison. Took measurements, blubber thicknesses to help determine body or nutritional condition, and skin and muscle samples for stable isotope analyses. This sub-adult female was in the tidal zone (which is huge up here near the Bay of Fundy). This, coupled with the dangerous footing around the whale precluded any necropsy. In fact, they were just completing the sampling when the first incoming tidal waves began splashing against the whale’s flukes. Working on its disposition!

(via COA student work selected by Maine State Museum)

The work by Hiyasmin Saturay, of Utrecht, The Netherlands, was chosen by museum staff for its “visual interest and accessible organization of information.” The series of five posters will be among those distributed by the Maine State Museum to schools, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions throughout Maine and beyond to create further awareness of Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives, a compelling exhibit pertaining to racial tumult in Maine in the early 20th century.

Read full story here


Presidential Scholars Fly In

We invite you to apply to become part of COA’s Presidential Scholars Fall Fly-In Program, a four-day visit to the college where you will see for yourself how a COA education works. If selected for this program, we will cover the cost of your trip to the college and provide meals and housing while you are on campus.

Program dates: October 2-5, 2014
Eligibility: For high school seniors attending school in the U.S.
Application deadline: July 22, 2014
Application decision: Early August
Application requirements: Application form, high school transcript, responses to two application questions (details included on application form)
Questions? Please call 800-528-0025 or email inquiry@coa.edu

The deadline’s coming up!

In Lieu (Live)

Joe Perullo’s original composition “In Lieu” was performed at COA for his senior project.

Joe Perullo (COA alum) - drums
Max Eddington (COA student) - piano
Sean Murphy (alumnus, staff)- bass
Nick Jenei (alumnus, staff) - t. sax
John Cooper (faculty) - s. sax & trumpet
Mike Bennett (faculty) - congas


sunrise in bar harbor.


At Beech Hill Farm’s farm stand

COA says good-bye to the peonies!

What performing arts opportunities does the school have? Is there a club or drama company that puts on plays? Or are there classes that put on plays and teach about acting?


Hi there!

Like many things at COA, performing arts events are often student initiated. There are several student written/directed plays each year and it’s common to see audition calls across student email. In addition there are annual events like the alumni/parent weekend Community show in the fall, the 13 hour play production in the winter, Fandango every spring (a community show, often with food), and open mics and poetry slams every term.
As far as classes go, professor Jodi Baker teaches courses like Play Production Workshop, Movement Training Basics, Science of Comedy, Elements of Theatre, and Actor Training. (You can check out the complete list of upcoming COA courses here.)

Hello there! I was wondering what kind of careers are possible with a BA in human ecology and if grad schools recognize how diverse and individualized a human ecology degree from COA is.


You’re right, what COA grads go on to do is quite diverse, making it challenging to summarize what exactly is possible. Many students go on to some form of teaching. Others go into the sciences…others the arts…and, yes, to the humanities and social sciences, too. To browse through specific profiles you can visit our own alumni page, or check out alumni on LinkedIn.

Graduates have been accepted to a wide variety of graduate programs. Some of the schools include (roughly in order of the number who’ve attended): University of Maine, Antioch New England, Harvard (schools of Design, Education, Government, Medicine etc.), College of the Atlantic, Univ. of Southern Maine, Boston University, Lesley University, University of Rhode Island, University of MA, Amherst, Columbia University, Tufts University, University of Wisconsin, Vermont Law School, Cornell University, University of CA, Berkeley, University of Washington, Naropa University, New York University…and the list goes on.

If I were to squish all this diversity into a nutshell, I’d say that students come to COA because they want to make a difference (and often to spend some time by the ocean, too). You’ll find COA graduates doing most of the same things you’d find graduates from other colleges doing. COA does, however, teach and encourage its students to bridge across disciplines. They thrive in the in between and see (dis)connections between the pieces that make up today’s challenges. Thus, a question about our fisheries may prompt a student to investigate politics, education, communities, and ecology and share all of the information in a photography showing or an animation. You can check out some student work here. In addition to writing “human ecology” on their resume, many grads will also list areas they focused on (like Geographic Information Systems, farm to school programs, or graphic design).

To me, your undergrad is about exploring, diving into what interests you most, and then running with it. Senior projects and internships can be great demonstrations of a student’s work and depth of knowledge. A degree in Human Ecology, just like any degree, probably won’t make or break your future career or grad school options. It’s really about what you decide to do with it and what you do to make it happen.

Blueberry season has begun!
Photo by Connor O’Brien ‘17

Mini sitting spot


July 3, 2014