Getting here:

I knew there were so many things I wanted to learn about, that if – as a working young adult– I was going to go to college, I wanted it to be really interesting and meaningful, and that I wanted to go to a small school with courses that sparked excitement and curiosity and that had an ecologically-minded, progressive culture. COA checked all of these boxes. 

Classes

Intro to Arts & Design 

Seeing Ecology Through Arts Practice

Bees & Society

Life Stories: Memory, Family, Place

Introductory French I 

Illustration

Figure Drawing 

Plants in the Campus Landscape

Favorite class:

I think Seeing Ecology Through Arts Practice with Jennifer Rock has been my favorite so far. The course combined natural history illustration, field journaling, and drawing to use the physical, somatic nature of visual arts practice to more closely and experientially study the natural world in our immediate environment. I still think about the concepts, like how the human body really being a sensing tool in every way, how it can collect meaningful, intimate data about plants, natural phenomenon, trees, and animals, and collect it better through the attention and motion present in artistic practice. It was a great introduction to human ecology. 

My approach to human ecology:

botany + painting + drawing + gardening + women’s health + feminism + natural history  = human ecology 

Internship:

I am apprenticing this summer with the Deer Isle Hostel, which is an off-grid, self-sufficient homestead/garden/small farm/hostel on Deer Isle, about an hour down the coast from COA. I’m really excited to learn about caring for fruit trees, organic gardening, and herbalism, among many other things! I hope to explore further internships to do with gardening on MDI. 

Senior project:

I’m interested in combining my interest in studying how humans interact with plants with my love for visual arts practice to create something meaningful and useful. I’m glad I still have time to think about this one! 

Life on Mount Desert Island:

The quiet. The pine-scented breeze, sun reflecting on the glaciated mountains, the picture-perfect seaside villages, the solitude of the winter and the chilly joy of feeling kelp and seaweed brush against your legs in the Atlantic Ocean in the warmer weather. Studying trees in Acadia. How it feels like its own world. 

Activities, traditions, celebrations:

Earth Day, botany club, working with plants at Beech Hill Farm, exploring Acadia National Park 

COA might be the right college for you if...

don’t want to just study one thing, want to learn everything, want to learn by doing, and enjoy the outdoors. 

Ephemera:

Collecting ripe apples from old orchard trees in the community garden after studying bumble bees in motion. Touching bioluminescent plankton. Experiencing a long Maine winter.