How to be an Island Fellow

Island Fellows live and work in Maine's island and remote coastal communities for one or two years. Each Fellow is placed with a community organization or municulapality, working on anything from after school programming to energy efficiency. 
We're looking for the next group of Island Fellows to start in fall 2017. Wondering what it's like? Here's what current and past Fellows have to say:

Step 1. Integrate into the Community:

Catching Fish and Growing Kelp: Learning outside the classroom

When we talk about ‘fishing’ on Vinalhaven, most people think of catching lobsters, but in Port Clyde, fishing means more than that. A group of Vinalhaven students who are part of the Eastern Maine Skippers Program (EMSP) recently spent a day at Herring Gut Learning Center finding out about other fisheries and their place in the ocean food web.

By Rob Snyder / Special to the BDN

On Jan. 18, the Maine Public Utilities Commission made a decision that raises critical questions about how rural communities across the state receive and pay for electricity.

In a 2-1 vote, the commission denied Emera Maine’s request to acquire the Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative, a deal that would have provided more affordable electricity service to the Swan’s Island and Frenchboro communities.

February 2, 2017


7 Questions Island Students Have About High School

High school.  Think piles of homework, jammed lockers, running late into class because you got lost, super competitive athletics, and the ever-intimidating seniors strolling the halls.  While it’s certainly not all like this, these are some of the images that we associate with high school, thanks to movies and stories we may have seen and heard.  In reality, the transition from middle school to high school is a time of marked change, which can be scary and intimidating to navigate, but exciting at the same time.  High school brings new freedoms and responsibilities, as well

Sea Level Rise: Practical Tools and Community Implementation

What can coastal, estuarine, and tidal river communities do about sea level rise and storm surge in Maine? We hosted a forum with GrowSmart Maine to start discussing the answer.

By Brooks Winner / Island Institute, Rockland Energy Committee

Do you have one of those leaky homes? If so, the Rockland Energy Committee’s Weatherize Rockland initiative can help you. Weatherize Rockland is helping local residents sign up for energy assessments, air sealing, insulation, and other energy services at discounts of up to 95%. Here are five reasons to sign up, or partner with home performance agencies in your area, to save money and make your home more energy efficient year round.


January 5, 2017


Commercial Currents: Getting online and direct marketing

It can be difficult for business owners to find time to think of creative ways to market their business, but taking advantage of existing online marketing and advertising resources can be a time-efficient and effective way to promote and grow your business.

Finding a place on Swan's Island

Swan’s Island is quiet, but it is a quiet I have grown to cherish. The Maine coast is cold, but in that coldness there is so much beauty and emotion. And I have spent a lot of time alone, but have only a few times felt lonely.

By Edward D. Murphy / Portland Press Herald

The waters off Chebeague Island will be even greener than usual this winter.

Shearwater Ventures is moving in, joining another company, Portland-based Ocean Approved, in growing and harvesting seaweed in Casco Bay.

Nathan Johnson, who started Shearwater last year, just signed a state lease on nearly 4 acres of seabed. Johnson intends to grow sugar kelp, his foray into the $5 billion worldwide kelp industry.

Kelp farm operated by Ocean Approved off of Chebeague Island

Application Window Opens for Aquaculture Business Development

Have you ever thought about gaining a new source of income through growing mussels, oysters or seaweed? Now is a great time to launch your small-scale aquaculture business. Through our Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, the Island Institute is working to help fishermen and people from fishing communities diversify into shellfish or seaweed aquaculture.