Our programs are selected to balance COA’s academic mission with the lure of Mount Desert Island, introducing people to the region’s natural history, cultural richness, artistic potential—and to the human ecological mission of College of the Atlantic—while also providing a fun summer escape to learn something new!

Summer Courses In Summer 2020 we are featuring the return of two successful offerings from last year: Field Botany: Plants of New England taught by former faculty member and COA alum Nishi Rajakaruna ’94, and Plein-Air Watercolor Painting taught by another COA alum, Rob Finn ’92. COA’s summer location is the perfect spot to explore art and science and we could not find more wonderful faculty to bring out the best in these academic pursuits.

Family Nature Camp (FNC) offers week-long overnight camps for families in July. Participants stay in campus housing with COA’s award-winning dining with locally-sourced food from our organic gardens, enjoy guided field trips with professional naturalists that include bird-watching, hiking in Acadia National Park, exploring ponds and tide pools, kids on rocksand combing the cobblestone beaches of Mount Desert Island. FNC was recognized as a top family camp by Good Morning America and Family Fun Magazine. Family fun at its best!

Conferences and Events COA is host to one-day or week-long conferences over the summer. (see side panel for list of 2020 conference and workshop partners)

Summer Field Institute Our popular Islands Through Time is being offered in summer 2020.  Students will be heading out to COA’s Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island, home to some of the largest known breeding populations of marine birds,  to take part in this exciting field-based, human ecology, immersion program, taught by COA faculty. This session is for high-school juniors and seniors and upon completion, are eligible for college credit. 

Summer Field Studies offers one- and two-week day camp sessions based at COA’s Dorr Museum of Natural History. In small groups with individual attention, children grades K–9 learn about natural history, become citizen scientists, plant vegetables, draw, put on plays, and have fun through active learning and adventure, taking advantage of trails in Acadia National Park, our shoreline in Frenchman Bay and on MDI’s lakes and ponds.