• An aerial photo of downtown Vinalhaven (Courtesy of Rob Miller)
    November 1, 2017

    It’s true: For-profit businesses aren’t attractive for grant funding, no matter how noble the company’s mission or strong the ties to the local community. Still, there are a few grants out there that can boost businesses, sometimes in surprising ways. This month's "Commercial Currents" looks at how two islands successfully leveraged grants to boost their business.

    Economic Development

  • October 30, 2017

    Before the start of the new school year, the teachers from the Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) gathered in Rockland for their (now) annual Teacher Retreat. The focus of the retreat is to allow work time and planning for the year ahead, but what became the driving focus for the day, though, was not the “what” or “how” of our work, but the “why.” By taking time to clarify and (re-)define the “why,” the purpose for our work this year, all the other components more or less fell into place.

    Education

  • October 16, 2017

    Not only does September bring cooler nights, subtle changes in the leaves, and the start of a new school year, but it's also the beginning of a new fellowship year here at the Island Institute. This year, the Institute is placing nine Island Fellows — from St. George to Eastport and Millinocket in Maine — to as far west as Beaver Island in Michigan. Our fellows are starting their year by getting to know their new communities and beginning the process of engaging themselves and others in their work.

    Community Development

  • October 13, 2017

    Island schools may be small, but the needs and interests of their students are big and varied. How then do island educators provide the wide range of support and rigor needed to ensure a student’s success? Personalized learning plans, trauma-informed classrooms, and integrated creative arts are just some of the innovative approaches that were featured at the recent 2017 Island Teachers Conference.

    Education

  • September 25, 2017

    Island Fellow alum Gideon Davidson reflects on his year on Swan's Island and shares a special memory that he says will last long beyond his time there — one about unexpected island hospitality.

    Community Development

  • August 29, 2017

    Earlier this spring, we caught up with Brendan Parsens, the founder of BP’s Shuck Shack and overall oyster entrepreneur. We first got to know Brendan through the first round of our Aquaculture Business Development program in 2015. Less than a year after getting his first seed in the water, he's started his own retail and wholesale operations and has plans for much more. Learn more about Brendan and how he's influencing the local oyster market.

    Economic Development, Marine

  • August 21, 2017

    Mainers pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation, with costs being especially high on Maine’s islands. Learn how Maine communities are developing creative approaches to address these costs and reduce reliance on expensive and polluting fuels through community-based clean energy initiatives.

    Energy

  • August 18, 2017

    They’re popping up everywhere! While coworking spaces may be the new trendy thing, they've also become another tool for communities trying to extend the shoulder seasons. When communities can attract seasonal residents and find ways for them to come earlier or stay longer, it can have social and economic benefits for everyone.

    Economic Development

  • July 24, 2017

    In mid-July, 22 educators from 11 schools and organizations gathered at College of the Atlantic for an intensive three-day workshop focused on experiential and place-based learning. Learn more about the workshop and the important role differentiation plays in island education from Education Director Yvonne Thomas.

    Education