Katie Craighill, an alumna of Semester 48, spent the summer far from her native Tennessee: she lived and worked on 200-acre Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy, the tide-wracked swath of the Gulf of Maine that reaches northeast between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. A biology major at Bowdoin College, Katie was drafting a habitat management plan for the island, which supports about 200 species of birds (55 of which nest there) and more than 280 terrestrial plant species. It is also an important stop along the migratory route of thousands upon thousands of shorebirds.
Katie lived at the Bowdoin Scientific Station, a multidisciplinary field research station and wildlife conservation area established in 1935. Scientists and Bowdoin students have recorded the weather there almost every summer since 1937. Ten to 20 students pursue research on the island each summer, working side-by-side with scientists. Katie researched the island’s land use history and present flora and fauna. She then created a management plan to conserve what’s there long into the future. Her plan outlined specific strategies for protecting native species and addressed how to keep invasive species, including predators, from infiltrating. There are no amphibians, reptiles, or mammals aside from human beings, bats, and muskrats on the island and the introduction of a destructive species would threaten the abundant birds and plants that make Kent Island a particularly rich, unspoiled ecosystem.
To read more about Katie’s experiences on Kent Island (and her shout-out to Chewonki Semester School), visit https://community.bowdoin.edu/news/2015/07/kent-island-life-katie-craighill-17-creates-habitat-management-plan/.