Diversifying the local fishing economy is a critical need in many island communities – and the people who will power that future economy are in island and coastal classrooms today. Through hands-on, place-based learning opportunities in aquaculture, students gain a broad understanding of the complex marine environment that their communities depend on.

CAPE (Collaborative Aquaculture Project for Education)

Our aquaculture education initiative, called CAPE (Collaborative Aquaculture Project for Education), enhances workforce development and leadership for the future by collaborating with schools and partner organizations to develop and implement place-based, experiential education opportunities for Maine students through aquaculture.  Our goals are to help students become engaged learners, meet learning standards, and be well prepare for careers on the water and/or post-secondary study.

CAPE started in 2015 as a flexible partnership among the Island Institute, Herring Gut Learning Center, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership and a number of other education organizations and island and coastal schools. 

We deliver professional development trainings for teachers of grades K-12, develop curricular resources and provide technical assistance and connections to industry  and higher education expertise. Since 2015, we have had participation from 15 schools, 32 teachers and have impacted an estimate 200 students.

CAPE 2016-2017 Professional Development Workshops for Teachers:
  • September 2016: Grades 6-12 Aquaculture Teacher Retreat on Hurricane Island
  • February 2017: Grades PK-8 Aquaculture Teacher Workshop at Herring Gut Learning Center
  • April 28, 2017: Grades PK-12 Aquaculture Teacher Meet-Up at the Island Institute
  • Spring 2018: Place-based Learning Educators Retreat on Hurricane Island

Grades 6-12 Aquaculture Teacher Retreat on Hurricane Island

On The Road!

Together with our partners, we've been busy getting the word out about K-12 aquaculture education in Maine at local, state-level and regional conferences. Below is a list of events that took place earlier in the 2016-17 school year, as well as upcoming opportunities to learn more about aquaculture education.

2016 Island Teachers Conference

Aquaculture Educators Network

(In conjunction with The University of Maine's EPSCoR Office and Aquaculture Research Institute)

Interest in aquaculture education is growing in Maine and beyond. This Aquaculture Educators Network has been developed in response to a strongly identified need for a coordinated network and resource sharing platform for the Maine aquaculture education community. 

What it offers:
A place to find and share vetted aquaculture education materials and resources created for and by educators and organizations from Maine and beyond

Who it's for:
Educators (K-adult) in Maine and beyond, interested in formal and informal aquaculture education

How to get involved:
For more information on the Aquaculture Educators Network or to sign up for the ListServ, visit the program website.

Additional Resources

NOAA Climate Stewards - March 2017 Webinar: KELP CAN HELP! Climate Action for Students through Kelp Aquaculture

This webinar, hosted by the Island Institute's Education Director Yvonne Thomas and Marine Programs Associate Rebecca Clark Uchenna, looks at the impacts of climate change on Maine’s ocean environment and the community-based approach the Island Institute takes to support island and coastal schools as they teach students how to plan for and adapt to climate change. 

In this presentation, Yvonne and Rebecca use kelp aquaculture education as a case study, sharing educational resources including information about the Island Institute's A Climate of Change film series, the Future of Aquaculture Educator’s Guide for middle and high school level students, and the Kelp ME ASAP Curriculum guide for elementary level students. They also share resources relevant to educators without local ocean access.