Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Shortridge Field Research

The Coastal Center at Shortridge

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, Caitlin Cleaver:; 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 100 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 link 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 41 year commitment to on-going undergraduate and faculty research.
List of Publications