Otis to Greenland

Two students received an Otis Fellowship to raft to Greenland during the summer of 2013

Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area

The Rock

A sunset on the rock overlooking Meetinghouse Pond at Shortridge

The Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge is an 80-acre parcel of varied woodlands, wetlands and ponds utilized by the academic programs and extracurricular communities at Bates. It provides facilities for research conducted by both faculty and student, and is used for meetings, retreats, conferences, and various educational and community-based programs. 

During the summer, Shortridge is a hub for environmental research. The Coastal Center provides residence opportunity for students, faculty and researchers to work in a unique coastal setting during the summer. These researches often engage with state agents and community members regarding coastal change and public policy, serve as interns for local grassroots conservation organizations, or conduct independent thesis research. 


Field work on the marsh


EnviroLunch Series

The “EnviroLunch Series” is a lecture-based gathering wherein students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to listen to environmental innovators and teachers speak about sustainable practices and current events. As it is open to the whole community, it exists as a valuable and accessible source for the promotion of environmental conservation. 

In the Classroom

+Environmental Studies

Climate Change and the Stories We Tell

During Short Term 2016, Professor Mueller taught a course titled “Climate Change and the Stories We Tell.” The course culminated in the making of a unique, immersive multimedia on-line archive that holds the stories of many Mainers living with and adapting to changes in the climate. See the project below:

Story Map Screenshot for Web
The Environmental Studies Department explores the relationship of humanity with the natural world through a range of disciplines. Concentrations range from more science based study such as Ecology and Earth Systems to more humanities based study such as Environment and Human Culture. The major also requires students to complete a “Student Community-Engaged Research Project,” which involves completing project reports working to understand the more immediate relationship Bates and surrounding communities have with the natural world. Check out Bates Environmental Studies to learn more.

ES Faculty Publications 

Local and Ongoing Research

Student Community-Engaged Research



The Bates Geology Department takes a multidisciplinary approach to geosciences through exposure to field and lab work, independent research, mapping, scientific outreach and community-engaged learning.  The department covers scientific issues relating to energy, mineral, and water resource security, ecosystem and environmental stewardship, hazards risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation, and climate variability and change. The department aims to cultivate students who can use the founding principles of geology and its related fields to make informed decisions about the various geological and environmental issues facing our planet and beyond. The mission of the department is to foster well-rounded, engaged citizens and prepare students for professional careers in the geosciences or related fields with a drive to make an impact. Learn more about the mission of Bates Geology

Clams and Climate: see what Bates Geo faculty are up to

See how Bates Geo majors spend their summers!

Other Student Research 


The Biology Department offers a broad spectrum of courses, many of which display the environmental commitment. There are courses such as Conservation Biology, wherein students contribute to the development plan for Shortridge as well as courses where the focus is back on campus with the local ecology such as Dendrology. During Short Term, there is a Plant Ecology course that involves the students researching potential causes of disruption of the ecosystems at Shortridge and/or Bates-Morse Mountain, as well as proposing possible coping solutions. The Biology Department has an eclectic offering of courses, and allows students to explore all types of biology in the world.

Check out the Dendrology’s classes work on campus: “A Treasure Trove of Botanical Identification”: Campus Engagement with Dendrology

Environmental Fellowship & Internship Opportunities

The Otis Fellowship: Each year, around 2-5 students are selected as Otis Fellows to receive grants in the range of $2,000 to $6,000 in support of their own particular off-campus projects which explore an environmental and/or eco-spiritual topic. Projects which involve substantial off-campus research or reflection, usually accomplished during the summer or during a short term leave are encouraged. Projects may include hands-on conservation work, environmental education, environmental research, political advocacy, environmental law, or other areas related to environmental questions. They can involve domestic or international opportunities. See some of their experiences here.

More about Bates Sustainability