New year, new communities for our Island Fellows

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.

2017 Island Teachers Conference Photos

The 2017 Island Teachers Conference took place Thursday, October 5th and Friday, October 6th at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine. The theme of the conference was Small School Solutions: Meeting Island Students Where They Are.

Educators from the coast of Maine attended and exhibited at the conference and lead workshops and presentations on a wide-range of topics, including: place and project-based learning through collaboration, creative expression, social issues, STEM education, and more!

2017 Island Teachers Conference: Meeting island students where they are

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.

Reflecting on Fellowship: Joe's Boots

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.

On Monday, August 21st, state and federal representatives, island leaders, and community partners joined the Monhegan community at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of a comprehensive upgrade to the island’s energy systems. The culmination of countless hours of hard work, the project enables the community-owned Monhegan Plantation Power District to power the island with cleaner burning diesel-fired microturbines and a solar array, improving reliability and safety of service on the island.

August 25, 2017

Energy

Local entrepreneur helps highlight Maine oysters, growers with new business ventures

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.

Maine Islands Are Getting Energized About the Transition to Clean Energy

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.

Commercial Currents: Extending the shoulder seasons with coworking spaces

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.

2017 Summer Lecture Series photo gallery

View photos from the Island Institute's 2017 Summer Lecture Series.

For more information, including recordings of some of the presentations, visit the 2017 Summer Lecture Series event page.

Weekend Edition Sunday / National Public Radio

If you've ever dreamed of moving to an idyllic vacation spot, Maine's coastal islands offer a cautionary tale.

Jobs are limited to lobstering, boatbuilding and caretaking of summer residences. And lousy Internet service makes telecommuting difficult to impossible. But now some Maine lobstermen and would-be telecommuters are banding together to pay for costly infrastructure they hope will help preserve a threatened way of life.

From Maine Public Radio, Fred Bever reports.