Connecting and sharing solutions at the Great Lakes Islands Summit

Islanders from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Canada stood at the bow of the Emerald Isle Ferry as it made the two hour crossing from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. The islanders, participants in the first Great Lakes Islands Summit held at the Central Michigan University Biological Station September 20-22, were naturally curious about other island communities.

Commercial Currents: Getting a grant

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.

The TLC’s Golden Circle

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.

Rob Snyder, President of the Island Institute, will join Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on Thursday, November 2nd at 10:00 a.m., to testify before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans on behalf of Pingree's bipartisan bill, HR 1176, the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act.  

The hearing will take place at 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C., and will be live-streamed on the House Committee on Natural Resources YouTube channel.

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.