One of the nation’s most respected college ranking services gave College of the Atlantic Top 20 ratings in “faculty get high marks” (No. 3 in the U.S.) and “access to faculty” (No. 15) this year, helped by a string of recent publishing successes by COA faculty.

“It’s an impressive number of books published by faculty — both in recent years and throughout our history,” said Trisha Cantwell Keene, associate director of the Thorndike Library.

Recent publications by College of the Atlantic faculty include:

  • Plant Ecology and Evolution in Harsh Environments by Professor in Botany Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94, co-edited with Robert S. Boyd and Tanner B. Harris (’06). Nova Science Publishing. Rajakaruna describes how harsh environments found around the world harbor unique organisms adapted to extreme ranges in climatic and other environmental variables.
  • Ecology and Experience: Reflections from a Human Ecological Perspective by Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology Dr. Rich Borden. North Atlantic Books. A philosophical and narrative memoir, “a thoughtful, engaging recounting of author Richard J. Borden’s life entwined in an overview of the intellectual and institutional history of human ecology — a story of life wrapped in a life story.”
  • Deep Things out of Darkness: A History of Natural History by W.H. Drury Professor of Ecology and Natural History Dr. John Anderson. University of California Press. Anderson features the stories of some of the world’s natural historians — how they discovered what they did, what propelled them into their fascination with the natural world, and most importantly, why this matters.
  • Chaos and Fractals: An Elementary Introduction by Professor of Math and Physics Dr. David Feldman. Oxford University Press. Textbook introduces students with modest mathematical backgrounds to dynamical systems, chaos, and the way simple mathematical models can exhibit complex dynamical behavior.
  • Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature by Lisa Stewart Chair of Literature and Women’s Studies Dr. Karen Waldron and Rob Friedman (eds.). Scarecrow Press. The collection theorizes literary ecology with essays about writers including Gary Snyder, Karen Tei Yamashita, Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, and others, foregrounding the way literature does the work of human ecology in its depictions of complex environments.
  • The College of the Atlantic Guide to the Lakes and Ponds of Mt. Desert by William V. P. Newlin, David Rockefeller Family Chair in Ecosystem Management and Protection Kenneth S. Cline, Rachel Briggs, A. Addison Namnoum, and Brett Ciccotelli. College of the Atlantic Press. The guide offers tips on which lakes are best for activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking. Containing beautiful photos and illustrations, detailed, full-color maps, and informative sidebars that fill the reader in on interesting bits of natural history and local lore, this is an essential resource for vacationers and local adventurers alike.
  • Loupette and the Moon by Professor in Video and Performance Nancy Andrews. A contribution to the Artist in Context Prospectus for the Nation, Andrews created a comic book featuring the story of a girl with hypertrichosis, a condition of more-than-normal body hair growth — or, as Andrews puts it, a tale of “genetics and destiny.”

“I’m incredibly proud of all our faculty — for their dedication to scholarship, to teaching excellence, and to building COA as an institution,” said President Darron Collins, ’92. “You would be hard pressed to find another college where the relationship between students and faculty produces the kinds of learning outcomes we see here at COA. It’s extraordinary.”

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit