Jack Fullerton’19

When I first began to explore my interest in sustainable food, I did not think it would lead me here––applying for a grant in order to grow seaweed and feed it to my friends and professors. Despite my surprise when I reflect on the path that my passion has taken, I remain steadfast in my thinking: the Bowdoin Ocean Farm is the logical, even obvious next step in Bowdoin’s involvement in sustainable food. Furthermore, I am the right person to take on this endeavor.

This project began nearly one year ago, when I was inspired by the visionary work done by GreenWave––it struck me that Bowdoin was the perfect place to establish an Ocean Farm similar to their design. While the idea came easily, the execution has already taken hard work. I have spent the past year collecting resources, establishing relationships and connections in the industry, and advocating for the merits of this project. In doing so, I have continued to refine the material aspects of the operation, as well as the theoretical and educational benefits it will provide. While various groups and professors at Bowdoin have been hugely helpful in connecting me with valuable resources, I have taken on the work of planning and executing this vision myself. The preparation of this project has already become my primary engagement outside of the classroom––and while there is plenty more work that lies of ahead of me, I feel this commitment is indicative of a strong work ethic as well as an ability to think and solve problems independently. This potential to both envision and execute will serve as the foundation upon which the Bowdoin Ocean Farm will build its success.

As I have already outlined, I am confident that this project will serve as a unique and invaluable educational opportunity for many students interested in aquaculture and marine science––and there are multiple professors who adamantly share this belief. More selfishly, the process of establishing an ocean farm at Bowdoin would provide me with skills and experience necessary to begin my desired career path in sustainable food as soon as I graduate. I am passionate about the products I want to grow in Harpswell Sound, and I believe in the enriching effects that a vibrant and responsible aquaculture industry could have on Maine’s coast. However, I cannot effectively begin working in this field without significant exposure to the actual processes of growing kelp and shellfish. Through the creation of the Bowdoin Ocean Farm, I will be able to provide this experience to myself and my peers. This opportunity will allow me to build my knowledge and credibility in the field of aquaculture––both of which will be crucial as I embark on my work in this impactful industry.