Denise Bruesewitz

Professor Denise Bruesewitz

Who should be interested in the Changing Oceans semester program?
Any student in the sciences should be interested in the Bigelow program. It’s not just for biologists and environmental science folks—even physics majors could benefit from this program. Study of marine systems can have a focus on physics, chemistry, biology, or ecology, and it can involve skills such as modeling and statistics in addition to what may seem most obvious—field and laboratory skills.

But regardless of which discipline you’re in, isn’t oceanography a narrow focus?
Bigelow’s senior scientists go beyond teaching oceanography. They also expose students to the skills that all scientists could use, such as grant writing, how to seek funding, and many other skills necessary in the field. Students also gain significant skills in research, instrumentation, and lab management/organization, things they may not receive in the classroom.

What’s special about doing a semester on the Maine coast and on the Gulf of Maine?
The students stay in a residence that is the quintessential coastal Maine-looking home overlooking the ocean. This is perfect for fieldwork and the chance to explore the Gulf of Maine. With the Gulf of Maine warming faster than any other gulf in the world, the culmination of changes with respect to the microbiome give Bigelow scientists a unique opportunity to study climate change. And they have a lot of baseline data to compare this period of warming to.

What are some of the advantages of completing Colby’s Bigelow semester?
This experience is a prestigious addition to a student’s CV as they move forward in their career. The program gives students the upper hand in subsequent classwork because of these unique experiences. And Colby students automatically have the option to study abroad an additional semester after completing this program.