Bridge Week Experiences

First-year Students in RLEs arrive on campus on Sunday, Aug. 25, a week before general move-in with the rest of the students.  This “bridge week” takes two forms, depending on which RLE you sign up for.  You may:

  • Join with students from many different RLE courses for a “UMaine Immersion” experience on campus.  In this bridge week, you’ll make friends that will support you throughout your time at UMaine, begin to understand the basics of a “research mindset,” get to know how UMaine is here to support you in your first semester, and spend the evenings with your new friends in a variety of social events. Students who participate in the UMaine Immersion move right into their residence hall room for the whole first year.
  • Start working with your small class cohort and the instructor of your fall RLE course right away in a bridge experience tailored to your course theme. These bridge experiences may happen on campus or somewhere else exciting across the state, and you’ll immediately start developing the skills that will be important for the rest of your course.
A photo of a student ziplining

UMaine Immersion welcomes students signed up for many different Research Learning Experiences (RLE)s. After moving into your dorm on Sunday, you will spend the first half of the week at one of UMaine’s beautiful UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H campground learning centers and the second half back on campus before the start of the Fall semester. At the learning center and on campus, our focus will be on preparing you  for success at UMaine and your respective RLEs holistically, so you enter the school year feeling in control of your learning and part of a supportive community of UMaine Black Bears!

“Becoming a Marine Sciences Major”

Students can move into the dorm on Sunday and participate in University-wide activities Sunday and Monday evening.  On Monday during the day, students will convene in Aubert Hall to meet some of the Marine Science faculty and learn more about the rest of the week.  On Tuesday, students will be transported to the Darling Marine Center, The University of Maine’s marine lab, located in Walpole, Maine, (two hours from Orono).  Tuesday through Friday students will participate in numerous activities at the marine lab including: learning about faculty research, exploring the Damariscotta River Estuary via UMaine’s 42-foot research vessel, the Ira C, touring a shellfish farm and shellfish hatchery, going sea kayaking, having evening campfires, and making s’mores.  We will return to Orono by noon on Friday so students can participate in the Maine Hello and the traditional move-in day for most students.

Transportation is provided to (and from) the Darling Marine Center.  Also, at the Darling Marine Center, all food and bedding is provided.  Students only need to bring an overnight bag with warm clothing, a swimsuit, towel and general toiletries.  A detailed packing list will be provided after students sign up for the course.  All questions should be directed to William Ellis and Jodie Feero at 207-581-4385.

“Skills for working in the Forest”

SFR 101 – Introduction to Forest Resources is required for Forestry (FTY) and Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT) majors. The bridge week involves outdoor activities that provide instruction and experience on basic skills and knowledge needed for learning about and working in the woods. Students from other majors are welcomed to take the class for 1 credit. Students enrolled in SFR 101 will need to move into dorm rooms on Sunday morning, August 25, and then need to be at Nutting Hall by noon for check-in and a lunch. We then use a bus for traveling to the Tanglewood 4H Learning Center near Lincolnville, ME, where the course is held from Sunday afternoon to Friday morning. The camp provides bunk beds in rustic cabins, a shower house, and meals in a dining hall. Students return to campus by noon on Friday. While SFR 101 is a required course for FTY and PRT majors, it also serves as a bridge week course for students wanting to enroll in the RLE course SFR 397 Field Experience in Forestry, section 0002.

Not all students in SFR 101 need to take SFR 397, but all students wanting to take SFR 397 need to take SFR 101. More information about SFR 101 is available online in a documents folder.

Majors in Wildlife Ecology will arrive on the UMaine campus in Orono, Maine, on Sunday to move into their dorms, and will participate in on campus Bridge Week activities Sunday and Monday. Tuesday, after lunch, Wildlife Ecology participants will depart for the Center for Ecological Teaching and Learning in Edmunds, Maine. For the next few days, we will be living and learning at the CETL.  We will be staying in rustic cabins that house 4 students each; sleeping bags will be provided. We will conduct field work and classroom activities on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and depart sometime Friday morning for Orono. 

Participating students will be contacted by the instructor to communicate specifically what they should pack for their off campus bridge week experience at CETL – this list may include full rain gear, hiking shoes, and rubber boots.

Transportation is provided to and from CETL.