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BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- While many college students anticipate winter break to go home or maybe even fly to warmer climates a group of College of the Atlantic Students spent most of their break on Great Duck Island. The student created and run trip was appropriately named "The Best Journey in the World."

Student and one of the organizers, Kate Shlepr, with College of the Atlantic said, "I don't think anyone has been out to live in Great Duck in the winter for about 50 years now."

The six students spent three weeks collecting research data on the winterwildlife and compared it to data from summer months.

Anne Hurley with the group said, "No one has got out there for a prolonged period of time to study what's going on out there in the winter. So I think we were all pretty excited to see what we would find."

They found there are more types of birds during the winter months and even otters make an appearance.

Hurley said, "There werea lot of different species that I had never known. I think a lot of us kind of struggled at first trying to know the new species."

The students agreed the hands on experience was much more than you can get in the classroom.

Shlepr said, "People haven't been out on these islands and I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't about consulting the best book or the best person. I was using my owntwo eyes and my own thinking and talking to my peers to try and solve puzzles in the field."

Recent graduate Lindsey Nielsen said, "Being able to do these kinds of things reaffirms over and over again why I love doing field science and field work and why I want to keep doing it."

All the data collected will stay within the school....and the students say they plan to make this an annual tradition.

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