Be a Fellow | Host a Fellow | Current Fellows | Past Fellows | Alumni

The Island Fellows Program is one of the signature programs of the Island Institute. Since 1999, the Island Fellows Program has placed college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for one to two years. Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges. 

The Island Fellows Program provides support for Maine's island and coastal communities by:

  • Strengthening capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic, and information resources
  • Assisting in local research, planning, education, and technology projects

The Island Fellows Program provides support for the Island Fellows by:

  • Offering enriching professional development opportunities for recent college graduates
  • Building professional experiences and networks for Fellows looking to live and work in Maine

Awards and Recognition

  • The Island Fellows Program was recognized with the "Outstanding Program" award by the Community Development Society.
  • The Island Fellows Program is an official winner of the 2014 SHIFT Sustainability Award.

How does the Island Fellows Program work?

Island or remote coastal organizations apply to the Island Institute with a community supported project that could benefit from an extra set of hands (See Hosting a Fellow, below). The Institute then finds highly qualified recent graduates to live for 24 months in residence in the community (See How to Be a Fellow, below). Immersion in the community connects fellows directly with islanders to gain an intimate understanding of island life and to understand the needs and opportunities around the identified project.  Fellows are expected to be active participants in their community and bring their own experiences and skills to share.

Be a Fellow

The Fellowship application period is open from January until mid-March for a September program start. Top candidates are then interviewed in the island or coastal host communities by key contacts who will be working with the Fellow. On-island/coastal interviews are required. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Recent completion of a baccalaureate or graduate degree (within five years)
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in a field such as community service, community planning, natural-resource planning, GIS mapping, educational outreach, etc.
  • A strong service ethic
  • Flexibility
  • A strong desire to live and work within a small, remote community
  • Strong self-motivation and the ability to work with minimal supervision
Island Fellow Benefits

Each Fellow receives a stipend of $15,000, plus rent and utilities, health insurance, paid vacation days and other benefits. The Institute also provides reimbursement for approved work-related expenses, access to a professional development fund, and offers to offset part of the cost of a new laptop for first year Fellows.

In addition to the application form, which will be accessible via a link on this page during the open application period, the following are required:

  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts of complete undergraduate and graduate records
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A concise personal statement
  • A resume

Host a Fellow

The Island Institute Fellows Program’s goals are to provide support for Maine’s island and coastal communities by:

  • Building capacity by meeting community-stated needs through project-based work
  • Increasing capacity for the local management of historical, cultural, natural, economic and informational resources
  • Assisting local research, planning, education and technology projects
  • Offering enriching professional-development opportunities for Island Fellows


Current Fellows

Dan DeBord — Monhegan Fellow — Dan is working with the Monhegan community to bring high-speed broadband access to the island. He is also working with the assessors to set up municipal systems. Originally from Virginia, he has spent summers on Frenchboro, ME. Dan graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in economics and history and a minor in religious studies.

Diana Furukawa — Millinocket Fellow — Diana is working with the Millinocket Memorial Library to develop a community resource and volunteer coordination center for the Katahadin region. Before moving to Maine, she lived in Seattle, Washington. Diana graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in sociology and visual arts.

Maddy Bruno — Islesboro Fellow — Maddy is working with the Islesboro Community Center to support health and wellness programming across the island. She is also increasing the technical capacity of the artist economic support programming run through the community center. Maddy is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in geology.

Maria Keeler — North Haven Fellow — Maria is working with teachers, parents, and students at the North Haven Community School to create dynamic, standards-based, agricultural curriculum. She is also supporting the community through her coordination of summer farmers’ market, her work with recreation committee, and her passion for learning. Maria is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris with a degree in biology and psychology.

Molly Siegel — Isle au Haut Fellow — Molly is supporting the Isle au Haut community by adding capacity and technical support for a community telemedicine facility and affordable, sustainable year-round housing. Since September 2016, Molly has worked with the Portland Housing Authority as a community hub coordinator. She has her Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Dartmouth College.

Natalie Hyde-Petersen — Frenchboro Fellow — Natalie is working with the community on the island of Frenchboro to support educational efforts with an after school and summer learning program. She also works with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust to support community programs. Natalie graduated from Gordon College with a degree in linguistics.

Nell Houde — Peaks Island Fellow — Nell is working with the teachers and students of Peaks Island Elementary School to bring the edible schoolyard master plan to life. Nell will also be working with the Peaks Assisted Living organization to support the new non-profit as it develops fundraising, financing, and operations systems. Nell is a graduate of Bates College where she majored in environmental studies and general education with a focus on community education and agriculture.

Stevie Kowalczyk — Swan's Island Fellow — Stevie is working with the Lobster and Marine Museum to help curate its extensive maritime and fishing history collection. She is supporting this work with marketing outreach, education, and volunteer recruitment. Stevie has a Master of Science in cultural heritage management from the University of Minnesota.

The 2018-2019 Island Fellows

Past Fellows

  • Alana Flanagan, Vinalhaven Fellow
  • Alden Robinson, Long Island GIS and Municipal Government Fellow
  • Alexander Harris, James and Joanne Cooney Fellow on Isle au Haut
  • Alexandra Hodges, Islesboro School and Town of Islesboro Technology Fellow
  • Alexandria Brasili, Herring Gut Learning Center Fellow & Louis W. Cabot Award Recipient
  • Ally Day, Vinalhaven Educational Technology Fellow
  • Alyson Fauver, Cliff Island Marine Stewardship and Community Development Fellow
  • Alyson Mayo, Islesboro Affordable Housing Fellow
  • Amanda Poyant, Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School and Community Center Fellow
  • Amanda Ravenhill, Cranberry Isles Sustainable Community Development Fellow
  • Andrew Dorr, Vinalhaven Community and Economic Development Fellow
  • Andrew Mountcastle, Friendship Marine Stewardship Fellow
  • Andy Whitaker, Monhegan School Fellow
  • Anna Rubin, Long Island Library and School Enrichment Fellow
  • Anna Smith, Swan's Island Health Center Fellow
  • Anne Bardaglio, Matinicus School Fellow; Four Island Schools Collaborative Senior Fellow
  • Annie Tselikis, Stonington Economic Development and Digital Media Fellow
  • Ben Algeo, Diesel Islands Fellow, Monhegan and Matinicus Islands
  • Benjamin Odgren, Island Scholars Network Coordinator
  • Betsy Walker, North Haven Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Birgitta Polson, Community Energy Fellow
  • Brooke Brewer, Casco Bay Affordable Housing and Economic Development Fellow
  • Caitlin Gerber, Chebeague Island Recreation Center Fellow
  • Candyce Dunham, Swan's Island Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Carly Knight, Chebeague Island Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Celia Whitehead, Chebeague Island Community Fellow
  • Cherie Galyean, Vinalhaven Library Fellow; Downeast Libraries Senior Fellow
  • Cyrus Moulton, Cranberry Isles Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Dana Leath, Long Island Education Fellow; Casco Bay Senior Fellow
  • Daniel Miller, Swan's Island and Frenchboro Library and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Daniel O'Grady, Friendship Marine Resources Fellow
  • Danielle Hall, Cliff Island Community Development Fellow
  • David Steckler, North Haven Place-Based Education Fellow
  • Eli Bossin, Chebeague Island Historical Soceity Fellow 
  • Eliza Greenman, Cranberry Isles Sustainable Community Fellow
  • Emily Graham, North Haven School Library Fellow
  • Emma Lishness, Islesboro Community Center Fellow
  • Emma Miran, Stonington Planning and Development Fellow
  • Eric Dyer, Cranberry Isles Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Erin Crowley, Long Island Community Planning Fellow
  • Erin Fisher, Deer Isle-Stonington Marine Resources Fellow
  • Erin Love, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership Fellow
  • Hannah Tannebring, Jackson Memorial Library and Service-Learning Fellow
  • Hedda Steinhoff, Deer-Isle Stonington Marine Trades Fellow
  • Helen Chabot, Chebeague Island Marine Resources Fellow
  • Ian Watkins, Deer Isle-Stonington High School Fellow
  • James Essex, Peaks Island GIS Fellow
  • James Westhafer, Islesboro School and Town Technology Fellow
  • Jeff Killian, Deer Isle-Stonington Marine Trades Fellow
  • Jeremy Gabrielson, Downeast Economic Development Fellow
  • Jesse Minor, Cranberry Isles Marine Stewardship Fellow
  • Jessica Bellah, Frenchboro Town Planning
  • Jessica Duma, Great Cranberry Agriculture Fellow
  • Jessica Stevens, Monhegan Maine and Historical Stewardship Fellow
  • Kaitlin Webber, Swan's Island Library Fellow
  • Karen Burns, Vinalhaven Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Kate Power, Long Island Recreation Center Fellow
  • Kathleen Reardon, Islesboro GIS Fellow
  • Katie Chapman, Alternative Energy Fellow
  • Keely Felton, North Haven Arts Enrichment Fellow
  • Keith Eaton, North Haven Education Fellow
  • Kelsey Byrd, Vinalhaven Community Wellness Fellow
  • Kendra Jo Marsh, Islesboro Community Fellow
  • Kerrie O'Donnell, Vinalhaven Marine Resources & Community Development Fellow
  • Kurt Lynch, Vinalhaven Marine Trades Fellow
  • Lana Cannon, Matinicus School and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Laura Bolton, Great Cranberry Island Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Laura Kramar, Port Clyde Marketing and Branding Coordination Senior Fellow
  • Leah McDonald, Chebeague Island Recreation Fellow
  • Liv Detrick, Penobscot Bay GIS Fellow
  • Luke Milardo, Frenchboro School Fellow
  • Maddey Gates, Eldercare Fellow, Chebeague, North Haven, Swan's Island, and Vinalhaven
  • Maggie Small, Peaks Island Environmental Action Fellow
  • Margaret Snell, Isle au Haut Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Maria McMorrow, Downeast Salmon Federation Fellow
  • Mary Terry, Casco Bay Affordable Housing Fellow
  • Megan Powell, Swan's Island Environmental Education and Art Fellow
  • Megan Wibberly, Isle au Haut Community Planning and Economic Development Fellow
  • Meghan Cooper, Isle au Haut Fellow
  • Meghan Vigeant, Swan's Island Historical Documentation Fellow
  • Meredith Harr, Fishers Island Community Development Fellow
  • Michele Tranes, Peaks Island Community GIS Fellow
  • Mike Felton, Vinalhaven Education "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Morgan Witham, Isle au Haut Education and Library Fellow
  • Nate Geraldi, Vinalhaven Marine Education Fellow
  • Nate Gray, Peaks Island and Fishers Island Community Development Fellow
  • Nate Howe, Port Clyde Marine Education Fellow
  • Nathan Michaud, Vinalhaven Community Development "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Peter Levandowski, Vinalhaven Public Health Fellow
  • Rebecca Graham, Vinalhaven Non-Profit Management Fellow
  • Ryan Albright, Islesboro Comprehensive Planning Fellow
  • Sarah Curran, Peaks Island Community Development and Stewardship Fellow
  • Sarah Ebel, Stonington Fisheries Management Fellow
  • Scott Sell, Frenchboro Rural Education Fellow
  • Sean Gambrel, Vinalhaven GIS Fellow
  • Sherry Marcum, Islesboro School Library Fellow
  • Shey (Veditz) Conover, Islesboro GIS Fellow
  • Sidra Nasir, Chebeauge Island Fire and Rescue Fellow
  • Siobhan Ryan, Swan's Island Library and Historical Preservation Fellow
  • Stacy Gambrel, North Haven Community GIS Fellow
  • Susan Little, Casco Bay Marine Research "Pioneering" Fellow
  • Tarah Waters, Eastport arts Fellow
  • Thea Youngs, Chebeague Island GIS Fellow
  • Wesley Norton, Deer-Isle Stonington Elementary School and Historical Society Fellow