Mount Desert Rock


Mount Desert Rock (2013) from the zodiac after a day of observing whales.

Mount Desert Rock is a remote field station, 25 miles off the coast, operated by Allied Whale.  Students have the opportunity each summer (along with some winter opportunities) to conduct a research project on the island.  The island is home to hundreds of grey and harbor seals, seagulls, and is in a great location to watch passing marine mammals.  Students scan the seas from atop the lighthouse for marine mammal action and record their position and behavior.  Often, when a marine mammal is spotted, students will switch to the boat for closer observations.  They will document humpback whale flukes for the photo identification catalog for Allied Whale.


Curious seals circling the boats.

Out at “The Rock” students can work on a variety of project, whether it be marine mammal behavior, bird behavior, oceanography, plankton tows, or even art.  For more information on how students can spend all of their time on this island of solitude, check out the “Internship” tab above.

Students also have the opportunity to spend 2 weeks out at the rock as a class.  Every 2 years, the Marine Mammals course, taught by Sean Todd, spends 2 weeks before fall term at Mount Desert Rock.  This course will be offered again in 2015.

Find more about the Rock here.


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