- Courses for Adult Learners
- Family Nature Camp
- Conferences and Events
- Summer Field Institute for High School Students
- Summer Field Studies for Children
- Summer Undergraduate Courses
Summer Field Studies Staff
Renee Duncan, Director
After teaching for Summer Field Studies in 2011, Renee is thrilled about the idea of spending another summer amongst small hands covered in paint and faces full of laughter & curiosity. She comes to us from SE Michigan (look at the palm of your right hand--she grew up where your thumb meets your palm). There she spent her childhood tromping through water and woods. Renee fell in love with coastal Maine in third grade and after finishing school at Michigan State University she came back to Mount Desert Island to work as the raptor intern for Acadia National Park. She has spent the past three summers working on the island as a teacher, interpreter, ranger, and farmer. Renee enjoys walking the trails and carriage roads with her small pig named Kevin, visits to the library, swimming in Somes Pond, and art projects. She so looks forward to a summer of sunshine, dancing, kite-flying, and stirring imaginations.
Jason is a graduate of College of the Atlantic's class of 2012. He spent his time at the college studying a variety of topics including natural ecology, plant communities, and lichen biology. His favorite activities include traveling, hiking, biking, exploring new areas of MDI, and learning about plants. It is his third season at Summer Field Studies and he is so excited to be back! He grew up in Portland, Maine and learned to appreciate the natural environment during camping trips with his parents and attending outdoor camps just like Summer Field Studies. During this summer, he hopes to instill similar respect and admiration of the natural world with all of the campers who attend SFS. He's looking forward to meeting new campers and getting to know returning campers even better. He can’t wait to explore the island with everyone and learn more about the inter-tidal zone, mountain ecology, and the history of MDI. During this summer he is also looking excited to go on exhilarating hikes, canoe trips, fun overnights, investigate animal homes, and muck around in wetlands!
Julia Walker Thomas
Julia grew up in Sarasota, Florida. She attended both College of the Atlantic and Western Kentucky University where she focused in Documentary Photography and Outdoor Education. She loves the outdoors and has worked as an outdoor guide and trip leader for 3 years. In 2011 she paddled the Mississippi River from Missouri to Louisiana with another former SFS educator. She is now a year-round resident of MDI. She loves experiencing all the seasons here, from swimming at Lakewood in the summer to ice skating on Eagle Lake in the winter, this island is paradise on earth to her.
Phinn has recently graduated from College of the Atlantic with a strong interest in marine ecology, and experiential education. His senior project, building a sculpture out of trash found on local beaches, effectively combined science, art, law, and education. Although his background is primarily marine, he is equally as enthused to teach, and learn more about, terrestrial environments this summer. Although originally from the United Kingdom, Phinn has spent a significant amount of time exploring the United States, particularly the west coast. His latest adventures have led him across the southern states, where he cycled from California to Florida. He is excited to spend more time outdoors, and to share his enthusiasm for the natural world. While he is not biking across country, his other interests include, but are not limited to, hiking, swimming, photography, and theatre. He is playing Puck this summer in the Harborside Shakespeare Company’s production of “A Midsummer Nights Dream”. He is a strong believer of fairies!
Carly grew up in Northern California where she spent her childhood exploring the woods, mountains, rivers, and beaches surrounding her home, and learning about the flora and fauna she stumbled upon. She has spent the past four years as a student at the College of the Atlantic combining her interests in botany, sustainable energy, ecology, and outdoor education. You might spot her canoeing, running, biking, backpacking, gardening, cooking sugarless meals with friends, reading children's literature and nature writings, drawing, oil painting, and exploring Acadia. Carly is happiest when out-of-doors learning about her surroundings; she is excited to do so this summer while singing songs, playing games, and exploring familiar places through eyes of unmitigated wonder!
Emma is a Maine native who grew up sailing, swimming, and exploring on the rocky coast. She went to high school in Portland, ME and now attends Colorado College, a small liberal arts school where she will major in English with a concentration in Poetry and minor in Environmental Education. She is a rock climber, a backpacker, and a skier and loves painting, journaling, riding her bike, fireflies, sea glass, and her dog Golly (named after a type of four-sided sail used on schooners). Her most recent big project was sewing a quilt, and her favorite recent hike was Pike’s Peak (in the Rockies). As beautiful as the Colorado mountains are, she can’t wait to get back to the rhythms of the ocean. Emma attended Summer Field Studies when she was in elementary school and is beyond excited to come home to the shores of Mount Desert Island and return to SFS. She particularly looks forward to getting to know all of the campers, swimming in Long Pond, and splashing and collecting crabs in the tidal pools!
A recent graduate of COA, Anna is delighted to put her education to good use creating enthusiasm and love for the natural world among her students this summer! She grew up exploring the woods behind her family’s home in northern Virginia, and spent summers camping on the shores of a lake in North Carolina. For Anna, nature has always inspired both scientific curiosity and artistic wonder. She feels that it is important to view the world through both an analytical and aesthetic lens, to investigate and to admire. This past winter, she was able to combine her interests in art and science by completing an internship with Mara G. Haseltine, an environmental artist. Mara is devoted to creating sculptures that serve a purpose in healing the environment. After the summer, Anna plans to join Mara on several expeditions to install her earth-healing sculptures around the world. Anna enjoys traveling, exploring the woods, observing tide pools, collecting insects, photography, SCUBA diving, marine biology, and ecology.
Kristen is absolutely devoted to bears. She grew up in forests Northern Virginia and has lived in Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru. After graduating high school in Lima she moved back to Virginia for a year of Community College. She then transferred to College of the Atlantic and thrived on her first outdoors adventure; sea kayaking back to campus from the other side of Mount Desert Island. Over the past three summers Kristen has volunteered for the NGO Fauna Forever, by assisting in research in the Peruvian Amazon, Madre de Dios. There, she developed a fondness for snakes and caimans. This summer she hopes to catch many snakes within the park and to share her findings with others. She is thrilled to explore the island with new faces and to create memories in every place she visits.
Choose your summer adventure and register online here!