Summary Information

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Bowdoin Scientific Station (Kent Island): Records, 1934- , undated
0.5 linear feet

Preferred Citation

Records of Bowdoin Scientific Station (Kent Island), George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

Biographical/Historical Note

The Bowdoin Scientific Station located on Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada, is Bowdoin College's biological field station. Since the summer of 1934, students from Bowdoin College (and other colleges and universities) have banded birds and worked on various projects on the Island. Kent Island was deeded to Bowdoin College in 1936 by J. Sterling Rockefeller and Paula Rockefeller for scientific purposes only, with the stipulation that a bird sanctuary be maintained on the Island. Alfred O. Gross, Bowdoin Professor of Biology, was the first director of the station, a position he held until his retirement in 1953. His son, William A.O. Gross (Bowdoin class of 1937) was the first field director, and Ernest Joy was the first caretaker. Since the first official Bowdoin College expedition to the Island in 1935, the station has been a research facility and sanctuary for nesting seabirds, and it is known for studies of gulls and storm-petrels. During the summer, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty are involved in research projects concerning seabirds, island plants, marine biology, meteorology, and other aspects of the environment and ecology. Many scientific papers have been published based on research at the Station.

Scope and Content

This collection contains annual reports, scientific publications, correspondence, articles, and newspaper clippings concerning the station. Also included are a 1938 map of Kent Island, digital images, a narrated history, and other historical material.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Collection Inventory

7.2.1: Annual Reports, 1936-1946 

Series Description:

This series contains reports of events, plans, populations, and research at the Bowdoin Scientific Station. Though titled "Annual Report," reports in the 1940s covered two or three years, and no annual reports were published between 1949 and 1987; the custom was revived in 1987 when Nathaniel Wheelwright became director of the station.


Arranged chronologically.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Box Folder
1 1-5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9


1 10


1 11


1 12


1 13


1 14


7.2.2: Contributions and Scientific Publications, 1935- 

Series Description:

This series includes offprints of published articles on research done on Kent Island that are compiled as "Contributions from the Bowdoin Scientific Station" (numbers 1-43, 1935-1975), and a comprehensive bibliography printed from the Kent Island Bowdoin College Web site, which cites contributions as well as other scientific publications based on research done at the Bowdoin Scientific Station.


Arranged chronologically.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.


1-15, 1935-1945 

Box Folder
2 1

5, 1939 

2 2

7, 10, 14, 1940-1945 

2 3

16-20, 1947-1948 

2 4

21-25, 1949-1955 

2 5

26-30, 1961-1965 

2 6

31, 1967 

2 7

32-35, 1966-1970 

2 8

36-40, 1970-1973 

2 9

41-43, 1973-1975 

2 10

Appendix II and bibliography, 1935- 

2 11

Eradication of an Ecosystem Engineer, 2016 

7.2.3: Historical Materials, 1934- 

Series Description:

This series contains correspondence, narrated illustrated history on DVD by David Z. Webster (Bowdoin Class of 1957), articles, newspaper clippings, maps and documents from early expeditions to the island, and typescript reports that provide information about Bowdoin's scientific station on Kent Island. Also included are digital images used by Professor Nathaniel Wheelwright in a lecture on the history of the biological field station.


Arranged alphabetically.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Box Folder
2 11

Correspondence from Ernest Joy, caretaker, 1940-1943 (photocopies) 

2 12

Correspondence from Ernest Joy, caretaker, to Bob Cunningham, meteorological researcher at Kent Island, 1938-1949 (photocopies with typed transcriptions) 

2 13

Correspondence, 1940 

2 14

"First, there was an albatross," article about the Bowdoin Scientific Station by Nathaniel Wheelwright, Bowdoin magazine, 2008 Winter 

Map-case Drawer
B 3

Map of Kent Island mapped by the Bowdoin College Kent Island expedition, 1936-1938 

Box Folder
2 15

Miscellaneous articles, correspondence and reports, 1935, 1968, 1981, 1986, 2011, 2015- 

2 16

Newspaper clippings, 1942, 1948, 1980 

2 17

Preliminary report: Kent's Island expedition, n.d. 

2 18

Prospectus of the 1936 Bowdoin-Kent's Island Expedition 

2 19

Stationary- Trevor Peterson, Captain Gillette House, Kent Island 

2 20

Student Presentations, 2010-2013 

2 21

Undergraduate Thesis and Independent Studies, 2010-2013 

2 22

Rare Passamaquaddy Flora of Grand Manan 

2 23

Kent Island Life, 2015- 

2 24

"Well-Known Biologists at Kent Island" 

7.2.4: Images 

Box Folder
2 24

Large Images 


Medium Images 

7.2.5: Recordings 


Cassette: Leach's Storm-Petrels (Bird call) Gull Island, 1973 


Cassette: Petrels Purring (Bird call) Kent Island 


Cassette: "Kent Island 1936-38" Segments from an NBC Radio Program durring 1936-1938 remotely interviewing Bowdoin students and faculty working on Kent Island 


Cassette: David Webster '57 interviewing C.E. Huntington, Nat Wheelwright, and Robert Mauch regarding their research on Kent Island, the history of the Island as a Bowdoin research station, and the experiential value of the Island itself, 2003 


CD: "Good Gun Tales and the 73-Year History of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island," Power Point file and PDF copy of the photographs used by Nathaniel Wheelwright in this talk on 2008 Feb 13. The lecture commemorated his appointment to the Bass Professorship. 


CD: Kent Island, Bay of Fundy, Province of New Brunswick: A 70 year history and perspective, 1934-2004; produced and narrated by David Z. Webster (Class of 1957), 2004 


VHS: Kent Island 2001- Puffins, Whale Watching, Birds in Flight, Fashion Show, Etc.