Schoodic Experience

The Schoodic Experience is an optional part of the School of Biology and Ecology’s biological sciences orientation course (NFA 117). This course introduces students to their major and informs them about important academic and other resources that are available on campus.  All first-year students in the biological sciences (BIO, BOT, ZOL, and MLS majors) take this course, with many students opting to attend the multi-day event at the Schoodic Institute, part of Acadia National Park, located on the coast of Maine.

The Schoodic Experience is a great opportunity for students to get to know each other and start to learn about SBE. They attend faculty-led outdoor workshops, visit research facilities, and explore what the coast has to offer in and around Acadia National Park. The Experience forges a sense of community that continues throughout the students’ time at UMaine, providing a lasting network of support as they pursue their undergraduate degree.


Field Trips

In the evenings, Schoodic is the perfect place to relax and bond with classmates. During the day, students venture out to visit research facilities in the area with ties to the University of Maine, where some of the students will work and conduct research in the coming years. These include the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center, the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, The Jackson Laboratory, and the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.

See Schoodic Trip Info page for more detail.


Acadia CliffsThe Schoodic Experience takes students on half-day adventures that allow them to experience some of the best that Maine has to offer, letting them participate in adventurous activities.  Some of these activities vary from year to year, like a chance to hike the trails in Acadia National Park.

Specific trips are scheduled prior to leaving for Schoodic. See the Schoodic Trip Info page for information about the different options and the respective deadlines. (**Note that all costs associated with these activities are included in the NFA 117 course fee.)

Outdoor Workshops

Students at Schoodic ExcursionOne of the most valuable experiences at Schoodic is the chance to spend time in small groups with some of the School’s faculty as they lead an outdoor workshop. Professors that serve as advisors to students in the current incoming class each choose a topic that is near and dear to them and share this excitement through a hands-on workshop.

Whether it is catching and surveying a wide array of insects around the research center, using microscopes to inspect marine organisms along the craggy rocks of Schoodic point or meandering along the forest paths on a fungal foray, there are many engaging workshops for students to choose from. For more information, go to the Schoodic Trip Info page. Students at other large universities usually do not have this opportunity until they get to know their professors in one of the smaller, upper-level courses as a junior or senior. At Schoodic, incoming students become familiar with many of the scientists that they will be learning from before the even walk into their first class.

If you have questions, please contact Trish Costello at (207) 581-2540 or