Students at field station
The R.S. Friedman Field Station (FFS) of Suffolk University provides a living laboratory for observing and studying marine life in a relatively pristine environment dominated by the dramatic tides of Cobscook Bay on the coast of Eastern Maine. Our facilities provide classrooms, rustic accommodations, flow-through seawater systems and field sampling equipment that support a variety of field-oriented classes as well as student and faculty research projects in a magnificent natural setting.

Located directly on the shores of Cobscook Bay, the lower most portion of the Bay of Fundy, and adjacent to the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, the 70+ acre facility provides ready access to a variety of wildlife interacting in a spectacular array of natural habitats including rocky and soft-bottom intertidal areas, salt marshes, bogs, rivers, lakes, ponds, fields, and forests.

The field station and its location provide abundant opportunity for students from Suffolk’s urban Boston campus to become immersed in nature. Field observations and research projects augment the understanding of important biology concepts by reinforcing classroom study with hands-on experiences. Students are provided a wonderful environment in which to contemplate their own place in the natural world and gain additional appreciation for the natural resources that enrich their lives and those of other people.

Intensive, three week courses offered by Suffolk University’s biology department at the R.S. Friedman Field Station include marine biology and laboratory, ecology and laboratory, and field botany. Each is a three-week intensive field course that combines lecture with extensive field work. In addition, directed student research projects are available to interested students. Various other institutions also use this facility in support of their own field-oriented courses and research projects.

FFS maintains a developing renewable energy laboratory comprised of a 10 Kw wind turbine, a 2 Kw photovoltaic panel, two separate solar hot water heating systems (one located within a “solar dome”) and equipment that allows real time, remote monitoring of energy conversion efficiencies. We also monitor annual soil temperatures to a depth of 20 feet for purposes of modeling potential geothermal uses of the soil as a source/sink for thermal energy. This laboratory is used to support studies completed by students and faculty of physics, environmental engineering, electrical engineering, and environmental science. It allows for comparisons of efficiencies, reliability, durability, and pay-back periods, as well as environmental impacts of these various technologies used to capture solar energy. It also provides a substantial contribution to our energy requirements, thus reducing our consumption of electricity from the grid or propane. For further information, contact D. Walter Johnson (physics), Dr. Lisa Shatz (engineering), Dr. Martha Richmond (environmental science; chemistry), Dr. Peter Burn (environmental science; biology), and Dan Morang or Dr. Carl Merrill (FFS).

For more information please contact the Friedman Field Station's Director Dr. Carl Merrill at cmerrill@suffolk.edu.

The Field Station 2012 Staff List

  • Carl L. Merrill, PhD, Director
  • Thomas Trott, PhD, Research Associate
  • Peggy Savage, Chef 

  • Rebecca Savage, Associate Chef
  • Dan Morang, FFS Operational Coordinator
  • Susan Boutin, Maintenance
  • Alana Boutin, Maintenance