The Summer Institute is College of the Atlantic's week-long ideas festival that welcomes experts from around the world to share their perspectives on the most pressing issues of our time. We hope you can join us in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine or online.

Exploration has brought humans to our planet’s greatest heights and deepest depths, pushing upon the boundaries between the known and unknown. It has taught us elusive lessons about our world and ourselves that we would have never learned otherwise. At the same time, exploration brings us face to face with dynamic and hard-to-resolve ethical questions about the impact of exploration on human and non-human communities.

From July 31-August 4, join College of the Atlantic and the National Geographic Society for the 2023 Summer Institute: Reimagining Exploration, as we gather some of the greatest living explorers, writers, artists, and thinkers to help reimagine exploration.

In conversations with those who have ventured into extreme landscapes, the deep sea, the human mind, the world of art and other disciplines, we will examine exploration in the broadest sense. Ultimately, we hope to recast an approach to exploration that is rooted in inclusivity and reciprocity, while also preserving the magnificence and health of our planet and its people.

The Summer Institute is produced by College of the Atlantic, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. The Summer Institute is held on COA's campus in Bar Harbor, Maine with options to participate virtually. 

Pre-registration is required for both in-person and virtual participation. Registration is now open. 

The COA Summer Institute is free and open to the public thanks to donations from our generous supporters. If you'd like to support the Institute or COA, you can do so here. If you'd like to join the Champlain Society or renew your membership, please click here.

For information on local accommodations we recommend, please visit this page.

Questions about any of these events? Please reach out to and a member of our team will be happy to assist you!