Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Shortridge Field Research

The Coastal Center at Shortidge

The Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge supports academic programs and extracurricular activities associated with the college. It provides facilities for field research conducted by Bates faculty and students and affiliated institutions; for meetings, retreats and conferences; and for selected Bates educational and community-based programs. Since renovations were completed in 2008, Shortridge visitation has grown to include some 25 student groups per academic year, representing 350-400 students.

The Bates College Coastal Center is located within a mile of the entrance to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. It sits on an 80-acre parcel of varied woodlands and wetlands, including a large fresh water pond. Two buildings are on the property: a dwelling/conference building and a laboratory structure with an art studio upstairs. The main building can comfortably accommodate 15 people for overnight stays. Students, staff and faculty, may request reservations.

The Shortridge Summer Residency

The Coastal Center at Shortridge provides the opportunity for students, faculty and researchers to work in a unique coastal setting over the course of a summer. Since the Shortridge Summer Residency was initiated in 2009, over 50 students have conducted field research; engaged with state agents and community members regarding coastal change, sea level rise and public policy; served as interns in local conservation organizations; and worked as artists-in-residence. Shortridge is located about a mile from the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation area, allowing easy access for environmental research on salt marshes, coastal woodlands and on a large barrier beach system.

For more information on The Shortridge Summer Residency, please contact the Director, Laura Sewall:; 207-786-6078

Research at BMMCA

Bates faculty and students have conducted coastal research since 1977, when Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area was made available to the college for such purposes. Since the additional acquisition of the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge (BCCCS) in 1996, and the completion of renovations in 2008, the combined sites (BMMCA/BCCCS) have increasingly served faculty, students and researchers, producing over 85 publications, theses and reports over the college’s history of coastal research. These projects have typically taken place in the form of undergraduate theses or independent studies and in many cases have resulted in student presentations at regional and national meetings.

In the last five years, student and faculty research at the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area has focused on geological studies, emphasizing salt marsh biogeochemical cycling, carbon sequestration and storage, and sediment transport. This work has produced 14 senior theses and several publications by Bates College faculty and colleagues, including the recent publication of Coastal Blue Carbon: methods for assessing carbon stocks and emissions in mangroves, tidal salt marshes and sea grass meadows (Conservation International, 2014), of which Geology Professor Bev Johnson is a lead author. Other recent publications include research on the efficacy of ditch plug restoration in salt marshes (Vincent, et al 2013; Vincent et al. 2013).

The table below lists senior theses, reports, and publications stemming from research at BMMCA and the Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge since 1977. Although the list is not exhaustive it reflects a 40 year commitment to on-going undergraduate and faculty research.

List of publications

1977 Trudeau, Phillip, Paul Godfrey, Barry Timson Beach Vegetation and Oceanic Processes Study of Popham State Park, Reid State Park, and Small Point Beach
1978 Bole, Ben Preliminary Report on Morse Mountain
1979 Trudeau, Philip Ecology of Barrier Beaches in South Central Maine (PhD thesis, UMA)
1980 Barrett, Paul ’80 Porcupines and their Food Preferences
1980 Canfield, Timothy ’82 & Walters, Linda ’83 Blue Heron Salt-Marsh and Freshwater Wetlands Comparison
1980 Covill, David ’80 Bedrock Geology of the Small Point Area
1980 Lemont, Ruth ’82 Major Elements of an Extensive Beach System and Some Observations of Seawall Beach
1980 Newell, Elizabeth Ann ’80 Reproductive Resource Allocation and Seed Germination in Cornus Canadensis
1980 Skinner, Tracey ’82 Pitch Pines of Seawall Beach
1980 Williams, Mary ’83 Bayberry, The
1980 Nelson, Bruce, and Fink, Kenneth Geological and Botanical Features of the Sand Beach Systems in Maine
1981 Vickery, Barbara ’83 Working List of the Vascular Plant Species of the BMMCA
1982 Gerster, Carol ’82 Beach Study on the Morse River Tidal Flat, Seawall Beach
1982 Sparrell, Laurie ’82 Surficial Geology and Morphology of the Morse Mountain Area
1982 Moring, John Species Richness and Diversity of Intertidal Fishes of Great Wass, Damariscove, and Morse Mountain
1983 Hanson, Ross ’83 Hydrodynamics and Tidal Deltas of Morse River Inlet
1983 Muskat, Roger ’84 Transient Bird Survey of Morse Mountain May 2 – June 2, 1983
1983 Sloan, John ’84 Examination of Protein polymorphism at the LDH-B locus in Fundulus heteroclitus
1983 Vickery, Barbara ’83 Life History and Population Biology of Cypripedium acaule L.
1983 Vickery, Barbara ’83 Lichens of the BMMCA
1983 Maloney,Jean Creation of a Cartographic Data Base for the Morse Mountain Coastal Research Area
1984 Lovett, Heidi ’84 Ecology of Fucus distichus ssp. edentatus
1986 Simmonds, Margaret ’86 Comparison of Growth and Competitive Ability between the Two Seed Types of Xanthium Strumarium
1984 Simmons, Laura ’84 Seasonal and Tidal Changes of the Sprague River Tidal Inlet
1985 Barton, Denise ’86 Beachcomber’s Guide to MM
1985 Lombard, C.S.(Craig) ’83 Saltmarsh and the Causeway
1987 Kinsman, Sharon (Fac.) & Brad Lattes ’87 Demography and Reproduction of Myrica pensylvanica
1987 Thomas, Robert (Fac.) Lichens of Southern Maine, list from Sept. 1987 Andrews Foray
1987 Thomas, Robert (Fac.) Bryophytes Checklist from Sept. 1987 Andrews Foray
1988 Ciaglo,James ’89 Patterns of individual Size in Cakile edentula
1988 Drottar, Lisa Rose ’89 Dormancy Requirement of Four Temperate Dune Species, Cakile edentula, Salsola kali,Myrica pensylvania,Pastinaca sativa
1988 Morris, Deborah ’90 Effects of Aggregation, Habitat, and Neighborhood on Salsola Kali
1988 Mulder, Christa ’88 Seed Weight and Tolerance of Burial in Oenothera parviflora L., an Herbaceous Dune Species
1988 Abelard, Catherine ’90 Night Walk
1989 Ciaglo,James ’89 Size hierarchy Development in Experimental Populations of Sand Dune Annuals Atriplex Patula and Salsola Kali
1989 McBride, Susan ’90 Stratigraphic Sequences and Evidences of Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise, Sprague River Marsh
1989 Curi, Anne Developing a Land-Use History, Parts 1 and 2
1991 Jones, Gwyneth ’92 Introduction to the Cultural History, Geology, and Ecology of the BMMCA
1992 Tooker. John ’92 Burr Size Variations in Populations of Xanthium Strumarium
1992 Weaver, Megan ’92 Does Plant Size Affect Burr Size in Xanthium Strumarium?
1993 Charry, Barbara Human Activity and its Impact on Selected Natural Resources of Seawall Beach and MM
1993 Snyder, Noah ’93 Effects of the October 30 1991 Storm on the Dune Area of Seawall Beach
1994 Erelli, Mark ’96 Amphibians in the BMMCA: Biodiversity and Utilization of 5 Woodland Pools
1994 Jones, Erika ’96 and Killoran, Patrick and Rajagopalan, Shilpa ’96 Hydrogeologic Study of Sprague River Salt Marsh
1994 Guardenier, Hope ’94 Role of Plant-Sediment Interaction in Barrier Beach Maintenance Mechanisms at Seawall Beach
1996 Erelli, Mark ’96 Survey of Permanent & Ephemeral Woodland Ponds 6/13-7/31, 1996
1997 Coequyt, Anne Marie Late-Holocene Marine Transgression and Sea Level Change at Meetinghouse Pond
1998 Theodore, Theresa and Roths, Justine Variation in Nutrient Availability and Plant Species Diversity Across Forb and Graminoid Zones of a Northern New England High Salt Marsh (Little River)
1998 Watterson, Andrew ’00 Morse Mountain and a Conservation Ethic
2000 Breen, Brandon ’03 Distribution of Invertebrates and Fish in Sprague River Marsh
2000 Devine, Amanda ’03 Pilot Study in Relationships Between Hydrological, Biotic, & Abiotic Characteristics of Salt Marsh Pannes, Sprague River Marsh
2000 Jones, Megan ’00 Mechanisms of change for a Coastal Maine Barrier Beach Profile
2000 Terwilliger, Sarah ’00 Impact of Tidal Restriction on the Sulfur Dynamics of a Maine Salt Marsh: Sprague River Marsh
2001 Peterson, Kaia ’01 & Claypool, Rebecca ’01 Invasive Plant Inventory of BMMCA
2002 Kreischer, Ellie ’03 Zonation patterns in Salt Marshes (paper and oil paintings)
2002 McDonald, Leah ’02 Self-Guiding Nature Trail at BMMCA
2002 Bohlen, Curtis Sixty Years of Change in a Maine Salt Marsh Landscape: Implications for Restoration
2002 Bohlen, Curtis Landscape Structure in a Disturbed and Undisturbed Salt Marsh in Northern New England
2002 Dupee. Matt ’02 & Johnston, David ’02 Sulfur Cycling Dynamics in a Model Wetland Ecosystem & Related Bacterial Growth
2003 Cohen, Elizabeth ’03 Weather-induced Erosion and Accretion at Seawall Beach
2003 Devine, Amanda ’03 Effects of Inorganic Nitrogen Addition and Elevation Change on Species Evenness and Productivity of Saltmarsh Forb Pannes
2003 Markus, Elisabeth ’03 Vegetation Patterns Along Ditched and Natural Channels on Two Maine Salt Marshes
2004 Moore, Karen ’04 Investigation of Organic Carbon Cycling in Sprague Marsh
2004 Klausmeyer, Peter ’04 Fall and Winter Erosion and Accretion at Seawall Beach
2004 Burton, Mark, & Alison Flint, Ben Martens, Jennifer Sepunara, Han Xu Environmental History of the Sprague Salt Marsh
2004 Stowe, Andrew ’06 Trends in the Abundance & Distribution of Bird Species of BMMCA
2005 McMahon, Kelton ’05 and Johnson, Beverly and Ambrose, William Diet and Movement of the Mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, using gut contents and stable isotope analyses
2005 Vincent, Robert Ecological responses to Local Effects of Ditching and Ditch-plugging in New England Salt Marshes (in progress; UNH)
2005 Cary, Christopher ’05 Modeling of Sedimentation Trends on Seawall Beach
2005 Northrup, Joseph ’05 Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Three Species of Amphipods (Crustacea) on 2 exposed sand beaches in ME
2005 Stowe, Andrew ’06 Sharp-tailed Sparrow Display and Vocalization
2006 Beirne, Erin ’06 Geochemical Investigation of Organic Matter Composition, Deposition, & Preservation at Sprague Marsh
2009 Emily Chandler ’09 Seasonal Processes Affecting the Seawall Barrier Beach System and the Evolution of the Southwestern Barrier Spit, Phippsburg, ME
2009 Dana Oster ’09 Mapping Short Term Barrier Beach Processes at Seawall Beach, Phippsburg, Maine to Model Transgressive Shorelines in 2100 from Sea Level Rise
2010 Kurt Schuler ’10 Monitoring Sediment Transport and Inlet Migration at the Seawall Beach Complex, Phippsburg, Maine
2010 Elyse Judice ’10 Staple Isotope Analysis of Fundulus heteroclitus and the effectiveness of Ditch Plug restoration at the Sprague River Salt marsh, Phippsburg, Maine
2011 Ingrid Knowles ’11 A Biogeochemical Study of Ditch Plug and Natural Pools in the Sprague River Marsh, Phippsburg, ME
2012 Colin Barry ’12 A Study of the Impact of Ditch-plug Alteration on the Hydrogeology of the Sprague River Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine
2012 Peter Goodwin ’12 Kinematic Sheer Zones on Hermit Island, Phippsburg, Maine
2012 Haley Sive ’12 Stratigraphy and Structure at Small Point, Maine; Two D3 Inverted Map-scale Folds
2012 Heather Dolittle ’12 Determining P-T paths and Relative Timing of Metamorphism Based on Mineral Textures and Pseudosection Analyses in Small Point, Maine
2012 Jen Lindelof ’12 Bedrock and Groundwater Interaction: tracing the Potential for Cation Contaminants in Groundwater, Small Point, Maine
2013 Sara El Assaad ’13 Monitoring Sedimentation Patterns and Inlet Migration at Popham, Seawall and Small Point Beaches, Phippsburg, Maine
2013 Amanda Wescott ‘13 Tracking seasonal and storm-induced recession of the Popham-Seawall barrier beach complex, Phippsburg, Maine
2014 A. Douglas ’14 Measuring the impacts of a hard stabilization rock wall at Popham Beach, Phippsburg, Maine